Deus Ex

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Deus Ex

Developer(s) Ion Storm Inc.
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Designer(s) Warren Spector, Harvey Smith
Engine Unreal Engine
Version 1.112fm
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 2
Release date(s) NA June 22, 2000 (WIN)
NA July 7, 2000 (MAC)
EU September 27, 2000 (WIN)
NA March 25, 2002 (PS2)
EU May 24, 2002 (PS2)
March 29, 2007 (Steam)
Genre(s) Action RPG
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: M (Mature)
PEGI: 16+
ELSPA: 15+
USK: 18+
Media CD-ROM (WIN)
Steam download
System requirements 300 MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM, 4 MB video card RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX 7.0a, 150 MB available hard disk space, Windows 95 (WIN)
Input methods Keyboard and mouse, or gamepad

Deus Ex (abbreviated DX[1] and pronounced as IPA: /ˌdeɪəsˈɛks/, day-uss ex) is a cyberpunk-themed action role-playing game developed by Ion Storm Inc. and published by Eidos Interactive in the year 2000, which combines gameplay elements of first-person shooters with those of role playing games. The game received almost worldwide critical and industry acclaim, including being named "Best PC Game of All Time" in a 2007 poll carried out by UK gaming magazine PC Zone.[2] It was a frequent candidate for and winner of Game of the Year awards,[3][4][5][6] drawing praise for its pioneering designs in player choice and multiple narrative paths.[7][8]

Set in a dystopian world during the 2050s, the central plot follows rookie United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition agent JC Denton, as he sets out to combat terrorist forces, which have become increasingly prevalent in a world slipping ever further into chaos. As the plot unfolds, Denton becomes entangled in a deep and ancient conspiracy, encountering fictional recreations of organizations such as Majestic 12, the Illuminati, and the Hong Kong Triads throughout his journey.

First published for personal computers running Windows, Deus Ex was later ported to Macintosh systems, as well the PlayStation 2 game console, the latter under the title Deus Ex: The Conspiracy. Loki Games worked on a Linux version of the game, but the company went out of business before releasing it.[9] A sequel to Deus Ex, titled Deus Ex: Invisible War, was released on December 2, 2003 for both Windows and the Xbox video game console.[10] On November 26, 2007, it was confirmed that Eidos Montreal is developing a prequel, Deus Ex 3.[11]


[edit] Gameplay

Deus Ex incorporates elements from four video game genres: role-playing, first-person shooter, adventure, and "immersive simulation", the last of which being a game where "nothing reminds you that you're just playing a game".[12] For example, the game utilizes a first-person camera during gameplay, but includes exploration and character interaction as primary features.[12]

The player assumes the role of JC Denton, a "nanotech"-augmented operative of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO).[13] This nanotechnology is a central gameplay mechanism, and allows players to perform superhuman feats.

[edit] Role-playing elements

As the player accomplishes objectives, the player character is rewarded with "skill points". Skill points are used to enhance a character's abilities in eleven different areas, and were designed to provide players with a way to customize their characters;[12] a player might create a combat-focused character by increasing proficiency with pistols or rifles, while a more furtive character can be created by focusing on lock picking and computer hacking abilities. There are four different levels of proficiency in each skill, with the skill point cost increasing for each successive level.[14]

Weapons may be customized through "weapon modifications", which can be found or purchased throughout the game. The player might add scopes, silencers, or laser sights; increase the weapon's range, accuracy, or magazine size; or decrease its recoil and reload time. Not all modifications are available to all weapons; for example, a rocket launcher cannot be silenced, and recoil cannot be reduced on a flamethrower.

Players are further encouraged to customize their characters through nano-augmentations—cybernetic devices that grant characters superhuman powers. While the game contains eighteen different nano-augmentations, the player can install a maximum of nine, as each must be used on a certain part of the body: one in the arms, legs, eyes, and head; two underneath the skin; and three in the torso.[15] This forces the player to choose carefully between the benefits offered by each augmentation. For example, the arm augmentation requires the player to decide between boosting their character's skill in hand-to-hand combat or his ability to lift heavy objects.

