Hands-On with Deus Ex GO’s New Puzzle Editing Mode

Much like Adam Jensen, we never asked for this (it was inevitable and I apologize for nothing). Also much like Adam Jensen, even though we didn’t ask for such enhancements, it’s still pretty darn cool to have them. I know being able to create and share your own puzzles doesn’t exactly hold a candle to stealth camouflage and being able to punch through walls, but it’s still neat.

The Community Puzzles section, now available by clicknig on the the globe icon at the top of the menu screen, is where you can access all of the puzzles that have been submitted by other users (120+ puzzles as of this writing, but that’s sure to explode in the coming days). They’re about as tricky/easy/brain-meltingly frustrating as the designers make them. You tackle them much like the other puzzles in the campaign, but without the obnoxious story bits getting in the way. Pretty much everything else is the same, though, with limited Undos and the option to freely reset the entire puzzle at any time. Also much like the campaign puzzles, once you know how to do things the Undos seem superfluous. Still, they’re there. And you can also earn extra Undos by completing user levels.

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But despite having so many user-created puzzles to choose from, you don’t actually get to choose any of them. Once you’re playing a created level, you can use the “skip” button (looks like >|) from the pull-down menu on the left side of the screen to jump to the next user level, but it’s a pretty clunky way of going about things. I’m sure the designers felt they had a good reason for excluding a proper level select for the Community Puzzles, but I can’t really imagine with that is.

On the creation side of things, it’s all pretty straightforward. You can access the Puzzle Maker menu by tapping on the icon that looks like a triangle with a pencil shoved through it (next to the globe icon). You can start creating right away by either tapping on an in-progress puzzle or by scrolling to the right and selecting a blank one. From left to right, the icons along the top of the screen allow you to edit pathways, enemies and power-ups, the overall level style, and try out your creation.

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Everything works about as you’d expect. Tapping the lines along the floor’s grid will add or remove paths when editing the terrain, selecting an enemy or object and then tapping on an intersection will drop them, selecting that enemy will bring up a sub-menu that allows you to rotate them or remove them, and so on. Once you’ve got things to your liking you can give the level a test run, and if you complete it you’ll be given the option to upload it with your move count functioning as the solution’s overall goal for other players. In other words, you can’t upload a level that’s literally impossible. Thank goodness.

As intuitive and accessible as the level editor is, I do wish you could at least tap and hold or double-tap on enemy and object icons to get more details or a brief description or something. Technically you can just put a few enemies down and go through a test run to see how they function, but that’s about as awkward as having to skip from level to level instead of being given a general selection screen. It’s oddly clumsy, and is a stark contrast to how simple and direct everything else is. Kind of a bummer.

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Deus Ex GO’s level creation and community sharing tools work well and are easy to jump into, but they could use just a tiny bit more refinement. Things are smooth overall, but the few small bumps there are really stand out because of it. Still, if you enjoyed the campaign and have been looking for a reason to play through more turn-based cyberpunk puzzles, now’s your chance.

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