After Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, many fans of the GO series couldn’t help but feel like a certain series was missing from the strategy-based versions of Square Enix’s vast array of intellectual property. Now, Deus Ex GO is available for all players who are willing to pony up the $2 to play. Blending the look and feel of the popular Deus Ex franchise and the turn-based nature of the GO series, Deus Ex GO puts your skills to the test as you scream in frustration trying to figure out how exactly you’re going to sneak past that guard undetected or hack a panel before being discovered.
Unlike Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, this entry requires you, the player, to watch for patrol patterns and trusts that with the right amount of luck and skill, you can slip by a series of guards without being seen. For me, I’m not used to playing Deus Ex in such a way. I’m not especially good at stealth. Okay, I’m actually horrible at stealth in games. I usually try to be stealthy, but end up killing everyone in sight minutes later. Check out my Mankind Divided review for more on that. However, this game made me take my time and watch guards pass by as I studied for any sort of opening that would allow me to have some sort of straight shot to the “finish line”, as I referred to it in my playthrough. Most times, I’d get to it after about ten minutes of studying patrols. Other times, well, I wasn’t so lucky.
Unlike with most of the Deus Ex titles, unfortunately, the ability and enemy variety left much to be desired. Part of the fun in Deus Ex series, for me at least, is building the ultimate soldier, but here, it feels like I get to play with the toys from Goodwill that’s already been used by the neighbor who got Cheeto dust all over you favorite controller. You know who you are.
The previous game in the GO series, Lara Croft GO, had Lara shooting and spearing anyone who stood in her way, but given the nature of the Deus Ex franchise, this isn’t really a game where you’re going to go around ripping people’s robo-throats out Road House style. If you want that game, I’d suggest you check out Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or Titanfall 2. No, in this game, you’re going to be sneaking up behind people and slamming them into the ground…for some reason. However, when you’re not choke-slamming guards to the ground or sneaking past guards, you’ll be doing what Jensen does best – hacking. This is the puzzle part of Deus Ex GO and it’s absolutely fantastic. What may seem simple at first, like raising floor panels, can soon be curbed by certain types of robots. Which, in classic Deus Ex fashion, can then be hacked so that you control them and prevent any potential attackers or turn a platform so all that hard work wasn’t for nothing.
At the best of times, figuring out exactly how I can hack an object to assure that I get to my next objective with ease, making it one of the best GO titles I’ve ever played. I liked Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO was a very smart mobile Tomb Raider, but screaming in my downtown apartment has never been more fun. I’m hooked on the GO series, and I don’t ever want to stop. Every time I put my phone down, I immediately wanted to pop Deus Ex GO back onto my phone and play for another three hours.
After Lara Croft GO, the difficulty spike here is much appreciated, as much of Lara’s outing wasn’t all that challenging, although Jensen’s way forward often leaves you to figuring it out for yourself. Say you are trying to rotate a platform in just the right way. Nine times out of ten, this requires you to look around the environment and really experiment with what exactly Jensen can do. If you don’t like discovering what you can do through gameplay, then turn to another game, because this isn’t for you.
The beautiful aesthetic absolutely shines in Deus Ex GO, perfectly capturing the black and gold aesthetic of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, while at the same time paring them down for mobile devices. Pair that with the absolutely awesome synth-driven soundtrack and the screams of your enemies, and you’ll soon be playing for hours.
However, I’d be remiss to say I didn’t have issues with it. Lara Croft GO had a stunning amount of depth by hiding little trinkets and creating a mobile universe for our Tomb Raider, and Hitman GO offered multiple objectives for you to complete within each level. While I do love Deus Ex GO, there’s not a lot I can really sink my teeth into. Yes, there is a puzzle editor available, but even that can only do so much for this game.
The lack of a world I want to keep coming back to around the puzzles unfortunately also applies to the story, which amounts to nothing more than side conversation and a bit of dialogue throughout. While less is more in the GO franchise, the plot really fells like the developers just want you to get you to the next puzzle, rather than showcasing the massively intriguing world of Deus Ex.
Deus Ex GO is a solid purchase for $1.99, especially if you’re a Deus Ex fan. However, the world around the awesome puzzles is devoid of any intriguing story beats and you’re probably not going to feel the need to replay it afterwards.
Review code was provided by Square Enix for the purposes of this review.