Interaction with non-player characters was a large design focus.[12] When the player interacts with a non-player character, the game will enter a cutscene-like conversation mode where the player advances the conversation by selecting from a list of dialogue options. The player's choices often have a substantial effect on both gameplay and plot, as non-player characters will react in different ways depending on the selected answer (e.g. rudeness makes them less likely to provide assistance).

[edit] Combat elements

Deus Ex features combat similar to first-person shooters, with real-time action, a first-person perspective, and reflex-based gameplay.[12] As the player will often encounter enemies in groups, combat often tends toward a tactical approach, including the use of cover, strafing, and "hit-and-run". A USA Today reviewer found "At the easiest difficulty setting, your character is pureed again and again by an onslaught of human and robotic terrorists until you learn the value of stealth."[16] However, through the game's role-playing systems (see above), it is possible to develop a character's skills and augmentations to create a tank-like combat specialist with the ability to deal and absorb large amounts of damage.[17] Non-player characters will praise or criticize the main character depending on his use of force, incorporating a moral element into the gameplay.[18]

Deus Ex features a heads-up display crosshair, whose size dynamically shows where shots will fall based on movement, aim, and the weapon in use; the reticle expands while the player is moving or shifting his or her aim, and slowly shrinks to its original size while no actions are taken.[13] How quickly the reticle shrinks depends on the character's proficiency with the equipped weapon, the number of accuracy modifications added to the weapon, and the level of the "targeting" nano-augmentation.

Deus Ex features twenty-four weapons, ranging from crowbars, electroshock weapons, and riot baton, to laser guided anti-tank rockets and assault rifles;[13] both lethal and non-lethal weapons are available. The player can also make use of several weapons of opportunity, such as fire extinguishers.

[edit] Player choice

Players are given multiple ways to traverse obstacles, from lockpicking to armed combat.

Gameplay in Deus Ex emphasizes player choice, which GameSpot's review explains: "Deus Ex is quite long for an action-packed first-person game", it states, "but even so, most of its situations present you with two or three possible solutions."[19] Objectives can be completed in numerous ways, including stealth, sniping, heavy frontal assault, dialogue, or engineering and computer hacking. This level of freedom requires that levels, characters, and puzzles be designed with significant redundancy, as a single play-through of the game will miss large sections of dialogue, areas, and other content.

Because of its design focus on player choice, Deus Ex has been compared with System Shock, a game that inspired its design.[20][21] Together, these factors give the game a great degree of replayability, as the player will have vastly different experiences, depending on which methods he or she uses to accomplish objectives.

[edit] Multiplayer

Deus Ex was designed as a single player game, and the initial releases of the Windows and Macintosh versions of the game did not include multiplayer functionality.[22] Support for multiplayer modes was later incorporated through patches.[23] The component includes three game modes: deathmatch, basic team deathmatch, and advanced team deathmatch. Only five maps, based on levels from the single-player portion of the game, were included with the original multiplayer patch, but many user-created maps now exist.[23] The PlayStation 2 release of Deus Ex does not offer a multiplayer mode.[24]

[edit] Plot

[edit] Setting

Deus Ex takes place in a dystopian future in a world that draws heavily upon present day conspiracy theories. This dark setting is enhanced by the fact that the entire game takes place at night, a backdrop that adds to the atmosphere of conspiracies and stealth. The game contradicts itself in several instances regarding the exact year in which the events of the story take place, but information in the sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War reconciles this inconsistency via retroactive continuity, placing the events of Deus Ex in the year 2052.[25] Most of the game takes place in fictionalized versions of real-world locations, including New York City, Hong Kong, Paris, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Area 51.

