User review spotlight: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (DOS)

Deus Ex (Windows)

90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Scott Monster (924)
Written on  :  Jan 29, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars

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Summary

Play it again and again and again.....

The Good

This game has broken ground in non-linear play. You can go in and kill everyone or you can sulk around and avoid being detected. You can even take the middle road and engage in non-lethal takedowns. (My favorite method.) The game allows you to solve problems by exploring and using any available methods. You can hack electronic locks, or hack terminals to find the entry code. You can also get explosives and blow the door off the hinges. Keep in mind that explosions will bring guards to find you.

The story serves the game to a point and the levels do offer a lot of challenges with various possible solutions. In a limited sense, the game does respond to your decisions by letting NPCs react to your reputation. Some will be pleased if you kill a lot and some will be if you show restraint. Exploration is rewarded with xp points, weapons, tools and information that expands your play options.

The play is best when you balance your resources with exploration and selective actions. Even cooler was the fact that IonStorm was able to get lipsync to work with the original Unreal engine.

The Bad

The graphics were so murky and dark. Granted its a murky and dark game. The levels were pretty cool but the music drove me nuts. The sound was ok and the dialogue was fairly well done. The audio quality was less than great and dampened by poor mixing.

The gameplay was unbalanced because there were some parts that were extremely easy and others that were nearly impossible. I'd find myself quickly dispatching guards in one level and struggling with other guards in a different level. And there are a few points where you face a dead end and have to load from a previous game.

The Bottom Line

A fairly deep game about conspiracies and world politics. Its a great game for older machines if you care more about challenge, exploration and story than graphics.