Average User Score: 5.3Mar 9, 2012Well basically, I play Mass Effect games for the exceptionally deep dating and relationship mechanics. Well, OK, they're not perhaps as deepWell basically, I play Mass Effect games for the exceptionally deep dating and relationship mechanics. Well, OK, they're not perhaps as deep as in some other games, but there are few other mainstream games that give me quite such a wide choice of subsurfaced polygonal ass to seduce, and do so within the context of a 60 hour campaign. Some people call me a "neckbeard" or even more insultingly and prejudicially, a "faggot" (verbatim quote), but I don't care. I have a perfectly healthy sex life, I just find games that can deal with seduction and relationships so much more mature than other games. Anyway, this is basically where ME3 falls down so hard. In the first installment of this franchise, there were only two female companions to choose from: Liara and Ashley. Now, two might be a small number for a romantic partner selection, but don't mistake ME1 for being a dumbed-down game: the two women were completely different. Ashley was a sexy space-marine (beautifully subverting genre stereotypes), and Liara was a sensitive and kind Asari. Both girls were kick-ass, and the decisions one made about about who to sleep with could be really difficult. This was further complicated by the choice of having to sacrifice either Ashley (potential waifu) or Kaidan (absolute bro). This is why I love this series: deep choices. Now, Mass Effect 2 actually extended this further: there were now not only a vastly greater selection of team-members to romance, but they now also had their own loyalty missions, conflicting with the other members of the cast in a beautiful panoply of enmeshed storylines. Want to romance character A? Well, get ready to piss off B and C in the process! In seducing Miranda, I found the game to be incredibly immersive (I felt just like I was seducing a real girl!), and I was truly brought into the game. This, kids, is good game design. Sadly, ME3 has none of this. It portrays its female, romanceable characters in a frankly sexist and stereotyped way. The whole game blatantly views these females as nothing more than sex objects, and it really shows. Just look at the Ashley redesign! Frankly, I no longer find her attractive, with her Barbie hair and boobtastic outfit. Disgusting. Worse, when I tried to bring this up on the Bioware forums, I was told to stop criticising Bioware and given a cautionary infraction. If you value the depth of romantic interaction usually found in Bioware games, steer well clear of this stinker. I give it a 2/10. Wouldn't bang.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.3Oct 15, 2011Deus Ex represents the apotheosis of video-game design. It has never been equalled, let alone surpassed, in this regard.
To understand DeusDeus Ex represents the apotheosis of video-game design. It has never been equalled, let alone surpassed, in this regard.
To understand Deus Ex requires an understanding of its pedigree. In the nineties, game design was beginning to fall into two different camps: the linear, tightly-controlled setup that could be seen in games like Doom and Quake, and in a more sophisticated fashion Half Life, and a more non-linear, experience-led approach. This latter approach was found in comparatively few games, as it was far costlier to make and typically resulted in far fewer sales. For these games, which were later dubbed the "immersive simulators" by Warren Spector, emergent gameplay was king. That meant that the game designer would not explicitly design the experience, but rather would let the player do things their way. Games like Ultima Underwolrd, Thief and System Shock would be the opening salvos of this style of gaming, all of which were popular and profitable, albeit not mega-successes. Deus Ex took things one stage further. As well as allowing most objectives to be completed in numerous different ways, map design was completely non-linear, and bizarre solutions to complex problems could be devised. Under attack in a penthouse apartment? Leap out of the window, break both your legs, and crawl away. Need to get past a laser defence grid, but can't? Try smoking onto it, that'll disrupt the beams. Need to stun two men to get past, but have no weapons? Use a fire extinguisher to blind them in the face. Need to infiltrate a guarded building? Reconnoitre it out, and look for a way in via the roof, or the sewers. Or try and bribe your way in. Need to get past a wall, but don't want to fight the guards? Why not try stacking up physics objects like crates and rubbish bags to make an impromptu staircase? This was the philosophy that underpinned Deus Ex, and no other game since has even tried to be as open to different user play-styles and ingenious solutions. Wrap all that up in a grittily believable world, with just dripped atmosphere and had an incredible soundtrack, and which moreover was filled with deep questions such as "who is really in control of society?", and you have an incredible, incredible game. People who want a high-octane first person shooter in the vein of Half-Life should keep away. This game is far more cold, and calculated, than it is high-octane. Those looking for a Mass Effect-style game, which is brutally linear in the gameplay but allows for some trivial choices in conversations, should also look away here. Deus Ex does things the other way around: conversations are functional and barebones, but the way that the user "chooses" paths comes from what he or she does in the gameplay. As an interactive medium, I believe this is as it should be. This is a game for which I have a lot of love, as you can no doubt see. I think it understood exactly what a game is and what it should do better than any others I have played. It's not for everyone, as I have outlined, nor should it be regarded as perfect (although it is very close). Technology of 2000 was pretty limiting, especially graphically and in terms of AI programming. On the other hand, if you like games at all, and want to experience something a tad more cerebral and involving than the Mass Effects and Call of Duties of the gaming world, then you can do no better than Deus Ex.… Expand