Perhaps the levels’ cavernous nature would be less of a problem if the missions didn’t force players into constant backtracking. In an attempt to make missions multi-stage, you’re forced to fight your way back to your contact, pushing through the waves of enemies conveniently respawned as your back was turned. EYE tries to ape Deus Ex in its freedom of choice, but Ion Storm’s game knew that players were only free when they understood the systems around them – guard patrols, blindspots, escape routes. EYE has none of this nuance: enemies psychically know your hiding spot, and stealth is a maddeningly inconsistent option.
Much more sensible is the choice to grab the largest weapon you can carry and lay waste to everything – there’s no downside to doing so. Non-lethality is never a combat option, and even three-choice dialogue trees usually end with ‘don’t kill’, ‘kill’ or ‘kill!’ as the options. Enemies come in endless waves, the game’s monster-ish manifestations of the metastreumonic Force being the most relentless. EYE’s more subtle tactics – such as hacking – are overwhelmed in the face of such odds.