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Augment Rising

   I never played the original Deus Ex, after diving through this prequel, it's safe to say I'm totally hooked on the series. Edios Montreal has developed a wonderfully crafted game with all the right parts needed to make such work. Provocative storyline, excellent stealth and intriguing side missions make Deus Ex one of the best games of 2011.

   Taking place in the near future, Adam Jensen is in charge of a augmentation corporation's security. After disaster strikes, he clings to life through genetic-mechanical expansions. He's stronger than he ever imagined, but the deep corporate warfare that darkens the industry and ethics of the world intwine the story with a mystery unlike any other game I know of.

   Storytelling, dialogue and character development is extensive. It grabs you in with something that could be all too real in the near future. Philosophically speaking, this game brings out the morality of the gamer themselves. Much like debates on abortion, the story is filled with passionate sides arguing the ethics of augmentations. Should you play god? Should you alter your natural being? These questions flood the story and leave the gamer with strong emotional ties.

  Much like ethical decisions on ideology, Deus Ex offers you two ways to play the game. You can run and gun like most generic shooters, or you can use the darkness and vents to your advantage. While most players will find a comfortable mean between both, both sides have their highlights. Gunning is thrilling and occasionally difficult. The lack of ammunition in the world is a bit problematic for such strategy, but you can essentially become a walking tank through certain upgrades. Stealth-wise, the player can hack, hide and explore to their heart's content. While takedowns are a bit of a letdown (I.E Battery System), the takedowns themselves are about as bada** as it can get.

  The engine runs smoothly, character models are excellent for the most part. While the environments never fall out of the color pallet, it sets up a perfect atmosphere of utopia and dystopia. Even the mix of Renaissance detail leaves you with two entirely different views on both factions. You can argue augmentations are evil, but the creators fall to the idea of being dreamers much like Galileo and Da' Vinci. These minor contrasts from modern society give character, and make you sympathize even if you think of them as the antagonists.

  Lighting and mood are not the only thing that makes this game excellent. By far one of the best scores in the last year immerses you deeper into the futuristic world. "Icarus" is one of the best pieces in a long time. Voice work is perfect to say the least, not only does it give you options, it gives you more than simple canned responses, much like L.A Noire.

  Mechanics run smooth and are nothing innovative, but I thoroughly enjoyed the stealth mode. Aside from a few minor glitches and floating bodies, Edios does everything to maintain the seriousness. Boss battles however felt extremely forced. They tend to be rather easy after understanding their patterns, but this feature was completely pointless. These mild detachments hindered the dire elements needed for atmosphere, while these moments are short, they are occasionally extremely frustrating.

  There are so many questions that are left unanswered, I can only hope for a sequel in the near future. Ending the game is a sense of accomplishment, especially the multiple endings. Ideology, ethics and gameplay are an important role for the conclusion, making this maybe one of the most self-questioning games ever made. The decision is all based on how you look at life, these are the most dramatic conclusions I've seen in a long long time.

  If your looking for something off the beaten path I encourage you to pick a copy of this game up, while the occasional problem surfaces, the game has a heart. Unlike most generic run-of-the-mill style gaming this is something worthwhile, you won't be dissatisfied. 

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