Deus Ex

aka: DX1, Deus Ex: The Conspiracy
Moby ID: 1749

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 89% (based on 78 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 531 ratings with 34 reviews)

It is not the God of video games... but it comes close

The Good
You know how there are sometimes games everyone keep recommending to you, asking you to play them, and you resist stubbornly, perhaps without even realizing why, talk rudely to your friends, and say: "Gimme a break! I'm not interested! Got that?!"

Well, that's what happened between my game-playing buddies, Deus Ex, and myself. Nearly everyone spoke about this game as if it were a sacred object, almost an idol, worthy of zealous admiration and maybe even human sacrifices. Nearly every review was positive - no, positive is not the correct word. The game was praised up to the point of calling it the Messiah of gaming, the savior of sinful player souls, and the way to a new, enlightened gaming paradise.

Since I usually can't stand this kind of hype, Deus Ex annoyed me long before I actually laid my paws on it. But when I read some of the reviews more carefully and realized the game was a kind of a fancy mixture between FPS, sneaking game, RPG, and adventure, I understood I wouldn't be myself if I didn't try it.

I can't say I fell in love with the game from the moment I inserted the disc into the drive. In fact, the game was heating up pretty slowly. The intro sequence is rather unspectacular, and the first mission not particularly exciting. But times has passed, and it really grew on me.

It is interesting that the atmosphere in the game also develops gradually. The more I played, the more I got sucked into the game, and finally I found myself praising it for what I was already prepared to condemn: its atmosphere. It increases slowly, the more missions you get, and the more clear the relationships between the different characters of the game become. After you get your partner, and your brother appears on the scene as a really important figure, Deus Ex becomes more than just interesting - it actually gets captivating and fascinating.

One of the decisive gameplay elements here is the fantastic interaction with the world, which can be almost compared to Ultima-style "if it is there, you can use it" kind of gameplay. You can fool around with pretty much everything you see, and sometimes the results are more interesting and rewarding than you'd expect. I absolutely love this kind of attention to interaction and detail. I mean, which other game lets you take a break from the story, walk over to a playground and play some basketball?

Deus Ex is a spiritual successor to the fantastic System Shock 2, especially in the way it experiments with different genres. Like System Shock 2, it is also primarily a FPS with strong RPG elements; but it goes even further than its predecessor in merging various playing styles into a single coherent and immensely satisfying whole.

The magic of Deus Ex is that it allows you to play it the way you want to. The different genres are not "over-imposed" on each other, but are merged in such a way that you won't notice it; you'll simply feel that you can do whatever you want. The subtlety of this genre-mixing is astounding; but even more astounding is the fact the game actually works as a representative of any of the genres it contains, taken separately.

Basically, if you liked straight-forward shooters, you can play Deus Ex as one. If you liked Thief-style sneaking, Deus Ex provides it for you as well. If you like RPGs, you can focus your attention on that aspect when playing this game. The thing is that Deus Ex only rarely throws at you tasks that can be completed only in one way; it doesn't have "shooting missions", "stealth missions", etc. You don't need to disable every single alarm or to hack every single computer system to get what you need. The game conveniently offers you several ways of solving a problem. If it doesn't go with force, try using the brains; and vice versa. You choose the approach by yourself almost at any given moment. This is the greatness of Deus Ex.

I loved the RPG touch. You gather "experience points" which you can then allocate to make your character more skillful. You choose yourself how to do it, like in a true hardcore RPG. You can upgrade your weapon skills, or your ability to pick locks, or your swimming, etc. and all those skills are important, it really shows in the game and is a testimony of its fantastic programming. Then there are the bio-upgrades which work a lot like equipment or even like magic spells, you can protect your characters from various poisons and similar things, heal him, make him jump higher, and so on.

The locations of Deus Ex are, for the most part, interesting, large and detailed. You visit large urban areas such as New York or Hong-Kong (one of the best levels), there's no linear "go there, talk to that guy, take this" advancement; on the contrary, you wander around like in a RPG or an adventure game, talk to characters, gather objects, and so on.

The story is more than just a simple "good guys vs. bad guys" thing it seems in the beginning. And the characters are more than just anonymous voices who give you missions. Yes, it takes time to get into the story, but its development and the ending makes up for the long wait. And the final part lets you choose between three ways, each one of which leads to a convincing (in its own way), yet a problematic ending. Bravo! There's no "save the world, get the girl" stuff: you should apply your philosophy and your vision of the world to the game. It is like Shin Megami Tensei, only a bit more concrete.

The Bad
I could mention some obvious flaws such as the not-so-hot graphics in certain areas, the somewhat repetitive level design (too many "square" levels, vents are a bit overused), the length of the game, which is not always a plus (it starts repeating itself, and while some parts are brilliant and full of plot twists, others are just "missions" devoid of story), the average voice acting, the dubious AI (you drop an electronic grenade to disable an alarm two meters from the guard, but he ignores it completely; you run loudly towards a terrorist, and instead of turning his head back at the noise, he waits until you aim your gun at his skull, and says something like "Aha! An intruder, eh? I think you shouldn't be here! Or am I wrong? Maybe it should be so?") and so on. But to tell you the truth, those things didn't really bother me.

The story is not that great. Interesting, yes, with a couple of very good twists, and some fantastic moral choices in the end, but it couldn't help being a bit dry and uninvolved for a game of this scope. Also, the writing is definitely less than stellar; some of the dialogue seems to be taken straight out of a not particularly brilliant B-rated movie.

The Bottom Line
There is no doubt about that: Deus Ex is amazing. Incredible gameplay flexibility, marvelous interactive world, interesting locations and a good plot make it an outstanding shooter/RPG hybrid and an overwhelming, deeply satisfying experience. It fully deserves the praise it has got and stands out as one of the most remarkable achievements of video game design.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181775) · 2014

Ex-cellent! (Gee... can't believe nobody else thought of that before! ;D)

The Good
Deus Ex... What else to say? I almost feel there are already too many reviews for this game here, but well another one can't hurt, right? I really can't add much more praise to this game so I'll just stick to confirming that all of it is well deserved. Really, to those who still have their doubts about this game and ask themselves "is it really that good? Or is it all hype?" All I have to say is that it isn't that good. It's even better.

The premise of the game is part System Shock (man, Spector must have a real thing with AI's!) and part X-files slapped on a first person rpg with fps elements, but the game takes all preconceptions you may have over all these genres, influences, etc. and mixes it into one very well made whole which manages to amaze even diehard gamers like myself... well maybe that's overstretching it but yeah, it's VERY good.

Granted, a lot of the marvel of the game comes courtesy of a lot of groundwork that was laid in previous games so it's not as "original" as one would like to assume (a certain person I know thinks this is the holy grail of gaming simply because he completely skipped past all of Spector's early works). But still Deus Ex manages to take all that has been done before and expand it to pharaonic proportions. Want cyberpunk ambience? Have as much as you want. Non-linearity? Ten times as much as you have ever seen. Complex storyline? Take every conspiracy theory and add some more. That's how Deus Ex feels, it's ideas may not have sprung first, but it sure is the best incarnation to date of them.

I could go on and on about each aspect of the game that has been tuned to perfection, but instead let me adress what I think is the golden nugget of Deus Ex: It's freedom of choices. At virtually no point in the adventure the game makes any preconceptions about what your choices may be, for each objective there is a million different ways to accomplish your objective be it guns-blazing, sneaky or whatever. Thus Deus Ex has done something utterly amazing: it has found the absolute cure for gaming frustration. Sure, you may love a certain type of games, But every now and then you need a change of pace right? Well Deus Ex changes paces with you. Got tired of sneaking around? How about some stress-relieving shootouts? Want to stop "playing" for a while and just talk with npc's and interact with the world? Go right ahead! Anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Thus you are never stuck in the game, you always find another solution to whatever problem lies ahead of you, and you are always moving forward. The sense of progress is constant, and it's a remarkable feat to accomplish in any game. This is quite simply: admirable.

The Bad
Well, there are some bad things about Deus Ex I'm afraid: First of all it's AI is braindead. Seriously. It uses the so popular pre-set reactions that make it look like it actually thinks when it goes and hits the alarm or whatever, but in reality there's very little under the hood. In fact, the AI suffers from the deadly "Headless chicken" syndrome, when no alarms are around, the enemies will start to run around frantically with absolutely no purpose whatsoever whenever you show up, shoot someone, or do whatever. Fully emulating the behavior of... you guessed it, a headless chicken. Furthermore, there are also some serious issues like their indifference to knocked-out bodies (if they are dead, sure they start to run around, but if they are ko'd... guess they probably figure they are taking a nap. Face first. In the middle of a corridor... a-ha)

Also something that is truly horrible is the voice-acting. AHHHGH!!! Memo for Deus Ex 2: get professional voice actors!. Most characters sound like they had a gun pointed at them, and those who don't simply can't act, like Simons who is simply HORRIBLE, and don't even get me started on the "foreigners" and their painfully overacted accents. Seriously, I though my ears were bleeding at times, and I have heard everything from the abominable (but ground-breaking we must admit) Ultima Underworld opening to the Resident Evil games.

Now, this is all... shall we say on the technical area, the game does have a cohesive (though sometimes cliched) story, but I also have a bone to pick with the "creative" aspect of the game.

Whenever you play a game, watch a movie, etc. you make concessions to it depending on the game's setting and other things in order to get into the adventure. Thus nobody complains that in Mario Bros. there are talking mushrooms or that Mario can't jump so much without getting tired, since we accept that Mario's games are totally free of our physics laws and happen in a fantastic reality where we accept those things. Deus Ex on the other hand, is "for real".

Sure, it's sci-fi, but it's rooted in our reality, in our world. In fact, every fantastical or outrageous element in the game is explained and justified with luxury of detail both to add to the ambience and to ground the game in our reality. So Deus Ex takes the stance that it's serious and "realistic" and lets go of practically every concession we make to videogames. Now, I have nothing against this, but it's tricky business to make something "real" and I'm afraid not even Spector and his group of elite coders got it right.

Sure, they added realistic details to the game, real-life reactions to certain events, etc. etc. etc. But they missed out on lots of simple stuff. Stuff that is so blatantly stupid that I couldn't stop myself from laughing whenever they popped up, and in fact it's stuff that doesn't concern the game per se, but the narrative/dramatic qualities of it. I wouldn't even call them flaws, but "goofs" since it seems like stuff that got lifted from those hilarous mails that go around the net by the title of "Stuff we learn from the movies" or variants of it. Allow me to list a few: The bad guy that tells you his plan and laughs maniatically (with the optional "The world is Mine!!! Bwahahahaha!!") the "I'm-so-cool-I-talk-in-a-low-key-drone-and-I-never-raise-my-voice"; the one man army vs a million terrorist/conspiracy soldiers; the self destruct button, characters that are lifted right out of comic books and are either "good" or bad to the bone, etc. etc. etc. But those that were most amusing to me had to be the ones related to the "internationality" that the game was given. Let me tell you a secret as a certified non-US resident: We all secretly speak english. Seriously! All that mumbo jumbo about different languages is a hoax, we are only people who speak english in different accents! In fact, when we are alone we like to discuss in english!! I swear it's true! And thank god that Deus Ex has blown the cover on this big hoax showing us all as we really are! :))) ....Seriously, sometimes the game seemed to become something like "American tourist: The simulation" :)) With wonderful bits like J.C. approaching a couple in paris and going "Yo! 'Sup bro? Heard anything 'bout Silohuete?" :)) Ok,ok so I'm stretching it, but that is pretty much J.C.'s approach to "spying" in the whole game, complete with a Matrix-get up and a low key drone-like voice.... yeah, "conspicuous" it ain't! :))

So yeah, yeah, I know what you are thinking: I'm nothing but a little bitch. But remember that in the box it says "epic globe-hopping adventure", etc. etc. Not "cyberpunk B-grade James Bond clone" so I think I'm right when pointing out whenever the so vaunted "realism" comes apart at the seams.

