E3 2016: Deus Ex GO – Portable sci-fi stealth action

Square Enix prepared a cavalcade of Deus Ex games to show at E3, and the last one I got to check out during my appointment was Deus Ex GO, the newest entry in the GO series, which so far I’ve sorely missed playing, to my own fault, according to the many raving reviews I’ve read. This time, though, Square is taking Deus Ex and putting it through the motions of a game in tabletop form.

Similarly to the other two GO games released so far, Hitman GO and Lara Craft GO, Deus Ex places the action on a flat surface and movement is limited to one space a turn. In Deus Ex‘s case, it’s the franchise’s hero Adam Jensen who takes the stage, along with whatever enemy humans and machines happen to be on his way to the goal. The demo on the show floor, which was running in an iPad, was running some of the early levels in the game, which were thankfully easy enough for me to play and grasp the basics of the GO gameplay.

It’s all extremely simple: get to the goal without getting him killed. Some enemies just plain shoot you in the next turn if you don’t get out of their line of sight right away, while others, the bigger ones I saw in the demo, are content with charging and ramming at you unless you get out of their way. The first kind, which were numerous in my time playing, is easy enough to deal with. Jensen can knock them out if you click them while standing on a spot right next to theirs, while the second can be manipulated in your favor, in order to get them out of your way, since they’re immune to your punches.

At a later part of the demo, Jensen’s powers came into play via the use of his stealth cloaking, which I used to sneak past a couple of the stronger enemies on my way to the goal. It was only a level that served as an introduction to that special ability, hence its lack of difficulty, but taking into account the amount of depth the previous GO games apparently have, I’m fairly sure things get hairy in Deus Ex GO quickly enough, forcing you to make creative use of Jensen’s augmentations.

Considering the staggering amount of mobile games out daily on a marketplace that usually aren’t worth your time, it’s a welcome treat to see games like the GO series strive to be more than mere time wasters. From the few minutes I got to spend with the game at E3, it was enough to interest me in giving the final version a go once it’s finally out sometime later this year.

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