The plot of Deus Ex depicts a society on a slow spiral into chaos. A lethal pandemic known as the "Gray Death" ravages the world's population, especially within the United States, and has no cure. A synthetic vaccine, "Ambrosia", manufactured by the company VersaLife, nullifies the effects of the virus, but is in critically short supply. Because of its scarcity, Ambrosia is available only to those deemed "vital to the social order", and finds its way primarily to government officials, military personnel, the rich and influential, scientists, and the intellectual elite. With no hope for the common people of the world, riots occur worldwide, and a number of terrorist organizations have formed with the professed intent of assisting the downtrodden, among them the National Secessionist Force of the US and a French group known as Silhouette.

In order to combat these threats to the world order, the United Nations has greatly expanded its governmental influence around the globe. The United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) is formed, with the intent of maintaining peace internationally and combating the world's ever-growing number of terrorist groups.[26] It is headquartered near New York City in a bunker beneath Liberty Island, placed there after a terrorist strike on the Statue of Liberty.[27]

[edit] Synopsis

The game offers different storyline paths depending on the player's actions. Here, Agent Navarre forces JC to choose whether or not to kill terrorist leader Juan Lebedev.

The player assumes the identity of JC Denton, a nanotechnologically-augmented ("nano-aug") UNATCO agent. After completing his training, JC takes several missions given by Director Joseph Manderley to trace down members of the National Secessionist Forces (NSF) and their stolen shipments of the "Ambrosia" vaccine, the cure for the "Gray Death" virus. Through these missions, JC is reunited with his brother, Paul, also a nano-aug. JC tracks the Ambrosia shipment to a private terminal at LaGuardia Airport. Paul meets JC outside the plane, and explains that he has defected from UNATCO and is now working with the NSF after learning that the Gray Death is a man-made virus, with UNATCO using its power to make sure only the elite receive the vaccine.[28]

JC returns to UNATCO headquarters and is told by Manderley that both he and Paul have been outfitted with a 24-hour kill switch. Manderley orders JC to fly to Hong Kong to eliminate Tracer Tong, a hacker whom Paul has contact with and who can disable the kill switch. Instead, JC returns to Paul's apartment to find Paul hiding inside. Paul further explains his defection and encourages JC to also defect by activating a nearby signal to alert NSF's allies. Upon doing so, JC becomes a wanted man by UNATCO, and his own kill switch is activated by FEMA Director Walton Simons. JC is unable to escape UNATCO forces, and both he and Paul are taken to a secret prison below UNATCO headquarters. An entity named "Daedalus" contacts JC and informs him that the prison is part of Majestic 12, and arranges for him and Paul to escape. The two flee to Hong Kong to meet with Tong, who deactivates their kill switches. Tong requests JC inflitrate the VersaLife building. Doing so, JC discovers that the corporation is the source for the Gray Death, and he is able to steal the plans for the virus and destroy the "universal constructor" that produces it.[29]

Analysis of the virus shows it was manufactured by the Illuminati. JC learns from the Illuminati leader Morgan Everett that the Gray Death virus was to be used for augmentation technology, but Majestic 12, led by trillionaire businessman and philanthropist Bob Page, was able to steal and repurpose it into its current viral form. Everett recognizes that without VersaLife's universal constructor, Majestic 12 can no longer create the virus, and will likely target Vandenberg Air Force Base where another universal constructor exists and was created by X-51, a group of former Area-51 scientists. After defeating a Majestic 12 attack on the facility, JC meets X-51 leader Gary Savage, who reveals that Daedalus is an artificial intelligence borne out of ECHELON. Dr. Savage attempts revenge on Majestic 12 by releasing Daedalus on security military networks, but Page counters by releasing his own AI, Icarus, which merges with Daedalus to form a new AI, Helios, with the ability to control the global communication network. JC learns that Majestic 12 is planning to destroy the Vandenberg base with a nuclear missile, but he is able to reprogram it to strike Area 51, Majestic 12's headquarters. JC then travels there himself to confront Page.