The Bottom Line
Quite simply Deus Ex is a superb game, I can't help pointing out the few flaws because... well, maybe I am nothing but a little bitch :) But still, American tourist simulation or not, braindead AI or not, terrible voice acting or not, Deus Ex is fantastic. It's a remarkable game and everyone who considers him/herself a serious gamer HAS to own it. There is no way around it, Deus Ex is a defining moment in the history of videogames and no one should miss it.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

The best game ever, and even that doesn't do it justice.

The Good
--IMPORTANT NOTE—Whatever I write in this section won’t be enough. This game is such that it is possible to rain plaudits on it for hours and still have more to talk about. I will have forgotten many things about the game which are brilliant after I’ve finished. So please consider this section a summary of what makes this a work of genius, rather than a full account. I could never list everything.

Deus Ex is a masterpiece. It is the first game ever to completely shatter all preconceptions about how to make games. Its influence will be seen on games in years to come. Why? Because it reverses the law of making games and the relationship that the gamer has with the game. Deus Ex has opened the door and paved the way for the future, it’s destroyed traditions used by developers that up until now haven’t even been challenged. The original school of thought, the undisputed leaders of which are Valve (with Half-Life); believes that to create a truly enticing game experience, ideas and events must happen in a way that fit so seamlessly together that the world really feels alive. Half-Life is the most tightly scripted and one of the most intense games ever. However, the game is leading the gamer. As the developer creates games like this he is saying “Right, this is what you must do, this is how to do it, this is what will happen, and this is why”. This does of course make great things possible, like rooms collapsing. But since the events are scripted, they happen every time. These are the developer’s events trying to amuse you instead of you making your own events. Until the launch of Deus Ex, it was thought the technology for the player to be able to dictate to the game instead of vice versa was years and years away. Of course, some critics and gamesplayers don’t like this radical new way of thinking. Yet Deus Ex proves that when done correctly, these games are the future. It may not have done it perfectly but it’s shown them the path. It’s a bit like Method Acting, and Deus Ex is Stanislavski. The method that Deus Ex is showing is one where developers will be able to create a gaming world so rich that sequences and events will happen because of the player and won’t be scripted. The gamer will be able to find his own way to have fun, there won’t be any “intended” ways. Until now, this was nearly unthinkable. This game has nearly done it straight away. In one game, the entire basis of creating games is being questioned. That’s got to be one hell of a compliment. Deus Ex gives the gamer freedom. You can blast your way through this game or you can sneak your way through it, each way is just as enjoyable to the people who prefer that style. It’s possible to kill nearly everyone in the whole game and it’s possible to do nearly half the game without killing ANYONE. You can talk to everyone, you can talk to nearly no-one. You can hack computers or you can blow them. You can skip objectives if they’re morally wrong to you or are unnecessary. Every choice you make, no matter how small, opens up and closes routes for you. If you love Thief you’ll be right at home here. If you love Medal Of Honour you’ll be right at home here. Name another game that can do that. The plot is more complex, deep, and vast than any other game or any film I can think of. The major characters have incredibly deep personalities. You brother, for example, is a humanist and a freedom fighter. He tends to avoid casualties wherever possible. He’s charismatic yet very secretive, and is utterly self-less. Always strives for the greater good. That’s some guy, and many of the characters are just as complex. And since the creator, Warren Spector, is something of a master of narrative; you rarely lose track of the plot. Even in it’s biggest stages. Now that I’ve mentioned about 1/10 (literally) of the ideas and revolutionary aspects of Deus Ex, lets go onto the technical side. This is the most interactive and detailed game ever. Nearly every object in the whole game can be acted upon. Chairs can be moved and destroyed. Lamps can be turned on and off (or destroyed). It’s possible to clear an entire kitchen of every pot, pan, plate, dish, roast chicken and joint of beef if you wanted to. Sound plays an integral part and NPCs act on it, though perhaps not as well as System Shock 2. Then there is the unparalleled attention to detail. Famous works of art and literature pop up every where. Every character in the game blinks. It’s possible to walk into a bar and find people talking for 5 minutes about philosophy and ethics, with no real consequence in the game. I’m still only barely scratching the surface about what this game is and what it will hopefully do to the whole gaming industry. But lets hope others follow it’s lead. It has reversed the law of game design and is the only game where you can lead the game rather than the game leading you, you can find your own enjoyment. Here’s one last example: On the first level you are on Liberty Island on some docks, you’re told to meet your brother because he’ll explain everything and then you have to enter the Statue Of Liberty and find a terrorist leader. As soon as I’d spoken to my brother, I jumped into the sea and started whacking fish with a crowbar I’d found, I was having a great time and I was doing it for over 20 minutes. After that, I got out and started piling up boxes to see how high I could jump back into the sea again. By the time I was done messing about, 45 minutes has passed! I’d been entertained for 45 minutes and I hadn’t even started the game yet! I’d barely even walked 4 feet! I’d better stop because I’m getting too passionate. And there is still so much I haven’t said. I haven’t mentioned how the characters are so real you almost care for them. Or how the game engine is so great it can create over 100 entities on screen at a time and have no slowdown. And I run this game on a PII 266! Or the huge outdoor environments. Or how a dog will chase a cat if they’re near to one another. There are no words to express what this game is, but “art” is the closest.

The Bad
Oh who cares? Ok the graphics look a little ropy now and haven’t aged as well as System Shock 2’s. The music is pretty poor and repetitive and isn’t used as a plot device unlike Looking Glass’s opus. The game doesn’t have that slick presentation and glossy style that I like and which was once again present in SS2. If you’re trying to pick up a body and your inventory is full, you have to drop some stuff, take what they’re carrying, and then move the body. If you back towards the edge of a level, after it loads you’ll be facing the other way. Most importantly and the only one that is really significant; the game may come across as pretentious depending on your point of view. The box cover and name does little to help this. Indeed, it may seem like Warren Spector is trying to push gaming into art and failing. After all, games still haven’t got past the “good guy Vs bad guy” staple. Despite what that Deus Ex claims to be, you are still saving the world against evil people. But Jeez! What kind of game is this if the highest criticism you can give it is that it (arguably) doesn’t succeed in becoming art and could be dismissed as pretentious? I wouldn’t DREAM of giving a criticism like this to any other game out there! Deus Ex operates on a different plane anyway.

The Bottom Line
Genre-blurring, boundary-moving, door-breaking, tradition-shattering, ultra full, video art. Massive conspiracies, government cover-ups, genetic engineering, snooker...Deus Ex is a world in a CD. It doesn't transcend it's parts like System Shock 2, but that's only because it has too many. The best game ever for any platform.

Windows · by Shazbut (163) · 2002

A good looking, though not perfect, port of an excellent PC game

The Good
There are some major changes in the PlayStation 2 port, the first thing you'll notice is the different GUI and inventory system. It's easy to use and works great with the PS2 controller, though the change that every weapon uses one weapon slot, divided into weapon types might be questionable, since that makes part of the game a whole lot easier than the PC version. Now you can have the sniper rifle, GEP, assault rifle and assault shotgun all at once, and all melee weapons are stacked into one slot, meaning you can pick up every single one of them. Of course there are a lot of positive things about this, it makes the inventory very easy to handle with the controller. There is also a great system of marking items for fast selection, which you can then scroll through using the up/down arrows on the digital pad. The character models has got an much needed improvement, which you might not see at first, but when you return to the PC version you quickly notice the difference. The motion captured animation of the characters is excellent, including quite detailed eyes, and thief style dead/unconscious bodies which collapse realistically when you throw them around (the bodies in the PC version where not animated at all and where stiff as boards). The AI has also got itself some improvement, enemies can see you when you expect them to see you most of the time, and allies help you out a bit more than in the PC version. We shouldn't forget the music either, every track in the game has been re-recorded and remixed, all lo-fi sampled strings have been replaced with real orchestra instruments. You often end up watching the main menu for minutes just to hear the fantastic new rendition of the Deus Ex theme, the introduction and ending scenes have been remade as great looking FMV's, almost comparable to the ones seen in Deus Ex: Invisible War. They have made the use of nanokeys automated, so you only have to click on a door to unlock it, if you have the key, instead of putting your weapon down to use the keyring, which I think is a good thing.

In many ways this is a fantastic port, but it also got some annoying flaws ...

The Bad
There are some things in the port that really annoys me, the thing that annoys me the most is the extreme slowdowns you encounter in several parts of the game, often when they are least wanted, such as when you get into a firefight with several bots and soldiers at once. Parts of a level when you are boarding a big freighter are almost unplayable, and the last level got increasingly slower the more objectives I completed. Sometimes the lag can make you miss enemies you are trying to shoot, though the auto-aiming feature usually makes sure you hit even if your crosshair jumps inches at a time in the worst slowdowns. On a few occasions I encountered an horrible bug that made the game exit and jump to the main menu when I tried to save, making all progress since the last save go lost. This only happened twice in all the times I saved, but I really recommend you to save often to make sure you don't loose to much if a save at a critical time fails. They have changed the augmentation system slightly, so that you can install augmentations any time you like when you've found an canister, while this is generally a good thing, some in-game help and the manual still claim that you have to use a medbot to install them. There are also some differences in the way the Data Vault and computer use works, the great feature from the PC version, where you could go to the Data Vault and read all previous communication with NPC's has been removed, making it hard at times to remember what you are supposed to do. There isn't as much information stored in your "Notes" either (and the feature to edit notes or add your own has been removed, though I can understand why, with the lack of a keyboard). When you find passwords or keycodes they are stored and automatically entered when you use the a computer or keypad which you have the codes for. While this saves you the inconvenience of having to memorize codes, or check your data vault for passwords every time you want to use a computer, this also takes away the possibility to guess a lot of codes and eventually finding out the right one by chance. Now you either have the code or have to hack or use multitools to bypass security computers or keypads. Due to the memory limitations of the PS2 all levels have been remade and split up into several parts with loading times (much longer than those you encountered in the PC version by the way) between them. While they have done a great job most of the time, often with results which are visually indistinguishable from their PC counterparts, or even better looking in a few occasions, they have removed many of the different ways to get past obstacles, usually only leaving a couple of the most obvious ones. The streets of New York has got the worst treatment in my opinion, but also parts of Hong Kong, where it feels like you are running through doom style claustrophobic corridors rather than real city streets. The lack of a multiplayer mode is also a bit sad, though it wasn't completely necessary. But since the multiplayer patch had been released for the PC version by the time this port was released, one would think they could have included it in this version as well.

To be perfectly honest though, I think most of the flaws are minor ones. Except for the slowdowns and the save game bug (which both are really annoying), you get used to the other differences and appreciate the fantastic story instead.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex on PC was a fantastic FPS/RPG hybrid with an fascinating storyline, and the PlayStation 2 port has managed to keep almost all of the things that made the original game great, while improving the graphics and music a lot. It is far from flawless though, but it still a great PlayStation 2 game, well worth the time and money you invest in it. I will end with an advice: SAVE OFTEN!

PlayStation 2 · by Joel Segerbäck (641) · 2008

Well, this is just plain fantastic on every level...

The Good

Deus Ex is one of the only games that I can think of that offers such a tremendous amount of interactivity with your environment and total freedom of action. You can thoughtlessly blow away anyone without consequence... though it may not be a very good strategy. The plot is extremely reminiscent of an X-Files episode.... a really GOOD X-Files episode. You will deal with the Illuminati, the unknown powers of FEMA, vague hints at the existence and origins of the "gray" aliens... even direct encounters with the mysterious "Men and Women in Black". Hell, you even get to pay a visit to a post-nuclear strike Area 51.

