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Deus Ex (2000)


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  • alex3d changed the title to Deus Ex (2000)

Man, first thought when I saw this thread was that the original was getting a remake or reboot. I loved Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, still bummed out the series died. The original is brilliant but showing its age a bit, the same structure and lack of handholding in a brand new engine could potentially be great.

 

I know people dislike the idea of big companies buying up exclusives, but in this case I wouldn't mind if Microsoft bought the Eidos part off of Squeenix. They're busy filling their library with fan favourites to bring in subscribers and Deus Ex would fit the bill - and it's the only way I can see the series getting revived any time soon.

 

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I have to confess I never got past the first level. Never got into the flow of avoiding the guards. I'm led to believe things improve significantly once you get past it. I'd like to try again but have a feeling it'll end up the same. A shame. I bought it in 2001 and have tired it a few times since then. Probably overthinking it. 

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Just now, Vimster said:

I have to confess I never got past the first level. Never got into the flow of avoiding the guards. I'm led to believe things improve significantly once you get past it. I'd like to try again but have a feeling it'll end up the same. A shame. I bought it in 2001 and have tired it a few times since then. Probably overthinking it. 

Yes, it does get better (and more colorful). Hong Kong, for instance, must be one of the most atmospheric levels ever. 

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Shame they never did a modern version of this, in the same that way Prey and Dishonored were current-tech versions of System Shock and Thief. I guess the sheer scope of the game would make it harder to do to the same level of finesse - you can get away with having a contained environment like a space station, or a deliberately unreal location like a fantasy city, but it would be very expensive to do a convincing version of New York or a Hong Kong nightclub.

 

Admittedly, those things would be easier to portray now.

 

I guess Mankind Divided and the other one count, but they felt like recreations of DE rather than an expansion in the same way that, say, Dishonored built on Thief.

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2 hours ago, K said:

Shame they never did a modern version of this, in the same that way Prey and Dishonored were current-tech versions of System Shock and Thief.

...

I guess Mankind Divided and the other one count, but they felt like recreations of DE rather than an expansion in the same way that, say, Dishonored built on Thief.

 

In before Mr. Gerbik's apoplectic rage.

 

Even as someone who very much enjoyed the Dishonoreds and latter-day Deus Ex games, I have to take issue with those two sets of characterisations.* If anything the Dishonoreds feel like adaptations of the Deus Ex formula to a very different setting, with their focus on broad gameplay options, reactive narrative, and rather limited stealth mechanics. Never mind expanding upon Thief, I'd be happy to see a simple recreation of it, as I can't think of anything more recent than Thief II which even approaches them in terms of design principles; the focus on gradations of noise and shadow, and on the underpowered nature of the protagonist (in locomotion and particularly in combat), are core tenets to Thief's design, and they are not at all present in Dishonored's DNA.

 

By contrast, the DE sequels feel like they've diminished, rather than recreated, DE; they're very much 'Branching Tunnels: Cyberpunk Edition',** a far cry from the open spaces of the original. It's one of those things where I wonder how much of that was intentional, and how much was a side-effect of the move away from the, well, janky simulationy aspects of the original (e.g. the poster-child exploit of the physical presence of mines coupled with the ability to deactivate them leading to the ability to scale any wall if you had a handful of them to place and replace); towards a more user-friendly game design with contextually-restricted actions and abilities.

 

In fact, I'd say the Dishonoreds are closer to Deus Ex than the Deus Ex sequels, theme notwithstanding - the 'choose your approach in an open environment' feel is a lot closer, while the god-given powers with their wide-ranging effects feel closer to Deus Ex's augmentations than the rather more limited options given in DE's own sequels.

 

 

*excluding the Prey/System Shock comparison; that's pretty apt

**MD moves away from this somewhat, both with its hub area and with some more open-ended levels - the bank being a good example. It is still far more corridor-and-vent heavy than their precursor, however.

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I had to look up what 'apoplectic' means and I learned a new word today :)

 

@Wiper said it far better than I could. I agree that Dishonored feels more like a spiritual successor to Deus Ex than anything else. I wasn't too crazy about the first game, but I absolutely love Dishonored 2. In terms of organically choosing and improvising your own approach in wide open spaces filled with various secrets and routes for the player to discover - Dishonored 2 is the only game I can think of that builds on the brilliance of the open gameplay design of the first Deus Ex.

 

As a pure stealth game however, especially if you're going to directly compare it to Thief 1 and 2 it's nowhere near that. It's not even the same genre really, Dishonored is a stealth game in the same way Deus Ex is a stealth game if you want to play it like that. In Thief every single design decision is made with stealth gameplay in mind - I can't think of any other game made since that even attempts to build a stealth system as deep as Thief 2.

