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Deus Ex Game of the Year Edition

Developer: Ion Storm Publisher: Square Enix
29 March 2007
Deus Ex - cover art
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4.24 / 5.0
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87 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#15 All-time
#2 for 2000
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Releases 7
2000 Ion Storm Eidos  
CD-ROM
GB 5 032921 010573
2000 Ion Storm Eidos  
CD-ROM
XNA 7 88687 10371 8
Deus Ex Game of the Year Edition
2001 Ion Storm Eidos  
CD-ROM
7 88687 80010 5
Show all 7 releases
2002 Ion Storm Eidos  
DVD
XNA 7 88687 50003 6 SLUS-20111
2002 Ion Storm Eidos  
DVD
GB 5 032921 016346 SLES-50804
Deus Ex Game of the Year Edition
2007 Ion Storm Square Enix  
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AU 9 330812 002161
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Definitely my least favorite of the canonical "immersive sims" along with Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, pretty much because of the creeping-in of CRPG-ish qualities than tend to dilute rather than enhance what I like about the earlier Looking Glass Studios games.

Looking Glass games are often praised for their innovative storytelling, but personally it was never their stories per se I cared about so much as the moment-by-moment engagement of the games themselves. It just turns out that "story" is sort of a necessary pretext for the relatively complex objectives of games like System Shock or Thief: The Dark Project in a way it isn't with straightforward shooters (which usually have them anyway, for some reason). Deus Ex goes above and beyond to add numerous characters with even more numerous dialogues, dialogue options, tons of (thankfully optional) documents with worldbuilding/flavor text, as well as plots and subplots whose outcomes change according to the player's choices. This kind of interactive storytelling is something I generally have no interest in anymore, and there's nothing in this specific case to make it an exception. What we have is a mishmash of sci-fi and conspiracy theory tropes that gestures at ethical and political topics in a highly superficial manner. Frankly it all strikes me as more than a bit silly, but it insists on itself far too much for me to simply ignore.

Deus Ex gives the player a lot of different options and upgrade paths, more than its closest ancestor System Shock 2. This is another thing people praise, but to me it seems to result in a lack of focus, a jack-of-all-trades scenario. There's a stealth mechanic, but it's not as robust as Thief's even if it can be upgraded in different ways. There's an assortment of weapon types, each with the obvious strengths and weaknesses, and a skill associated with each. Choosing which of these skills to focus on is an important part of player expression, but personally I think it would be expressive enough simply to choose which weapons to fill my limited inventory space with. The effect of the skill system is to enforce a degree of specialization over the course of the entire campaign, which is perfectly fine, but its actual implementation results in strange and clearly unintentional issues like the fact that the sniper rifle is a far better early-game weapon at short range than the shotgun.

There's also a fair bit of redundancy to these systems: weapon handling improves with skill point investments, but there are plenty consumable items that apply the same bonuses to individual weapons. The skill and augmentation systems also overlap in some ways. There are a lot of options, some of which can change the game drastically, others not so much. Part of me feels like the stealth and weapon systems (and more) could be improved by scrapping the relevant skills entirely in favor of more robust upgrades and augmentations. The tweaking and complexity is part of the appeal for many people, but I think it could easily be radically simplified without affecting player expression.

Besides weapons and stealth, there are other skills associated with bypassing various kinds of obstacles (hacking, lockpicking, etc.) Your choices among all these sets of tools can drastically alter how you approach certain obstacles and even your route through a level—at least at first. Deus Ex's level design is rightfully praised for the variety of approaches it accommodates, but this is just one of two conflicting principles by which it's governed. For it's also a game that encourages you to comb each level as thoroughly as possible for extra experience as well as tools, weapons, ammo, upgrades, etc—which are not always logically placed. So if on the one hand you're meant to choose a route based on your selected playstyle and toolset, on the other you should end up seeing pretty much the whole level anyway in the the search for goodies, minus a few closets here and there. This kind of combing and looting makes diegetic sense in a System Shock or Thief game, but not here. Granted, early levels are cleared of enemies (if not security systems) at the very end, giving you freedom to explore them more safely, but by then it's rather tedious—I just want to move on.