If that doesn't temp you to buy this game perhaps this will. Deus Ex combines many of the best features of an RPG and an FPS. Yes, you walk around FPS style, able to draw a gun at any moment and start shooting. In fact, there isn't any restriction to where, when, or why you can pull out a weapon and start shooting anyone and anything you like. But, like a good (and rare) RPG, there are real consequences to all of your actions. Did you waste that guy in the subway for no reason? Well, you may not find out from him where your enemy is hiding out at. Did you mercilessly murder the electrical repairman aboard that ship? Well, it may be a lot harder to accomplish what you are attempting without his help. The point is that your decisions, though yours completely, will have a definite impact on the difficulty of the game. Yes, you can try to blaze through the game shooting everyone in sight, but you may have more success sneaking around and using discretion here and there.

Additionally, the fact that you can upgrade the abilities of your character is a welcome change, even for the finest FPS games such as 'Half-Life'. There are a limited numbers of "Upgrade Canisters" that you will have to use throughout the game. These will determine what special nanotech abilities you will be able to use, such as bullet-proof skin, or the ability to see though walls. You also must determine what weapon and non-weapon skills your character will possess. Do you want a lock-picking sniper, or a computer hacker able to jump off 20-story buildings without a scratch? A combination of the two? Something else entirely? It's totally up to you.

Everyone who owns a computer capable of running it should own this game. Whether you enjoy a hardcore Doom-style FPS, or a classic Pool of Radiance (Gold Box series, not that 'Ruins of Myth who-knows-what' mess) style RPG, this box should grace your shelf. If there is a brain in your head, you will enjoy this game. If that brain is a "thinking mans brain", you will adore this game.

Furthermore, replay value is amazing, as you can discover major new plot twists (though not affecting the overall outcome) by doing a few key things differently (does Paul really have to die?).

**The Bad**

All other realism aside, the AI leaves something to be desired. The problems aren't everywhere, but too frequent for a game of this quality. There are times you can pick off enemies with the sniper rifle, and nobody really notices. Other times you can slice someone to death with the oh-so-quiet Dragon Sword and the whole world seems to have found out about it... alarms abound. The ending sequences could have been a bit more long and detailed, but that didn't stop me at all from playing the game fully three times through, and being amazed each time. Like a good mystery novel, each "read" allows you to realize nuances of the plot you may not have caught before.

**The Bottom Line**

In general, there is absolutely no reason not to purchase Deus Ex. I am almost certain that any gamer would enjoy it, regardless of their usual preferred genre of game. An FPS freak will love it, as will the hard-core RPGer. If you are a novice to the first-person shooter, this game is a perfect introduction (though nothing else will live up). Bottom line: BUY THIS GAME! It's sure to be remember as one of the best ever.

Windows · by Entorphane (337) · 2002

Godlike.

The Good
What is there to like about this game? To be frank - everything. Each element of this game has been brought together with such verve and flair that the result is something that totally transcends the concept of what a game should be. Deus Ex is a truly unique thing - this is not merely a 'game', this is so incalculably great it's more of a one in a lifetime experience. No, really!

When people traditionally think of an FPS game with a strong plot, many would be inclined to name Half-Life. Yet when you analyse Half-Life's plot in some more detail, you realise that effectively it's identical to that of Doom - scientists accidentally open portal to another dimension, aliens appear and try to take over the world blah blah blah. Add in some friendly scientists and security guards along the way, and have them robotically tell the player what to do, where to go next, and suddenly everyone thinks it's the second coming. For example, the usual dialogue in Half-Life involves some bored security guy with lousy AI informing you that the next section of the game you encounter will involve riding a train. Or going down a lift. Or ducking under some pipes. Yawn. And people even nowadays mistake this for a plot! Enter Deus Ex...

The plot of Deus Ex is such that it's a bit like starring in your very own sci-fi thriller movie; A sort of combination of The Matrix, Blade Runner, X-Files, and 007. This is not simply 'fun' or a diversion, this is so totally immersive and the characterisation so well done that the player is drawn into the game world like never before. The level of interactivity with what you can see is unparalleled. Essentially, if you can see it, it can be interacted with.

Although the game is largely linear in structure, each objective can be completed in several different ways, giving the game massive replayability value. This is one of the few games that has captured my attention so completely that I had no choice but to complete it - but that wasn't enough. Thus far I have played it through a total of 7 times, each time discovering new places, or consequences for different actions. For example, in the first mission where terrorists are holed up in the Statue of Liberty, you can either hack the security terminal and go in the front, or find the UNATCO informant and get a key to the front door, or take the long route round the back way up the gigantic stack of crates. Another example is where you are protecting a certain injured NPC in a hotel room when your apartment is raided. Either you can escape out the window and save yourself, leaving the NPC to die. Or fight your way through about 20 heavily armed soldiers, save him, and meet up later in the game. Because of the 'emotional attachment' I had to this character, I had no choice but to take Option B... Each of your actions or responses has a definite effect on how NPCs react to you, making the game feel very real.

The really great thing about Deus Ex is how the plot builds itself up to epic proportions - as opposed to laming itself out only a third of the way through like Half Life. There are so many plot twists and turns, so many conspiracies and counter-conspiracies, and it is all developed so rapidly that it really grabs your attention and refuses to let go.

The soundtrack is probably the best for a game yet. It's really what holds the game together for me, adding depth and emotion to the levels. Produced by Straylight Productions (the same people who did the music for Unreal), it's kind of like the game equivalent of John Williams' Star Wars score. All the tunes are instantly memorable, and I enjoy them so much that despite having several hundred mp3s on my hard drive, I still listen to the Deus Ex tunes on a regular basis. The game is honestly worth getting for the music alone!

I love the graphics (based on the Unreal engine). Of course, the developers could have opted for say, the Quake 3 engine, but I unquestionably prefer the Unreal engine as the lighting is superb and atmospheric and everything looks very real and organic. Also, despite having only a Pentium II 400, I can run this game with practically all visual options on and it runs quite fast.

The Bad
There really wasn't anything that had an adverse effect on my enjoyment of this game. People seem to think that because there's a big ol' box for stuff you don't like, that you have to nitpick and point out the comparatively trivial niggles that this game has.

Often cited is the in-game speech - which often veers in quality of acting from top notch Hollywood production to school play and back again in the space of a few seconds. This totally doesn't matter though as the characterisation and dialogue is so good that you forget that the voice acting is something less great. There are literally hundreds of really great quotes from Deus Ex, the scripting is THAT good.

The game often criticised for having bad enemy AI. Yet in all the FPS games I have played, games that feature superb AI are in my opinion no better than those which don't - even in some cases having great AI is annoying. An example would be the marines in Half-Life which magically know exactly where you are despite you not making a sound. You're then on the receiving of a hail of grenades and you die. So you reload your game, but you die again. So you reload. But then you die. So you have to reload, until by sheer luck you manage the get pass the marines. Having really good AI as in Half-Life's case makes the game unbalanced and in my opinion, the AI in Deus Ex, while being far from perfect, does not adversely affect gameplay. The aim of an FPS should be to challenge the player, but not make it so hard that you spend more time hitting the load saved game key than actually playing. Deus Ex succeeds in getting the balance just right, even at higher skill levels.

The Bottom Line
I'm always wary of describing games as 'classic' or as a 'masterpiece'. Invariably once you've made your grand claim, you'll soon find another game that surpasses it, and that game you thought so highly of begins to look only average. So instead, so I don't contradict myself in future, I will say that thus far this is my favourite game ever, on any platform. It really is that good! So if it's not in your collection, and you are looking for a new title, buy this now!

Windows · by tFX (7) · 2002

Despite some mega-frustrations, Deus Ex proves that cyberpunk and conspiracy theories go together like bread and butter.

The Good


  • Great branching story line
  • High replay value
  • Compelling choices
  • Appealing cyberpunk art design
  • Unique mix of role playing, shooting, Stealth and puzzle elements
  • Lengthy campaign
  • Good soundtrack
  • You get to go to China!


The Bad

  • Poor graphics and textures that don't make most of the Unreal engine
  • Story can be confusing at times
  • Often monotonous acting
  • Extremely difficult and at times very frustrating
  • Weapon sound effects could be better


The Bottom Line
If you aren't already familiar with Warren Spector, let me familiarize him with you. Warren Spector is a developer who throughout his career, challenged the norm and took risks by deviating from the standard formula. He got his start working with other, bigger name developers such as Wing Commander creator, Chris Roberts and Richard Garriott, creator of Ultima.

Eventually, however, he decided he would work on something of his very own design. The fruits of his labour would be 1994's System Shock, one of the first shooters to scream "I'm NOT Doom! and stand out by mixing role playing elements into the game. Sadly, with the release of Doom II and the fact that many found System Shock maybe a little TOO unique, System Shock failed to truly sell and became one of the first "Cult" video games.

Spector wouldn't truly send shockwaves until he made Thief: The Dark Project. Like System Shock, Thief deviated from the norm; it was a first person perspective, but rather than focus on shooting it focused on Stealth and being sneaky. This created practically its own genre and now you know where the forced stealth section in every shooter comes from.

After Thief, Warren Spector joined John Romero's ill fated company, ION Storm and created today's subject, Deus Ex. Once again, Spector has said "Hell no!" to convention, and Deus Ex, in many ways, is a combination of all his past efforts. The shooting and roleplaying from System Shock is in, the sneaky moments from Thief return, but in traditional Spector fashion, there's another element that shook up the formula: A branching plot, multiple endings and a "Choice" system. Granted, there were games that had multiple endings before, but most of them were horror titles, and most others that had "Choice" systems and branching plots were old school RPG games. However, Spector improved on all these aspects and mixed them into Deus Ex with sublime results.

Deus Ex is set in a chaotic future where terrorism is part of daily life. You play as JC Denton, an undercover operative working for a corporation known as UNATCO, an anti-terrorist organization. JC is no normal human being though, he is what they call an "Bio-augmented" soldier, essentially a cyborg that can interact with bio-electric systems and use them to enhance his abilities. This works as a great hinge for the immersion, it explains some of his more extra-ordinary stunts and the character building RPG elements are justifiable by this as well.

The game begins with you after a terrorist working for an organization known as the NFS who has taken over the destroyed husk of the Statue of Liberty. They have stolen a vaccine known as Ambrosia, the only cure to a mysterious epidemic known as "The Gray Death." The game takes many twists and turns, and is rife with conspiracy and betrayal, and will bring in such classic conspiracy theories such as the Majestic 12 and Area 51. The story is fascinating and has many branching paths, but it is compelling and will keep you going.

The biggest problem with the story is that it CAN be confusing at time, granted, asking a Conspiracy Theory to make sense in the first act is like asking a Fly to stay on the ground its whole life. In some ways, the branching paths are to blame, because sometimes you will run into an issue where your character flips on a dime and takes another route which contradicts the previous one. This happens rarely, but when it does happen it can be dizzying and frustrating.

The gameplay, as I said, mixes role playing elements, stealth, and good old fashioned shooting. At the beginning, you give your character his basic traits and specializations before spending some points. These traits all have variety and they build in "Proficiency," rather than standard XP points. In other words, as you use these traits/skills, they will grow on their own and your character will get better with them as you play rather than waiting for you to dump more skill points in at the next level. Its a nice and effective manner of handling this aspect, and it always keeps you immersed in the game.

The art design is heavily rooted in cyberpunk, but with some strange familiarities. The early areas, rooted in New York, are the least "High tech" settings, but the game explains this well by saying New York is pretty much a rotten shithole and while civilization has been expanding in other areas, New York has gotten worse and due to constant terrorist attacks, has began to crumble. You won't see more traditional, Blade Runner-esque Cyberpunk landscapes until you take your first trip to China (yay!) and Paris (Boo!) but you can still catch hints of it in each area, and it is a distinctive visual design that will please fans of cyberpunk styling.

Despite the fine art design, the graphics are outdated and poor, even for the time. It uses the Unreal engine, but it doesn't make full use of the engines strength, using the minimum texture support and stripping out many effects, and environments sometimes feel cramped, under-furnished, and boxy. Character designs often repeat themselves and their animations are less than spectacular. They even have strange jitters sometimes that can break the immersion.

