This is from the January 2004 PC Zone:-
Not sure if yesterday’s post made much sense as it was rushed and not proof-read but I expect there wasn’t much difference to usual. I managed to push on and finish IW last night anyway. I had a request a few days back for IW save games so for anyone who wants them, the link is http://184.108.40.206/DXIWSaveGames.rar
Every side of this conflict is gathered on the island and it is a seriously dangerous place for me to be. Since I’m supporting JC I find some refuge in the statue itself. Paul and JC are both here and want me to proceed into UNATCO and upload the Aquinas protocol. Other sides are still contacting me though and it looks like I can still change my mind even at this stage. I’m guessing that the options I’ve chosen so far simply decide who attacks me on sight on this island but have no effect on the ending.
I carry on exploring. A lot of the factions are just a few seconds walk from each other but they don’t fight between themselves and instead just wait for me to come along. If I can lure them into range of each other they will start fighting but it’s more than a little unrealistic. After starting to clear out the immediate area, Tracer Tong wants me to go and see him for some reason.
While other sides have elite commandos or the armoured troops, I get greys on my side. I try to get a couple to help me out in a fight but they are fairly pathetic and die quickly. I appear to have picked the weakest side here.
Tracer Tong wanted to go and join Paul and JC, but he is instead hanging around on the docks with 3 crates of robots. If I had any multi-tools left I could open these and release a friendly hunter/seeker bot but I’m not sure if there would be any point at all to this since there is a friendly giant bot roaming around this area anyway.
It’s hard not to notice that this entire area is frozen solid. I learn from Tong that the nano-bots that Paul is using are drawing energy from the atmosphere hence the cold temperatures.
Leo is here and hanging around just outside UNATCO. He offers me a fourth option of letting humanity look after itself and killing off the leaders of all sides. This is the best option I’ve been given and I agree with Leo entirely. I’m going to stick with the JC ending for now and then come back and try this one. Leo will help me wipe out the Dentons but other than that he is no use so I head into UNATCO on my own.
UNATCO isn’t the building it once was although the layout is familiar from the 1st game. There are a few bums hanging around, one of which sells me some ammo. There are a whole lot more of these armoured troops.
I’m half expecting to have to work my way through the secret part of the UNATCO base but I only need to go to Alex’s old computer. I still have a choice of who to upload the protocol to but I stick with JC. I’m just about out of ammo on this point and the upload triggers a fresh batch of troops. I’m reduced to running through them which works better than I might have expected and I get back to the statue and step into the machine in the middle.
This triggers the end cutscene. Humanity is converted by the nanobots I release and JC becomes the ruling center of all humanity. It’s all a bit sinister and I don’t get to see how it works out in the long run. It’s a very short cutscene all in all and I possibly expected a bit more.
At this point, I go back and play the ending where I wipe out the leaders of all the groups. I’ve already killed the Templar leader when I inadvertently stumbled into their base earlier so I head back to the statue with Leo. Leo does most of the work while I hang around in the background helping out. Killing the Denton’s is much easier than I might have expected and JC dies in a flash of light.
I then have to blow up JC’s machine with a few grenades. Chad appreciates this and even now I could go over to his side if I went and uploaded the protocol.
Instead I head for the Illuminati encampment to murder him. This is in a frozen bit of sea as far as I can tell with a small caravan in the middle. Nicolette is inside and I mercilessly gun her down.
I then get a message from JC which is odd because he is supposed to be dead. He has somehow come back from the grave and reappears in a flash of light when I get back to the statue. I have literally no ammo left but since he is only concentrating on shooting me and ignoring Leo, I simply hide behind some boxes while Leo does all the work for me. This triggers ending #2.
It appears that I have taken the side of the Omar in this. Humanity enters a new dark age. Most of the Earth is destroyed along the way but the survivors go on to master all of time and space. It’s another dark ending with natural selection winning the day in the end by the sound of it. I prefer this to the previous ending but if we all end up like the Omar then you could say we’ve lost our humanity just as much as with the JC ending. Why the Earth should end up wiping itself out just because the Illuminati and Templars aren’t around to guide us I don’t know.
