Written by  :  Marty Bonus (41)
Written on  :  Feb 14, 2004
Platform  :  Windows

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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A shorter, prettier, simpler extension of a great game with all the same flaws as the original.

The Good

Ok, let's have it first. The graphics are incredible. This is a complicated statement (Read below) but I managed to get it to work smoothly at 1024 and wow. It's gorgeous. The lighting is good, although they frequently show off their engine. I constantly found myself walking just so that the world would go by slower. The sound likewise is great. I feel the music was better in the first game. That said, there's nothing wrong with this game's sound. The effects are great, though at times a touch odd (e.g. your gun "beeps" when you draw it). The audio is very immersive as well. As always, I recommend playing this game on a set of good headphones. The combined ammo is a nice touch, as is the design of the biomod system. It tends to prevent you creating as powerful character as you could make in the original. The plot is also great, although much shorter than the first. I was expecting 15 hours or so and I got 10. There is great replay to this game, however, since quests are often mutually exclusive and you can re-customize your biomods. The nods to the first game are also a cool feature. It is a slick, engaging, immersive, graphically incredible romp through a conspiracy theorist's dreams.

The Bad

It is marred by the same problems the original had, and one more major new problem. Much as in the original, the AI is stupid. Not only that, but strange events seem to happen sometimes that cause NPC's to switch allegiances. Nothing a re-load won't cure, but it's noisome. Also as in the original, the environments are somewhat drab. I don't hold as negative opinion as PC Gamer or gamespot do, I'd note the antarctica section as a good exception to this. That said, blue and gray tend to dominate the color palette in this game. A MAJOR flaw with this game is performance. Many users with HUGE systems have trouble running this game at 800x600 smoothly with all graphical options off. This is after a patch. I by some strange coincidence managed to get it to run at 1024 with a great framerate, even though my system is a year old or so. Clearly that's not how it's supposed to work.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the weaknesses are offset by the strengths, though not nearly so much as in the first game. This game has all the flaws of the first game as far as graphical listlessness and AI go, but non of great RPG elements that made the first so fun. I would recommend this game, but not with nearly the strength I do the first Deus Ex. It could have been so much better.