"Show me a game where you can decide not to do things and still progress and I'll show you a game that doesn't pull you around on a leash. "
Morrowind. You can cruise around and gain skill (ie progress) without even having to worry about the main quest. However to "progress" through the main quest you need to go where the designers send you.
But this is all semantics. Though Deus Ex provided a few paths to reach point B, that is much more non-linear than what HL2 provided. I do understand that this way Valve could put 100% effort into a cinematic experience for the player, rather than spreading themselves too thin by providing options. But to be honest, I think this style will slowly change in the future as it seems a lot of people are asking for choices these days. Could be wrong, but that's my guess.
By the way Scottish, you're already a guru - is there some rank beyond that, that you are striving for This comment was edited on Feb 2, 05:44.