As a newcomer to the series, I had no idea what to expect from this title, and I was certainly surprised how deep this game went in seemingly all directions. There’s so much more than what you might see as a just another shooter with stealth mechanics. There is a very open-ended spectrum to how you can play this game: from core mechanics, to how you approach the levels and scenarios, to what decisions you make along the game’s satisfyingly lengthy narrative. Will play it stealthily or with guns-blazing? Will you go under, over, around, or through your enemies? Will you take your enemies down mercifully or lethally? Will try out all these things, whenever you feel like it? With this game, you certainly can, and I chose to use variety as I played through on the game’s Hard difficulty setting. And unlike many RPG-type games, you can play with variety and not really feel penalised for it or pidgeon-holed into a certain play style.
Although I did focus mainly on the stealth and hacking route, I was never afraid to pull out the guns when things got hairy, and I never really felt the need to choose the powerups relating to guns and the brute-strength approach. At any rate, it was highly enjoyable going into each of the games encounters, figuring out what approach I wanted to take and then using the right tools for the job to execute my plan. And when things didn’t work out as planned, it’s still fun enough to weasel your way out or simply re-load and try things differently.
I would insist people try to play this game more as a stealth game where possible, as that is what makes this game stand out. Most of the weapons feel quite good, but other, more high-profile and dedicated FPS games do it better than what can be found here. So if you’re looking for a gun-toting blast, this game certainly has elements of that, but it shouldn’t be the reason why you should play this game. A second qualm I have with the game would be the sub-par graphics, which are likely by-products of game development sprawled across a variety of platforms, but as a trade-off I guess you get a lengthy game with still quite detailed environments. Lastly, there are a couple signature moves the game has which the game doesn’t really capitalises on nearly enough, or provides enough obvious and enticing opportunities to use.
At the end of the day, when it comes to this Director’s Cut, you’re left with a great package with excellent value. This sci-fi romp delivers an experience which is far greater than the sum of its parts, and it’s all tied together with strong characters and a fantastic story that isn’t afraid to ask the big questions of humanity and progress.