Sad times then, eh. And I think I knew it was coming all along.
I’ve been playing Deus Ex for 10 hours or so and unless it suddenly gets MUCH better, I’m a disenfranchised chap.
I knew I shouldn’t have got myself worked up, but the build up was all just so exciting. I even convinced myself the main character’s resemblance to Neo from The Matrix was in fact a GOOD thing. Sigh.
So, the first Deus Ex. A game I’ve refused to return to because it was simply so good that first time round that it just has to stay that way in my mind. A game-changer of a game. Stealth and violence and tactics and decision making and PLOT and an amazing new way to develop yourself as you played. Memory recalls it to be dark and moody, sprawling and intriguing, full of story but never dull. It had multiple endings, multiple paths, multiple rewards.
One thing I remember though is that it never looked *that* good. Not like ‘woah, Pippa Middleton’s bum…’ good. The weird thing is, the new game seems to look worse.
Sure, I like their so-called ‘gold and black’ theme, though it makes certain trips like the one I’ve just made up a skyscraper rather predictable landscape-wise. Oh, look. It’s sunrise! WTF is everyone already doing at work?
Anyway, I digress. The graphics are poop. Stylish poop. Given how we’ve had the likes of LA Noire wowing us recently with its facial animations I expected more than the visibly polygonal assault that are the seemingly cloned denizens of Deus Ex land. In the first ‘hub’ I doubt there are more than 10 different faces, repeated again and again.
“No biggie!” we cry in unison. It’s not about the graphics it’s about the immersion. Well, yeah. There isn’t any. And it aint helped by the constant reminder that our world is built out of (rather ugly) triangles.
So, immersion. Not much of it, as we’ve gathered. The characters are Bond-esque without the charm of imagining the original author penning their lines but more’s the point, the cities are DEAD to me. I seriously thought (hoped (knew it wouldn’t ever fucking happen)) that EIDOS/SQUARE might step up to the plate regarding realism, but no, all you ever hear on the streets is ‘I told Dave he should hide the guns, you know, somewhere like in a dumpster in the north quarter, by the yellow cat and the banjo-playing tramp’. That kind of stuff has seriously harshed my intrepid-explorers chill. I don’t want to find anything as it’s all so carrot-on-a-stick.
The clumsy manifestation of the world is made worse by the typical rolling out of ‘hookers’ “looking for a good time baby” and the polarised idea of ‘AUGMENTATIONS ARE AGAINST GOD. SAY NO, BITCHES!’ vs ‘AUGMENTATIONS MAKE US GOD. SAY YEAH, BITCHES!’.
The cinematics are those awful ‘in-engine’ pre-renders. Why the hell do they do that? It looked alright in 1080p, now I’m looking at grainy video?
The worst cinematic culprit reminds me of an email I sent to Eidos when I first saw footage of the game. The ‘plane’ thing you get couriered around in had markings on the side that read: ‘800-8ee’ i.e., BOOBIES. It upset me. I wrote an email. It was lame of me. I was pleased to see in later clips that this had been changed to 008-Bee. Yay, I said, until I got an in game cinematic last night and the pre-render had been made so long ago it didn’t feature the change… Boobs it is then.
I said ‘hub’ a while ago. Ugh. It’s not 1999. In fact I barely recall hubs in Deus Ex IN 1999. Hubs and loading screens kill a lot of the fun. Made worse by the HUD guidance system always leading you to a quest via the next ‘zone’. Oh, I’m 5metres from the quest, yay… oh wait, it’s just a gate to the next zone. Urgfff.
Futhermore, whilst I remember, what’s with the hacking?! It’s cool’n all but as soon as you find somewhere important the door lock is level one, which can be opened by anyone.
“Sorry sir, I can’t let you in there, it’s restricted” *stands next to guard and types in code to door* *opens door* *goes through door* “huh, thought i heard movement” *guard goes through door* *Jon hides* *Must’ve been my imagination*. UGGHHGHGHGGHHHHH.
It just doesn’t wash any more. It’s age old lack of innovation heaped onto a good legacy to make money. It’s an Eidos and Square Enix game.
This is definitely not JC’s second coming.
(JC’s second coming sounds like a porno.)
I have decided next time I lock myself out of my house I shall put a heavy box in front of the door so as to make an air duct appear around the corner. Sorted.
This isn’t the refined cinematics of Halo. It’s not the unbound glory of Mass Effect. It’s not the problem-solving of Half-life. It’s not the brilliance of Deus Ex. It’s golden, shiny bargain bin material. Boo.