When JC locates him, Page reveals that he seeks to merge with Helios and gain full control over all nanotechnology. JC is contacted by Tong, Everett, and the Helios AI simultaneously. All three factions ask for his help in defeating Page, while furthering their own objectives, and JC is forced to choose between them. Tong seeks to plunge the world into a second Dark Age by destroying the global communications hub and preventing anyone from taking control of the world.[30] Everett offers Denton the chance to bring the Illuminati back to power by defeating Bob Page and using the technology of Area 51 to rule the world with an invisible hand.[31] Helios wishes to merge with Denton and rule the world as a benevolent dictator with infinite knowledge and reason.[32] The player's decision determines the course of the future, and brings the game to a close.

[edit] Literary and popular culture allusions

[edit] Name etymology

The title "Deus Ex" is derived from the Latin expression deus ex machina, literally meaning "god from a machine". Warren Spector, executive producer for Deus Ex, has stated the name was both meant as a reference to the various factions in the game who aspire to god-like powers, as well as a dig at the typical video game plot, which tends to be laden with "deus ex machina" artifices and other poor script writing techniques.[33]

What the JC initialism in the protagonist's codename, JC Denton, means is unclear. The story itself makes no references to what the initials stand for. Harvey Smith, lead designer for Deus Ex, has stated that originally JC was supposed to be a descendant of Jesus Christ; however, Warren Spector has said the name "JC" was chosen for its unisex qualities when the developers were still planning to let the player choose the gender of the main character.[34][35]

[edit] Literary works

An example of the text system in the game showing a passage from the novel The Man Who Was Thursday

Deus Ex features a text-reading system that allows the player to read terminals and notes, as well as excerpts from newspapers and books found in various locations within the game level. These various bits of media serve a variety of purposes, from providing the player with useful gameplay information (such as a needed keycode), to the advancement of the plot, to the creation of atmosphere and metafictional irony. It is this last aspect that is most prevalent in the novels found in Deus Ex, with excerpts usually providing reflective commentary on the player's current situation. Such real-life works as The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton, Sun Tzu's The Art of War, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, and Shakespeare's Richard III are used for this purpose throughout the game.

Along with these is Jacob's Shadow, a work of fiction created by Chris Todd, one of the writers for the game. It is attributed to the fictitious author Andrew Hammond (in homage to crime writer Andrew Vachss).[36] The first chapter displayed is Chapter Twelve with a subsequent six other chapters (fifteen, twenty, twenty-three, twenty-seven, thirty-two, and thirty-four) that portray the cyberpunk themes of the game in the style of William Gibson. The book appears to be a violent, spiritual journey of a man named Jacob as he searches for a woman, who is never named, through a city described as 'Hell'.[37] A chapter from a "sequel" to Jacob's Shadow, titled Jacob's War, can be found in the game's sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War.

A number of other more subtle fiction references also permeate the game. For instance, The Man Who Was Thursday protagonist Gabriel Syme's name appears in a hotel register, along with the names of fellow literary characters Gully Foyle, Oberst Enzian, Smilla Jasperson, and Hippolyta Hall (from the The Stars My Destination, Gravity's Rainbow, Smilla's Sense of Snow, and various DC Comics series respectively). Another comic reference is "Harleen Quinzel", being an MJ12 employee who sends an e-mail out about a "company picnic". Other literary sources alluded to include Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men, Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel The Diamond Age, Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, and the Ancient Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus.[1] The name of the AI Helios and the merging of JC with it may also be a reference to Euripedes' Medea, Medea appearing at the end of the play in the sun god Helios' chariot (a machine from the gods). Continuing the seam of literature references "O" and "René" from Histoire d'O can be found in conversation in Flat 12 in Paris.

