Deus Ex: Nihilum (DXN, DEN or Nihilum for short) is a First Person Shooter mod taking place in an alternate Deus Ex continuity - released on May 28th 2013. It features new made-from-scratch original content, while also extensively featuring material from the UNATCO Born mod (used with permission from fender2k1, UB's project leader) and Deus Ex: Revision (used in accordance with the mod's license).
Quick and dirty pros/cons list;
+A pretty well told Deus Ex story, with your classic web of conspiracies and betrayals. There's a few odd discrepancies with established canon. Overall, though, it's very well executed and well written.
+Characters are interesting, if not particularly memorable.
+I'm not going all affirmative action on you here, but I really appreciate the main character being black. More games need that kind of diversity.
+Maps are beautifully well made and filled with plenty of secrets - enough to delight any explorer.
+Locations are classic Deus Ex stuff, with seedy nightclubs and illegal laboratories.
+New guns are interesting and well implemented.
+Difficulty isn't too challenging nor easy.
+Lot of interesting new elements and mission ideas.
+Music is absolutely amazing and perhaps my favorite aspect of this mod. If there's a soundtrack around somewhere, I'd love to download it.
-Mad Ingram's voice acting... is not that great. And that's being charitable. He sounds stilted and addicted to Valium - if you intend to make another release, or patch or whatever, consider getting someone else to voice act Ingram. Most of the VA work is pretty good, though.
-The maps, while beautiful and well constructed, are almost too large and too empty at times. Berlin and Hong Kong are the worst offenders here. It felt like you could have decreased the map size, or at least filled these locations out more adequately.
-Some of the story beats are muddied or not well fleshed out.
-I wasn't a huge fan at the attempts at humor in this mod - both the fourth wall breaking references to Deus Ex itself and the obnoxious ham sandwich jokes. It's not funny just because you keep referencing it.
-There is a frustrating amount of backtracking in this mod.
-There were a few bugs, but I'm not sure if this is the mod's fault or Deus Ex's.
Anyway, overall I really enjoyed it. Had a few obvious problems with some of the writing and voice acting, but yeah. Good work.
I got around to finishing this over the last few days, and I enjoyed it very much. The overall somber tone helped with the Deus Ex feel, the areas were big and open (With some very sneaky hidden areas, nice!), the overall detail was quite nice (bar a few misleading doors and areas). The difficulty was good overall but did find it had a few spikes here and there, where it took a good while to get past enemies sneakily.
The length of the adventure is good, rivalling the majority of most AAA Games these days, myself getting about 10 hours, but some of that may be just how Deus Ex is played ;)
The story was interesting and very conspiracy like, some good characters which unfortunately aren't revisited or seen again. I do think the game got a little bit Meta at some points but I guess that's what you were going for so no complaints on that!
The only thing that brought it down for me was Ingrams Voice. While the VO is good in some lines of dialogue, the majority of time I had to skip past conversations and read from the log, because the voice just started to grate after a while.
For me, Nihilum is up there with TNM, Zodiac and Redsun, is good fun throughout most of the adventure and has a brilliant soundtrack to boot!
+The levels are quite beautiful & big. Nicely designed.
+Characters are not particularly memorable but they do have good voice acting, and all play a part.
+Story was pretty good, encompassing conflict, espionage, terrorism and conspiracy. One that eventually leads back to the original Deus Ex.
+- a comfortable middleground in terms of difficulty.
+-Bob Page and Walton Simons are mentioned but we don't get to have a proper showdown. Instead we can cripple the MJ12 in a other way. Although I can see how they would be unreachable considering where the mod goes.
-Ingram's voice acting. I know hes supposed to be void of emotion much like the late JC, but this guy really sounded like hes been smoking a reefer before doing this. He comes off as more unenthusiastic than professional.
-Great architecture is let down by rather empty maps. Theres alot to see but not much to do.. sidequests are almost non-existent. The rewards for exploring are quite tame considering how much time is spent moving around.
-Lockpicks... lockpicks.. lockpicks.
-The attempts at humor really made me do a double take, I was really unsure if I imagined it or that it was really in game. It sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn't make me laugh or smile except maybe the first time Ingram said he wanted a ham sandwich.
I'm sorry but this just isn't very playable to me. I hate to give a low mark to a work of love like this, I can only imagine how much time and effort goes into these things, but this mod is nowhere near a 9 or a 10. Here is why:
- The levels are basically mazes, that leads to
- Lots and lots of backtracking
- I had to go guns blazing in the club in the first mission after running around for what felt like hours and searching every nook and cranny
- I couldn't find the right way for the life of me in the second mission after the robots activate, and I was done with this mod
I know good Deus Ex when I see it and this unfortunately isn't it, but it's still better than human revolution, I mean less annoying.
Edit: my review above concerns only the first two missions of this mod. As I learned playing it gets much much better afterwards, it was a pleasant surprise. I still give 5/10 to the first two missions but the rest of this mod is good, sometimes even very good.