This is another one that totally took me by surprise. I didn’t even realize this game was coming out until it did, and even then I was skeptical that it was something for me. I hadn’t played either of the original games in the series, but this is a prequel so I figured it wouldn’t matter so much. Even after I started, it didn’t hook me right away. I didn’t really understand what kind of game it was or what I was expecting to get out of it.
Until about the second hour.
When this game hits you and everything comes together like it did for me, it hits hard. After you realize how many options you have, and that you can deal with situations in so many different ways, its a great feeling. I played through the game entirely stealthily, never killing anyone. The same thought echoed through my head the entire time I played it, “This is what I wish Splinter Cell had evolved into.” Splinter Cell Conviction was a big disappointment for me because of the heavy emphasis on action over stealth, but Deus Ex let’s you play the game exactly like that if you want to.
The conversation system is the game is equally as wonderful, similar to Mass Effect’s dialogue wheel, you have a few options to say to everyone you meet, depending on what kind of person you want your character to be. Each of the side quests that you take part in have an interesting little story tied to them, and it just makes the world feel more alive. Add that to the hours and hours of tiny details throughout the game and this is one of the most realistic worlds I’ve ever seen in a game. You have the freedom to read emails between friends on computers, go into apartment complexes and see how the people there live their lives, and just do so many things that other games wouldn’t dream of having in them.
The story is a mix of conspiracies, corporate struggles, betrayals, and more that I love to see in a game. My biggest complaint with the game is that the ending falls flat and doesn’t deliver a great conclusion to the otherwise excellent story that was told up to that point. That barely detracts from the overall experience though, because I loved the 50+ hours so much that I played before it.
This is a game that gets so much right, I’d have a hard time not recommending it to anyone.
Also, you can literally punch through walls. Punch. Through. Walls.