View Full Version : Deus Ex/Metal Gear Solid similarities

5th Jul 2008, 08:38
I know many PC gamers (which most DE fans are) are often quite hostile toward console gamers so I am hesitent of posting this...

The MGS series is my by far and away favorite VG franchise simply because of how thought provoking, socially and politically relevant its storyline is. I just recently bought and played through Deus Ex on the PS2 after hearing many positive things about its plot.

I thought DE was excellent and is now a proud part of my all time favorite games list. As a huge MGS fan I was pleasantly surprised by how similar yet different the two games are in their themes and atmosphere.

Some of the overlapping themes are:
-Governmental conspiracy/illusion of democracy (Patriots Vs. Illuminati and others)
-Government sponsored terrorism.
-Technological dillemma (Is technology ultimately a positive or negative force in society and when the line between man and machine blur what is left to define our human identity?)
-An AI becoming the principle doctrine that influences world law, culture and government. (JD Vs. Helios)
-The ambiguity between "right" and "wrong". Neither game defines a "true" evil but rather portraits shades of grey that make up the good, bad and the ugly of every day human nature.
-The exploration of human nature on an individual level and its contrast to the collective, flawed nature of society.
-Themes of human inadequacy and the resulting articial enhancements to promote a more "perfect" individual. The strive for constant progression.
-Deciet and constant paranoia, questioning of everything around you is also a running theme in both series.

There are many more overlapping themes that would take up too much time and space to detail here. Any Deus Ex fan who is primarily invested in the storyline should do themselves a favor and play the MGS series (primarily 2 and 4). Note that in terms of gameplay the two games are very different from eachother and this may turn many of you off.

Even many atmospheric touches are very remeniscent of eachother. Nanotechnology and the infolink transmissions is almost exactly the same in both theory and appearence as the codec transmissions in MGS. Stealth gameplay in DE was obviously inspired by that of the original MGS in 1998. There are many other examples as well.

Anyway, enough to say I enjoyed the storyline of DE very much (though the voice acting was regrettably bad and did dilute the impact some of the dialogue could have had)

Are there any other MGS-DE fans out there who're interested in discussing some of the common themes and aspects of the two games and their storylines?

Unfortunately I haven't played IW because I do not have a gaming PC nor Xbox. I heard many bad things about its gameplay, but I'm primarily interested in the storyline so it wouldn't be an issue for me. I searched for a collection of the IW cutscenes online but couldn't find them anywhere. Nor could I find a script dump on Gamefaq or elsewhere.

Can anyone here link me to a site containing all IW cutscenes or the complete script?

I've read the story on Wiki and elsewhere but it's not the same as listening to the actual dialogue.

5th Jul 2008, 12:58
I assume people deliberately ignored this because the thought of comparing Metal Gear Solid with a game that everyone here regards as the Second Coming was just too much for them to handle...

I thought the MGS series was really good, and the 2nd game in particular really did it for me. There is definitely some similarities in terms of government conspiracy, and I think those kind of things are areas that people seem to overlook when they think of MGS. For instance, the huge conversations with the President about the Patriots etc I found really intriguing - and the philosophical ending with Rose was good too. In fact, it took me 2 playthroughs to actually understand all the crazy twists at the end, which in some ways might be a bad thing because I think it was too much to take on board in such a short amount of time. Hideo Kojima really is a genius though. If you look past all the cliché Japanese videogame bosses with super-powers, there's some great thinking-man's moments.

5th Jul 2008, 18:17
I completely agree with you. Metal Gear Solid is an example of a CLASSIC videogame series that will live on in many of our memories for many years to come, in part because of real deep storylines and the overall gameplay.

I do think you overstate your case in how the themes overlap though. Deus Ex has real places and halfway realistic groups that really strike some relevance to our modern-day fears of terrorism and possibility of diseases. Though MGS had some real underpinnings, you do not come across the kind of people that are part of society, such as bums, office workers, and junkies.

Besides the fact that there are certain elements that Let's not get into Revolver Ocelot's triple-agent status either, which is really kind of weird when you look at it(so he was a Soviet spy against the US who was working for the CIA all along in MGS2?) Overall, it was more campy, to put it one way
It's not like DX doesn't have some exaggerated moments itself, but a plague as oppposed to a giant robot would seem like a more realistic weapon to use.
Everything just seems more relevant in Deus Ex. However, there was one place where you made a good point.

-The ambiguity between "right" and "wrong". Neither game defines a "true" evil but rather portraits shades of grey that make up the good, bad and the ugly of every day human nature.

You aren't kidding here. In the later MGS games in particular, you don't know whether you are really doing the right thing or not as you realize that a number of things are being covered up.