Allusions are also incorporated into computer security passwords and e-mails encountered during the course of the game. An instance of this is the code "reindeerflotilla", a password originally used in the 1982 science fiction film Tron. Another is an e-mail found on Paul Denton's computer containing a notice from a movie rental company. It mentions the fictional movies See You Next Wednesday and Blue Harvest. "See You Next Wednesday" is a reference to the famous signature appearing in most of John Landis' films, while Blue Harvest was the code name used during the filming of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

This practice also extends to the ubiquitous key codes found in most levels of the game, with examples including the first door-code in the game being "0451", "an allusion to System Shock's allusion to Fahrenheit 451 (the first code in System Shock was also 451)" according to Harvey Smith,[36] as well as the sequence "8675309" opening the only 7-digit key code lock in the game. There also exists a "Lord Brinne" tombstone found in the Baltimore Cemetery level, which is actually a memorial for the real life Bill Iburg, an RPG fan and regular of multiple forums who died in 1999.[38][39]

[edit] Real world parallels

Conspiracies are one of the main themes of Deus Ex, and the game draws heavily upon popular real world conspiracy theories for many of its plot elements. These include speculations regarding black helicopters, vaccinations, and FEMA, as well as Area 51, the ECHELON network, Men in Black, cow mutilations, chupacabras (in the form of "greasels"), and Grays. Mysterious groups such as Majestic 12, the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission also either play a central part in the plot, or are alluded to during the course of the game.

During sections of the game where the New York skyline is visible in the background, the two towers of the World Trade Center are noticeably missing; the real towers were destroyed a year after the game was released. Harvey Smith has explained that due to texture memory limitations, the portion of the skyline with the twin towers exists in the game's data files but had to be left out of the final game, with the other half mirrored in place of it. According to Smith, during the game's development, the developers justified the lack of the towers by stating that terrorists had destroyed the World Trade Center earlier in the game's storyline.[34]

[edit] Development history

The initial idea of Deus Ex was originated by Warren Spector in 1995 while he worked for Origin Systems.[40] His original conception of what would become Deus Ex was entitled Troubleshooter.[40] After finishing development of System Shock, Spector "...was just so bored with fantasy and science fiction stuff."[41] and he "got obsessed with this sort of millennial weirdness".[41] He stated in April 2007 to PC Zone magazine:

"I was a huge believer in the 'immersive simulation' game style, exemplified by games like Ultima Underworld, and I wanted to push the limits of that sort of game further. But I could never get the project off the ground at Origin or, later, at Looking Glass. (I think it was lack of interest at Origin/EA and it was mostly a lack of money at LG!) But then John Romero and Ion Storm came along and said, 'Make the game of your dreams. No limits.' It took me about two nanoseconds to say 'Yes!'"[42]

[edit] Versions and mods

Deus Ex has been re-released in several iterations since its original publication, and has also been the basis of a number of mods developed by its fan community.

[edit] Game versions

The PlayStation 2 release, Deus Ex: The Conspiracy, features graphically improved pre-rendered introduction and ending sequences.

The Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition release contains the latest game updates and a software development kit, a separate soundtrack CD, and a page from a fictional newspaper featured prominently in Deus Ex titled The Midnight Sun, which recounts recent events in the game's world.[43] However, later releases of said version do not include the soundtrack CD, and contain a PDF version of the newspaper on the game's disc.

The Macintosh version of the game, released shortly after the PC version, was shipped with the same capabilities and can also be patched to enable multiplayer support.[44][45] However, publisher Aspyr Media did not release any subsequent editions of the game or any additional patches. As such, the game is only supported in Mac OS 9 and the "Classic" environment in Mac OS X, neither of which are compatible with Intel-based Macs. The PC version will run on Intel-based Macs using Boot Camp or other software to boot Microsoft Windows.

A port of the game, entitled Deus Ex: The Conspiracy, was also released for the PlayStation 2, on March 25, 2002. Along with pre-rendered introductory and ending cinematics that replaced the original versions, it features a streamlined interface with auto aim, improved graphics, and motion captured character models.[46][47] Some levels were changed and chopped down into smaller areas separated by load-screens, due to the memory limitations of the PlayStation 2.[48]

A sequel to the game, entitled Deus Ex: Invisible War, was released in the United States on December 2, 2003, and then in Europe in early 2004 for both the PC and the Xbox game console.[10] A second sequel, entitled Deus Ex: Clan Wars, was originally conceived as a multiplayer-focused third game for the series. After the commercial performance and public reception of Deus Ex: Invisible War failed to meet expectations, the decision was made to set the game in its own universe, and it was eventually published under the title Project: Snowblind.[49]

