Deus Ex is awesome, except Liberty Island.

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Posted by ArclightBorealis (1722 posts) -

It's mid-January, and I still have not gotten to all the games I bought on Steam during the Christmas sale. Only bought 10 games, a mix of huge and indie. As of right now I finished my five initial buys during Christmas: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock, Mirror's Edge, and the last one Deus Ex. A highly revered title by Warren Spector, and constantly put on sale for cheap prices. I had a bunch of money to spend, guess I had no excuse not to ignore this game and see what it was all about.  
 
Bought it, started playing, and went to something else after getting frustrated with Liberty Island, on two separate occasions. The one spot that most players my age (almost all, maybe) would've done the same, and for good reason. A bit later on that.  
 
I looked through my steam library looking for games I haven't gone through yet and noticed Deus Ex near the top of that list. I had come off of Bioshock and the original System Shock on DOSbox, and I figured I could go for another "thinking man's" shooter. I gave Deus Ex another go. 
Friday night, spent well over an hour trying to explore and do all the objectives on Liberty Island, reloading saves when encounters didn't go well or was discovered. I was almost ready to just give up on the game again, but I had the idea of hacking the security terminal at the front door to get rid of that pesky camera and turret coming down the back stair way. Got Gunther out of the cell after another series of reloading saves and rethinking my plan of attack. Freed Gunther, captured the NSF Commander, and got my first Augmentation canister. 
 
Went to UNATCO HQ and screwed around in the offices, talking with NPCs and unlocking doors to find hidden supplies and goodies. After a few hours of progressing through levels, things got better, and by the time I reached Hong Kong, I felt I was good enough to approach a situation any number of ways and pull them off successfully. Something that I didn't feel at the start of the game. 
 
The game is about choice. There are more than one ways to solving a problem. And you have the tools and skill necessary to make those choices happen. Liberty Island doesn't give you that impression. In fact, it leaves you starting pretty weak and lacking in tools. As much as a big deal is made about how you approach situations, the only successful way through is to be completely hidden from sight. Even when you're taking the stealth route, you can't aim and shoot a gun for your life, so those are as much ill advised as a full on assault. The whole first level just feels limited in what the game says you can do. I don't mean to make you an all powerful badass at the beginning, but certainly enough that supplies and surviving battles aren't an issue. Awful first impression.  
 
Battery Park and Hell's Kitchen made the experience more interesting by throwing civilians into the mix. And as the levels progressed, I found more Augmentation Canisters, supplies and ammo were more plentiful, earned more skill points to improve my pistol skill to something tolerable. On top of that, I became more comfortable with the sneaking, learning the nuances (limitations) of the AI. Hong Kong came around, and I was officially sold on the game. Played through that level two times on separate saves, just to see what would happen doing things in different orders. And the Dragons Tooth sword. Oh man, 1-2 hit kills, glorious.  
 
After finishing the game, I am glad to have played through this game. A great atmosphere, the different approaches to problems, very indepth gameplay systems, it's a great game that has a bad start, especially in this generation. I wasn't old enough to have played this in 2000, so I'm not sure if Liberty Island was an example of good game design, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be in 2011. But I gave it enough time, and I ended up totally loving it in the end. 
 
Now I am interested in seeing how Human Revolution ends up, but like fans of the original, probably a little skeptical and unsure about if it'll match the depth and complexity of Deus Ex. I guess we'll see.

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#1 Posted by ArclightBorealis (1722 posts) -

It's mid-January, and I still have not gotten to all the games I bought on Steam during the Christmas sale. Only bought 10 games, a mix of huge and indie. As of right now I finished my five initial buys during Christmas: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock, Mirror's Edge, and the last one Deus Ex. A highly revered title by Warren Spector, and constantly put on sale for cheap prices. I had a bunch of money to spend, guess I had no excuse not to ignore this game and see what it was all about.  
 
Bought it, started playing, and went to something else after getting frustrated with Liberty Island, on two separate occasions. The one spot that most players my age (almost all, maybe) would've done the same, and for good reason. A bit later on that.  
 
I looked through my steam library looking for games I haven't gone through yet and noticed Deus Ex near the top of that list. I had come off of Bioshock and the original System Shock on DOSbox, and I figured I could go for another "thinking man's" shooter. I gave Deus Ex another go. 
Friday night, spent well over an hour trying to explore and do all the objectives on Liberty Island, reloading saves when encounters didn't go well or was discovered. I was almost ready to just give up on the game again, but I had the idea of hacking the security terminal at the front door to get rid of that pesky camera and turret coming down the back stair way. Got Gunther out of the cell after another series of reloading saves and rethinking my plan of attack. Freed Gunther, captured the NSF Commander, and got my first Augmentation canister. 
 