And on getting MGS4, I'm really sorry, but I simply don't have the money, nor the will, to shell out $600 bucks just so I can play one game.

Lo Bruto
5th Jul 2008, 18:20
I know many PC gamers (which most DE fans are) are often quite hostile toward console gamers so I am hesitent of posting this...


6th Jul 2008, 10:02
Seriously we aren't against console gamers but we hate the fact the console market is bigger than the PC market, the developers make / and transform orginal PC games to console games with a console gameplay to a PC.
And please don't talk about piracy because the two sectors are affected by the piracy, with some famous thinks like: PC gamers are thieves and Console gamers buy all games, thats false.

Make simple games with less content wasn't only a console issue, it was the fact most game developpers wants to make simple games to attract the maximum number of players, with gameplay concepts and with themes that most of times was a success.
The WW2, The police simulation, The military simulation, etc...
When we have themes like the Futurism, the western, sci fi themes, they don't work like the previous themes.
The players sometimes are affraid to see an other game element to their favorite game, and they compare with an other game that use it and think the game will lose its core, and the dev's can see this kind of complaints and and the new game don't adds nothing new, they put a little modification to the basics, they suppress some stuff because we can regroup some things, like in DX 2 they put the skills and the old biomod system, to be the actual biomod system.
For the ammo it's the same they put all ammo stuff to an unique ammo, and to modify the weapon fire mod we can add weapon modifiers, that can act as an other ammo without to be an other ammo.
Rare are the games on todays that invents some things or recreate the genres.
I can see some many games that would copy the first DX, but not correctly

7th Jul 2008, 12:24
I agree with Dioxin2's original post.About a month ago, a co-worker asked me if I thought MGS was Cyberpunk to which I responded "no". I guess I had forgetting about 1 & 2 (I never played 3), but after spending some time with MGS4 this weekend, I just realized that, yeah, there are a lot of Cyberpunk elements in the MGS series.

They kind of twist it a bit and it's not your typical Cyberpunk story, but there are a lot of elements in there which are similar.

7th Jul 2008, 18:14
I finished MGS4 twice and found it very good in spite of its many cons. The first two acts are very scripted and linear but interesting and well driven.

There are indeed some cyberpunk elements throughout the series but MGS and DX are totally different types of games.

7th Jul 2008, 21:35
I do think that DX and MGS have many similarities. Yes, some of the core elements are different, such as the perspective, the rpg elements in DX etc. but when I first played DX, i was reminded all of the time of MGS, which I had played earlier. All about infiltration in a hostile environment full of sentries and cameras, with an anti-terrorist agent as the protagonist, and featuring plot-twists and conspiracies galore.

Then, MGS2 came, and in turn reminded me of Deus Ex, with even more focus on conspiracy, secret societies and exploring themes such as nano-machines, social control, memetics etc.

The main difference really is MGS' anime stylisation, with ridiculously overstylised characters with inexplicable superhuman abilities, giant mecha that growl at the player & stuff like that, plus twitchy action sequences which are a legacy of older console games. While I am a big fan of MGS, it's really hard not to roll my eyes at some of those elements, especially when they're contrasted with the more serious stuff the game has to offer. In fact, Kojima's recently expressed that if he could go back in time and change the series, he'd tone down on those elements.

About cyberpunk - I wouldn't call MGS cyberpunk, but I'm not sure I'd call DX cyberpunk either. Why? Because it's missing the punk aspect. Like Ghost in the Shell, DX fits in more with the definition of post-cyberpunk. One of the differences from normal cyberpunk is that the main character is no longer a social outcast, he's part of this society of control, of politics and corporations. That's it for the punk part of cyberpunk then.

But how about cybernetics? Oh, both series feature characters augmented mechanically, nanotechnologically, pharmaceutically and what else you can think of, but while in DX it's one of the focal points, in MGS augmentation is used more often as a simple plot device.

However! We must remember that despite the common use of the word, cybernetics is not just about altering and enhancing the human body, through means mechanical or otherwise. Cybernetics is a science concerned with control of any kind, be it controlling your mechanical arm by your very thought, or controlling societies through data manipulation.

And that, control, is the crux of both series.

18th Jul 2008, 17:08
There are only a few superficial similarities.

The MGS games have always had good gameplay, but I've never been able to get into them because of the awful, awful story. The games are always filled wall-to-wall with ridiculous looking characters that look like something a 5th grader drew in study hall, with names to match, and they spend a very long time droning on and on and on about absolutely nothing. 99% of the dialogue sounds like it's coming from a snooty 15 year old who's trying really, really hard to convince everyone that he's really deep and intelligent, but has no idea what he's doing, and so the end result is a lot of vapid nonsense. They'd be much better games if they'd focus more on the gameplay and less on the horrible story.