On March 29, 2007, Valve announced Deus Ex and its sequel would be available for purchase from their Steam service. Among the games announced are several other Eidos franchise titles, including Thief: Deadly Shadows and Tomb Raider.[50]

Eidos Montreal is now working on a prequel to Deus Ex. This was confirmed on November 26, 2007 when Eidos Montreal posted a teaser trailer for the title on their website.[51]

[edit] Modding

The Deus Ex game engine lends itself to modification by fans of the game thanks to the release by Ion Storm of the Deus Ex software development kit (SDK). Such mods can have a variety of purposes, including making the game more or less difficult, increasing the variety of weapons available to the player, or even completely changing the graphics and storyline of the game. The Deus Ex SDK was initially released on September 22, 2000, about three months after the publication of the game. According to the initial announcement press release, the SDK consists of the actual software tools used to create the game.[52]

[edit] Film adaptation

A film adaptation based on the game was originally announced in May 2002 by Columbia Pictures. The movie was being produced by Laura Ziskin, along with Greg Pruss attached with writing the screenplay. Peter Schlessel, president of production for Columbia Pictures, and Paul Baldwin, president of marketing for Eidos Interactive, stated that they were confident in that the adaptation would be a successful development for both the studios and the franchise.[53] In March 2003, during an interview with Greg Pruss, he informed IGN that the character of JC Denton will be "a little bit filthier than he was in the game." He further stated that the script was shaping up to be darker in tone than the original game.[54] A theatrical release was scheduled to occur sometime in 2006. It was purported that Willem Dafoe would star in the film, though his role was not specified.[55] The Internet Movie Database reported that production was cancelled in May 2004, and the film profile is no longer listed. IGN, however, listed it in their Games-to-Film Frenzy II in October 2004 and is still listed as "in development" in their Games to Film listing.[56][57]

[edit] Music

The soundtrack of Deus Ex, composed by Alexander Brandon, Dan Gardopée, Michiel van den Bos, and Reeves Gabrels,[58] was praised by critics for complementing the gritty atmosphere predominant throughout the game with melodious and ambient music incorporated from a number of genres, including techno, jazz, and classical.[59][60][61] The music sports a basic dynamic element, similar to the iMUSE system used in early 1990s LucasArts games; during play, the music will change to a different iteration of the currently playing song based on the player's actions, such as when the player starts a conversation, engages in combat, or transitions to the next level.

A compact disc of the Deus Ex soundtrack was included in the Game of the Year edition and is not available for separate purchase. Notably, the soundtrack is not a direct audio rip from the game itself, however; it is a "remastering" of the soundtrack with added instruments and audio production. Originally only thirty tracks were included with the re-release, with tracks thirty-one through forty-one considered as extras.[62]

The PlayStation 2 port featured live, orchestral renditions of some tracks.[63]

Since release the soundtrack has become very popular with internet based remixers. Several fan-made mixes have enjoyed online success, with several sites dedicated to the music of the game being created,[64] and even an entire remix album. [65]