They may be short but these endings are about as final as it gets leaving no scope for sequels. I did gather that there was talk of doing a sequel for each ending for Deus Ex 1 although Ion Storm more or less managed to get all of those endings into the one game here which would make it difficult as it would just be retreading old ground.
I might go back and look at the other two endings before I call it quits for IW although I’d rather be playing Bioshock 2 so I’m tempted just to look them up on youtube. The ending section of the game has been good though and clearly the best part of IW. It’s stretching feasibility somewhat but it’s still a good bit of game design to leave the options open like this.
All in all, this hasn’t been a bad game without being anything too special either. I’m a bit surprised to see my game time down at not much over 6 hours given how much time I feel to have spent on it. If I were to play it again, I’d possibly try some of the other biomods and see if I could use a different approach but I can’t imagine this is a game that I’ll ever go back to.
There will be another gap before I start on the next game as I must have about 20-30 unplayed ones kicking around. I’d like to have a go on at least a few of these before the next one on here. I can make it through a game a lot faster when I don’t have to worry about blogging it though so I’ll probably not be too long. Not sure what it will be yet but I still feel tempted to have a look at one of the Apple II games on my list.
So much for finishing this game off yesterday. It started getting a lot tougher and there was way more of it left than I thought. I’m sure I’m nearly there now though.
Billie wants me to go to a nearby hut and talk to her. I have to fight through all her Templar buddies to get there first which isn’t perhaps the best way to get me over to her side. All the people involved are spending a lot of time trying to talk me round by this stage of the game though. In some ways I can sympathise with the Templar view more than any of the others but not with the people involved or their methods.
I keep making my way towards JC and run into a load of armoured troopers. These guys are extremely tough and I can’t use my sword on them as they explode on death which means I get taken along with them. They are easy enough to take out at distance but I go through ammo a lot quicker than I would like and I’m very low by the time I get to the end.
I get into JC’s habitat. This is a strange section where I get to walk between a few locations that JC has made from his own past. This would be an opportunity to revisit a past level like the end of System Shock 2 did so well but the locations don’t ring any bells for me and they are very small.Each section gives me the opportunity to climb down, fight some greasels and grab goodies. I do this in the first one but it only nets me more biomods and weapon mods and I don’t need either at this point so I don’t bother exploring the next two. This means I only have to simply walk between locations.
At the end I run into Billie. I either go along with her or fight her at this point. I say that I’ll try not to kill her but I don’t have a lot of option all in all with the weapons I’m carrying. She is surprisingly easy to fight and I’ve got her on the run after maybe just a half dozen sword swipes.
JC is now waking up and I go to talk to him. He explains the plan which appears to involve the whole world becoming modified and joined together, not in a collective consciousness as such but with JC being able to monitor each persons thoughts and rule accordingly. It could work well but you would have to be damn sure about JC being trustworthy. It’s a serious invasion on privacy and individualism but I’ve pretty much decided to go for this option as it is the best I’ve got but I have major reservations.
He sends me off to rescue his brother Paul who is being held by the templars. This is something that has been bugging me throughout this game. Didn’t JC’s brother die in Deus Ex? I certainly remember finding his body and if there was anything I could have done to protect him I can’t think what it would have been. Anyhow he is alive now and made a failed attempt to revive JC a few years back after which he was cryogenically frozen to keep him alive. I think I need to use my biomods to revive him in the same way as JC.
A load more of those armoured soldiers appear on my way back out. Saman wants me to talk to him in the same place as Billie talked to me earlier but there are too many troops and I have very little ammo left so I have to just run through this area to get to an abandoned Versalife base. One of the advantages here of the small levels is that all the enemies in the last one can’t follow me through. If it wasn’t for that I would have been in real trouble. Now that I’m here I have to get the pilot beacon working so that Ava can fly me out.
This facility is where Greasels were developed and I have to get all the way through it to turn on the power. On the way, I find a Templar who has been trapped in a cage while running from Greasels. He wants me to let him out and is all magnamous until I pick the lock and he then instantly turns on me, making me wish I hadn’t wasted a multi-tool on him.
