I’d like to start by saying that I’d never played another Deus Ex before starting this game nor had I really ever looked into them.  As a matter of fact, until about a week before it’s release, I had not even looked into it.  What pushed me over the edge was when I realized it was part Square Enix and it was an RPG Shooter!

If you’re new here, I guess I should say that Mass Effect 2 is my favorite game of all time, even though the game play itself needed a little work (here’s hoping that Mass Effect 3 will take over the #1 spot!).  The cross between a shooter and the stop/go fighting style with the menu is really something I loved.  Although Deus Ex’s special moves system doesn’t use that stop/go system, it does for the weapons and consumables, which is cool.  Plus, it has a pretty in depth skill tree system so you can customize the way you play.

I’ll start there, with the skill tree, since it’s both really cool and frustrating.  The skill tree is your augments, you can add or upgrade abilities from seeing through walls and being able to go stealth to augmenting your brain to be able to hack harder units and to make it easier (up to level 5 hacking).  From what I see, there seems to be three ways to go about this game.  The first is hacking.  If you specialize in hacking, you’ll be able to hack anything (everything from computers to doors, robots, cameras, turrets, etc.) which goes good with stealth because you can get through doors and such with no problem.  On the other side, you can upgrade your strength and bust your way through walls, creating your own way through.  The third way is pure stealth.  You’d miss a lot of the items, xp, info you get from hacking, but you’d be able to see through walls, go invisible for extended periods of time, make no sound when you walk, etc.

Of course, going one way fully probably would make the game more challenging, so I’ve been doing a combination of all three.  So far I’m focusing on stealth, picked up invisibility and seeing through the walls right away, but I also upgraded my security to level 2 (so far) and my strength to whatever level allows you to pick up heavy items (I can pick up fridges!)  This way, I can get through most regular doors, move items that are hiding passages, and still not be seen by the enemy.

Which brings me to the two “paths” you can take in your play style of this game.  Run and Gun or Stealth.  Obviously from what I’ve said above I’m going stealth.  I didn’t realize till I had already choose this path that there is an achievement for not killing anyone except for bosses, so it kind of worked out well.  I have not killed anyone yet, picked the close range stun gun at the beginning and picked up a stun dart rifle as soon as I could.  I sold all my violent weapons (do not do this!) and went for it.

After reading through some information on the Deus Ex series, I realized this game is meant to be a stealth game but can also be played with full action (smart!), so again I was happy I picked this path!  It’s a little frustrating, though.  In the very first mission, there was a part towards the end that I ended up restarting at least five times, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, those moments are far and few.  It’s challenging, but a lot of fun!

The other method, as I mentioned, is run and gun.  Like Mass Effect and Gears of War, you can hide behind cover, which is a must in this game, and enemy AI doesn’t automatically know where you are (think Metal Gear’s alert system) so you can sneak away, circle back and then take out enemies from behind with no problem.  Speaking of Metal Gears Solid, I think the stealth aspect of this game might actually be done better than MGS4!

So I’m only about four or five hours in so I still have a long way to go.  I plan on taking this one kind of fast, not using any sort of guide or anything, then doing a second play through where I play in a hybrid of kill and don’t be seen while collecting any side quests I missed.  I heard today that a full game, with everything done, takes around 30 in game hours, which means more like 4o+ real hours with all those resets!  Looking forward to talking more about this, anyone else pick it up and playing it?