Deus Ex is certainly an ambitious game, but the very qualities that make it ambitious are what make it frustrating to me. There's so much going on in it that seems very impressive but I'm not convinced any of it actually results in a better game than the (relatively speaking) simpler games it draws influence from. Its fans aren't wrong to tout the unprecedented freedom (for the genre) the game affords the player, but when there are so many choices to be made each individual choice has little weight. (Some have more weight than others, but does it really matter if there are a bajillion ways of opening a door when the door's just going to end up being opened anyway?) Of course this is just me—plenty of people have play this game over and over and keep having a blast with it, and they're probably laughing at this review. And more power to them. All I can do is explain why multiple playthroughs have made Deus Ex less compelling to me, not more.

I'll add one more thing, which is that when I last played Deus Ex, I got the impression that a pacifist route, to the extent that it's possible, is perhaps the most authentic way to play. At least the dialogue's constant and somewhat cartoonishly moralizing tone points in that direction. It would certainly be the most difficult way to play, and perhaps the most fun. Of course the thing is I don't have the ambition to find out.
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Catalog

ResetRPG Deus Ex 2022-06-28T17:54:18Z
Windows
2022-06-28T17:54:18Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Cyberpunk Immersive Sim First-Person Shooter Western RPG Action RPG Dystopian
dirtydirtystripmallsugar Deus Ex 2022-06-22T19:06:08Z
Windows
2022-06-22T19:06:08Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Matgambarte Deus Ex 2022-06-22T18:28:19Z
Windows
2022-06-22T18:28:19Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DanielWaker Deus Ex 2022-06-18T03:28:07Z
Windows
2022-06-18T03:28:07Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RODIPIT Deus Ex 2022-06-10T13:23:10Z
Windows
2022-06-10T13:23:10Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Onikira Deus Ex 2022-06-09T01:25:58Z
Windows
2022-06-09T01:25:58Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
dandog2142 Deus Ex 2022-05-29T01:36:28Z
Windows
2022-05-29T01:36:28Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pensiero97 Deus Ex 2022-05-21T15:47:37Z
Windows
2022-05-21T15:47:37Z
9
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Desert05Mr Deus Ex 2022-05-20T04:21:53Z
Windows
2022-05-20T04:21:53Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
emceekain Deus Ex 2022-05-19T19:16:43Z
Windows
2022-05-19T19:16:43Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jigglyboii Deus Ex 2022-05-18T18:03:52Z
Windows
2022-05-18T18:03:52Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
boom09L Deus Ex 2022-05-18T09:26:07Z
Windows
2022-05-18T09:26:07Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Multiplayer modes
Deathmatch / FFA, Team play
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LAN, Online
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  • Previous comments (66) Loading...
  • alliterativeAlpinist 2022-04-23 19:00:17.116749+00
    I'm curious, did anyone play the multiplayer mode? From what I understand it was weirdly technical
    reply
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  • thesearefallcolors 2022-04-25 16:10:19.306224+00
    I’m dogshit at gaming, but come on the dragon sword is way too overpowered. Even if you don’t have any points in physical weaponry it lets you steamroll through the rest of the game’s combat sections
    reply
    • Xantha_Page 2022-04-28 03:55:25.458733+00
      One of many absurdly funny balance issues with this game along with the sniper rifle being a way better weapon at close range than the shotgun if you haven't upgraded your rifle skill just because its default accuracy is so much higher.
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  • deadass 2022-05-10 05:36:18.041262+00
    every time I think about this game I get giddy, really need to replay soon
    reply
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  • pensiero97 2022-05-21 15:03:08.819619+00
    that feeling when you get to HK the first time...
    reply
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  • TheRealJimMorrison 2022-05-26 05:32:18.024975+00
    I can't believe it took me THIS long to play it. One of the most immersive and mind-blowing gaming experiences I've had.
    reply
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  • LNKS 2022-05-29 02:12:42.477024+00
    I want the full program
    reply
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  • Circuz 2022-06-09 04:47:12.895071+00
    2nd time trying it. Please, PLEASE tell me I am doing something wrong because I feel nothing from this game.
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  • TheVinnyBoi 2022-06-15 00:46:43.41623+00
    can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to play this back in 2000. even with the wonky AI and clunky animations this is still such an enveloping experience by todays standards. wish I got into this sooner.
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