48.9 hours for my first play through, I decided to go stealthy, sneaky with a mix of knocking out and good old-fashioned ultra violence on anybody who was aggressively seeking me. The fact I spent that long playing it probably tells you already I was sucked in to the game.

As a lover of past Deus Ex games (both of em) I was pleased to see the franchise revived. It continues the trend of keeping the plots fairly complex and intelligent making the player feel that bit more respected. The gameplay is satisfying once you get used to the necessary use of cover and moving. The augments are varied and if you do everything you’ll end up with enough points to unlock about 3/4 of them by the time you finish.

You can end up pretty powerful but the energy batteries can be a bit of a wall to actually taking advantage of your power, every takedown costs an entire battery which in some ways makes sense because takedowns are pretty powerful perfect kills/knockouts but there is a finite amount of energy replenishing food in the game and it’s pretty stingy in some situations.

Inventory management is also pretty tight, it forces you to choose and often drop things even fully upgraded in capacity I was having to make hard choices about what guns I wanted to use and what guns I would save for a second play through, I loved and hated it at the same time.

The AI is in some cases pretty smart however there are still some “game” aspects that leave it flawed, for example most of the time you can rifle through a persons desk drawer, pick stuff up in their office and even hack their computer while they ignore you. Other times there is the good old “forgot you existed” approach where after you are spotted and hide for a bit everyone just forgets about you which I didn’t like. There is also the trick of just sitting in a vent, even if the enemy sees you go in, they can’t follow and so are stuck standing in front of the vent opening staring at a wall before giving up, I would have loved to see a guard crouch down and fire into the vent or toss a grenade inside.

The hacking mini game is pretty good, there are quite a few augments to improve your chances but none of them are guranteed success and if you set off alarms you can still make it before they trace your location if you are quick. The disappointing thing is, if you fail a hack, nothing really happens, you can have your location traced and no alarm goes off, no guards appear, you aren’t even permanently locked out of the terminal you are trying to hack, wait 30 seconds and the terminal just resets giving you infinite attempts. I really didn’t like that, felt cheap, especialy when there are alternative ways to bypass many of the hack objectives if you explore a bit.

My last gripe was the 3 mid game boss fights…for a game trying to sell you a plot of subterfuge, corporate espionage and underground terrorism the idea that you can be stealthy for 99% of the game except when you are forced to fight “mini-bosses” toe to toe when you may have spent all your time taking stealth augments was pretty frustrating, the second boss fight featured a 100% electrified floor regularly which I spent about 40 minutes trying to beat before I finally gave up and put my recently earned augment points into Electrical insulation, an augment that is almost required to progress past a boss fight is really poor by design and forcing you to fight out in the open vs enemies when you are playing quiet and stealthy for the rest of the game is just wrong.

The world is believable and the story is told well leaving the player to research and investigate it fully or not depending on how much of the additional material such as news broadcasts, conversations and emails the player chooses to read.  You can choose as much ui help or as little as you wish allowing you to make the gameplay more or less difficult. You can choose to go in guns blazing, stealthy takedowns or even purely passive. You can investigate alternate paths, find secrets and there are several conversations that have you seriously considering your responses since the results affect the outcome.

Despite my issues they really are small and are fully overshadowed by the quality of the rest of the game, definately play it.

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