The game does have a multiplayer mode, but its fairly standard stuff. The only thing about it that's really unique is that the characters fragile hitbox carries over. What I mean by that, is as you are wounded in the game, you will bleed and limbs will lose strength and they can even be crippled or completely removed causing you to lose the ability to run, fire weapons, etc. It is interesting having this element in the multiplayer game, but otherwise there are better MP games out there.

The game sounds "Meh." It does have a good score, including an awesome theme song (Although the aging "Galaxy" sound system in the engine makes it sound a little flimsy) and some characters emote, but most of the performances are mediocre and ridiculously monotonous. You'll swear JC Denton and his brother are relatives of Keanu Reeves due to their bland, uninterested voices. The weapons don't always sound that great either, a few sound good, but they often sound strange or wimpy and they don't sound like they really pack a punch which can make them a little less fun to use. Good ballistics and handling make up for this, but adding some more oomph to them would have been nice.

The game is fairly lengthy and will show you plenty of New York and you will do some globe trotting as well. The graphics somewhat detract from the environments, but regardless there's a fair amount of variety and especially in China, there are some impressive futuristic sights and places to visit.

Naturally, there are characters you can meet who will give you side quests. This also adds to the variety, and each game will feel different as you pick up new side quests, change your character, and hunt down the multiple endings. There's a lot of replay value thanks to the quality and variety the game offers.

The game can be brutal and relentless at times though. I'm always up for a challenge, but there are times where said challenge is a bit too much. Even the very beginning of the game is ridiculously difficult, if you don't pull it off just perfectly you will be shot down before you can get 5 feet out of the starting gate. And this is on the easiest setting. You're going to have to die a couple times anyways, because there are always multiple paths and you never know which one is the most likely to turn you into a bloody lump of flesh resembling Swiss Cheese. This is really the biggest detractor to the gameplay, and can tick you off enough you'll shut the game down to take a break before trying again.

Overall, Deus Ex is a unique game that still holds up today. With its great hybrid gameplay and story, its a compelling game that covers its flaws with immersion and a varied, highly replayable experience. If you haven't played it yet, what are you waiting for? You can find the Game of the Year version on Steam for only 10 bucks.

Windows · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2010

To stop the New World Order or to join it? This rests in the hands of just one man.

The Good
It's perhaps the only game that has treated conspiracy theories the better, using stuff from real theories and changing the name of some other more polemical things (like "The Grey Death" disease emulating a well-known disease of our times).

The upgrading and personalization of your character (like in an RPG) is one of the main keys why this game is so good: you can become whatever you want, a warfare machine or more stealthy than that guy from that Tom Clancy game.

The game also counts with lots of choices to be taken. Your actions reflect on how the game evolves. For example, important characters to the plot can die or survive depending on your actions (saving them from a planted bomb or helping them when the enemies overcome them, those are two of these situations in the game), you can also face problems in different ways, by talking or being unnoticed or by opening your way with fire power.

The character and plot development is also very good. In the beginning (and if you aren't aware of conspiracy theories) you would never expect one of the biggest plot turns in the game, so you never know who you can trust in the Deus Ex world (like in the real one, let's face it...).

The music is also one of it's strong points, the themes can be epic, relaxing or thrilling.

The Bad
I missed some things from the port to PS2, some of the music was changed and some levels are shortened, but well, can't complain, could have been a lot worse.

Also, some levels felt a bit empty and quickly built. Sometimes it results in a boring exploration experience for the player (maybe it's because I don't like shooters very much).

The Bottom Line
If you like conspiracy theories or a good RPG/Shooter with character and plot development, Deus Ex will be a wise choice.

PlayStation 2 · by Depth Lord (934) · 2005

Sweet Merciful Crap, This Is Good!!!

The Good
It was like living an episode of the X-Files. Lots of details to uncover, conspiracies to unravel, and allegiances to choose. Plus, there's a way for everyone to play the game out based on their tastes. Whether you want to sneak in through the shadows Bond-style or charge through with guns blazing Terminator-style, the game will accomadate you. Playing settings are detailed and varied, from New York to Paris to Hong Kong. Graphics are excellent, as long as you have a system with the cojones for it.

The Bad
Frequent, if necessary, level loads, since the levels are just huge. And even though the game is very deep and provides numerous ways to solve every problem, it really has a very linear plot, even if it's a line in disguise. The only choice you make that actually affects the direction that the plot takes happens at the very end of the game. That might not be a flaw per se, but it is something that you should know about if you expect a game that has wildly differing storylines based on how you carry out missions. People will react differently to how you deal with situations, but you get the same missions and go to the same places.

The Bottom Line
First and foremost, worth your money. Secondly, worth your time, because it will suck up a great deal of it. In a nutshell, (Half-Life's shooter aspect)+(Theif's sneaking around in the dark aspect)+(Any RPG's depth as far as character interaction and plot twists go)=One Hell of a Game (Working Title: Deus Ex)

Windows · by Jordan Samuels (2) · 2000

The Ultimate Action/RPG FPS

The Good
There are two great things about Deus Ex. One, the gameplay system is very interactive, so you can talk to whoever, use an ATM machine, buy candy bars and cola at vending machines, use computers, and pick up or destroy almost everything, from bags of garbage to a basketball You can even Hack into computers and use lock picks. The other great part about Deus Ex is that there are always at least two solutions to any problem in the game, and the characters react differently to whatever you do. You can also upgrade any weapon, either to steady your aim, make it stronger, etc. Also, the game uses something called 'Augmentations'. Implants that help improve what you do or let you do have something like a built-in flashlight. You have different skills in the game, and as long as you have enough skill points, you an upgrade whatever skill you want. Finally, the game is very long. Although 13 levels seems short, every level takes like up to three hours to beat. Fortunately, you get to keep whatever stuff you have in your thirt-slot inventory with you. This Ion Storms first good game, and will make you forget about the horrible Daikatana.

The Bad
As good as the game is, there are a few things that could have been fixed for the final release that could not be fixed in a patch. The worst one is, sometimes gameplay can feel VERY sluggish, for example, 25% of the time you will use just the keyboard to walk around, strafe/etc. The rest of the time you will be using the mouse and keyboard at the same time unlike other first-person games, because, well shooting the enemies (almost always other humans) is not done well, and how they react, unlike other action FPS/RPGs like System Shock 2. Also, AI can be pretty stupid sometimes, like when you shoot an NSF terrorist a few times, and then he just runs around a corner standing tere waiting for you to shoot him. Fortunately this does not happen very often. Also, the voice lack any emotion, despite the great script and plot. Also, there is zero character development, like in any RPG, and no side quests to accomplish. Also, for a game that tries to be realistic, its disapponting that the graphics are straight average. Ion Storm should have chosen the Thief 2 engine, since because it was so good at making dark levels, and Deus Ex takes place a night, it would be perfect, instead of the Unreal engine. Another disappointment is that there is no multiplay, although, like System Shock 2, a patch is coming out for Cooperative play, which should be very fun.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex is like a combination of sneaky gameplay like Thief, levels like the Playstation game Syphon Filter, and role playing elements put together in a plot simmiliar to Perfect Dark, and some things inspired by The Matrix. If this doesn't make you want to buy the game, nothing will!

Windows · by Dragoon (106) · 2000

The line between good and evil is blurred as light and dark mix into a shade of gray.

The Good
Deus Ex is perhaps the most interactive game since System Shock 2. The game uses the unreal engine for some stunning visuals and really enhances the gaming experience.You play as J.C. Denton (at least that’s his code name), a nano-augmented agent who is a member of UNATCO (United Nation Anti-Terrorist Coalition). After a few missions battling the National Secessionist Forces, NSF for short, you realize that UNATCO may not be all that it seems, the line between good and evil is blurred as the light and the dark blend into a shade of gray. The story takes place in a variety of places including Battery Park (NYC), Hong Kong, Liberty Island, Paris, Vandenburg Air force base, and even Area 51. The story to DeusEx is simply amazing, and will keep you interested to the end. The game contains 13 missions but expect to spend at least 1 to 2 hours on each mission. Best of all, you can play however you want. The missions allow you to play any way you want and there are always at least 3 solutions to any problem. Don't want to fight with the guards, hack a computer and release poison gas into the enemy barracks or turn the security system against itself. Feeling confrontation, you could bust open the door and shoot everyone. You can complete the whole game without killing a single person or you could kill as many people as you want. The story keeps up with your actions, and decisions you make have visible consequences.

The Bad
The entire game takes place at night, so colors may seem drab in certain areas. Another weak point in the game is the voice acting. Your character's voice shows no emotion whatsoever, in fact he kind of sounds like Joe Friday from Dragnet (the show, not the movie). There are also a few bugs and AI glitches but nothing serious.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex is a first person role playing game that beats System Shock 2 hands down. The revolutionary game play system allows you to play the game any way you want. The plot includeds twists and turns to keep anybody interseted. Buy it.

Windows · by Iceman256 (4) · 2000

Who says games that are 2 years old can't compete with the current market? WOW, this game is the BEST!

The Good
Where should I start? Okay, first, the graphics are totally awesome (but the mouths are jerky). The sound is excellent, as well as the music, and the alarm is totally freaky. The story...well, I can't praise it highly enough. I got a tingly feeling by the end because of the greatness of the twisted plot. I never got that feeling from any other game. Everything is very non-linear, and you can customize anything, and I mean anything: pathways, side quests, decisions, augmentations, skills, inventory: you name it! The game world is extremely detailed, with a network of vents and tons of different pathways in every level. Will you: sneak through the vents, wasting a lockpick; go in using the all-action approach; hijack the security; go through the backdoor elevator, using a multitool; sneak out using another path; etc. There are practically an infinite amount of paths you can take, and there are tons of buildings and characters that you don't have to visit! WOW! Finally, the game has a sort of real-world/cyberpunk feeling: a gritty feeling which I REALLY liked...it really helped the game along.

The Bad
I didn't like the fact that it was set in the night. Also, the AI doesn't instantly see you, it always has to say something stupid, even if you're in front of their nose ("Who's there, I know you're around here somewhere!"). In addition, you have limited inventory space (this isn't bad...I just didn't like it). The loading times are waaaaay to long, and you die too often. There are also loads of ammo shortages in the beginning. Finally, after you beat the game once, playing it again isn't as surprising. But that is nothing!

The Bottom Line
Damn! This is, hands down, the best game I have EVER, EVER played, and I played LOTS of games!

Windows · by Archagon (108) · 2002

A fine example of a first person RPG

The Good
I liked the storyline of corruption and conspiracy and the ability of the player to interact with the environment. The skill-building element backed up the strategic FPS element well, and allowed more variation in each game. I found it helpful that there were several different ways to approach any given situation/mission.

The Bad
I thought the ending(s) were a bit disappointing because they don't really tell you what happened, but just hint at it. Also the AI was slightly weird, such as if you set off an alarm, no back-up troops enter the room. I would expect that an alarm would be heard throughout a complex. A lot of the scenes were dark and I found it hard to see with any screen glare, but it did add to the mood. Last thing...I have never before played a game with such long loading times...maybe it's just me.

The Bottom Line
This game is for anyone who likes FPS with a strategic element, such as a bloodier Rainbow Six. Be warned, this is and RPG, so if you can't stand them, stay away. I recommend this game to anybody who's interested, but make sure you play in a dark room with good speakers.

Windows · by bake84 (32) · 2000

One of the deepest, most surprising, and longest FPS/RPGs you're likely to play.

The Good
Oh, where to begin? Let's start with the graphics, which are excellent, despite the (slowly) aging Unreal Engine. A bit sluggish at times, but the for the most part they are smooth and sleek. A note, though: If you have a non-3dfx card then you should definitely consider getting the Direct 3D patches before you play the game. They will enhance the performance of the game a great deal.

