So much potential, and expectations, ruined by tired design, uninspired gameplay and a dull story.
I even liked the sequel 'Invisible War' which many people disregarded, though not as good as the original it brings new ideas and an expanded universe which complemented the first game.
So after hearing about this new game I was eager and excited to a point that I cant recall ever feeling for a new game before. Though I was coming into it with an open mind and a willingness for change and new concepts.
I can tell you now that my excitement wasn't warrented or rewarded.
The Trailers released before the game was released are amazing but dont represent the game well at all, and for some reason I thought they would be used in-game as cut-scenes but they never are. Instead all cut-scenes are slightly improved in-game assets with very little animation or interesting things in them, a real shame.
The Story never really gets going or grabs you in any meaningfull way it just drags you from one location to another following blips on your map, re-using locations for multiple 'levels'. There is never any real goal Adam is working towards he just goes through the game reacting to things other people do and situations he's put in. There isnt even a real bad guy behind it all, just a rag-tag group of almost random enemies.
Adam as a main character is dull and almost emotionless, though that seems to be a staple of the deus ex games, but to tell a story you need an interesting main character at least, and this game doesnt have it.
The rest of the characters you meet in the game both good and bad have very little screen time and leave little impact on you.
It is very simplistic and almost amateurish the way you just go from one character to the next never connecting with any of them, if the game had just spent some more time with individual characters so we could get to know them and care about them, learn what makes them tick and the how they think, it would have improved the game immensely.
The 'main' 3 'bosses' in the game, are shamelessly and bafflingly shoe-horned into the game just so it would have boss fight levels, they serve no real point to the story and the levels themselves feel wrong, like its a bad copy of metal gear solids boss fights.
The 'endings' to the game are really bad, I wont spoil them but it really doesnt pay off or come to anything at all. If you've played the previous Deus ex games you should have a good idea how it plays out.
The gameplay is 30 minutes worth stretched out to 20+ hours, at about the half way point I got seriously fed up and bored with the same sneaking around and hacking and then sneak around some more for some more hacking.
I know you can play it in different ways but the game was meant to be played like that, with scarce ammo and a health bar that depletes almost instantly when shot at, combat should be avoided, and almost always can be.
You will be 'fighting' or rather sneaking past the same guards throughout the entire game just with different models, with very few droids to deal with.
I only ever fought and defeated 1 of the larger box droids, it makes you wonder why they never used it more through the game, as boss fights maybe.
The enemy AI is though its straight from Deus Ex 1, really, really basic, though it didnt really bother me it may bother some of you that like smart opponents.
There are only a handful of weapons to use through the game and the most powerful ones you dont get untill almost the end of the game. I went through the game mainly using the tranqualizer rifle and the silenced handgun, only using more powerful weapons like the assault rifle and shotgun in the boss fights or in the few instances when you have to fight groups of enemies.
An interesting omission is melee weapons, there arent any in the game, not counting your elbow swords which you can only use with 1 full energy cell. I realised after nearly running out of ammo and energy that I could really use some sort of melee weapon, even Adams fists would do, but as far as I could tell there arent any, very strange. You can throw objects at opponents I guess but that seems like a last resort, wheres the laser katanas at?
Augmentations are very few and abilities even fewer. There are a total of 4 useable abilities of which half are useless, leaving the stealth, which runs out far too quickly, and the Typhoon system, which apparently kills everything around you. I wouldnt know because I never used it through the entire game, you have to get close to the enemy to use it but staying in the open too long will kill you, quickly.
Hacking is interesting at first but once youve done it several hundred times it becomes a chore and tedious.
The graphics are average to sub-par, level design and envronment modelling are superb with some of the best designed locations in any game, while character models are basic and generic.
Main characters in the game have a much higher quality to the other characters in the game, even though they themselves are still not top quality.
There doesnt seem to be any lighting in the game as far as I could tell, everything is just lit the same throughout all the levels. Theres no interactive shadows or shadowing of any kind, unlike in the first game where you could hide in the shadows and played a big part in stealth. This is a big and glaring flaw and I cant understand why they did it, imagine shooting the lights out to darken rooms making it easier to sneak, using night-vision or infra-red, even having a torch like in the first game. This would add a whole new element to the game, and you would think obvious.
In fact one of the first things I did starting the game was try to use my torch, I still cant understand why they removed it.
You will get so sick of seeing literally mountains of cardboard boxes through the course of the game as well as other re-used crates and barrells and computers and lockers etc. Most of the game you will be searching through offices literally almost half the game is in offices that all look the same, or warehouses or corridors, little changes in the entirety of the game.
Hengsha, the location they publicised the most is vastly under-used and under-utilised, it could have allowed for so many interesting locations and gameplay challenges as well as story and atmosphere, instead its just another city/slum area that never opens up for you to explore, alleys of the same 3 shops lined side by side over and over again.
You spend little amount of time here as well, which makes me wonder why they bothered to set it up in the first place, designing the two-tiered city that you never explore or spend alot of time in.
As a side-note, having the 'exclusive' bonus mission from the pre-order purchase set in a sewer AND a mission you have to do to move the story along is more like a slap in the face than a bonus.
The music is good but sparse and not very varied. Character voices are average to terrible, with almost racist or offencive portrayals of minorities. Adam himself sounds as if he's barely awake most of the time, I know this is the style they were going for but it goes too far, hes difficult to listen to for long stretches.
It feels half finished and as though the people making it didnt really know what they were trying to create so they just made a poorly disguised re-make of the original Deus Ex with half finished ideas and vague concepts.
I've been racking my brain trying to think of something I actually like about the game and not coming up with anything in particular, the atmosphere of the game is good, the general mood and ambiance. Some of the ideas I really like, about human augmentation and the effects it has on society and what it means to be human. but these things alone dont add up to a great game, they merely elevate a really mediocre game to something that at least makes you think and ask questions. This is the only true triumph of Deus ex 3, and makes me think it would have been better with alot more dialog and discussions with characters rather than a half hearted and generic stealth game round I.T offices.
It makes the whole game just feels like a late 90's pc game with updated graphics and a few gimmicks thrown in, but it doesnt have the heart or soul of the original Deus Ex, though it may have the name.
Though its basic and un-interesting for the most part you can tell the people behind it loved the original game and wanted to make a worthy prequel for both fans and newcomers alike.
They failed at updating and adding new life to an old franchise and instead made an inferior copy that treads familiar ground.
It gets from me a just above average 6.5 out of 10