The generator is nearby and I power it up.
I power up the beacon as well and Ava flies in and takes me back to Cairo again to attempt to rescue Paul. I’m told on the way that the Templar’s have completely taken over there and it will be very hostile.
The Illuminati want me to destroy Paul. It looks like my choice of ending is going to have to be made soon. They send an elite trooper to help me out who I’m told to meet in the Medina.
I play along with this plan and act as though I’m going to follow orders although I have no intention of doing so.
The nearest lift to Arcology is guarded by more armoured troops although I don’t know why they bother as it’s out of order. I’m forced to go through the mosque instead. On the way I see these two discussing how the plague has gone since I released the cure. This is the only reference I ever here about this and is a bit of a token effort.
Leo is infront of the mosque and is looking a bit different. He is now part Omar and they are about to fully transform him although he is now talking about backing out. I offer him some money to help him get out of here as they are threatening to complete the operation while he is asleep otherwise. He arranges to meet up at Liberty Island which is where I’ll be heading after I rescue Paul.
I head through the mosque and take the lift into Arcology. The chairman claims to be holding Klara as a hostage to ensure my cooperation so I have another mission if I want it to go and rescue her.
I make my way through a lot of Templars and talk to the NG Resonance AI. I learn that she is apparently being held here in Arcology although I manage to complete the level without finding her so I never do complete this sub mission.
I hack my way into nano-bot programming to try to find Klara. The chairman claims he was bluffing when I arrive but I’m then forced to take out Donna Morgan as well.
Klara is in here but she just looks scared and doesn’t say anything. Not sure if this was a bug or if she didn’t want rescuing or what but I may as well not have bothered with this mission by the looks of it.
Saman contacts me next. He wants me to join the Templars and submit a sample of my blood so he can analyse my biomods. I’m not going to agree to this.
I can walk around with the Templars attacking for the moment, while they wait for me to head over to bay 24 and donate some blood. In the other bay I find Dr. Nassif who tries to talk to me around to JC’s plan to save Paul. She is being held with a few others in this bay and waiting for rescue but the beacon needs activating.
I head for the other bay, refuse to give blood and end up taking fire from all sides when I have to fight my way out again. There was a recharge bot in the other bay so I don’t have to worry about using up all my energy and that makes it a much easier fight.
I revive Paul and inform him of the plan which involves all of us heading for Liberty Island. I just leave him in his crate for now and I’m told by JC that he will sort out his extraction.
I find the beacon and activate it. I’m now told that Helios will have to merge with me also but I’m unclear to what extent since the plan would involve Helios merging with the whole population anyway. I’m going off this option all the time but I’ll follow it through now I’ve started.
I’m instantly transported to Liberty island which seems a bit strange as I’d expected to have to walk to my helicopter at the least. The statue of liberty is looking more than a bit strange and it looks as though JC is going ahead with his plan. I’m told by him to head into UNATCO and find the plans for the Aquinas protocol.
This was a long session and I’m clearly still a reasonable way from the end so I left it here for now. I think this time that I really will finish the game in the next session. IW isn’t half as short as I’d been led to believe it would seem. I’m not too struck with the options I’ve been given for an ending. I don’t especially like any of them. In the first game I could make a case for each option possibly improving the world but here it seems like the choice is which flawed character I want to hand over control to. Whether JC is still JC or not is yet to be seen but he certainly appears to be a better choice than Saman or the Illuminati who have both proved themselves untrustworthy.
I’m 9 days in and this game has failed to entirely grab my attention. I still blame the loading times more than anything here. Dropping to the desktop and having a 30 second wait every time you die is not my definition of immersive. There is something slightly unsatisfying about the plot also. When the characters in the game describe me as a pawn they aren’t kidding. I just get to choose who pushes me around and it isn’t a great position to be in.
Whatever the reason, I should be desperate to finish the game at this point but I find that I really don’t care and will be glad just to get it out of the way. Deus Ex grew on me but it just hasn’t happened with IW. I wouldn’t say that I dislike it, this is still a decent game but not one I would go out of my way to recommend. It is definitely missing the spark that was in most of Origin’s games.