The graphics create a immersive, believable environment. The developers went very far to make it realistic, as well as to create a dark, cold atmosphere. From the gritty streets of Hell's Kitchen to the cold, bueraucratic UNATCO headquarters, every location feels exactly like it would if the game were real. Furthermore, the game features an unprecedented level of interactivity, allowing the player to make a real impact on the world, and affect things around him/her.

Of course, whatever else is good about the game is dwarfed by its storyline. The game's writers have managed to take something as cliche and predictable as conspiracy theory and created a wonderfully crafted storyline supported by good dialogue (although with less-than-perfect voice acting) and excellent story mechanics. As the plot progresses, the player is able to make many choices, which affect the overall outcome of the game. There are several different endings, and dozens of ways to get there.

Another unique aspect of the game is that it allows for many different playing styles. The developers have provided the player a variety of tools, such as taser stunners, gas grenades, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, explosives of all kind, and many different stealth weapons. This variety allows a player to play the game according to his or her own style. A player can be a demolitions expert, a Duke Nukem kill 'em all type, an expert hacker, a cunning stealth assassin... the list goes on.

If you're a fan of RPGs, FPSs, both or neither... in other words regardless of what type of games you're into, you really need to try this game. In short, it is a piece of gaming art, and should be a part of any gamer's collection.

The Bad
The AI is a bit funky at times, but not too bad. Just crank up the difficulty and you'll be too preoccupied with the computer guards trying to take off your head.

Also, the voice acting leaves a bit to be desired, especially in Hong Kong and Paris. It's mostly just the phony accents that can get irritating. It doesn't detract majorly from the game, however.

The Bottom Line
A huge FPS/RPG conspiracy theory epic that will grab you by the balls and not let go...

Windows · by Drew Dorton (71) · 2001

A fantastic port, but not without its flaws

The Good
The appeal of Deus Ex is that the game can be played however you want to play it. The developers have even stated it's possible to go through the entire game without killing a single person. This feature combined with a gripping storyline and fantastic atmosphere make for quite possibly one of the greatest games of all time. If you want to go more in-depth with the games good features, the reviews of the PC version will be able to go into more detail than I can.

The Bad
The game is a port to an inferior system, so obviously it will have its flaws. For starters, the graphics, while improved in some ways, are lacking in others. A few areas have been cut or modified from the original game to improve framerate. You won't notice this if this is the first time you've played Deus Ex, but if you've played through the PC version these exclusions will be apparent in a few places. The framerate will also suffer if you're involved in a fairly heated battle. It's not too bad, but it is noticeable.

The controls have been modified, since the Playstation 2 doesn't ship with a keyboard and mouse. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you like your FPS controls to be set up the Playstation 2 controller. I found the setup a little rough at first, but it will be second nature within a few hours of play.

A problem with the original game that wasn't fixed in the port is the "free-form" gameplay. There are few "unique" ways to go through missions. When the game says you can solve problems any way you like, it usually means "hack this", "go through this vent", or "kill this enemy". It's not a big problem, and likely not one you'll notice until a few playthroughs.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex: The Conspiracy is a pretty good port of an already classic game. If your PC lacks the power to play Deus Ex at a reasonable speed, the PS2 version is a good substitute.

PlayStation 2 · by Eric Hess (3) · 2005

The Bartender reveals much about this games depth.

The Good
There's a key moment in Deus Ex which told me I was playing a great game, one that tries to achieve loftier goals than most. It's a minor one, easy to miss and bears no influence on the plot. It's a conversation with a bartender, I can't remember which bar – there are a lot in the game. Rather than the usual filler dialogue you instead engage the bartender in a deep philosophical conversation about what's happening in the game and whether the organisations in the plot are right or wrong. It's a wonderful chat that came out of the blue. Talking to my friend who I'd borrowed the game from he remembered the conversation too, so it must be quite profound. That it was possible to have that kind of conversation displayed that deep thought had gone into the story and the setting.

I had already realised this by the time I reached that bar, Deus Ex had me hooked despite seeming initially disparaging. The setting seemed so-so like a limited Blade Runner rip-off, it too is set perennially at night - seemingly to limit the amount of detail needed. The first level seemed impossible, as I was endlessly gunned down in an overly-punishing mission that nearly made me give up – but I'm glad I persevered.

After completing this token opening the game completely opened up. No longer was I playing an awkward action game, now it was an adventure-RPG hybrid that seemed to be trying to suck the most out of it's engine. Part millennium conspiracy theory, part stealth adventure, Deus Ex tries to present a plausible near future full of doubt. I'd not played a game before which made you question your actions within the game only to possibly regret them later, creating the strongest aspect to the game. It's a smooth RPG, no levelling up or quests and side-quests - this is about your character. You naturally customise the protagonist the nano-enhanced super soldier JC Denton in his weapons and skills (including non-lethal ones) as you gradually mould his personality and actions to suit your playing style.

The story has conspiracy at its heart and has you travelling the globe to New York, Paris, Hong Kong and more as you unravel the mystery behind NSF terrorists and the 'Grey Death' virus. Before you know it you have to question your motives and why you exist. Ultimately the course of fate lies in your hands.

This is all handled through superb dialogue and creative writing which pops up in newspapers and elsewhere. There's even sections of a novel within the game which questions the games premise. The missions are all open levels, there's no set method or route through allowing you to improvise in a style that suits you. Often guns blazing is the worst but can be satisfying. The open levels are also persistent allowing you to come back later and pick up that important item right where you left it.

The Bad
When I wrote that the game squeezed the most out of it's engine, it's possibly because the engine seems so cumbersome in places. The graphics look blocky with low poly-count models who move in a stiff manner. This is in a world that is always dark, dawn is about the lightest it gets. Whilst I'd like to believe it's purely for mood I'm sure it's also to get away with lower quality textures. It counters the large scale feel to the levels as much of them are shrouded in darkness.

My only other real problem with the game is that opening level which is just too hard. Before I had a handle on the possibilities within the game I had to survive an onslaught with no real indication of how to succeed.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex deserves recognition as a classic game. It set the tone for open-ended level design, and level design that felt like part of the real world, not simple a set for stunts. The RPG elements work well as you tailor abilities to suit play style. It really improved the standard of game writing making you feel that you had choice – influential choice in a living breathing game world where you could literally change the fate of civilisation. It did all this by putting some serious thought into the question 'why?' a real rarity and in doing so created the best conversation I've ever had with a bartender.

Windows · by RussS (807) · 2011

From God

The Good
In 2000 fledgling game developer Ion Storm dropped a bomb on the unsuspecting PC games market. The game was Deus Ex. An amazing first person shooter/RPG/stealth game. It still stands as the best game they produced and one of the best PC games of all time.

In Deus Ex you are J.C. Denton. The newest Nano-augmented agent for U.N.A.T.C.O. In the not to distant future of Deus Ex, hundreds of terrorist groups run amok. And from the shadows an age old conspiracy is about to begin again. Deus Ex takes you from New York, to Hong Kong, To Paris, and even Area 51. As well as a few other places.

As you unravel the plot you meet many characters all with there own agenda. You decide who to trust and who not to trust. And the fate of several major characters is in your hands. The plot is well written with many plot twists and never gets boring, even after several play thoughts. The game wraps up in about 20 hours. And the real world setting despite being set many years into the future still manages to feel real.

The references to novels, and philosophy are very well done. And help give Deus Ex a thinking man’s game feel. Can you think of any other game that has a quote by Voltaire? Even the title, which is Latin for From God, imply deep meaning.

The game has three real endings and one hidden one. The three real endings all have a quote from authors and philosophers. There is one part in Deus Ex where in you interact with an A.I. that asks you several philosophical questions, very cool.

The Graphics is Deus Ex are a little dated now. But they are still pretty good. Thanks to the always nice Unreal engine. The character models are were the dated graphics show the most. The maps and weapons look much better. The lighting effects are superb. And best of all this game runs well even on weaker machines. So unless you have a PC older than 10 years you will be able to run Deus Ex.

The Music is excellent. Particularly the main theme. The sound effects are realistic. And the voice acting is amazing. Some people have complained about J.C.’s voice but these complaints are unfounded, I think that his performance is one of the better ones in the game.

The game is almost completely customizable. You can pick and choose what skills you will make use of. You can be well balanced or weapon or stealth oriented. You can choose which augmentations you want and upgrade them as you see fit. Weapons too can be augmented. The way you play the game is also up to you. You can go in shooting or sneak around. There are always multiple ways to solve any problem you may come across.

In the end you even must choose the fate of the world. The fate of characters also depends on your decisions. And certain actions can make the game easier. Or harder.

The Bad
The Graphics are a little dated. This game is so good that any other Ion Storm game has a hard time by comparison. A few of there games do come close to the excellence of Deus Ex. Such as Anachronox, and Thief: Deadly Shadows.

The Bottom Line
You have to play this game it is just to good to pass up. And unless you have an ancient PC and less than 10 bucks you have no excuse not to play it.

Windows · by MasterMegid (723) · 2006

A cool cyberpunk shooter.

The Good
Fun fps mixes nanotechnology with more common role playing elements and typical genre cliches. In addition to improving stats, you can augment your character in Syndicate/Shadowrun fashion. Some of these "augs" are hit or miss, but a nice one lets you regenerate and another one lets you leap great distances in a single bound. The story is somewhat branching and events early on in the game affect later outcomes.

The Bad
Unique AI. The game emphasizes stealth elements, but enemies seem to have incredible hearing. I took out one guard with a throwing knife (how much quieter could I be :) ) and had a whole platoon searching for me. Stay still long enough and the enemies lose interest (must be union). Yet I was impressed with the way some enemies regrouped and allies are very useful.

Story. Hope William Gibson and Chris Carter got their royalties. Actually the story is interesting and involving, but becomes far too scripted and linear in the end. The three possible endings are only determined by your character's actions in the last level and -> you are specifically told "if you do this, you will get this ending."

Typical failings: Not only are items stored in crates, but the crates are labeled as medical, equipment, or weapon. Your character has this inability to hoist himself onto crates/ledges, you can only hope that he will eventually be able to jump high enough. At the end of the game I had a shotgun, machine gun, and rocket launcher yet was able to hide in shadows.

The Bottom Line
Great game, hopefully the first start of a great series. Fun gameplay, engaging storyline. Loads of replay value too.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2001

A great experience with its flaws

The Good
Deus Ex introduces a large world filled with people and their different interests. The game doesn't judge anyone and you'll never get a Game Over message because of a decision you made. Naturally you won't be able to help everybody as some interests collide, yet without doing everything you'll still get over 10 hours of gameplay on your first run (you'll surely return for a second run).

The story of the game is long and interesting, and even just for that you'll keep playing till the very end, where you have to take a side and choose from three possible endings.

The game tries to give you as much freedom as possible within the boundaries of storytelling, and does a good job at that most of the time. You have 2-3 ways to approach each objective which you can choose from depending on your preference and skills you've acquired.

Deus Ex awards the player with skills point and augmentations - electronic upgrades to the player's body. This lets the player have full control over the development of the character and direct resources only to what he or she wants. Not all augmentations can be applied to one player, and together with the multiple plot and approach choices you get a game worth playing more than once.

The Bad
The biggest issue with Deus Ex is the AI. Even though it's not a game focused on stealth like Thief or Metal Gear Solid, you can't help but laugh sometimes at the stupidity of the enemy. An enemy soldier can stare at you for a few seconds before deciding to take action, and once he decides to engage you he just strafes a lot while shooting. Also if an enemy soldier happens to hear you for a brief moment, he'll just mumble to himself something and won't bother inspecting the situation. The lack of proper AI - in addition to no award for taking the stealth approach - makes the game a case of using the stupidity of the enemy for butchering an entire army one soldier after the other.

Deus Ex has a fair share of bugs, although they aren't critical and won't mess with your experience. Still after playing with the latest patch I can't help but feel the game rushed to release before going through final tweaks.

