Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever?
Part Three: Wrongfully Accused

As my re-exploration of Deus Ex continues, I find my memories clashing with the reality of the game, as I try to establish if it’s still the Best Game Ever™. You can read the whole saga here. It’s accusing me of crimes I didn’t commit, an in turn, I start committing some crimes.

It seems DX is convinced I did a bunch of shooting. I didn’t! I haven’t killed a single person! But grumpy old UNATCO ammo man gave me lectures about people’s rights, and JC was boasting to him about how exciting it was to kill so many people. Anna’s recommended to Manderley that I be tasked with becoming an assassin, as I left Battery Park “like a graveyard”.

I haven’t! None of that happened! I had a go with the pistol to remind myself of how clumsy the shooting is in the game, but then reloaded so they were all back alive again. Every body I’ve left behind has just been nicely sleeping.

It turns out, according to commenters on the previous article, that it was about how I handled the missions, not whether I killed. So if I’d only used secret tunnels and back entrances, I’d be credited with being a pacifist. But because I keep experimenting, trying every path and then picking the one I prefer, I’m triggering events that the game conflates with my killing people.

So huh. Clever old Deus Ex isn’t being very clever here. It’s using event triggers and approaches to measure my kill count – not whether I’m, you know, actually killing anyone. But of course a lump of the blame sits with me – I’m not convinced I’m playing it “right”.

I wonder whether what I should be doing, here and indeed in all games, is picking a direction and then going with it. My problem is that I have a much more meticulous approach to multi-path gaming. Because I’m always paralysed by the thought that I might be missing out on something better. So rather than spotting an open window, and thinking, “Oh yeah, that tramp mentioned this window, this’ll get me in,” instead I go through the window, monitor how far it will get me, then backtrack to see what other options I have.

It’s not an entirely illogical way to play. Were there time constraints, then yes, it would be daft. But there aren’t. So I’d rather see if a path through an underwater passage, or a way in via the roofs, might be preferable. And by doing so, I end up spoofing the game into thinking I’m doing all things from all angles. And indeed wasting an awful lot of non-lethal ammo in painstakingly exploring every route. It’s daft. I’m not quite sure how to stop myself from doing it.

But this is my lot, it seems. And I know I haven’t killed. I know the truth.

Except I just killed.

Anyone who’s played Deus Ex is likely to remember one moment above all others. Above the ending, above big decisions made in Hong Kong, above “what a shame”. It’s that point where, as you’d been beginning to suspect, your brother Paul is working with the NSF. And he wants you to join.

I’d somewhat misremembered this moment. I knew it happened in the aircraft hanger, and I knew it involved getting on the plane, but I’d rewritten it into a much more dramatic moment of apocalyptic revelation. In my memory it was Paul making this heartfelt speech about the horror of UNATCO, of the truth of the Grey Death, how the NSF were the unequivocal good guys. In fact, it’s just Paul mumbling something about how the UN are in the pocket of a corporation, and that I should get on the plane.

Because, of course, the true revelation had already been playing out in the conversations I’d heard, documents I’d seen, and concerns I’d witnessed. And indeed it was going to continue to play out as I returned to UNATCO with a new perspective, started to see some truth to Paul’s claims, and begun my transition. It was not a moment of The Sudden Switch, but a key event in the change.

(A quick aside: I also remember that alongside Kieron’s superb review of DX in PC Gamer, there was also that review in PC Zone, which saw fit to explain this entire sequence in a boxout, ensuring that anyone who read that magazine was robbed of the twist hours into the game. Bah. Never forget.)

Of course, it still has a rather significant dilemma. Anna Navarre. And Juan Lebedev. On the plane is Lebedev, who informs you of the truth of your parentless state, throws a few more big facts your way, and just as it’s getting juicy, in runs sexy Anna. “Kill him!” she enthuses, with little more elaboration. He’s surrendered, and UNATCO policy says he should be peacefully arrested. But if you don’t kill him, Anna does.

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? Or am I an innocent bystander to a crime? Should I intervene? Is killing Anna in this moment somehow different from killing Juan? Is a murder to prevent a murder somehow less of a murder?

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. And, in truth, I also remember its taking a rocket launcher to actually kill Anna when I first played it 15 years back.

This time I didn’t have a rocket launcher. And I thought, you know what? No. I’m not going to let Anna decide for me, after all the LIES she’d already been telling. She was going down. Call me a killer? Okay, I’ll be a killer.

So, with the wholly cheating gift of foresight, I lined the passageway of the plane with LAM mines. When she burst in, she, well, burst. Everywhere. “I guess you’ve picked a side,” says Juan, dryly.

So yeah, Anna, I’m a killer.

