Onlive Review: Eye Catching Start Ultimately Runs Out of Steam
This game was played on the Onlive system and I will review both the performance on Onlive as well as the game.
Simply put the game ran nearly flawlessly on the Onlive system. I played it through the Microconsole and had no issues. The game play was smooth, graphics looked very sharp and the lag was not noticeable. There were a few instances of game crashes, but nothing really to take note of.
Deus Ex right out of the bat is an incredible thrill ride. I am a huge fan of the cycberpunk genre the likes of Neuromancer Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell. If you are a fan of any of these then you will immediately take hold in the Deus Ex world.
The game is set in a cyberpunk future where corporations are battling on the brink of cybernetic technology. Caught in the middle is your character, Adam Jensen who must navigate through the world of corporate espionage, political back stabbing and personal loss. The world is wonderfully setup and the developers did and excellent job at the outset of the game to illustrate the problems that the world is facing. There is a nice set of grey moral ambiguities that are put in to place and that drive the story for a good part of the game. The story, at least for the first two thirds of the game is the driving force.
Graphically the game is very good looking. Nothing will completely blow you away, but the world has an almost matte finish to it that I just seemed to love. Early on I was very impressed at amount of stuff that just seemed to be sitting around in the world. There was a nice sense of place to it all and I constantly enjoyed looking at desks and apartments to find nuggets of information in ebooks and datapads..
Game play wise there are some hit and misses here. The best aspects of this game are the detective aspects. Playing as your character, wandering through the cities and finding clues or interviewing people is incredibly satisfying. The worlds are not large, but there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. The gun play for the most part is decent, but falls apart when the player is faced with managing several enemies in an encounter.
The problem with the game play really comes down to some of the inconsistencies that develop as the character gets further into the game. Initially I started off playing the game as a stealth character, carrying only a couple of light weapons. This is very manageable in he early game when you are in a corporate setting, dealing with only a few security guards. The problems develop later on though once you begin to encounter heavily armored enemies. Stealth game play is certainly possible, but you are often presented situations where you have to navigate not a couple of enemies, but rather half a dozen and the end result simply becomes frustrating as you continually try to struggle past these situations. Ultimately I ended up just gunning my way through the second half of the game with the adequate gunplay.
Overall I felt the game lost a lot of steam during the second act. The detective story here was the most engaging and learning the pieces of information and putting them together myself through the hacking, interviews and side missions felt the most rewarding. Almost all of the side missions appear to be front loaded and after a point the game just seemed to shift gears to rush the second half a long. The story itself even seemed to fall apart a bit trying to continually fold on itself about the conspiracy going on. Corporate espiange was a good motivation to hang onto in the early game. The whole black hand, Illuminati conspiracy at the end got so confusing that I had no idea who or what was actually the bad guy. Ohh.....and zombies. A form of zombies show up at the end and I just about threw my controller down in disbelief. It just felt like a lazy part of the end game.
Ultimately it is a gorgeous game that starts off so strong and just seemed to last about 6-8 hours longer than it should have.