Although the game tells a good story and keeps you hooked in, most characters are shallow and the death of someone won't change the tone of the game. The often bad voice acting doesn't help make it better.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex is a recommended experience to anyone - action, adventure, stealth and RPG players - but has a decent amount of problems. Luckily those problems can be easily overlooked as they are mostly minor, and you still get the most important thing - solid and appealing gameplay.

Windows · by Solid Flamingo (1432) · 2007

An impressive approach to debate "real-life" problems using the means of video gaming

The Good
Without adhering to the usual "best game ever"-ravings, it's save to say that "Deus Ex" is indeed one of the most interesting games of the last decade. Its graphics and animations are fairly well done and there's some interesting lighting, sound effects are all right and its music is, to my opinion, very impressive because it doesn't go for the usual "Hollywoody"-classical score but employs a very "mod"-like type of electronic music. I cherish this nod to a specific gaming tradition (oh glorious sound blaster!) instead of always imitating the way "they do it in the movies". Moreover, it's a fitting choice, for "Deus Ex", though using quite an array of movie clichés (from "Mission: Impossible" to "Ghost in the Shell" and "Matrix") is just that: a game, in the best sense of the word. The three most interesting points of "Deus Ex" would have to be gameplay mechanics, gaming philosophy and a reality-based storyline, combined with the intelligent use of effective symbols and motifs.

  1. Gameplay mechanics

"Deus Ex" hardly fits into any specific genre. Though one might argue that it's basically a shooter with RPG-elements (getting experience points for quests, spending them to improve certain talents) and some adventury icing (multiple-choice dialogue), it doesn't really play like a shooter, nor does it play like an RPG or adventure. It merges its different elements so well that it's closer to belonging to an altogether different genre than just being a combination of existing ones, and though it wasn't the first game to do that ("System Shock" comes to mind) it does it extremely well. One feature I especially like is limited inventory space, forcing the player to carry, say, five weapons instead of fifteen. Actually, this could be considered to be an RPG feature as well, for it encourages the player to assume a certain "role", i. e. a certain style of playing the game, since one has to select the type of items/weapons one is going to carry according to a preferred way of getting around problems (like sneaking, paralyzing, sniping, plain killing or completely devastating your enemies). Still, change is always possible, though it will most certainly make the game harder since the amount of experience one can get to increase stats is limited.

  1. Gaming philosophy

According to game producer Warren Spector, "Deus Ex" tries to strike a balance between linearity and non-linearity. It's story follows a more or less linear trail of events (ignoring that big choice at the end) but its individual, hub-based levels offer players maximum freedom of choice in getting around any obstacles. Due to that, "Deus Ex" feels fresh and quite "real" most of the time, for one always has to think about which is the best way for your individual character to "get the job done", and that's more or less the way real life works. Just compare it to the set clarity of approaches in, for instance, "Doom" (you shoot), "Thief" (you sneak), "Gabriel Knight" (you talk) or "Monkey Island" (you use the rubber chicken) - in "Deus Ex" all these approaches are basically possible. Well, three of them are.

Moreover, "Deus Ex" takes the player seriously enough to make him/her deal with moral choices, and though these may not always hit the mark, some really interesting dilemmas remain to be solved - and the wonderful ending is just one of them. Also, it's just nice to play a game which at least has a go at confronting the player with the outcome of his/her choices and actions. If one thinks further along that line, the creation of a FPS which could actually make a problem out of the use of violence, while still remaining violent itself, could become a reality (something like a real "anti-war" game, for instance).

  1. Reality-based storyline

To me, this is the game's most interesting feature. It's a science-fiction game all right, but it doesn't depict some far-fetched star-world, but a future situated quite close to our present (and becoming ever more so since 9/11). Especially striking about the story of "Deus Ex" is it's mixture between tackling serious political/ethical questions such as the problem of global terrorism or spreading information networks, and wild ramblings on all sorts of conceivable conspiracies. However, these two elements of the story are merged very well and all the fictitious conspiracy stuff is wonderfully used to mirror the "real fears" one may have when looking at the elusive problems of globalization - a process where it is, just as with a conspiracy, hard to pin down who's "pulling the strings" behind all that stuff one hears in the news.

Adding to that, "Deus Ex" is in fact one of the few games which employs meaningful symbolism from start to finish. I mean, this game is all about politics, about democracy vs. autocracy vs. tyranny, about freedom vs. necessary (?) constraints, etc. - and the player's first task is to find his/her way into a decapitated Statue of Liberty (the symbol of democracy if there ever was one)! And "Deus Ex" constantly moves further along this line, elaborating it by certain dialogues, books (quite an amount of world literature lying around in this game), moral choices and, especially, places. One of my favourite ones would, for instance, be occupied Paris, which is consciously used as the main city of "résistance" against a fascist regime - to my opinion, a brilliant use of a heavily "connoted" place (at least in Europe), and in all events remarkable for a video game.

     <br><br>**The Bad**<br>There's a couple of points to mention here, too, though some of the more badly done elements don't bother me too much in "Deus Ex". I can well live with a not-so-hot A.I., although I would have appreciated it being better nevertheless. I can also live with overdone accents, actually, I take that as a symbol of globalization, too (isn't globalization somewhat like "everyone speaks English, but no one's any good at it?"). I also don't mind that there's no freely explorable world, as with "Thief" I think this actually strengthens the game's experience, making the story's flow more focused and keeping it all to the point (which wouldn't be a good thing for every game, but for "Deus Ex" I think it is).

However, I do object to the game's somewhat wavering approach in simulating a "reality". After all, that's one of its strongest points, that's where it's good at. And yet one realizes that the developers must have thought it all a bit too daring and unconventional, so they implemented some "classic" game stuff, too. For instance, there's a whole lot of "secrets" lying around, waiting to be found by the exploratory player. Hey, it's cool to find a battle axe at the bottom of an empty grave in, say, "Ultima Underworld", but the same thing happening in "Deus Ex" is simply inappropriate and encourages a gaming style where the player will try to get to every oh so obscure corner in order to be "rewarded" for his/her sheer persistence in wishing to see every last inch of the game's world. That's very unreal. We don't go about our everyday business looking for health-packs at the bottom of the Mississippi, or for a grenade launcher at the top of the dome of Cologne or whatnot, and neither would a "real" secret agent...or would they? Any secret agents on MobyGames? Anyone?

The Bottom Line
All in all, "Deus Ex" is a brilliant game, and more than that. It has the courage to at least try to be meaningful and succeeds often enough, and that in an industry where you don't get a "Golden Palm" if you miss out at the "Oscars". The only lamentation one could bring forth is simply that it could have still been better. However, think about it: could a medium to large budget game, made in 2001 by financially already waning brand "Ion Storm", really have been any more daring? In fact, let's hope for our future that "Deus Ex" won't get any more relevant to real life than it is now.

Windows · by worldwideweird (29) · 2007

Good game - not the best.

The Good
The atmosphere of the game fits the plot well, the computer A.I. isn't bad, the RPG elements are great, the puzzles aren't hard enough to figure out that you need to resort to a strategy guide, the architexture of the levels are quite impressive, the overall graphics are very nice, the music fits the game well, the sound effects aren't bad, the weapons are fun to toy around with, towards the end the story becomes extremely exciting and the multiple endings are a great addition.

The Bad
The storyline is rather unoriginal and extremely predictable - who didn't know the truth of everything by the end of the second mission? While some of your actions can change the course of the plot, it doesn't change it enough for you to notice or really give two hoots. Too many of the missions they make you go through involve crawling through vents. Most of the quests you must go through have very little to do with the storyline, and you'll often finish a quest thankful that it's finally over and you can get back to the storyline, only to have to go through another pointless quest, and then another, and then another. While some of these quests aren't that bad, I was more interested in the advancing in the story than shooting up some bad guys and crawling through vents.

The Bottom Line
I thought the game tried to include too many standard shooter elements into what really was a great first-person RPG. The game is worth your money, and a blast to play through, but you'll get quite frustrated at times being everybody's errand boy instead of the hero. It's one of the better games I've played, but not as good as I had hoped it would be.

Windows · by kbmb (415) · 2002

Remains my favourite game ever

The Good
Everything about this game worked for me. I'm very interested in Cyberpunk and the futuristic genre, being a huge fanboy for Final Fantasy 7 and Blade Runner (both the movie and game). This game was beautifully made, with a wonderful story that unfolded well. Although it doesn't hold up as much the second time you go through it, I've finished the game around nine times on all difficulty levels, so if you are as caught up in the storyline as I was, you'll go back many times. The game had some memorable settings, such as the desolate streets of New York and the atmospheric Hong Kong settings. The graphics were great, although my graphics card couldn't (and still can't) exploit the visual beauty fully. The sound was awesome, I listen to the mp3s I managed to find each day. I particularly love the first New York Streets theme, but most of them were good (DuClare Chateau a standout).

The Bad
Honestly, there wasn't much I didn't like in the game. One minor gripe is that the levels are a little generic towards the end, slightly repetitive. Area 51 is a really well designed location though. One thing they could have done is more branching storylines related to the character. Like, breaking into Jock's apartment was a thrill, but it didn't reveal much about Jock the person. However, the emails were a nice touch and gave characters some personality.

The Bottom Line
Revolutionary. It was one of the first games to effectively entwine all major genres. RPG, action, adventure, even a little strategy in there. I'm not sure if everyone could like it as much as I did, but any serious gamer should pick this up. I'll play it for many years and you should to.

Windows · by Stuart Max (8) · 2002

The reason why the invention of computer games was a good thing

The Good
The biggest strength of Deus Ex is its implementation of choice & consequence in both gameplay and story. The game has an answer for many things you can do out of your own volition: your boss scolds you if you enter the women's bathroom, it recognizes when you choose to kill a friendly trooper for its advanced weapon, you get praised by your paranoid associate if you kill someone before you receive the quest - you can find dozens of examples. Of course most of it is just window dressing: the reactivity is mostly front-loaded into the first few levels and the only influence on the story are a few different dialogue lines and the choice between three endings directly before the finishing line. Overall the interactivity is not even close to later games like Alpha Protocol. But it does not matter, because the developers thought of exactly the right responses to awe almost every player during their first few playthroughs. In my opinion this is the very reason for the game's stellar reputation; Invisible War has objectively more relevant choices, but it still feels confined and on railroads.

Even more successful is the impact of choice & consequence on the level design. Hands down, I think Deus Ex still has the best level design out there - only surpassed by The Nameless Mod. You can approach almost every situation from multiple angles - maybe go in guns blazing? Take the enemies out non-lethally in stealth? Or maybe they just let you slip by if you were friendly to their mate in the previous level? You could also use a venting shaft, lockpick the exit and circumvent the situation altogether? Deus Ex supports all those possibilities - although not every one in every situation - and many more.

Deus Ex wouldn't work without its fantastic dystopian setting and its interesting characters. The plot explores the following idea: what if every conspiracy theory out there is true? Yes, the writing is not always stellar, some plot points could have been lent from a B-movie and some characters are flat, but it always worked for me. The game tries to leave out the antisemitic drivel, but it is not entirely successful.
Because I played this during the 2020/2021 pandemic, I noticed some eery parallels to the game's plot - it's as if the conspiracy mongers of 2020 took their inspiration directly from Deus Ex. Only the "the government implants surveillance chips through vaccines" idiocy is missing, but Human Revolution has that one covered...

The Bad
What bothered me the most is the presence of invincible NPCs. For example, you can kill a friendly NPC at some point of the game, which is rightfully considered one of the game's highlights. But the game does not tell you so (which would be a positive point) and the person was always invincible before - so how likely are you to notice without prior knowledge? I know it is almost impossible to write a branching script for every possible dead NPC, but it still works completely against the freedom Deus Ex offers everywhere else.