Went to UNATCO HQ and screwed around in the offices, talking with NPCs and unlocking doors to find hidden supplies and goodies. After a few hours of progressing through levels, things got better, and by the time I reached Hong Kong, I felt I was good enough to approach a situation any number of ways and pull them off successfully. Something that I didn't feel at the start of the game. 
 
The game is about choice. There are more than one ways to solving a problem. And you have the tools and skill necessary to make those choices happen. Liberty Island doesn't give you that impression. In fact, it leaves you starting pretty weak and lacking in tools. As much as a big deal is made about how you approach situations, the only successful way through is to be completely hidden from sight. Even when you're taking the stealth route, you can't aim and shoot a gun for your life, so those are as much ill advised as a full on assault. The whole first level just feels limited in what the game says you can do. I don't mean to make you an all powerful badass at the beginning, but certainly enough that supplies and surviving battles aren't an issue. Awful first impression.  
 
Battery Park and Hell's Kitchen made the experience more interesting by throwing civilians into the mix. And as the levels progressed, I found more Augmentation Canisters, supplies and ammo were more plentiful, earned more skill points to improve my pistol skill to something tolerable. On top of that, I became more comfortable with the sneaking, learning the nuances (limitations) of the AI. Hong Kong came around, and I was officially sold on the game. Played through that level two times on separate saves, just to see what would happen doing things in different orders. And the Dragons Tooth sword. Oh man, 1-2 hit kills, glorious.  
 
After finishing the game, I am glad to have played through this game. A great atmosphere, the different approaches to problems, very indepth gameplay systems, it's a great game that has a bad start, especially in this generation. I wasn't old enough to have played this in 2000, so I'm not sure if Liberty Island was an example of good game design, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be in 2011. But I gave it enough time, and I ended up totally loving it in the end. 
 
Now I am interested in seeing how Human Revolution ends up, but like fans of the original, probably a little skeptical and unsure about if it'll match the depth and complexity of Deus Ex. I guess we'll see.

Avatar image for fluxwavez
#2 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19836 posts) -

I actually liked Liberty Island. At the start, it frustrated me as I had never really played a game such as Deus Ex and I found it to be difficult (I played and finished this for the first time early last year, for reference). But this was because I was trying to avoid killing anyone and just using the tranquilizer darts and the melee weapon to defeat enemies. When I had enough with dying over and over again, I just decided to use a pistol and kill everyone I saw. Since I had decided on spending all of my points on handguns, this was surprisingly efficient and I began enjoying the game. 
 
I suppose you aren't going to play Invisible War? I've heard it's real bad compared to the first game, but I had bought it with the Steam deal last year and I still feel like playing it sometime.

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#3 Edited by Lydian_Sel (2537 posts) -

I never really experienced this frustration at all because so many times I picked the GEP gun & shot up the place, but even when I was taking the stealth route & happened to be discovered I still just ended up shooting fools with my pistol or crossbow till I got to Gunther. The game never penalises you for breaking the cover of stealth, really most of the decisions in Deus Ex just come down to conversations people will have with you later on.
 
"Oh JC, heard you shot some foots on liberty island, but getting back to the matter at hand..."

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#4 Posted by Keenblaze (473 posts) -

I tried playing the original Deus Ex a long time ago and quit a few minutes in because of Liberty Island. I played the majority of Human Revolution and enjoyed it, however. 
 
 
Then I went back to Deus Ex and give it a real try. The beginning was really kind of meh for me, but things started to pick up and I got really invested in the story. I played it to completion and loved it. Then I tried to go back to Human Revolution and found it to be disappointing. Here's to hoping Deus Ex 3 is awesome!

Avatar image for malakhii
#5 Posted by Malakhii (1444 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
" I suppose you aren't going to play Invisible War? I've heard it's real bad compared to the first game, but I had bought it with the Steam deal last year and I still feel like playing it sometime. "
Invisible war isn't terrible, It's just that it takes a few steps back from the incredible first game. I'd say it's bit above average, but nothing really special. Worth a play if you bought it. 
Avatar image for fancysoapsman
#6 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5919 posts) -

I was fine with Liberty Island.
 
But yeah, the later levels are so much better.

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