  • 1. "Main Title" – 02:24
  • 2. "Intro Sequence" – 02:23
  • 3. "Liberty Island" – 05:26
  • 4. "UNATCO" – 05:12
  • 5. "Battery Park" – 04:42
  • 6. "NYC Streets" – 04:15
  • 7. "Lebedev's Airfield " – 03:14
  • 8. "Airfield Action " – 01:10
  • 9. "Enemy Within" – 01:48
  • 10. "Desolation" (Hong Kong Canal) – 02:26
  • 11. "The Synapse" (Hong Kong Streets) – 04:37
  • 12. "Hong Kong Action" – 00:59
  • 13. "Majestic 12 Labs" – 01:50
  • 14. "Versalife" – 03:48
  • 15. "Naval Base " – 04:59
  • 16. "Paris Streets" – 01:18
  • 17. "DuClare Château " – 06:42
  • 18. "Paris Action" – 01:24
  • 19. "Return to NYC" – 01:34
  • 20. "Ocean Lab" – 01:35
  • 21. "Ocean Action" – 01:24
  • 22. "Ocean Lab Complex" – 01:48
  • 23. "Vandenberg" – 03:46
  • 24. "Begin the End" (Bunker) – 01:41
  • 25. "Area 51" – 02:22
  • 26. "Ending 1" – 01:15
  • 27. "Ending 2" – 01:18
  • 28. "Ending 3" – 01:50
  • 29. "The Illuminati" – 02:38
  • 30. "DX Club Mix" – 03:00
  • 31. "Training Room" – 02:03
  • 32. "NYC Bar" – 05:10
  • 33. "Hong Kong Helipad" – 03:30
  • 34. "Hong Kong Club 1" – 04:56
  • 35. "Hong Kong Club 2" – 02:57
  • 36. "The Nothing" – 03:17
  • 37. "Paris Club 1" – 02:49
  • 38. "Paris Club 2" – 04:31
  • 39. "Paris Cathedral" – 03:36
  • 40. "Conspiravision" – 05:38
  • 41. "Paris Cathedral Conversation" – 00:54

[edit] Reception

[edit] Critical response

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 91
Metacritic 90
Review scores
Publication Score
GamePro 5.0/5.0[66]
Game Revolution A-[67]
GameSpot 8.2/10[19]
GameSpy 88/100[68]
IGN 9.4/10.0[69]
PC Gamer US 94%
PC Game of the Year (2000) - BAFTA
Best PC Game of All Time - PC Zone

Deus Ex received numerous positive reviews, attaining a "90" (universal acclaim) in both the Metacritic and MobyGames aggregate scores.[3][4] Many critics praised the game's adept blending of genres, varied gameplay, expansive environments, ambitious and layered storyline, and its high replayability. Reviewers were impressed by the game's narrative, and often mentioned its use of dialogue and back-story to improve the overall experience.

"The title has a great storyline, full of intrigue, back-stabbing, secret agendas, political struggles, and social commentary that is so powerful that it will surely overpower the free time of its players. It doesn't matter what style of game you prefer -- action, RPG, or tactical combat -- since Deus Ex has enough of each of those to please even the most prejudiced user."[70]

Still, the game is not regarded as flawless, and several reviewers noted weaknesses in the gameplay. Former GameSpot reviewer Greg Kasavin, though awarding the game a score of 8.2 of 10, was disappointed by the security and lockpicking mechanics. "Such instances are essentially noninteractive", he wrote. "You simply stand there and spend a particular quantity of electronic picks or modules until the door opens or the security goes down."[19] Kasavin made similar complaints about the hacking interface, noting that, "Even with basic hacking skills, you'll still be able to bypass the encryption and password protection ... by pressing the 'hack' button and waiting a few seconds."

The game's graphics and sounds were also met with muted enthusiasm. Kasavin complained of Deus Ex's relatively sub-par graphics, blaming them on the game's "incessantly dark industrial environments." GamePro reviewer Chris Patterson took time to note that despite being "solid acoustically," Deus Ex had moments of weakness.[66] He poked fun at JC's "Joe Friday, 'just the facts, deadpan," and the "truly cheesy accents" of minor characters in Hong Kong and New York City. The staff at IGN pointed out, "The graphics are blocky, the animation is stiff, and the dithering is just plain awful in some spots," referring to the limited capabilities of the Unreal Engine used to design the game. This was not a fatal flaw however, as the review goes on to say "overall Deus Ex certainly looks better than your average game."[69]

Reviewers and players also complained about the size of Deus Ex's save files. An Adrenaline Vault reviewer noted that, "Playing through the entire adventure, [he] accumulated over 250MB of save game data, with the average file coming in at over 15MB."[70] Such a large file size was especially problematic, considering the smaller capacity of hard drives at the time of the game's release. These large files were a result of the save games creating duplicate copies of the game levels that reflected the changes the player made while playing the levels.