The second big flaw is that the game is too long. I can't point to a single bad level, but in the second half the game mostly iterates established ideas and feels a bit repetitive. Oh, and the voice acting sucks even for 2000 standards, but I don't even notice that anymore.

The Bottom Line
Much has been said and written about Deus Ex during the last 20 years. Many people praise it and even call it the "best game ever". I am not very original here, but this statement is obviously correct: this is my favorite game of all times and I don't think it will ever change. It has its flaws, but its strengths are so great they don't matter to me. If you have not played it and are not put off by old graphics - what are you waiting for?

A few words about Deus Ex: Revision
My latest playthrough prior to writing this review was made with the mod Deus Ex: Revision. Until now I only played Deus Ex vanilla, so I can't make a comparison with other popular mods like GMDX or Shifter. Revision does not make many gameplay changes (at least I did not notice them), but redesigns the levels. Some of them have only small changes (for example the first level on Liberty Island has more decoration elements and that's it) while others - especially the three hub areas - were completely revamped. Unfortunately some levels are clearly inferior to the original ones (especially the Hong Kong market area is awful). This is a shame, because some of them (the new Paris comes to mind) are really well made. I would recommend the mod for Deus Ex players who look for some variety, but newcomers should definitely play the original first.

Windows · by Patrick Bregger (301024) · 2021

The best action-shooter-RPG you'll ever experience!

The Good
Whow!, Whow! and WHOW! This is by all means a game every single player on earth should play. Well, at least all of those who were so in love with games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Unreal, Half-Life or System Shock. You acquire a role of JC Denton, a secret agent for UNATCO agency. It something like ex-UN, but not sure how much is it interested in world's peace. Anyhow, you are... well, more nano-technology then human, probably one of the newest models. Along with your brother, you both have a memory of your parents and everything, but as missions go by, you'll start to believe some words of the terrorists, especially when your brother switch sides.

The story goes pretty deep and there are many overtures and switchovers in it, as well as the thing you can change on any way you like, and still finish the game. Now to tell you the truth, that's something I rarely see as 100% compatible and efficient success in games industry. As you feel, as you think... don't hesitate to listen to your heart when playing, do as you please anytime, there is no such thing as error, only wrong judgment, hehe, but you play as you wish, with complete control over your character and his surroundings, and that's truly accomplished in this game.

The game runs pretty fine, even on my - now old - Pentium II 333MMX, and the fact I have 192MB of RAM doesn't do the trick. Guess it's the processor. Still, even if I reduced a certain quality or screen resolution, the game still looked a blast, simply amazing. The thing is, this game might have many same things like other games, but it's the only one that has all those things right! That's a fact!!! Besides, it does have a great new features which does make it unique.

Your character is built on nano technology, so you can upgrade him form time to time with nano canisters or upgrade canisters, choose the things you wanna upgrade, like being stealth (even literally, hehe), night vision, striking force, focusing targets, eyesight. Hey, didn't you wonder how come he's always wearing sun glasses, when it's always atmosphere like in Blade Runner, foggy and cloudy night. Either that, or you're crawling some dark sewers and buildings. Well, that explains the purpose of this nano technology, doesn't it? :)

As for the weapons, they're great. The thing that seems small, but that way, much more realistic, is the inventory since most of time I couldn't take some more advanced weapons and not leaving the ones I had behind, which was no option since I upgraded the weapons I had already, so it would be a terrible waste. Yeah, you'll notice how with certain weapons (sniper or a rifle gun), your hand isn't steady as you'd like. Well, with upgrading certain weapons, their range and accuracy, you'll be more easy to handle 'em. One thing's for sure in this game, game balance is amazingly correct. That means, there are no tricks like super indestructible bosses, or that you can destroy some bot simply with a rifle. Well, you can, but it'll take you more magazines then you think. Still, the game's pretty hard even if you play it in 'easy' mode. It's most likely you'll be killed many times whichever mode you choose. But the good thing is to pass the training and get acquainted with game's interface, weapons and tactics. Guess those that taught you taught you well... maybe too well for their mistake ;))

There are some pretty cool weapons, like shock buzzer that only render opponent unconscious, not leaving the blood trace so you can just remove the body where none of his pals will spot him with ease. Also, dart bow that's mounted on your hand (actually, you mount it, it's not a part of you originally, it's removable), that has three types of darts. Flare ones that are useful all the way through the game, usual dart with some light damage, and tranquilizer darts that disable opponents. Of course, when you hit him, he runs for a while before he blackouts, but he definitely blackouts. Okay, flamethrower is for mass audience, hehe, and makes crispy enemies rather easy, takes pretty much space though. Sword, well, some kind of advanced technological sword is pretty much useful. Still, if you have weak melee attack, you might need a few slashes to get your target down. Oh, and there's only one thing to be sure you kill your target with only one bullet... and that's to aim for the head.

There are other useful weapons, but when it comes to bots, the regular weapons doesn't do any good. You'll either need EMP grenades that disable robot electronics leaving it unable to perform guard duties, or you can use things like bazooka or rifle when switched to rockets pod, and aim from the distance. Also, you can hack into computers and security grids and sometimes, you can either disable enemy cameras, turrets and/or bots, or make 'em your ally. There are many places to travel to, many ways to get equipment, and many traps, so be careful to whom you trust. And whenever someone needs your help, be sure he's not using you for his own goal, and risking you without thinking twice. In such cases, you can either decline his offer and give him some lead, or make a job for him, collect reward and then waste the fu**er.

Now, this game also has something that's not always present in 1st-person RPG-shooters, and that's a damn fine tune. Music is really awesome. In his own style, it may be just as good as the one from Outlaws, well, in its own style I said :) Great speech, accents, places, everything. This just might be the right game to have the major genres included, and all are active all the way... action, adventure, role-playing, science-fiction, heck, if they ever made this game as a movie, Matrix wouldn't be as close :)

The Bad
Hmm, I wonder how they put such a huge and fantastic game on single CD. Bravo for them. Anyway, there should be some other way to make save games. I mean, I know, the more you explore, the more of that will have to be included in a save game file, but still, 15MB save game file... you just save your game a couple of times and there goes 100MB of your space. And that's only average, it varies form 4MB to 24MB of space. Still, game works fine, doesn't take too much to load, and has great atmosphere, storyline, characters, music and everything else.

The Bottom Line
This game hold too many secrets for me to be able to mention them here, but you can make a game skeleton out of this review, and the rest should be your decision. Still if you don't get this game, it can only be your loss, and your loss only.

As I mentioned earlier, for slower machines, you can use cheaper detail level and different resolutions, which is most of time okay (unless you played for some time in richly detailed level, you might not want to reduce that, hehe), but when it comes to characters, they're completely unrecognizable (faces, I mean), but when you put on rich level of details, they look just plain great. Well, you can always switch the things when you finish the mission and speed isn't important anymore, hehe. Anyway, even in the worst possible detail level, the game still looks better than all the 1st-person shooters I know.

The game has three different endings, but its path is chosen at the very end. I'm usually not a particularly fond of multiple endings, since that usually means you have to play from the beginning and then choose different path. Well, not this time, it's more like making a final decision of what to do. Still, none of the endings won't be that easy, even though they all end more or less at the same place.

Great game! Honestly! I'm really looking forward to its sequel, I wonder to which end will they continue it, if so :) This is a true game we were all longing for, yeah! Good work Ion Storm & Eidos!

Windows · by MAT (240968) · 2012

Games don't get any better than this

The Good
The freedom to make your own choices

Great music

Even some minor actions may affect the plot

The Bad
The engine isn't used to its full extent

The Bottom Line
There are just a few names in the universe of games that carry so much power as this gem. A lot of people just loved Deus Ex, others think it was much ado for nothing, but there is not a single computer games fan that back in 2000 haven't heard a single passionated opinion about this.

In Deus Ex you are a CJ Denton, an agent that works for the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition. The game is a successful mix of an adventure, RPG and first person action. From the first seconds you can choose your appearance and skills, and after been directed for your first assignment, your modus operandi will start affecting the game. You can choose to blast your way in, or try a low-profile solution. Each challenge has more than on way to deal with: will you lockpick the door or try to open it with electronics? Will you hack the computer defenses to turn them against your foes or simple try to discover a side way? Again the option is yours. In this game you have the a lot freedom, but some decisions lead to a different way, so you will also have to deal with theirs consequences.

Meanwhile, you are presented to a marvellous plot. There is tons of information around, that make your understanding of this new world a lot easier, even the non-related quotations are interesting, since they help to create an unique environment.

You feel the moral consequences of your actions too, and you will be pleased to see theirs results even when they direct don't affect the story.You'll really care about this world and will work hard to achieve whatever solution fits you best, until coming to one of the endings.

In the action department, you will be well served too. There is a good selection of weapons, and some mods may change them a bit, giving a better range or making them silent, for example. And as the space in your inventory is limited, you'll have to choose what suits you best. The nanotechnology will give you interesting options too. The enemies react to sounds and may try to chase you. Definitely don't let them seeing a dead or unconscious body as they will run for the alarm.

The graphics are average, but there is a lot of scenery and even thought the game only takes place at night, sometimes you will be caught only staring at the surroundings. The music is great, and you probably will stop some time just to hear the music too. As there is no relevant glitches or bugs, playing the game for hours won't be difficult, and since the game overall is so great, even by today's standards, it will be most likely one of the greatest playing experience you will have for a long time. So don't wait any longer, and do yourself a favor, buying this game.

Windows · by Open_Sights (466) · 2010

The power of this game is in the storyline

The Good
I loved the different locations. Hong Kong was my favorite. I liked the music for the most part. It looked nice, consistent. It was a very fluorescent game. It was cool how you could hack your way through, sneak your way through, or just blast your way through, depending on your mood. You get to blow stuff up! A lot of stuff! The Vandenberg showdown is the single coolest moment in the game, where you hijack a couple of big bots, who start blasting the bad bots, and they're shooting each other for about five minutes. That was at Vandenberg, right?

The best thing about the game was the storyline. The story and dialogue, for a video game, were rich and interesting, and the continuity was nice. You meet interesting people with personality. You travel around the world, learning the truth of conspiracies. I'm kind of a conspiracy fan, so I ate it all right up.



The Bad
There are some nit-picky items that bothered me. The characters acted spazzy and ran around all crazy. It was somehow unsatisfying to fight with standard guns, at least until your skill improved. The ability to blow stuff up with GEP guns and HE20mm and LAMs compensated for this in a big way.

The Bottom Line
This is just fun. It's kind of an intelligent game, so it may turn you off if you're not down with all that fancy book-learning. If you're looking for a game where you just kill your way to the end (and who isn't?), play Half-life. If you're willing to immerse yourself in an interesting story and read a lot of e-mails and such, You'll be rewarded.

Windows · by Thohan (17) · 2004

Simply the Best Game Ever

The Good
This is simply my favourite game of all time. It's hard to find anything wrong with it, I have never finished any other game more than once - I've played Deus Ex through three times, last time about six months ago. Sure the graphics are getting a little outdated, but they still work and there are still very few games with such a good script.

What I particularly like is the way you can play this game in a multitude of ways and usually there are several ways of completing something. You can almost completely avoid combat, for instance, if you want. The skills and augmentations you select can also make a very different gaming experience. But the most important thing is still the atmosphere and feel of immersion (of being there). In these ares, Deus Ex is unparalleled to other games.

The level design is probably the best one I have come across in any 3D game. This game has several of my all time favourite levels such as Hell's Kitchen, Hong Kong and Paris.

The Bad
There are maybe two or three levels that could be a tad better - during the third time through I was a bit bored by them! Enemy AI is of standard FPS level, i.e. it's quite easy to confuse it.

The Bottom Line
Superb level design combined with a good story and gameplay and an unrivalled atmosphere makes this more of an experience than just a game.

