Released : August 2000 (PC) Q4 2001 (PS2*)
Developer : Ion Storm Dallas
Publisher : Eidos
Deus Ex is a natural progression from the Ultima Underworld and (first) System Shock games that Warren Spector helped to create. The game is notable for many reasons, the main one being the designers' achievement of balancing freedom of choice and a linear, directed storyline without either element being detrimental to the realism of the game world. The level of detail is also astonishing - almost any possible course of action can be explored, and many wil have repercussions large and small in other areas of the game. The game matches and surpasses the "Pirates of the Carribean" factor (another cool thing around every corner) honed so well by Half-Life, and manages to deliver on the promises made by Kingpin, of creating a believable and highy interactive urban setting.
The scripted sequences, while not quite as excessive as Half-Life's, have a greater impact as they seem much more spontaneous - characters involved continue in their daily lives before and after the event. The characters are also top-notch, with good lines, believable motives and solid voice acting. The music, some of which is by Reeves Gabrels, is again top notch, the opening score feeling like one half suspense movie score and one half SNES RPG BGM.
The only downsides (and believe me, they are trifles) are these: Firstly, the reliance on a dated engine (the original Unreal engine with some modification) which trades off some modern glitz for the ability to cram sprawling locations populated with hundreds of characters into your system's memory. In places the game looks a little N64-ish, but this is amply made up for by the Zelda-thrashing amount of content. The other problems are the rather limited character animation (only when compared to The Nomad Soul, which went to the extreme of using facial motion capture), and the inexplicable way that the game chokes when there are a lot of characters or (bizarrely) very few walls in view. Possibly the engine is doing something silly like trying to use my geriatric CPU instead of the wonders of the GeForce DDR.
Deus Ex is easily one of the finest games I have ever played. It cannot, of course, offer up the cathartic thrills of the Quake series or clear the high bar for game world size set by Ultima VII but as an engaging, accessible and deep "action" RPG it is second to none. An essential purchase for any serious gaming enthusiast.
NB : Die-hard console RPG fans would be well advised to check this out. You will see that everything FF8
/ Chrono Trigger
can do can be feasibly done in proper 3D, and that first person combat does not necessarily equate to stat-free hack-and-slash
. Well, that's probably drummed up some argument I'm sure...
*The PS2 version features a modified UI, motion captured animation, more detailed character models and music rerecorded with a live orchestra.
Ion Storm : Warren Spector : References
Deus Ex FAQ
For more on Deus Ex, visit www.deusex.com.
For nefarious cheaty info try : http://www.vgstrategies.about.com/games/vgstrategies/library/doswin/bldeusex.htm
Finally, a good community site : http://www.rpgplanet.com/deusex/