25 August, 2014

Dustin' Off - Deus Ex: My Vision is Augmented, My eyes are actually flashlights

Deus Ex; the game, not the Latin phrase Deus Ex Machina meaning ‘A God from A Machine’. Although it certainly does apply to this game filled with Robots, Mechs and pseudo religious undertones. 

Deus Ex is a cyber punk, first person, role playing game set in the distant future of 2052, and it is the first in the series. In this game you play a Nanotech agent for UNATCO named JC Denton who is out to stop the terrorist organisation that blew up the Statue of Liberty. Along the way you discover a much deeper plot involving twists, turns and conspiracies involving some of the real world’s most dangerous groups such as, MJ12 and even the Illuminati.  

It has been years since I've played through and completed the game, so in the interests of time and avoiding spoilers, all the game play and story features that I talk about will be from the first mission.

The game’s graphics have aged about as well as a glass of milk left out on the surface of the Sun. It’s not that the game looked bad by any degree; it’s just that the game was made back in the year 2000 and computers were about as powerful as the average calculator nowadays, the graphics will not blow you away. After reading this feature and if you are interested in playing the game, you can pick it up on GOG or Steam relatively cheap. I would suggest using the New Vision by DaveW graphical mod if graphics are important to your enjoyment a game. Each screenshot in this feature was taken using this mod.

Gunther Hermann; a mechanical augmented agent, also part of
UNATCO, looks like the love child of the Terminator and a toaster.
Deus Ex, while not the most graphically impressive game to date is instead focused on being an in-depth immersive experience, where you can approach any objective however you want. For example, in the first mission your sole objective is to infiltrate the terrorist occupied Statue of Liberty building. There are several different ways to achieve this ranging from; going in guns blazing through the front doors, to sneaking around the back, climbing up containers to go in stealthy, or finding civilians to give you extra information.

Deus Ex is a very in-depth game, where every action is possible and the game adapts accordingly. If you come across a boss fight you can simply run away from them and leave with out fighting them. You may meet them later on in the game, or you may never see them again, it's all possible. In the UNATCO HQ you can kill anyone you want and they will be gone for the rest of the game. You could kill Gunther Hermann while he struggles to get a Lemon Lime drink from a vending machine and never see him ever again, which may or may not be a good thing.

Who puts skill points into swimming?
The game also has a skill tree where you can increase your skills in a variety of different areas including; hacking, swimming and even shooting different types of weapons. If you go into the game being untrained in shooting a pistol, your cursor will sway wildly, making it difficult for you to land a hit on someone. However as you train in that skill, it becomes easier and steadier to shoot making the skill tree feel like it actually matters in the game.

You earn there skill points from completing main and side objectives, but also from collecting extra information around the levels.

The game allows you to play in your own style, however stealth is a key part of the gameplay. Through use of a range of different Augmentations such as; cloaking to sneak past your enemies, or using strength to pick up large objects and stack them on top of each other, allowing you to climb over walls, you can avoid your enemies. The hacking and lock picking allows you to travel many different routes to your objectives, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The hacking itself allows you to not only unlock doors, but also turn off cameras, and even turn turrets and robot guards against your enemies.

You talk to other characters using the different dialogue options.
Each response has a different outcome that may aid or punish you
 I played Deus Ex when I was very young and I can still remember the iconic music to this day, I cannot say more about the music in the game. The game's music really fits to tone and style of the game, making everything feel much more atmospheric. The voice acting isn't too bad either, unlike Deus Ex: Human Revolution the protagonist doesn't sound like he smokes 40 a day.

There is a reason why Deus Ex is critically acclaimed as one of the best PC games of all time. The game has levels of depth and complexity that modern day games can only dream off. Driven by an engaging and interesting story that throws twists and turns at you, leaving you wanting to know more. It is a game that you must play for yourself to fully grasp how great it is.

Deus Ex is the first game in the series and has a number of squeals that will be covered in the next week, such as...

Deus Ex: Invisible War. The controversial, direct squeal to the game.
Deux Ex: Human Revolution. The prequel and re-birth to the series.

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