Review by red caliph
"I cannot hype this game enough"
So what happens when you cross System Shock, Metal Gear Solid, and Thief?
First things first. Deus Ex is the greatest game ever made for the PC. It goes hand in hand with Metal Gear Solid and Chrono Trigger as the definitive games of their era in a genre. Yes, believe every amount of hype the rags have given Deus Ex and Warren Spector and even Ion Storm, because this game is better than all of that.
Where to begin? Let's start with the storyline. You are JC Denton, an experimental cybernetic soldier who works for the United Nations Anti Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO). You are the second of these soldiers to be made, the first being your brother Paul. You are conscripted by UNATCO to retrieve a shipment of a vaccine for a plague called the Grey Death that has been ravaging the United States of America. The shipment has been stolen by a terrorist organization called the NSF who is bent on starting a second American Revolution. Too say anymore about the story would be giving it away, but let's just say there's more plot twists in an hour of Deus Ex than a whole season of the X-Files. Two hours into the game, you won't know who to trust or who's controlling who anymore.
The plot of Deus Ex is the best seen in a videogame, period, and could actually be considered literature.
The graphics in this game are fantastic. I mean, c'mon, it's based on the Unreal Tournament engine. Everything is beautiful. Of course, being based on UT, it performs less than perfect on Direct 3d systems (c'mon Epic, who buys those crappy Voodoo cards anymore? No one who knows what they're talking about.), but with a few tweaks, you should have it running in 800x600 in 32-bit color even on a mid range system. Only remark about this is that the gore, in order not to be over the top like UT and be realistic is sometimes TOO little. I mean, c'mon, if I walk up to someone and shoot them in the back of the head with a shotgun loaded with slugs from point blank range, would we really see a little blood splatter and them fall down? I doubt it.
Sound is great. The music is fantastic, 3d audio is always excellent, and sound makes a huge factor in how the game plays out. The sound effects are great, and nothing beats unloading into someone with a shotgun if you have a subwoofer. Voice overs are very very good. Only complaint is that JC is too damn emotionless. I know he's supposed to be hard as nails, but c'mon. If he showed as much emotion as Solid Snake, we would all love him that much more.
Gameplay is simply flawless. Difficulty levels are intelligent, and weapons behave like you would expect them too. Enemies are not quite as responsive as they would be in real life, for playability's sake, but sometimes you forget it's only a game. The skill levels make a huge difference in how you play the game, and the whole game does the RPG thing better than even System Shock 2. Stealth is the reccommended option, because enemies have some bad firepower as well. Stealth is just as good in Deus Ex as it is in Thief.
Replayability is fantastic. you will replay this game, and replay this game, and replay this game, because it is VERY open ended. The story line is completely non linear, and you will find so many different paths and endings to this game. Unfortunately, I cannot talk about them for fear of giving parts of the game away, but trust me, there are major differences and you will be satisfied.
So Deus Ex? If you have a computer, buy it. If you don't have a computer, buy one. Deus Ex is probably the greatest game ever made, and it is certainly a reason to fall in love with PC gaming all over again.
Visuals: 10 (characters lip-synch... excellent)
Sound: 10 (great 3d positional audio and music)
Gameplay: 10 (System Shock 2 x 100)
Storyline: 10 (14? 15? absolutely riveting)
Replayability: 10 (wow. i mean, wow.)
Multiplayer: n/a (a mod is in the works, however, and looks to be really really good)
Overall: 10 (best game ever for PC. bar none.)
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/21/00, Updated 06/12/03
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