Released in 2000 from developer Ion Storm, Deus Ex has become one of the essential titles to mention when discussing well-crafted stories in video games. If ever there was a list of required reading for RPG titles, Deus Ex would be battling for the top of the list. It's undoubtedly a classic and cult favorite among PC gamers around the world.
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"The biggest success in Deus Ex was how it approached choice. This was from an era when player choice and branching paths were pretty daring in RPGs and entirely unheard of in shooters," Shacker BlackCat9 reminisced. "Perhaps because of the lack of precedent, the designers of Deus Ex ended up creating an environment where player choice didn't come directly out of making binary decisions, like picking the good or evil response from a dialogue tree or gaining karma points."
Choice continues to be a strong element in games today, offering players varying degrees of options to change the narrative structure, such as role-playing games like Mass Effect or action games like Grand Theft Auto IV.
"It was really nice seeing a game present options that weren't made obvious..." said Shacker Mecha Tofu Pirate. "It has depth that still hasn't been seen in most FPS since it came out."
For some, Deus Ex was simply a reminder of how grand PC gaming could be. "Deus Ex was the game that revived my love of PC gaming. I played it at my step father's house. He had it, but his machine could barely run it. It also kept crashing," Shacker flagg209 wrote. "I must have played it over and over again - because I still remember where everything is, and all the back doors to everything. It was a remarkable game."
In his MobyGames.com user review, Unicorn Lynx said: "It fully deserves the praise it has got and stands out as one of the most remarkable achievements of video game design."
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Deus Ex on MobyGames.com
Description: Deus Ex is a dark cyberpunk game that combines gameplay styles of first-person shooter and RPG, with elements of stealth and puzzle-solving. The player assumes the role of JC Denton, UNATCO anti-terrorist agent. Pitted against an elaborate global conspiracy, he must interact with characters, pick up weapons and complete objectives. While DC is essentially fixed within the mission-framework of the game, he can be customized in areas such as weapons, technical skills and physical prowess. Completing objectives rewards the player with skill points, which may be distributed to increase JC's proficiencies in eleven different disciplines. The player can choose to increase the damage JC inflicts with various types of weapons, improve his lock-picking or computer hacking abilities, etc. Each such discipline has four levels of proficiency.
The Deus Ex franchise lives on with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the first game from developer Eidos Montreal. For more on the latest game in the series, check out the Deus Ex: Human Revolution game page on Shacknews.
MobyGames Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site MobyGames.com. It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.