All About ocstew
How they forced you to sit through dialogue and unlock weapons was a bummer. That's why I thank this youtube user for posting a link to a great "freeroam" savegame. All weapons are unlocked. It's all up to you from then on. Personally, messing around with the mortar is really fun and unique.
I've just finished the first third or so of the game and I have to say, it's truly amazing. Everything that the hardcore purists complained about (highlighting, regen health, takedowns) is perfectly implemented and more importantly keeps the Deus Ex feel. Highlighting only apears when you point the cursor near the object and can be turned off. Regenerating health is painfully slow to start and further more enemies kill you in literally 1 second if they come face to face with you, even on normal difficulty. And takedowns, well, they look very cool and can only be used if you have the required energy.
Gameplay and Level Design
I still haven't gotten around to finishing Deus Ex, because of its old looks but from what I did play of the first, the second is equally as open. Literally every battle you go into has a minimum of 3 paths that you can take and most times even more. The ways you can complete your objectives range from stealth, hacking, to full out war. Other RPGs boast about character customization and replayablility but never really follow through with that. You might be fully customized but the game still plays extremely similar to other peoples' journeys. This is not the case in Deus Ex. Several augmentations are made for the specific purpose of opening up unique routes not avaliable otherwise.
E.G The hacking aug will allow you to hack into places not avaliable with out the upgrade. However you may actually shoot open the entrance granted you don't mind the attention. Or if you picked the strength augmentation you may stack dumpsters to get into the same place. Or you might decide to get a different form of strength that allows you to punch through the walls to access the same location albeit from a different location. Or you might just knock out a couple of guys hanging around the area for the chance of getting the code to the gate. Or you might just jump over the fence using an advanced agility aug. Or you might be able to enter from above using the Icarus Landing System that allows you to land without any damage from any height.
But all these choices will not be crammed into one location. No, there are many ways to access a location, and sometimes snooping around will net you extremely interesting intel.
E.G Instead of going guns out knocking heads together and throwing grenades everywhere you might stop and listen to conversations. In one particular mission these gang members were boasting about a stash of rocket launchers and how they would use them to destroy any invaders. They also mentioned a vent and stressed defending the room where the stash was located. I snooped around and entered the room through a fire escape. As I walked in I noticed a vent, but I had explored the entire area and found no possible way to enter through the vent. The solution? I should of paid more attention to an apartment with a partially destroyed wall with cracks in the walls. If I had invested in the "smash through walls perk" I could of entered that way.
Story and Detail
I won't go into to much depth but, the detail in the world is also pretty exceptional. E-books, newspapers and "pocket secretaries" can be found lying around everywhere and all can be read, fleshing out the story and providing useful information. The story and RPG elements are done pretty well too. The voice acting is quite good and the options in the dialogue are good too. The story moves at a much faster pace than the first's much still remains very engaging and belivable. The books and pocket readers I mentioned before will net alot of interesting information. Furthermore, if you hack into computers you will be able to read emails.
Graphics and Animation
But the animations and graphics sometimes let these elements down. Graphics are passable, especially with the awesome art direction but sometimes the models leave you wanting much more. Animations sometimes look strange and it seems like people don't actually do anything but move their lips sometimes, except in "conversation battles", where reading facial expressions is important. Combat animations are actually quite good to be honest. It's quite amazing seeing enemies leap backs and scramble away from a grenade, instead of the typical FPS, turn around and jog. The transitions from cover to cover are also very smooth. The takedowns and other various animations triggered by augmentations are also pretty spectacular.
This leads me to my last point. About AI. The AI is simply one of the best I have ever fought. They are very agressive and deadly. A quick burst of fire from them will leave your screen red and you scratching your head at the load screen. They react quickly and logically (something missing from modern games) and most importantly are fair. They truly work together in a group, with one enemy for example supressing while the other actually moves forward. This happens consistantly and not by chance. They also spread out when searching for the player and this left me frustrated when I was aiming to get a double takedown.
E.G A group of three were in a room. One guy was standing metres away from the other 2 who were talking and I knocked him out silently. I snuck under a sort of tunnel that led me right next to the 2 people talking and listened. I sprung from cover to fire some shots but missed as they dove for cover. I figured that the AI would be too stupid to look for me under that tunnel since the entrance was a few metres away and required ducking down (yeah this says alot about AI in video games), so I repositioned away from the tunnel, fired a few shots to lead them to where I was and relocated back to the tunnel. Finding nothing there one of them actually ducked under the tunnel, looking around and spotted me. But in addition they woke the guy that I originally knocked out. Great AI.
All in all, however, don't hype this as the second coming as no game, however good it is benefits from too much hype but keep an open mind and you will definitely be blown away. If the rest of the game, maintains the tempo, detail and impressive level design that Detroit (the first city hub) had, then it will be something to look out for.
My Recent Reviews
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