[edit] Awards and Greatest games lists

Deus Ex has earned a number of awards and many nominations, including over 40 Game of the Year and/or best in its class awards in magazines and websites.[71] This includes awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, IGN, GameSpy, PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and The Adrenaline Vault, among many others.[5][72][73] Deus Ex was also awarded "Excellence in Game Design" and "Game Innovation Spotlight" at the 2000 Game Developers Choice Awards and won in the "Computer Innovation" and "Computer Action/Adventure" categories at the Interactive Achievement Awards.[6][74][75] It has additionally received many Best Story accolades, including first prize in the 2006 Gamasutra "Quantum Leap" awards for storytelling in a video game.[76][77]

Deus Ex has appeared in a number of greatest games of all time lists and hall of fame features, placing in the top thirty for most, and in the top ten for many. This includes numerous IGN 100 Greatest Games of All Time lists,[78][79][80] GameSpy's Top 50 Games of All Time,[81] 25 Most Memorable Games of the Past 5 Years,[82] and Hall of Fame,[83] numerous PC Gamer Top 50 PC Games lists,[84][85] Yahoo! UK Video Games' 100 Greatest Computer Games of All Time,[86] and in GameFAQs' Top 100 Games of All Time.[87]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b "Deus Ex -". Retrieved on 2007-12-13. 
  2. ^ "Deus Ex named "top PC game of all time (pc: 2007):Reviews". gamesindustry. Retrieved on September 7 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Deus Ex (pc: 2000):Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved on December 13 2006. 
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  26. ^ Wendi White (in Righteous Angels: Perspectives on UNATCO ): As the giddiness that greeted the new millennium faded to grim apathy in the face of the plague, famine, and the inevitable waves of national convulsions that followed in their wake, the United Nations found itself increasingly outmoded and unable to cope with the worldwide rise in terrorism. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
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  28. ^ Paul: The Gray Death is a man-made virus. Everyone up to the President is at UNATCO's mercy as long as UNATCO controls the supply of Ambrosia. / JC: You believe that? / Paul: We have proof. We need to get the Ambrosia to Hong Kong. Heard of Tracer Tong? He can help us synthesize it ourselves. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
  29. ^ Daedalus: Majestic 12 seeks to use force and intimidation to seize absolute control. Of everything. They will not hesitate to use all means necessary to achieve this goal, and have engineered the disease you refer to as the "Gray Death" in an effort to accomplish this. The Gray Death is a nanotechnologically engineered virus. You must locate the Universal Constructor used to create the Gray Death and destroy it. My information indicates that it is in Hong Kong, housed in a Majestic 12 facility beneath the corporation known as VersaLife. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
  30. ^ JC Denton: If we destroy the Aquinas Hub, we'll take down the global network. / Tracer Tong: Exactly. They dug their own grave, JC. We're going to eliminate global communications altogether. / JC: I don't know... sounds like overkill. / Tong: As long as technology has a global reach, someone will have the world in the palm of his hand. If not Bob Page, then Everett, Dowd... / JC: Another Stone Age would hardly be an improvement. / Tong: Not so drastic. A dark age, an age of city-states, craftsmen, government on a scale comprehensible to its citizens. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
  31. ^ Everett: No, JC. Spare the facility. Spare Helios, the power station. They can be made to serve us. / JC: Us? / Everett: You and me, JC. We'll rule the world in secret, with an invisible hand, the way the Illuminati have always ruled. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
  32. ^ Helios: You are ready. I do not wish to wait for Bob Page. With human understanding and network access, we can administrate the world, yes, yes. / JC: Rule the world...? Why? Who gave you the directive? There must be a human being behind your ambition. / Helios: I should regulate human affairs precisely because I lack all ambition, whereas human beings are prey to it. Their history is a succession of inane squabbles, each one coming closer to total destruction. Ion Storm Inc.. Deus Ex. (Eidos Interactive). PlayStation 2. (2002-03-25)
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