I run into someone called Crazy Wendy who suggests sneaking in through the canal. I could have gone this route but I see a turret or bot down there and decide just to slice my way through the Templar guards and go in the front route which is much easier.
From here there still appear to be a few routes I could take to get into the church but I climb up through this window and enter from the side.
I wander around aimlessly for quite a while not finding where I actually need to be but instead exploring all the alternative routes I could have taken until I find a message from Saman in the middle of the church. He tells me what I already know that Billie has been sent through the teleporter.
In a room just to the side I find a terminal which I can use to download the module I wanted. There is also a communicator system with surveillance reports on me and the other Tarsus trainees.
I head all the way back to my helicopter. Klara is hanging around here but doesn’t seem to serve any purpose other than reminding me what the plot has been so far. She could come with me to Antarctica but decides to play it safe and hang around where she is instead.
As soon as I land, Tong contacts me and asks me to head by the bar.
Tong just wants to talk me over to his side. He regrets causing the collapse now and wants me to protect JC. JC has merged with Helios after all but this merger was problematic and he is sleeping it off while he recovers and therefore needs protecting. I need to transfer my biomod architecture to JC apparently to bring him out of his coma and complete his merger. This explains Apostlecorp work on biomods as they try to adapt JC to be able to cope with his new powers.
I head for the teleporter next. I need to activate the backup generator then upload the module.
I have to use a multitool to turn off the malfunctioning main generator but then its just a case of flicking a switch. Uploading the module is much the same.
The teleporter springs into life and I jump through to find myself in Antarctica.
I meet another chatty grey on the far side who reiterates the plan to revive JC.
He also gives me another mission to try to free a captive grey from the Templars who are rounding up any greys they can find. I learn that the greys were a super soldier experiment started by Versalife and are able to withstand extreme conditions. They have been maintaining JC’s habitat while he struggles with the AI.
It looks like I’m heading into the final act of the game now and I’ll see if I can’t get it finished this afternoon. I think I preferred the greys when they didn’t talk as they do come across as more than a little pathetic in this game rather than any kind of super soldier and they insist on calling the Templars, the hateful ones which is just silly. Hopefully I won’t be seeing too much more of them in this last part but I guess I ought to attempt to rescue the captive grey next.
Germany turns out to be no different to anywhere else in the sense that there is another city-wide lock-down and general unrest. These two guards don’t want to let me through to the Black Gate ruins (a U7 reference?) but I’m sure I’ll find a key-code to let me in at some point.
The first building I head into is the headquarters for the SSC. I learn that there is a summit going on between the Order and the WTO here and her Holiness herself is over here negotiating with the WTO leader.
The SSC center is a local police station in effect with interrogation rooms, cells, evidence rooms, etc. The chairman of the WTO is also here. I learn that her holiness has been kidnapped and as ever it’s going to be up to me to try to sort things out by rescuing her. I need to find out some details to start with.
I head out to explore the town. I find two workers about to assault a member of the Order. The Order have been stopping them carrying out their work by the sound of it. I have a choice of what to do here and decide to get in the way resulting in me killing both the workers since I don’t have any non-lethal weapons.
I find the local tavern which seems to be the place to go. Outside are a few order members who give me a bit more of the story for around here. Their leader Sadam, who I met briefly back in Cairo, seems to have been using some dubious tactics here which is why the summit is happening to sooth things out. The local Order members side with Saman, however, and don’t think the WTO should be negotiated with.
Both of the games pilots are in the bar. Sid Black has once again improbably got here at the same time as me. He would want 750 credits for the next flight – can’t see that I’ll be taking him up on that one. Ava also pops up on a communicator here and I learn that she has hacked into my systems and is using me to gather more data. Not sure what I think about this but I’m stuck with it either way.
Tracer Tong is in the bar and is the usual mine of information. He confirms that I am a clone of JC and also tells me that JC built a lab beneath the ruins of the black gate. In this lab is a teleport which will transport JC clones to his base in Antarctica. The Templars may have already convinced one of the JC clones to go through and murder him (that would be Billie). Her Holiness is also being held in this lab and Tong gives me the key to a secret entrance.
