Deus EX - the Conspiracy
|a game by||Ion Storm Inc.|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Say Deus Ex three times really fast and you may find yourself muttering the words "day of sex," which, incidentally, is not completely unlike spending 24 straight hours with this unique first-person shooter. DX is a long, roller-coaster ride of an action game that will leave you happily exhausted in its final hours. What makes the game so satisfying is its combination of many well-handled elements. Its nearfuture scenario, in which a group of New York-based terrorists rises up against the governing body, has the hook of an X-Files episode with just enough real-world relevance to send chills down your spine. But Ex is more than just a good story; its excellent game design gives you the freedom to call all the shots. For the hell of it, I ran through the game as a merciful agent of the law, dishing out only non-lethal justice with my pepper spray and riot baton. It paid off. Those around me talked in hushed tones about how I was such a big wimp, but I actually received bonus items for my pacifist ways. Don't get me wrong, with all the heavy artillery you get, there's plenty of carnage to be had in Ex. But there's beauty in restraint, and the game shows plenty of discipline. My only complaint is that Ex wasn't prettier to look at. Some choppy gameplay makes it straight-up embarrassing for a PS2 title at times. But when all the other pieces come together, Deus Ex is the perfect example of why we never judge purely on appearances.
This is not a first-person shooter. Sure, gunpowder junkies can get their fill of shotguns and sniper rifles. But if that's all you're looking for, the graphics here are so choppy and blocky you'd be better off with...well, just about any other PS2 FPS. Deus Ex is more like a first-person adventure: You infiltrate compounds, hack computers, pick locks, disable cameras--the game offers a refreshing number of different methods outside the usual "kill, kill, find key, kill" mold to accomplish goals. This unique degree of freedom, enhanced by a load of customizable skills and weapons, makes up for the graphical inferiority and long load times.
Deus Ex is more first-person strategy than shooter. Yeah, you have loads of weapons, but you can get through most of the game without even touching 'em if you play it smart. Ex affords you a kind of game-play latitude I haven't seen from any other action-shooter, and your character's stats and storyline are extremely responsive to the way you play each mission. I really love being rewarded for voluntary exploration, stealth and minimal hostile engagement --a lot of games force these tactics on you in an almost scripted fashion. The control pad's a bitch for navigating menus and aiming, but FPS purists can always use a USB mouse and keyboard....