Chances that you may heard of this game. Possibly with the famous ''What a shame'' meme that has been going through the internet. I'll be going in full detail about Deus Ex, why is it great and what made it one of the best games in the gaming industry.
Deus Ex is set in the year 2052 on a dystopic cyberpunk setting where our society is on a slow spiral into chaos. A plague called ''Gray Death'' ravages the entire world's population, especially the US with no cure. A vaccine called ''Ambrosia'' nullifies the effect of the virus, but because of it's scarcity, it's only available to those who are vital to the social order. Government officials, military personnel, the rich and the influential, you name it. With no hope for the common people, riots occur worldwide, and several terrorist organizations has been formed to resist the tyranny, among them the NSF (National Secessionist Forces) in the US and a French group known as Silhouette.
In order to combat this world order, The United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) is formed with the intent of maintaining peace and combating the terrorist groups. It's HQ is in a bunker beneath Liberty Island that was placed after a terrorist strike to Liberty Statue.
*Plot spoilers. If you do not wish to read it, scroll down to other sections*
You play as JC Denton, a nano-technologically augmented UNATCO agent. During the first parts of the game, you track down members of the NSF and their stolen shipments of ''Ambrosia''. However, throughout the game, you discover that UNATCO is far from solving the problem and they are part of the problem. You and Paul (Provided he survives the raid on his apartment) get captured by UNATCO forces after you send a distress signal to NSF's allies and were taken to a secret prison underneath the bunker. An entity named ''Daedalus'' arranges an escape for the two. After the prison escape, the biggest plot twist comes out, you learn that UNATCO is a corrupt arm for a group of conspirators called Majestic-12 who seek for global domination.
The two flee to Hong Kong to meet Tracer Tong, Paul's ally to help them deactivate their killswitch that was activated after Paul defected upon learning that Gray Death is a man-made virus and UNATCO is using Ambrosia to only give it to the elite. Tong requests you to infiltrate VersaLife building. Doing so, you discover the corporation is the source for Gray Death and you steal plans for the virus and destroy the Universal Contractor that produces the virus. Analysis of the virus shows that it was manufactured by the Illuminati and Tongs prompts you to be sent to Paris to make contact with them and obtain their help against Majestic-12. You eventually meet Morgan Everett, Illuminati's leader and learn that the Gray Death was intended to be used for augmentation technology. However, Majestic-12, led by a trillionaire businessman and former Illuminatus Bob Page stole it and was able to repuporse it to it's current form. Without VersaLife's UC, Majestic-12 can not able to create the virus and will likely target Vandenberg Air Force Base, where X-51, a group of former Area 51 scientists has built another one. After repelling MJ12 forces, you meet their leader Gary Savage who reveals that Daedalus is an A.I borne out of the ECHELON program. Everett attempts to gain control over MJ12's communications network by releasing Daedalus on the US military networks, but Page counters it with his own A.I, Icarus, which merges with Daedalus, forming a new A.I, Helios, with the ability to control global communications.
Savage enlists your help in procuring schematics for reconstructing components for the UC that was damaged during MJ12's raid. You find the schematics and transmit it to Savage. However, Page intercepts it and launches a nuclear missile at Vandenberg to ensure Area 51, now MJ12's HQ, is the only location with a viable UC. You reprogram the missile to strike Area 51 and travel there to confront Page.
When you locate him, you find that he seeks to merge Helios and gain full control over all nanotechnology. You get contacted by Tong, Everett and the Helios A.I simultaneously. All three ask for you help to defeat Page, while furthering their own goals, and your forced to choose one of them. Tong seeks to plunge the world to a second Dark Age by destroying global communications hub and preventing anyone taking control of the world. Everett offers you the chance to bring the Illuminati back to power by killing Bob Page and using the technology of Area 51 to rule the world with an invisible hand. Helios wishes to merge with you (JC) and rule the world as a benevolent dictator with infinite knowledge and reason. Either way, your decision determines the future of the world, and brings the game to a close.
What made it great?
Deus Ex is widely praised for combining role-playing elements, first-person shooter elements, adventure and ''immersive simulation'', the latter which tells that it's not just a game you're playing.
The role-playing elements in the game are this:
Skill points: After you complete the objective, you get rewarded with skill points which gives you enhancements to the character's skills. Don't choose swimming, it's fucking useless.
Weapon customization: Weapons can be customized through mods, which can be purchased or found during the game. The player can add scopes, silencers, laser sight. Increase weapon's range, accuracy and magazine size. And decrease it's recoil and reload time. Of course, not all weapons can be modified. You cannot silence a rocket launcher, silly.
Character customization: The game encourages the player to customize their character through nano-augmentations. Cybernetic devices that grants the character great superhuman powers. The game has 18 different augmentations, but the players can only install 9 as each must be used on a certain part of the body: one in the arms, one in the legs, arms and head. Two underneath the skin and three in the torso. This forces the player to choose carefully the benefits for each of the augmentations.
Interaction: It's a large design focus on the game. When the player interacts with an NPC, the game enters in a cutscene-like conversation mode where the player can choose a list of dialog options. The dialog option often have an effect on the gameplay and the plot. NPCs have different ways of reacting depending on how you interacted with them. For example. rudeness make them less willing to provide assistance.
The combat in the game is not your typical FPS. Encounters often have a tactical approach, especially the use of cover, strafing and ''hit-and-run''. However, through the RPG elements, it's possible to develop the character to a tank-like combatant. Able to deal and absorb tons of damage.
The game also features a HUD crosshair. The size shows where shots will fall based on movement, aim and the weapon in use. The reticle expands while the player is moving or shifting aim and slowly shrinks to it's original size while no actions are taken. How quickly it shrinks depends on the character's proficiency of the equipped weapon, number of accuracy mods added to the weapon and the level of ''targeting nano-augmentation''.
It features twenty-four weapons, ranging from crowbars, riot prod to assault rifles, rockets and sniper rifles.
But that's not all of it. What made it also great is the emphasis on player choice in gameplay. Objectives can be completed in multiple ways. Stealth, frontal assault, computer hacking and other ways. In some missions, the player is encouraged to avoid using lethal force and some aspects of the story may change depending on how the violent and non-violent the player chooses to be. This is a great way to give a large degree of replaybility, as the player will have different experiences depending what methods he or she uses to accomplish goals.
However, a game like Deus Ex doesn't have no cons and I'd list some of the cons it has:
- Very outdated graphics which can be a big turn off. Especially the trees, ugh. And the art-style is just bland as fuck.
- Wonky animation. In some cases, you will see some absurd animation if you pay attention.
- Lightning. I understand Deus Ex had to be in a dark night to emphasize the setting. But the lightning is awful, you can got lost during some stages in the game.
- Cheesy voice acting. In some cases, you will find voice acting from some NPCs cheesy as hell and cringe-worthy.
Still, the pros outweighs the cons. Deus Ex is a damn amazing FPS/RPG cyberpunk game and it deserves it's praise.
- Immersive cyberpunk setting
- Great emphasis on player choice
- Engaging storyline
- Great role-playing elements
- Great combat elements
- Graphics and art-style.
- Cheesy voice acting.
My score: 9.5/10
You can buy Deus Ex on Steam for 10$. Or if you want DRM-free, you can buy it on GoG.com on the same price.
Hope you enjoyed reading it.
Deus Ex - ''That game with a wacky name'' *Plot spoilers*
Blog entry posted by TK Krisars, Jun 14, 2012.