Welcome back, Deus Ex
I guess one of the things that this game would be judged on is whether it would stay true to the original. It still baffles me to this day as to why no one tried remaking the original Deus Ex with modern graphics. I am thinking Half Life Black Mesa mod, well that one has been dead for years now but still, at least they tried.
The world in the game is somewhat static, you cannot interact with most objects or even topple a chair, but you can turn on water fountains and stuff like that AND you CAN interact with quest related items plus you can move some boxes around.
The blind fire is really that, blind, which is good. You can barely hit anything or anyone using that mode, even at close range.
As usual, you cast no shadow and you can't see your legs at least in the first person view. But at least you have a voice and a personality, somewhat. Plus you can see yourself when you take cover, much like in Rainbow Six Vegas series. Not only that, the cover system is extremely fluid, one of the most fluid cover systems I've seen to be exact.
The CGI cut scenes are really stylish and engaging, and the Mass Effect type of music is there for the win. However the in-game cut scenes are not as stylish, there's no lip sync to speak of and the NPC's look lifeless, much like those crash test dummies, however you do have some dialogue options.
The cross-hair is subtle. It is small and Max Paynish-like. I am glad it's unloke those cross-hairs that inflate and take up half the screen every time you are having a recoil.
It is also nice that you get to make some choices pertaining to your weaponry prior to doing a given mission.
As for the main guy, Adam, well, he sounds like Clint Eastwood as many have pointed out. He does have his own character and his own pre-set opinions and such so do not expect to always agree with his dialogue and actions. However, once you augment your speech ability, the dialogue options expand.
The game features a butt load of graphics, direct x 11 and all. Hell, sometimes the lightening is so bright, it blinds you. However I still found some spots and textures there and there that looked outdated.
On another note, if you jump down from about 10 feet, you die (unless you augment yourself). Thus I can see that the game wants you to play not as a mobile jumping and running killing machine necessarily but as a sneaky spy who is capable of conducting recon en force. Funny thing I mentioned Rainbow Six Vegas cover system, because in that game you also die when you jump down 10 feet.
This game pretty much stays true to the original, for the most part. As you face enemies, you have various ways of knocking them out, killing them, permanently immobilizing them, maiming them using world objects, etc. For almost each one of your engagements, you will get a mini report indicating the effectiveness of your actions. You will then be rewarded the skill points to make your next upgrade.
On a story-related note, the game introduces plenty of ambiguity into this whole augmentation business.You may think that augmentation isn't bad, but what about those who are ostracized by not being augmented? or vice versa? Would the world be better when most if not everyone is augmented? because there is little alternative or would the augmentation option be a pure choice? or would augmentation be the result of a deterministic string of events that coerced you into doing something you wouldn't otherwise think of doing? The dichotomy between a brighter future via augmentation and the desperate dystopia created by those purist wishing to resist and uninvent augmentation will be occurring often.
Who would be against augmentation and trans-humanism unless you are an over zealous religious nut? Well, it's not that simple which is why the game does introduce some gray area into the mix as far as the concept of augmentation is concerned as well as political ramification and social integration. More dubiousness about augmentation is introduced when you find out that some people's bodies reject the augmentations which is why they have to take drugs for the rest of their lives hoping that one day they'll be cured. Who is to blame then? bad genetics? the person wanting to be augmented? the person that had to be augmented to survive an accident? or maybe the whole thing is a giant conspiracy? These are some of the things that will run through your head as you play.
The stealth element is very well implemented, and you are unlikely to survive a horde of enemies. The first 20 minutes of the game feel out of place by the way because this segment demonstrates the usual shoot and take cover gameplay, so don't let the beginning of the game fool you. It gets better, much better.
The augmentations are many. You can get stronger and be able to move heavy objects, you can see better, literally - through walls. You can run faster and for a longer period of time, etc etc.
The inventory is realistic enough - you cannot carry tons of weapons and you get to arrange and re-arrange your items Resident Evil 4 style.
The hacking is pretty smart and requires some thinking. Bioshock has implemented something like this, but there was a time limit as soon as you started the hack. here you have an opportunity to plot the route of your hacking. The goal is to get to the server before the server's fire wall security penetrates your starting base, In most cases, this mini game can be won with precise mouse controls while getting the extra bonus goodies. I also found that it's much easier to hack with a mouse than with the xbox controller.
As for the NPC. well there are dozens and dozens of different NPC models and most of them say different things when you approach them, most of the time you will also find that they have something new to say every time you engage, Some core NPC's faces look better than other non-essential NPC's however which is annoying.
I also like how you can kill off the more or less essential NPCs related to secondary as well as primary missions and STILL be able to continue the game! It is really nice to have that freedom even if you aren't going to use it.
On a negative note, the health regenerates... I think this should have been implemented more properly via augmentation upgrades. Most people are okay with health regeneration I recon, especially the console players. ON hard mode, health regenerates within 13-14 seconds. So you can say good bye to this particular classic aspect of Deus Ex series.
As for the gamespot's review, I did NOT encounter any FPS spikes, nor did I encounter long loading times. This serves to show once again that applying the same rating to a multi-platform game is a bad idea.
In general, the game feels and plays like a stylish noir with an engaging narrative that feels new and refreshing.
All in all. I want to say Welcome back, Deus Ex.