Windows · by Marko Poutiainen (1151) · 2005

Not been able to continue this game makes me sad :(

The Good
A while ago I reviewed a game called "Alpha Protocol" and in that review I made the point that a spy-RPG or games about conspiracies in general, are often too difficult to understand and therefore fall flat. Deus Ex however proves exactly how a story about conspiracies can be great; it has a cast of enjoyable characters that frequently appear in the story, there aren't too many factions, plot-points are well explained and there is a lot of detail. I am especially fond of the characters and how you unravel their side-stories throughout the entirety of the game.

Part of the reason for why I am so fond of the characters is that their voice-acting is of an admirable level when compared to other titles at the time. Unlike the characters from the first Half-Life, there are a lot of different voices to be found in this game, including various accents based on the region you are in. It really helps the immersion when you don't hear the same voice, repeating the same four lines of dialogue on every generic NPC you come across.

For some reason I always take the sneaky approach when the option is given to me, which is odd considering I can't stand sneaking games like Splinter Cell. While I am not a professional, the sneaking in Deus Ex seems to be very well executed. You can press X to sneak which makes you move silently and as long as you don't start hugging enemies or cross their line of sight, you can pass them fairly easily. Of course there are also cameras and other security measures to get around, but a nice little extra is the ability to install augmentations that help you avoid detection.

Upgrading is one of the main themes of this game and it works very well. I always say that a good upgrade system allows the player to make the characters their own and specialize in whatever they want, while a bad upgrade system is merely there to justify having money in the game and only forces the player to tweak already existing items/skills. When starting the game my character was very weak and useless, but as I kept playing he would soon grow into an efficient killer. Been skilled in most weapons however meant not having any of the useful skills such as lockpicking, electronics, medicine and demolition.

Along with this great upgrade system comes the game's main selling point, the amount of choice it gives the player. Here is a random scenario: import military storage room with a locked door, what do I do?; scour the area for a key or code?, lockpick the door?, hack the doorpad?, open the door by hacking a security terminal?, look for an alternative way in?, blow the door open?, trigger an alarm to lure a guard out of the door? All of these options are there and I am probably missing out on some. Some ways are more efficient than others, sometimes you will have to combine skills, but it's never impossible to complete a task with a certain set of skills.

Finally I'd like to say that I like it how each part of your body takes damage separately and losing some does not necessarily mean that you die and have to reload a save. Losing both your legs means that you will be dragging yourself forward for example, but that still makes it possible to complete your objectives. This made for a very tense moment when I was at the top of a terrorist-controlled tower and had to drag myself all the way down with no legs, no left arm and all my remaining body-parts in a critical state.

The Bad
The very first problem I would like to mention is that early on in the game objectives would literally solve themselves. A very good example was when I had to find a supply of medicine hidden somewhere in a building, but after running into a dead-end, I decided to go detective on it and find some clues. However, by the time I was ready to resume my search another agent informed me that she has found the supply herself and I can move on. This was really infuriating for me at the time, but this problem disappeared later on.

Most of the time you don't have a map screen and the game expects you to find your way around all by yourself. Most of the time I could manage, but in a level set in Hong Kong I got so insanely tired of endlessly going in circles that I gave up on an important side-quest. This is also annoying because there are many occasions where people will provide information and directions, but if many of these characters are close together you will get so many locations and information thrown at you that it starts to get overwhelming. A map would really help out here, especially if they would mark locations you found information about.

One of the problems that I found particularly odd was that fact that there was a severe lack of resources. You would think an international agency working for a global superpower would send their best agent out with more than just one clip of ammo and a single lockpick. Even in missions I often found mandatory items to be very scarce and sometimes it doesn't even make sense: A soldier spots me and fires two clips of machine gun ammo into my face, I reload and kill him before he sees me, but when I loot him I get a shocking 4 bullets.

The game is also kind of glitchy from time to time and I am not talking about just ordinary crashes. Sprites would often go insane, entire textures would disappear, invisible walls could pop up and the gamma-settings would sometimes go dark. Most of these issues are just annoyances, but for a game this immersive, it's a real kick in the nuts.

One thing Alpha Protocol did better than Deus Ex though was the hacking and lockpicking. In that game you had to do short mini-puzzles that gradually grew in difficulty as the game progressed and if you neglected the related skill. Here every machine/door just tells you how many hacking-devices or lockpicks you are going to need in order to unlock it and all you have to do is click a button. It's a boring chore with no difficulty to it.

The physics engine is kind of disappointing, which might seem unfair, but stick with me. The game allows you to pick up a lot of items, varying from simple pots to entire vending machines. You can also throw these items, but the effect is literally non-existent. Throwing a vial to distract a nearby guard might seem like a clever strategy, but when that vial makes a thick thud as opposed to a load crack, it just seems so silly. The whole point of throwing a vase, is not to throw the thing, but to hear and see it shatter into a dozen pieces, but in Deus Ex is does neither.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex is often called "The best PC game of all time" and after having played it myself, I can clearly see why. Though it started off very rocky, most of the flaws I mentioned became less apparent as I progressed through the game. The reason for why I can't continue (as stated in the title of this review), is because I accidentally saved right before a huge explosion happened right next to me and I have no extra saves to resume from. As sad as that is, I had fun with Deus Ex and will likely return here one day to finish off the story.

If you are a PC-gamer than you probably owe it to yourself to check this game out, if only to prove yourself in the eyes of the veterans. However, a fan of James Bond and Alpha Protocol will probably find much to love in this game too. If you don't feel much for complex stories or can't put up with the difficulty that comes with PC games from two/three decades ago however, then I recommend looking for your digital entertainment elsewhere.

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2012

Good, very good, but could have been better

The Good
The Plot behind Deus Ex is solid. Stop the Evil COnspiracy from taking over the world, and it does work, the developers have obviously done their conspiracy story research, with a few literary License mistakes, but that cant be helped.

The Graphics are solid, and sound is good too.

The Bad
The Inventory system Sucks, majorly. If I ever encounter the person who thought that up, I will ensure he or she meets a fowl death.

There seems to be little use for money. Bribing guards is out of the question, which is what I would have liked to do, and some Augmentations just seem stupid (okay, why do I need Night vision when I have Torches in my eyes?).

I would have liked some more skills too, but that would require a bigger game.

The Bottom Line
Its very good, but could have been better. You run around NY, HK, Paris, and numerous other areas uncovering plots and counterplots, killing people, blowing stuff up, and its not senseless violence (unlike say, Doom or Quake) which is a major plus.

Seriously, Try this game out, you'll be caught up in it, while winging about the bugs.

Windows · by Chad Henshaw (27) · 2002

Almost like Wasteland in 3D

The Good
The story of Deus Ex is what comes to mind when I think about this game. It is very well written and, like a good book, always makes you want to come back for more. It's full of hidden features and alternative routes to every problem presented. The mixture of action elements and the sheer character development of a roleplaying game is what got me hooked on this title.

The Bad
The graphics really didn't match the brilliant gameplay and storytelling. The levels were often quite small, uninspired and with a lot of flat surfaces.

The Bottom Line
Deus Ex is an (almost) perfect mix of a regular FPS and a 3D RPG. It's designed to please almost every type of player by letting you choose your own paths in almost every situation. The dark, high tech futuristic setting reminds me a lot of movies like the Terminator and Total Recall and suits the game perfectly.

Windows · by Mattias Kreku (413) · 2004

Despite few flaws, one incredible game.

The Good
Involving storyline. Excellent, challenging gameplay. A lot like SS2 in terms of gameplay, but the environment is much better. Offing corrupt bureaucrats hellbent on world domination (hopefully not too much of a spoiler) is much more gratifying than killing pseudo-zombies. You aren't some god character who can blast through areas Doom-style, a welcome change from the "realism" some games claim to have (Nam comes to mind). All the basic aspects of games are outstanding in Deus Ex.

The Bad
The game likes to hold your hand with periodic transmissions and datapads with top secret info left lying around in places that just make no sense. AI is pretty weak, better than a lot of games, but still enemies just do things that the game acts like they can handle but can't. Shooting an enemy and then taking cover causing them to not know where you are when they clearly should, for example.

The Bottom Line
Great meshing of FPS and RPG with an incredible and interesting storyline. Do not not play this game!

Windows · by mike huch (2) · 2001

Play it again and again and again.....

The Good
This game has broken ground in non-linear play. You can go in and kill everyone or you can sulk around and avoid being detected. You can even take the middle road and engage in non-lethal takedowns. (My favorite method.) The game allows you to solve problems by exploring and using any available methods. You can hack electronic locks, or hack terminals to find the entry code. You can also get explosives and blow the door off the hinges. Keep in mind that explosions will bring guards to find you.

The story serves the game to a point and the levels do offer a lot of challenges with various possible solutions. In a limited sense, the game does respond to your decisions by letting NPCs react to your reputation. Some will be pleased if you kill a lot and some will be if you show restraint. Exploration is rewarded with xp points, weapons, tools and information that expands your play options.

The play is best when you balance your resources with exploration and selective actions. Even cooler was the fact that IonStorm was able to get lipsync to work with the original Unreal engine.

The Bad
The graphics were so murky and dark. Granted its a murky and dark game. The levels were pretty cool but the music drove me nuts. The sound was ok and the dialogue was fairly well done. The audio quality was less than great and dampened by poor mixing.

The gameplay was unbalanced because there were some parts that were extremely easy and others that were nearly impossible. I'd find myself quickly dispatching guards in one level and struggling with other guards in a different level. And there are a few points where you face a dead end and have to load from a previous game.

The Bottom Line
A fairly deep game about conspiracies and world politics. Its a great game for older machines if you care more about challenge, exploration and story than graphics.

Windows · by Scott Monster (986) · 2004

One of the best games. Ever.

The Good
What isn't there to like about this game? A dark, deep, twisting plot. Great FPS and RPG gameplay. A wide selection of weapons and skills. Multiple solutions to the same problem. This game likely has the most replayability of any game you will ever own. You could play as the tough-as-nails mercenary, the stealthy assassin, the computer hacker...or any combination of them all. Truly a marvelous game.

The Bad
There was nothing I didn't enjoy about this game, except I wish there was more time in a day to play it!

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for Duke Nukem, this isn't it. If you're looking for King's Quest, this isn't it. What it IS is the best mix of the two without being too much of either. Trust me, get this game. You won't be disappointed.

Windows · by Wolfgang Abenteuer (4) · 2002

Had so much promise

The Good
Not being able to shoot as well when you're not as skilled in a weapon is a nice touch. The interactivity is the best i've seen since you can grab everything from houseplants to chairs. Then you can throw them on the ground to make a noise to attract the guards.

The Bad
The AI isn't very smart since you can pretty much hide in a ventilation duct and take out all your enemies without them being able to find you. I also hate it when you're in a conversation with an NPC and the enemies spot you. They won't shoot you while you're talking and will just stand there like idiots. Once you finish however, they'll kill you immediately. The game strives for realism but yet there are literally hundreds of crates filled with health kits and weapons lying around. The voice acting is only passable since the characters themselves don't sound very excited when talking. The way System Shock 2 worked was because the game made you lonely when traveling through the ship. But this game tried to make you think there's lots of government conspiracies which doesn't sound real and we never really feel like the governement's against us.

The Bottom Line
It's a combination of System Shock 2's RPG elements and Metal Gear Solid's sneaking around. Although there's too much shooting which completely ruins the stealth game because in a lot of the cases you can and sometimes wil be forced to shoot your way out of the situation.

Windows · by issus (15) · 2000

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, yellowshirt, Flu, Flapco, Kabushi, Riamus, Ryan DiGiorgi, Scaryfun, Jeanne, jean-louis, Cavalary, Patrick Bregger, Zeppin, mikewwm8, Crawly, Wizo, vedder, Marko Poutiainen, Big John WV, Picard, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), gukker, nullnullnull, Tim Janssen, Xoleras, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Klaster_1, ti00rki, CalaisianMindthief, COBRA-COBRETTI, Sciere, Joel Segerbäck.