 

I also agree that Prey is a bloody brilliant reimagining of System Shock. Easily one of my favorite games of this generation and I really hope Microsoft lets them make Prey 2. Absolutely fantastic game.

 

While Mankind Divided and Human Revolution aren't really like Deus Ex 2000, I still love them for what they are. I love the setting, love the atmosphere, and I love the stylised visuals. I'm also a big fan of Shadowrun on the SNES, so it was very exciting to discover that Mankind Divided feels like it was heavily inspired by that game in its structure and presentation. I would really like to see a third game as I said above, but unless something drastic happens like Microsoft buying Eidos I can't see Squeenix ever allowing it. Edit: but yes less corridors and vents please.

 

 

 

 

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Deus Ex was my first immersive sim and blew me away. There's a bit (I think maybe Paris, it's been a while) where you read one of the public news terminals scattered around and there was a bulletin for my arrest that used my real name. A pretty basic trick for sure, but one of many details that made you feel as though you weren't exploring sequential levels in a videogame but moving through a world of different characters and agendas that didn't stop with you. That's pretty much why I love videogames these days, always chasing that feeling of being transported to an other place. 

 

I recently replayed Thief Gold and I think it and DE have a lot in common. I'd prob say the Dishonoreds were spiritual sequels to both. 

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31 minutes ago, SM47 said:

 

I recently replayed Thief Gold and I think it and DE have a lot in common. I'd prob say the Dishonoreds were spiritual sequels to both. 

That's not strange, as the first game was definitely intended as a spiritual successor to Thief. When I asked game director Harvey Smith about it before the release of the first Dishonored, he cited Thief as his main influence iirc. But he also quickly said that a big Thief fan like me, would maybe find the stealth too simple. He noted Dishonored was more of a mixture of different play styles. So while you're not wrong seeing a bit of Thief in there, what I'm trying to say that in terms of gameplay it's more like Deus Ex. Choose, mix, and improvise your own play style and it's brilliant at that. As a straight stealth game it's not as good.

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48 minutes ago, GamesGamesGames said:

 

And he's not wrong.

And I never said anything about it being better than Deus Ex, so I guess Thor's almighty thunderous rage stems mostly from reading these mortal posts too quickly and posting in haste :)

 

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The fact you're talking about both in the same breath is reason enough for my thunderous rage. 

 

When thinking of a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, Dishonored does not enter my head. 

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46 minutes ago, Thor said:

When thinking of a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, Dishonored does not enter my head. 

 

What does then? Genuinely interested as I have many fond memories of Deus Ex and would love to play similar.

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1 minute ago, Robsk1 said:

What does then? Genuinely interested as I have many fond memories of Deus Ex and would love to play similar.

Absolutely nothing, sadly. :( 

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50 minutes ago, Thor said:

The fact you're talking about both in the same breath is reason enough for my thunderous rage. 

 

When thinking of a spiritual successor to Deus Ex, Dishonored does not enter my head. 

 

Fight! Fight! Fight!

 

 

Honestly though, as far as I'm concerned Dishonored 2 is the closest thing Deus Ex has had to a spiritual successor. Even if it is *checks incredibly sad, and yes, truly existent spreadsheet* exactly 89 games worse than it, according to my list.

 

Really that says more about how little other games have tried to emulate DE's broad-strokes design than anything; most have taken bits and pieces from it piece-meal (a list of games including, for sure, its own sequels) rather than aping it holistically.

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40 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I don't think we'll ever see anything like Deus Ex again. Not even the actual sequels came close.

True. It seems likely that it was a once in a lifetime development full of smart and groundbreaking ideas and execution talent. Visiting the Ladies' restroom and Manderley not being amused about it? Still a highlight in the world of gaming.

 

 

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Coincidentally I started playing it at the weekend. I haven't made much progress though as I've got four PC games on the go at the moment.

 

I do remember really enjoying it on the PS2 though and I'm not sure why I didn't complete it (other than having the same short attention span I have now).

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2 hours ago, robotattack said:

I do remember really enjoying it on the PS2 though and I'm not sure why I didn't complete it (other than having the same short attention span I have now).

 

There's a chance that it's still hooked up to a TV somewhere still loading.

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Just now, TehStu said:

How the hell have I not played this. Before I splurge 7 bucks on GOG, is there a console way to play? 

 

Nope. But if your PC was built after 2003 you'll be fine. It's always amazing when I boot up DX. I spend about 30 seconds going "squick" at the textures and then it all just becomes invisible and the sheer incredible magic of the game just shines through.

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