Well, despite my last two Blog entries being negative and ranting about games that I have played (and been greatly disappointed in); it is a welcome change of pace for me to actually be able to write and give a game a positive review for a change!
Over this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I had ventured into my friendly neighborhood GameStop store to peruse the Used Game shelf to see if I could find some quality entertainment for myself to whittle away the hours.
I had just, the week before, finished up playing Dishonored; and was reasonably satisfied with that game. I had forgotten how much I thoroughly enjoy the "stealth" game genre...as it's been a long time since I played the "Thief" series of games, and I had also really liked the original & first sequel of "Splinter Cell"...that was before the Splinter Cell franchise went down the tubes and stopped being about stealth and instead became more like single-player Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six. But anyways...I digress.
As I was saying, I had been happy with Dishonored; and was looking for other games that were along those same lines, and fit the same type of game play. As I was searching online for other games of a similar style, I kept getting results back for a game called Deus Ex; and people seemed to be raving about how good it is/was.
To be honest, most people were raving about the "original" Deus Ex (not Deus Ex: Human Revolution)...but that was for PC and much older; so I decided to give the newer Deus Ex: Human Revolution for Xbox 360 a try instead, as that also had good reviews as well.
*****WARNING - There will be spoilers below********
As this is a blog entry, and not an official "review" in the respective Review Section, I am going to just talk about my experience with the game, as a whole, and therefore the remainder of this Blog Entry does contain some spoilers. If you truly wish to enjoy the game, I'd recommend not reading further.
I put the game in and went through the obligatory introduction cut-scenes and intro walkabout; eagerly waiting the action to start happening....and once it did I was immediately impressed with the game!
Now, don't get me wrong...the game isn't "perfect"; but then again, really, what game ever is absolutely perfect (where there is not a single, solitary thing you wouldn't change)? I've never played a game that I was thought perfect, but some have come close, and this is one of those that falls into my short list of games that I thoroughly enjoyed!!
The game's highlights were the somewhat "open level" style of play. I won't call it "open world" as you cannot truly wander anywhere you want within the game world; you do have to play within the boundaries of the "level" or "chapter" that you are playing; but the level design is such that they are very open in respect to allowing the player to choose the path that they want to take in tackling their objectives.
Many missions require infiltration of locations, and/or bypassing soldiers & guards. Players can tackle the task in a wide variety of ways! For example Players may find access to roof tops, or if no access is available you can stack boxes on top of one another to make your own access. Or perhaps you can find access to the location you seek by traveling through the sewers to come in through the basement of the building. There are even some destructable walls that you can bust through if you have the right augmentations (upgrades) to your character. That's still not the end of the freedom players are given! Players can scurry through ventilation shafts, hack through security doors, disable security cameras, etc. All in an effort to build yourself a path to your objective. The game encourages creative thinking in how you approach your goals!
And if stealth isn't your thing....fret not...you can also run & gun...and take the "Rambo approach" to the levels if that is more fun to you.
The game does have a few "low points" to it though. Like I said, I have yet to play "the perfect game"....
The "boss fights" in the game are extremely annoying. The game largely encourages "stealthy" game play; sneaking around opponents and largely avoiding all out open combat/conflict. However in the boss fights that all changes...as in every one of the fights you are essentially locked into a medium size room with the baddie, and forced to fight it out with them. It's like the game decided to suddenly switch from a stealth-based game, and suddenly become a game of Deathmatch like in Unreal Tournament or Quake 3. It's you, and the boss, one on one. No chance for subterfuge or being creative any longer...it's just a slugfest, with you running away most of the time; to hide behind whatever cover you can find.
Fortunately, once the boss fight is done...it's back to being a fun stealth game again for quite awhile longer, before the next boss fight comes up.
I can't recall for certain how many boss fights there were to annoy me; I think it was about 3-4 of them all together. They were really annoying; but thankfully they didnt' happen often, and I could instead enjoy the other 95% of the game for the pleasant experience that it was!
The game's other little "schizophrenic" moment was in the last level...where suddenly the game decided to essentially turn into the stereotypical Zombie Game. Now granted, you aren't actually fighting zombies...but really, you might as well be! The game was still fun, don't get me wrong, but all I could think to myself was "Oh no...not another developer that fell victim to having to have zombies in their game (well, the equivalent of zombies in this case).
Aside from the game's schizophrenic moments with boss fights & the final level....the game was awesome.
The game allowed me to pick my fights; fighting when I wanted to, and avoiding conflict through the use of stealth and being patient & creative. I truly felt like I was being rewarded by the game, when I out-thought opponents patrols or tactics. Additionally there is a fair degree of customization that you can do to your character in respect to your character's abilities. Though, there could have been a few more abilities to pick from...as by the end of the game I was just slapping upgrade points wherever I had room for them, as I'd already gotten all the abilities that I really wanted...and I really didn't care about the abilities that I didn't have points in.
Definitely worth playing if you like games like Thief, the way Splinter Cell started out!! I also played a lot of Fallout 3 with a lot of points in "stealth" type skills. So if you enjoy similar games and styles of play, I highly recommend you give Deus Ex: Human Revolution a try!!