Blog 604: Invisible Endings

That Invisible War, eh? I just couldn’t put it down, even when the dreaded black screen crashes started blitzing the immersion even worse than the lengthy loading screens already did (the fix seems to be to End Task on DX2Main but not Ion Loader; after a minute or two, it will spontaneously relaunch the game, loading where you left off).

So, we could have established that maybe Invisible War might not actually be all that bad after all, but it definitely does get ugly as the finale approaches. Thematically ugly, that is; the gameplay remains consistent.

Considerable spoilers this time.

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Blog 603: Invisible Phwoar

I don’t know if I’m going mellow in my old age, or if it’s a symptom of inevitable brain decay, but I am feeling forced to admit that there is something compelling about the ill-advised Deus Ex sequel Invisible War. (My previous examination of the game was hardly complementary. Was I really so angry back then? … What do you mean, “you still are”?)

My biggest concern is that it is beginning to feel somehow more compelling than the ill-advised prequel, which was at least a pretty good game even if it was painful in a lot of other aspects.

I need to try to nail this feeling down and contain it before I end up doing something stupid like conceding that Invisible War actually exists.

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Blog 602: You’re Not the Boss of Me

Well, I couldn’t exactly play the ill-advised prequel without going on to cleanse my palate with the real deal. While floating around the grungy millenial streets of Deus Ex, I got to thinking about one feature that was particularly controversial about its prequel: boss fights. Because the original Deus Ex doesn’t actually have a final boss… Or does it?

Beware of spoilers.

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Blog 598: Human Devolution

At the time, I didn’t blog about Human Revolution because I knew I could never give it an unbiased review. Why? Because it is, quite simply, not Deus Ex. It is a lot of things — a well-made immersive sim, possibly even a good game — just not Deus Ex.

Plot and lore mean a lot to me, and the incongruities in the first half hour alone make me want to spew. I played through the whole game and the wrongness never dissipated, so I just moaned a bit offline and let it go.

Alas, the fancy recently took me that I should replay the game now… And I can hold it no longer.

This blog is not about the game on its own merits. This blog is about why Human Revolution is not Deus Ex — in the same way that Unreal II is not very Unreal. This blog is about why the game “not being Deus Ex” is important.

I will understand completely if you think less of me by the end of this post, and there are spoilers for “all three games in the franchise” everywhere. Continue reading

Blog 572: Deus Ex

You know, for all the times I’ve mentioned Deus Ex — how it shaped me, and still shapes me, and provides a baseline against which all things are judged — I’ve never actually blogged it properly.

I guess it’s about time we really went into why Deus Ex is actually the best game of all time. I doubt you’ll agree with me, but that’s what blogs are for, right?

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Blog 449: Alpha Protocol

a.ka. (Mostly) How Mass Effect 2 Should Have Been

It’s blatantly obvious from the outset that this game was heavily influenced by Mass Effect 2. The conversational style, the camerawork… But it is so much stronger in almost every way.

Especially after the terrible flop of The Club, Alpha Protocol veritably glowed. Mouselook worked and I could aim.

Spoilers are avoided — suffice to say, it’s a conspriacy thriller. A very fine one.

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Blog 434: Mini-Missions and Mini-Games Y4

It was in a rather short space of time that I not only settled upon making a tutorial level for Project Y4, but managed to implement it. After adding twenty-odd triggers and more dialogue than was in the entire rest of the map, the first Project Y4 mini-mission was ready.

It was then that I thought Y4 was pretty much feature complete. Making the tutorial exposed a few problems with the mini-mission framework and I cleaned them up; fair enough. Everything is now ready.

But then I decided that I needed a Deus Ex-style keypad system. With some gentle nudging away from my silly implementation idea in favour of a much better one, a full-screen keypad was quickly completed.

Then I decided that I also needed a full-screen computer interface…

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