Well folks, we finally have a cyberpunk game that got nearly across the board high scores again after over a decade. Here's my thoughts.
A lot of people are claiming the graphics on this game are somehow lacking... but to be honest the game has it's own look, and either you get that or you don't. It may not be the most realistic take in video gaming, but it's very effective at conveying a tone... and that's the desired effect if you ask me. Little things like noticing subtle lines on otherwise human looking limbs tell you that a lot of money was spent to camouflage the augmentation... while others wear them as a mark of pride, fully robo to the max. In this way, the game really draws you in to the whole controversy about augmentation, and gives the player an inner track on just how some people feel on the subject.
The game is really damn good at letting you try out unorthodox things while playing... and actually rewards experimentation. In true RPG fashion you can do a lot of things right off the bat, but to do them well you'll have to improve your implants. Hacking for example, is a rather difficult task until you put some points into it. Strength augmentation not only lets you find new paths due to being able to move heavier objects, but increased your inventory... which will be familiar to people who've played the original, WOW, or Hellgate London.
For the player starting off, you'll probably want to take the hacking augmentations early... as you really do get a lot more when you can open doors, safes, and other protected areas without pulling out your hair. I also recommend finding a good weapon and buying a lot of ammo for it if you play normal difficulty, as ammo is scarce and your inventory a bit cramped for space. Carrying a lot of weapons just doesn't fly like with other FPS games... not until you expand that inventory, but that's not essential at first.
The story and general atmosphere is very Blade Runner... to the point that the first time you enter your apartment you'll want to take note of the light coming through your windows, which mimick in reverse the dimming the lights scene in Tyrel corporation when Deckard uses Voit Kamph on Rachel. (There's actually a lot of little Blade Runner touches throughout the game, but not to the point it feels like they're ripping off said movie)
Combat, at first, will seem a bit unforgiving. Two or three shots, or a headshot... will take our hero down... but it's that realism that makes the game feel that much more challenging and rewarding. (Of course you can take the lowest difficulty, "Tell me a story..." if it's too much for you... heh... but anyone who's played the original is doing the game a disservice by doing so. I recommend the second difficulty level for the first play through, as most will find that hard enough at first until they get used to the game)
Old computer owners will be pleased to note that I had no problems getting the preview build working on an AMD 2.6 single core with a GeForce 9500 video card... and it looks gorgeous.
Probably going to get the 360 version tomorrow... but I have to admit I'm tempted by the PC version for the eventual mods that will surely pop up in a few months. (That and it's $10 cheaper... not to mention runs well on my rig... and if you've got a plug in 360 controller, it works out of the box with it and even has rumble functionality...)
So, anyone else joining the Human Revolution?
Hats, sculptures, and other weirdness... All that is visible must grow beyond itself, and extend into the realm of the invisible. Dumont