Sunday, October 2, 2011

In the future nothing is fair

For the first hour of Deus Ex last night I was more annoyed than anything else. Performance issues (entirely traceable to the lack of ram in my rig) didn't help, but what was really pissing me off was being forced to play a stealth game when that was not what I was in the mood for. It took another half hour of skulking through air ducts to get to where I wanted to go in the police station, and when I got to the computer I was looking for I didn't have the correct code and my hacking level was too low to force my way in. So I sneaked my way back out and turned to other side missions. Surprise! More sneaking!

It's not that I have anything against stealth in games. I played Thief 3 and enjoyed stacking the shanked corpses of guards in the courtyard as a warning to everyone else. Oblivion was over one hundred hours of jumping from shadow to shadow and I am planning on playing Skyrim exactly the same way. The whole point of Deus Ex is choice, but only one choice is really effective in the early stages of the game. I made it through the second sneaking side mission thanks to liberal quick save abuse, got the extra aug point I needed to finish the last one, then went right back and killed every single person I had to avoid the first time. Leaving the scene filled with corpses was much more satisfying than no one knowing I was there. I have guns, I have put all my points into being better with them, let me use them!

All of the drama comes from knowing that the boss fights are bull shit and trying to be prepared for them. It finally paid off last night when the first guy showed up: I ran directly at him an used my newly acquired typhoon attack (I spun in a circle filling the air/ground/everywhere with explosions). It didn't kill him the first time, but after a second volley he was done. 'That was it?' I thought. Then I realized that if I didn't have that attack, if I had been attempting a no kill run and was loaded for bear with stun guns and tranquilizer darts and PETA pamphlets, then I would have had no chance. There were no turrets to hack or dialogue options to talk him into killing himself out of guilt. It was just a big metal dude with unlimited ammo in a room with just enough cover to keep you from dying right away.

There is only one way to play this game: cheat.

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