On December 5, 2000, Eidos Interactive
released the multiplayer
patch for Deus Ex, adding an entirely new dimension to the game. There are two modes available for play: deathmatch
and team deathmatch. As the mode names imply, this involves killing as much of the other human players while trying to remain alive.
Some Deus Ex purists complain that multiplayer lacks the strategy and finesse of single-player mode. They frequently cite the use of the GEP Gun, WP Rockets, and HE20 Shells, along with jumping around, as abuses of the underlying Deus Ex ethic. A common phrase heard from these people is "hey, this isn't Quake!"
However, I see this as the beauty of the game. Deus Ex in single-player mode crossed and merged genres, and multiplayer is no different. It is possible to organize a strategy for your team in team deathmatch. It is a frequent occurence for one team member to cover one who is hacking a security console. It is possible to utilize a stealth strategy by engaging the cloak augmentation and use throwing knives. It is also possible to weaken the Quake-style players by activating the aggresive defense and ballistic protection augmentations. The game allows for all styles of play, and all are just as effective if played correctly.
It will be interesting to see how the multitude of proposed multiplayer modifications will shift the balance. The base Deus Ex engine offers an excellent amalgamation of the FPS and RPG genres, and hopefully the modifications will take advantage of that.