This game was intriguing to me: I had always wanted to try it out, but never really got around to it. Once the Directors Cut was released, and I saw it was for the Wii U, I decided to give it a try. I had heard great things about the game, and I purposefully tried to keep my knowledge of the game to a minimum, as to be surprised by it (for better or worse). So, did it hold up to my expectations?
Visuals – 7.25/10
The visuals in Deus Ex are not “show off” worthy, nor a good example of what the Wii U is actually capable of graphically. What’s more baffling is that some areas look terrible (and especially the character designs of NPCs when speaking to them), while others actually look gorgeous. All in all, you shouldn’t purchase Deus Ex for visuals, otherwise you will be disappointed. But you also can’t judge a book by its cover, as the gameplay specific to the Wii U version makes up for lack of visual splendor
Audio – 7/10
The audio in the game (both soundtrack and effects/voice overs) are neither great, nor terrible. They are effective enough to progress story and give a little character to the world we travel through. As far as music goes, the composers played it fairly safe; the soundtrack isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t stand out either, though it does fit well enough in this sci-fi, steampunk-like artistic style riddled throughout the game. Gun sounds and other sound effects are well done, and voice overs are generally good, doing a sufficient job to propel the game forward.
Gameplay – 9.5/10
This is by far the strongest part of this game, and more than makes up for its shortcomings. The controls are tight, once you get used to them (about a 30 minute learning curve for me), and work well with the type of game, which leads me to the actual genre of this game – it’s a mix between stealth, action, and RPG. Once again, it doesn’t revolutionize gaming in any of these genres, but rather, enhances them and makes great use of each; excellent pacing and level design make you strategize and rethink previous methods of gameplay to get past certain situations. You can upgrade Jensen when you earn enough experience points (RPG) that can either enhance/improve your play, whether you avoid fights (Stealth) or accept them with open arms (Action). You may enter a building with two floors, and have at least 15 different ways to get to the top, not including all the little extras spread throughout the game like hidden caches, important computers to hack, and helpful vantage points. You can also switch between frontal assault and stealth-based methods of play, and what I really enjoyed was that if I botched a stealth part, I wasn’t doomed to die instantly like in other stealth games; I might fight back and have a good old fashioned gun fight, or perhaps find a hiding spot and trick the enemies into thinking I’m elsewhere. The gameplay in Deus Ex is most definitely a great experience. On top of that, all actions make sense, and Straight Right Studios made sure to use everything the GamePad has to offer; they incorporate excellent use of the GamePad – not forcing it, while utilizing it to make the game a unique Wii U specific experience:
- The map is great
- The incorporation of GamePad with the inventory is great (either quick button or touch screen on GamePad)
- Extra touches, like raising up the GamePad when an eye augment is fully completed, to use as a means to look around and see through walls
The game never gets stagnant either – whenever I approached a point where it was beginning to be a little redundant, it would switch it up and I would have to play another way. This really helped the overall gaming experience, creating a living, breathing world with well done AI in the enemies. In fact, the biggest asset for this game is re-playability. Many games claim you can play through multiple times in very different ways. I’ve found that to be true about 20% of the time. This game, however, truly delivers on that promise. There are so many different ways to approach a situation and fulfill goals that as soon as I was done with the game, I was ready to do it all over again. That happens very rarely for me with games like this.
Entertainment Factor – 8/10
Story: 8.75/10 – The story isn’t anything particularly new, but it does an effective job of bringing you into this dismal world full of augmentations. Adam Jensen is a former-cop-gone-private-company-security-supervisor for a company named Sarif Industries. Essentially, he makes sure nothing happens on site, and is the CEO’s lapdog of sorts. One fateful night, a group of mercenaries breaks in and kidnaps Jensen’s former love interest and her team of scientists on the eve of a huge breakthrough in “self induced evolution.” Jensen gets his butt handed to him and is left for dead, but Sarif Industries has other plans for him – they completely rebuild almost his entire body with augmentations, making him a private super soldier. And from here, the story unfolds as the gamer progresses. What Deus Ex lacks in original story lines, it makes up for in fleshing out controversial concepts within the game. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Another aspect that enhances the experience is that much of the depth in the story can be found in emails from computers you hack, eBooks lying around, newspapers people carry around, and various other transcripts you’ll come across. I found myself actually reading a lot of this stuff, when usually I skip these extras; rarely do they ever add much to the story in other games. However, in Deus Ex, much of these extras are actually worth the read, and add more character and depth to this futuristic world we are playing through. Deus Ex has a solid story, much enhanced by gameplay additions and mechanics.
Online capabilities: 6/10 – No online gameplay, which is a huge miss for a game like this. There are cool little things that utilize Miiverse and can help your friends, such as recording audio notes or logging text for them to see.
General enjoyment: 9.5/10 – As I played through the game, I couldn’t help but think of this game as a first person version of a Metal Gear Solid game, with heavy emphasis on gadgets and sneaking around. Now, I could go Rambo if I chose to, but it was much more fun trying to figure out how to get by enemies without alarming them. Also, I thought it to be an huge plus that Adam Jensen was overpowered just because he was augmented – he could still easily die. Plus, the re-playability of the game is extremely high
Overall, this game is a fantastic purchase, especially for its current price tag. The only things holding this excellent game back are the graphics and lack of online play. I’ve played through the game once and it took me about 34 hours to complete, with a ton of stuff I’m sure I missed throughout the game. I didn’t even upgrade Jensen completely, showing that there were many more experience points to be had. Though I’ve just completed the game, I’m ready to play the game again, trying new methods and finding new secrets I missed the first time. I recommend this game to Wii U owners, and once you get past the first hour or so, the gameplay opens up immensely, providing a great gaming experience that doesn’t hold your hand, but rather, throws you into the fire to see how you get out.
Overall – 8/10