The WTO director knows I met with Tong and wants me to report to him. I’ll do this after I finish exploring.
The local coffee house manager is complaining about the competition advertising on the booths but not even having a branch here in Trier. He has tried to take this to court but for some reason it was thrown out. He wants me to break into the evidence room at the SSC station to see why.
The other person in here is a human representative of the Omar who arranges a meeting with them back at the tavern.
I head for the SSC station first. The chairman doesn’t trust Tong but he does approve my attempt to rescue the Order’s leader and gives me a key to get through to the Black Gate ruins.
While I’m here I break into the evidence room. It turns out the two warring coffee shops are actually the same company and the whole thing is a ruse. The coffee shop owner doesn’t take the news well. I have a choice of telling him to stay quiet for his own good or advising him to tell the truth and make an issue out of it. I go for the latter. Guess I will see what happens later.
While I’m still here I break into a shop and steal a load of weapon mods. Smashing the glass triggers a turret but I soon take this down with my mag-rail.
I go to meet up with the Omar next. They look quite sinister but are only interested in trading and don’t give me any missions this time around. I buy some biomods which I have to pick up from a drop-off point in the black ruins. All my mods are more or less maxed out now. Certainly all the ones I care about so I never did find this drop-off.
That completes all the missions in Trier itself so it is time to head for the Black Gate. As soon as I arrive a soldier tells me that a giant Templar bot is guarding the ruins. It’s another like the one I saw in the hangar earlier and goes down with two EMP grenades.
A bit of exploring and I find the lab entrance with the keypad hidden behind some crates as Tong described.
The teleporter isn’t working at the moment but I’m sure I’ll be back later when it is.
I have to fight a few Templars and get by some turrets but this stuff is all fairly easy by this stage in the game and I soon discover where her Holiness is being held. It turns out to be none other than Nicolette Duclair from the first game.
More surprising still, I learn that the Order and the WTO are actually both the same organisation and are branches of the Illuminati being used to control humanity. I’ll admit that I didn’t see this coming. Keeping people fighting against each other seems like a strange way to control them.
The summit is only a cover to investigate the Templars in this area. The local Order leader appears to be a Templar which would explain the extremist policies taken by the order around here.
I’m going to have to go after Saman and retrieve a part for the teleporter from him which he stole. I don’t expect he will just hand it over either so I’ll presumably be taking him out as part of the process. Now I’ve completed this mission, the WTO move in to secure this base and I have a nice safe walk back to Trier.
Before I leave, I release another friendly grey. I learn that Billie has already gone through the portal in an attempt to stop JC and Apostlecorp – I’m going to need to follow her when I get the chance.
I go to the tavern and arrange a ride with Ava who flies me out to the Rauchstadt to confront Saman.
The plot took a turn I wasn’t expecting today. I suppose you could potentially control a population with two warring factions and the conflict would possibly draw people to one faction or another allowing you to exert an influence. I’m not sure how much you could achieve however as those two factions would surely stifle any progress as they bickered between each other. I expect things would have been less violent without the Templar influence so I’m not seeing the way it was supposed to work. Duclare didn’t strike me as someone who would take up where her mother left off though and it feels a bit like she is being used as a weak link to Deus Ex 1. Tracer Tongs appearance was little more than a token effort also. The characters are very undeveloped in this game in general. I was expecting a newer game to have more detail than it’s predecessor but that isn’t really the case. What looked initially like a branching plot system is really just a bunch of missions that I can either do or not but they very rarely conflict and only in minor ways that quickly reconverge.
Overall this is a weaker game than Deus Ex, but there isn’t much in it. I didn’t have the painfully slow start in IW and the dialog, acting, environment and graphics are all a big improvement so it’s not that easy to pick between them. Deus Ex would clearly have been the better game in it’s day and shades it for me on that basis. Playing them both now, I’d possibly lean towards IW if it wasn’t for the always annoying loading times.
I’m definitely drawing towards the conclusion now but I’ll probably only manage a very short session today. I’ll try to get to Antarctica, write that up in a very short post and then finish the game off on Sunday.