Adam Jensen eats Pokémon for breakfast!
First there was Hitman GO, then Lara Croft GO, and now Square Enix has unleashed Deus Ex GO unto the mobile gaming masses. Not to be confused with Nintendo's augmented reality game, Pokémon GO, Square Enix's “Go” series transforms popular core franchises into turn-based games for cell phones and tablets. Although the gameplay itself is very simplistic, each GO game still maintains its parent franchise's familiar style, which makes them instantly recognizable. Deus Ex GO is a great choice for the series because it offers plenty of excellent gameplay elements, and it's also a great way to introduce people to the main series.
Just like its predecessors, Deus Ex GO is a turn-based puzzle game that tasks players with simply getting from one end to the other of each hexagonal level. This time around players control Adam Jensen in a stylish futuristic cyberpunk universe. However, this is much more challenging than it sounds when deadly soldiers, turrets, and cyber-soldiers are added to the mix. These enemies will do whatever possible to stop Adam Jensen from advancing, but everyone knows that this augmented human is anything but helpless.
For starters, Adam can grab different augmentations and use them to advance his cause. I found the most useful one to be invisibility as it not only helps Adam infiltrate areas, but also lets him get the drop on enemies and perform cool takedowns. Once activated, invisibility lasts two turns and makes it easy to sneak by turrets, cameras, sentries, and guards. I also found it to be great for sneaking up on guards and performing takedowns. Surprisingly, performing a takedown doesn't deactivate the augmentation, which makes it possible to take down two enemies in a row.
Adam's most useful skill is hacking into terminals that let him perform a wide variety of useful functions. For example, he can open up previously inaccessible routes, block enemy routes, and even trap enemies by activating/deactivating small platforms. In addition, he can hack into turrets and turn them on enemies or lead enemies into the line of fire to instantly take them out. Unfortunately, turrets cannot be turned, so they're limited to shooting in one direction.
While hacking, players use their finger to “draw” a line from the terminal to the item being hacked. This is part of the puzzle as the pathway is frequently blocked and players must figure out the correct route. While hacking definitely helps to add variety, I feel like there is some wasted potential because the finger-line feature is rather lackluster. Hacking in Deus Ex GO would have been a great way to introduce a more interesting mini-game, like the one found in the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Numerous gameplay options and a wide variety of enemies adds a depth not found in the previous Go games. As a result, the puzzles are definitely more challenging. With only one way to solve each puzzle, some will have you scratching your head while simultaneously yelling obscenities at the screen. Not to worry, though, as players earn a certain number of “solutions” while they play. When activated, each “solution” shows players exactly how to solve that level. Desperate players will also have the opportunity to purchase solutions if they run out.
Although it's not available at launch, a detailed level editor will be added to the game sometime soon. Developers Square Enix Montreal didn't want to tack a cheap editor onto the game, so they're taking their time to craft one that gives players nearly all the freedom, items, and abilities to make a level that the developers have. This will add a huge replay value to the game not only in crafting custom levels, but also in sharing them online and playing other people's creations. However, I didn't factor the level editor into the final score because it isn't available yet.
It wasn't enough to simply make a cool Deus Ex game that can be taken on the go, so the developers of both games have collaborated. As a result, players can earn up to five Praxis Kits in Deus Ex GO that can be used in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. That's right, playing the mobile game can earn points that can be used to purchase augmentations in the main game! Unfortunately, this only applies to the Xbox One and PC versions. This is a great idea, but where's the love for PS4 owners?
Deus Ex GO is most definitely a casual game, but it also appeals to core gamers who are fans of the franchise. The game's complexity is leaps and bounds over its predecessors, and the upcoming level editor should eliminate the low replay value with weekly maps and community-created levels. Square Enix has given is a great way to get our Deus Ex fix while on the go.