This is something of a classic gaming review as Deus Ex was released in 2000, almost fifteen years ago. It is, however, one of the best video games of all time, IMHO. Much of this is due to the way it maximized player freedom to resolve missions however they wished as well as the multiple paths the main character could take.
The storyline and plot drew from Nineties conspiracy theories but put its own spin on it, making socially relevant commentary which is still accurate to this day. With the sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolutions revealed to be in development, I can't help but feel it's time to take a look back at this classic of computer gaming.
|The graphics are limited but functional.|
Enter JC Denton, a new agent for UNATCO, the United Nations anti-terrorist organization based on the ruins of Liberty Island. JC Denton, who's initials aren't remotely coincidental, is a nanotechnology-enhanced super-soldier who has been given the mission of fighting those people who oppose the cyberpunk future's failing governments. In this, he is aided by his brother Paul, a cyborg supersoldier named Gunther, a femme fatale named Anna Navarre, and a beleaguered boss named Manderlay.
As the story progresses, JC will find himself confronted with such age-old groups as the Illuminati, Majestic-12, the remains of the Knights Templar, A.I., revolutionary anarchist groups, Triads, and even Grays. He must choose which organization he wants to side with in order to bring peace to a world which is rapidly falling apart.
|Part of what I love about the game is even the bosses are very personalized. Gunther, for instance, is hilarious.|
The game, itself, kind of looked like ass. Even by the standards of 2000. There were also numerous problems with the engine. It's a common statement the game is so dark all the time to cover up the graphical limitations. Whether or not this was true, it does help as making everything dark like The Matrix did help sell the atmosphere and avoid just how bad things appeared. The game's writing was pretty weighty and would influence both my political as well as spiritual views in the future--much the same as Star Wars. It tackled subjects like transhumanism, government control, and philosophical concepts like anarchism vs. philosopher kings.
|The game draws from cyberpunk, transhumanism, conspiracy theory, the Matrix films, and more to create unique yet recognizable world.|
You can even become a cyber-god.
I'm a big fan of the character too. Everyone you fight, other than mooks, is extremely well characterized and you can even chat up some of the mooks. I loved the character of Gunther who just wants to be have a gun installed in his head as well as all the orange soda he can drink. Anna Navarre is a bloodthirsty secret agent who wants to serve her country right or wrong. Paul is both duplicitous and saintly, qualities which don't usually go together. I also love Morgan Everett, who is the nicest leader of a global conspiracy you'll ever meet. Bob Page and Walter Simmons also do a wonderful job establishing themselves as believable yet over-the-top villians.
And who doesn't love Tracer Tong, who gleefully talks about conspiracy nonsense which turns out to be factually correct?
|The gameplay is a well-crafted variant on Doom which went on to spawn many-many spin-offs.|