Review - Deus Ex Go

You’re a loose cannon, Jensen

Platform: Android

Available on: Android, iOS, Windows, Windows 10 Mobile

Genre: Puzzle

Developer: Square Enix Montreal

Publisher: Square Enix

Released: August 18, 2016

I’ve been becoming more and more of a mobile gamer over the past few months. For a time over the past two years or so, I wasn’t really gaming at all. Mobile gaming was a great gateway for re-entry into this beautiful hobby for me. Even when I wasn’t really gaming, I was still looking at what was out there and being released, and something that caught my eye was this Go series. Deus Ex Go, Lara Croft Go, and Hitman Go were all created as part of an attempt to make puzzle games based on popular franchises. I’ve played the Lara Croft and Hitman games and both are excellent - Great visuals that fit in thematically with the main entries and challenging puzzles.

I recently saw that Deus Ex Go, along with the other Go games, were made free for a limited time so I took the opportunity to download and re-download, well, all of them. I got into Deus Ex after Human Revolution came out, and was looking forward to checking out this chapter!

Now you see me, now you … *gunshot*

The gameplay is reasonably straightforward. You control Adam Jensen, gravelly voiced badass from the prequel side of the series (Who will someday probably be played by Christian Bale in a movie). He’s on a mission set just before Mankind Divided. The levels are hexagonal grids, and the objective is to get Adam out of there by reaching an exit node, usually on the side of the level from where you enter. Littered throughout are enemies, both human and robotic. Simply, if you get caught in their line of sight you will lose and need to either restart the level, or you can go back a few steps you took, before you died. Be warned, these are limited,

As you progress, new threats and obstacles are introduced.Turrets are a recurring menace. Similar to the regular enemies turrets will shoot you and defeat you once their line of sight has been entered, however their range is far greater. How do you combat this? There are certain pickups in the game that enable Jensen’s augmented stealth abilities for one move, using this you can avoid the turrets entirely. Later in the game, you will start coming across computer terminals allowing you to hack them and use them against your enemy. This is where the levels become more complex, forcing you to use a combination of hacking and stealth, along with good old fashioned brute force.

Amid all these soldiers and turrets trying to kill you, are paths that are blocked, highlighted in red. You can’t pass through these guys until you hack them with a computer terminal. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, and is more difficult than its predecessors. This is in no way a bad thing, the challenge encountered here isn’t grandiose and is very manageable. At times the solutions to these puzzles aren’t altogether too obvious, but I haven’t found one yet that I haven’t been able to solve myself - Even if that means re-trying it dozens of times over.

Do augs dream of yellow triangles?

The gameplay certainly stands out on its own and it’s a great experience for that alone, but it would be thoughtless of me to not mention the visuals. This retains the strong aesthetic laid out by Human Revolution and Mankind Divided in its heavy use of black and yellow throughout. I particularly love the use of colour. I never played the original games from 2000 and 2003 respectively (which is something I need to get to) that were more … blue… so Adam Jensen’s debut was my gateway. I always associate this colour combination with that entry, something I played through 3 or 4 times. It’s great to see this motif used faithfully and certainly hope it’s use is continued in future releases as well. There is a nice graphical distinction when you’re hacking a computer in that the screen turns to a light blue, which in terms of game design is a great visual cue as well.

Audio-wise, this is a treat as well. The composer manages to create a fitting soundscape, in the same vein as what you would expect from the series so far. I’m a big fan of some synth music myself, so the soundtrack scores some big points for me. It’s never overbearing but has an underlying sense of tension from start to finish, contributing greatly to the covert nature of the gameplay. A group called Pixel Audio did the soundtrack. I’ve never heard of them before but it looks like they’ve worked with Ubisoft a bit before, and I’m looking forward to checking them out a bit more—They might be worth a look

I did ask for this

Whether or not you play mobile games regularly, this is well worth picking up. If you were like me and felt it has been too long since you have gotten your Deus Ex fill, this will hopefully tie you over. It is a shame that it looks as though we’re not going to see more from the Go series, as there would be heaps of potential in carrying this forward, using other franchises. I can easily imagine that more than a few fans would only be delighted to see Final Fantasy or even Just Cause themed games.

This is heaps of fun and a great challenge at times, it strikes the balance very well - Every time a difficult puzzle is completed, it’s hard to not have a “YES” moment.

Play this game if…

  • You’re a Deus Ex fan, especially the prequels

  • You love a good synthy, ambient soundtrack

  • You enjoy a brain-teasing and occasionally frustrating puzzle game

  • You’re lacking some cyberpunk, futuristic stealth in your life

All images of Deus Ex Go were taken by the writer

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