View Full Version : Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?

21st Apr 2015, 19:37
Haven't seen it mentioned here, but there is an ongoing series of articles on rock paper shotgun about Deus ex titled "Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?":


21st Apr 2015, 22:27
Absolutely...but only if you have this (http://www.moddb.com/mods/gmdx) on top to polish up objective flaws and make it even deeper than it already is.

22nd Apr 2015, 00:33
I'm not impressed by what has been written so far. Not because I dislike the inevitable ambiguous conclusion he is building up, but rather because of the clinical approach he has with a game built to be felt, a game which loses its emotional appeal once you've played it through and through. All that is left to appreciate, with his approach, having already played it fully, are the technical aspects, which explains why he focuses so much on bugs and glitches.

The most interesting part is when he addresses player agency, and completely misses the point:

Which, again, I remembered as a much more nuanced and sophisticated moment in the game. I remembered this being a proper moral dilemma. If I kill him, then I’m the murderer. But if I stand by and let Anna kill him, am I not equally complicit in his death? Is killing Anna in this moment somehow different from killing Juan? It turns out this was all work I’d put in after the moment, rather than a dilemma the game really gives you time to think about.

His initial memory is actually correct, while he wrongly assumes this was the work of nostalgia. This moment, as we all know, is extremely intelligent, precisely because it does not present you with the moral dilemma. Rather, it does what a good book does. It allows you to construct the moral dilemma on your own, and gives you the room to act on it. This is especially brilliant because it does not assume it will be a moral dilemma for all of the players, and so it does not force you into a moment you would not give a damn about. All the same, those who do have an issue with obeying the order are feeling a very real emotion, one which was not forced or induced by a scripted scene, but rather naturally built by the events. Refusing to kill him and watching Anna do it was incredibly painful and frustrating, and, most importantly, very real. The choice I had deliberately made got me to feel powerless in the face of hierarchy. I vowed to right this wrong at some point. The very same could be said about Paul's dilemma in his apartment.

His comment about the whole Maggie Chow issue misses the point, yet again. He complains that he was robbed of a great moment by knowing off-hand she was a traitor and sneaking into her apartment, while another reviewer got a "cool" scene of being surprised by Maggie and forced into a major unexpected firefight. This is one stupid way to look at it, one that speaks load about the games we have played since. Essentially, his problem is that he was robbed of a good cinematic moment, even if the moment would have made no sense, considering what he already knew about Maggie. I knew all about her as well, which is precisely why I sneaked into her apartment and "missed out" on the conversations with her and the big showdown. But that actually makes sense, because my approach to the situation was tailored around the knowledge I had previously gathered. I'm not sad I didn't get the big showdown. I'm proud I have avoided it by investigating and approaching with caution.

Those moments are specifically why DX is still the greatest game ever made, why it trumps all the bugs he rightfully points out. Quite simply because no one has even so much as tried to do something like this again.

22nd Apr 2015, 00:59
Deus Ex is the greatest game of all time. I don't care about the supposedly bad voice acting and I don't care how much the game (according to Yahtzee at Zero Punctuation) looks like @$$! It was a product of its time when no game really looked awesome if it had any depth. I had never seen a game with so many choices that actually affected game play! I read that article and the way he played the first time when he didn't save Paul. When I saw my brother dead on the slab I murdered the nurse standing nearby even though she was green on my IFF. After my brother was killed I was out for revenge. The moment I saw MJ-12 on Maggie Chow's personal computer I stealth killed her maid and I executed Maggie Chow as she sat looking out the window. I like to think the last thing she saw was my mirrored visage pulling a gun on the back of her head. The second time around, however, I thought I might do things differently and having successfully saved my brother I played as a nicer guy who didn't murder everyone just because they got their credits from MJ-12. That one option in game was so groundbreaking for me that if I played a game that did not allow me to make my own way I thought it was less than great. If a game could give me options, expanded information like the newspapers, the emails, the random books left sitting around, but didn't then I hold it against that game. For those reasons I forgive the necessary 2 or 3 times each game when I had to do something in order to advance the storyline. All that said, the sheer insanity of DX philosophy opened new doors in my mind and I have kicked them off the hinges and they remain open to this day. I love Deus Ex. It's a lifestyle for me. I can't wait for any new DX media. Invisible War was fun but no where near the proper sequel we required. It seemed to be more linear whereas DX was so much more rich that it didn't feel like you had to go from NY to HK and so forth. DXHR was exactly what I wanted. I hope this new game is an extraordinary sequel that plays like the last game and provides a direct bridge to Deus Ex which they could then update since it has been 15 years now since the original and a new generation of kids could be open to playing the original storyline with updated engine and graphics by 2020. They could even add a few new parts where JC and Paul meet a shadowy old mech who looks alot like them... Then a proper finish 5 years after that with an IW remake by 2025 or something. See? There's the next 2 games for the next 10 years!

22nd Apr 2015, 01:33
"Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

23rd Apr 2015, 09:56
To me what makes Deus Ex one of the best games, if not THE best game of all time, is the finishing touches, and the team's outstanding success at coming up with coherent and believable consequences to player actions when we think out of the box. Of course there are exceptions and compromises, like invincible characters and magical doors which are locked until we trigger something in the map to "make progress", but the general effort is obviously there. The phrase "greater than the sum of its parts" is muttered many times to describe Deus Ex. Mediocre shooting mechanics, simple and exploitable enemy AI, unbalanced skill and aug system, sub-par voice acting... These elements together somehow led to one of the greatest, most ambitious games of all time.

Whenever I faced the issue of dealing with Paul, Ford Schick, Tiffany Savage, Miguel, Smuggler, Jock, the Rentons, etc. it was never a matter of in-game shinies like xp, credits or items for me, at least in the subsequent runs. Seeing Miguel say "thanks JC, I'll find my own way" as we left UNATCO HQ was its own reward. After 15 years, as I'm pushing 30, few games had the same effect on me, if that.

HR's Director's Cut commentary was full of entries ending with "we wanted this but we ran out of time" or "we cut this because the engine sux0rz". At one point, Mary and Jon bring up how the team wrote and recorded new lines for Tong for when you bust his chop shop tracking Sevcenko's arm, because it was possible to get there without meeting Tong in the Hive beforehand. Of course it's still awesome of Eidos Montréal to notice it and call the voice actor, implement the new line etc. before the game was shipped, but IMO this would be a non-issue in the original Deus Ex. Writing the equivalent of Tong's "never met Adam" line in the garage would be one of the first things brought to the table, not an afterthought. I hope this is making sense.