Sunday, January 13, 2013

Game One - Deus Ex: Human Revolution

This is game one of the seven games in seven days I played over the Christmas 2012 holidays

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

I felt torn by Deus Ex. It has incredible artistic style. The cutscenes and writing are good, as are the thematics. I appreciate the fact that the game tries to let the player solve problems in a variety of ways. I know firsthand from working on the Mass Effect series how hard it is to give players meaningful choices in how they develop their characters that effect how they solve problems in the game.

Despite all these positive aspects - the game has issues.

Perhaps it’s because I worked on Mass Effect which is also a sci-fi RPG, with shooter combat, that I find it hard to overlook flaws in how Deus Ex is executed. The shooting feels clunky. The HUD is awkward particularly the in-game item highlighting. AI feels unpolished. These are all criticisms I would also direct at Mass Effect – which is why I worked so hard to fix those issue in ME2 & ME3.

In the end I found these issues distracting enough that I chose to put down Deus Ex pretty early to focus on other games. I may return, but if I do I’ll probably turn combat down to easy, so I can rush through the combat and enjoy the story, level design, and progression mechanics which seem to be really well done.

One last thing - I would have liked to see more early exploration of the protagonist's feelings about being cybernetically augmented against his will. Perhaps this happens later in the story, but he seems to take it too easily.

Deus Ex gets the Christina 2012 award for – Most Ambitious


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