97 Comments

  1. Monggerel says:

    When you gaze into the mirror, and your vision is augmented, the mirror gazes also into you, and its vision is augmented also.
    Q.E.D.
    S.P.Q.R.
    Y.E.A.H. R.I.P.

  2. Continuity says:

    Oh yeah, I remember using LAMS to get Anna on the plane too, at least on one of may play-throughs.

    • caff says:

      It was my way too, and I have NO SHAME! She deserved to turn into meaty chunks.

      • caff says:

        Although yeah I doubted the decision so much I actually had to restart the game and play through to the same moment again just so I would have a savegame that allowed me to start properly from that point with the two different story arcs.

        And that is why the original Deus Ex game is great.

    • thedosbox says:

      Yep, once I discovered it was possible, that was the way I always did it in subsequent playthroughs.

    • studenteternal says:

      I did this entirely by accident on my first play through. I thought plane, surrounded by bad guys who are ‘totally not the bad guys’ yea right, NSF is going to storm the plane or something… I was really surprised when Anna decided to just run into my tense situation without giving me the heads up.

      I was also supremely impressed that there was dialog recorded from Alex about blanking the tapes, but to come see him back at base.

      I may or may not have shot lebedev anyway….

  3. Jericho says:

    It’s a dumb, silly, over-too-soon moment in a video game, but the “confrontation” between Lebedev and Navarre in the airplane is one of the first and few times I had to stop playing a game for a while as I say there thinking “My God, what have I DONE and what should I DO going forward?”.

    I killed Anna, and I killed her because it felt like I was justified in doing so, and that I was RIGHT to do so. But I had tried SO HARD before that point to NOT KILL ANYONE. I’m a cop after all, right? Cops aren’t supposed to kill people. Right? RIGHT?!?

    Damn it, Deus Ex. You got me.

    *Goes to re-install the game*

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      “Jesus J.C. that was Agent Navarre!”
      It’s a great moment, especially since I didn’t kill her on my first playthrough, and on my second it was one of the first major places where my path was altered. Alex is, I maintain, a great character who does plenty to question both your actions and those of UNATCO, at least until he basically vanishes off the face of the plot.
      (I only just realized when writing this comment that he specifically says “Jesus, J.C.” . Huh.

      Also I always play on Realistic, and one LAM in the doorway will reduce Anna to mush, no problem. Dunno if this holds true for all difficulties, probably not. And yeah, I nearly always kill her. It’s a shame, I don’t really like her, but sometimes I WANT to like her. They set her up to be pretty interesting, with lines like “You are not a mech, you wouldn’t understand”, but never really fleshed that out much. Then again, I’m fine with her being a psychopath who’s just hinted as having a deeper character, I guess.

      • Continuity says:

        I was always annoyed that I couldn’t go full bad guy and side with UNATCO/MJ12, probably my biggest disappointment with the game, though I suppose that would have necessitated a major fork fairly early in the game, and its already a huge game.

      • Ross Angus says:

        When I read Soon I Will Be Invincible, I felt it was, at least partially, the Anna Navarre story (Austin Grossman worked on Deus Ex).

      • Contrafibularity says:

        It’s a powerful moment. Especially when the player later finds out about kill phrases and is made to wonder to what degree either Gunther or Anna were actually autonomous in their actions or beliefs.

        • kament says:

          Is the player really made to wonder that? I thought it was clear that kill phrases affected some mechanical part of an agent and nothing more (much as kill switch for JC’s big brother did). But it’s been some time, so I’m curious if I’ve forgotten something.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            I think the point Contrafibularity is raising is that both of the mech agents were AWARE of their killphrases. (Anna actually says “How did you know?” if you use hers)
            Can you really say they were acting entirely on their own wills when they were fully aware they could be killed with a couple of words?

          • Contrafibularity says:

            I did, since my first playthroughs. I always assumed this to be intentional on the part of Pacotti et al. which seems much more plausible than the alternatives, for example being nothing more than a simple plot device seems unlikely for reasons that are very spoilerific. And I don’t even know how you can have played DX without knowing about this, but I’d rather not say more in case you or someone reading actually still hasn’t played it. If you’ve forgotten then I just handed you a perfect excuse to reinstall and revisit DX. Considering how much thought and effort went into virtually every aspect and detail of this game, including the backstory and plot, I’m definitely leaning towards intentional though.

          • kament says:

            @ Kaeoschassis:

            That’s a very good point, somehow it never occured to me how much of a leverage such a thing might be. Horrifying come to think about it.

            @ Contrafibularity (I hope I spelled it right):

            OK, I guess it’s time to revisit one of my most favourite games (much as I fear to be disappointed). At the very least I’ll be able to contribute more to the discussion, so that’s something.

            ***

            Thank you both for your suggestions.

          • Contrafibularity says:

            @Kaeoschassis yes exactly what I was referring to, thanks.

          • Contrafibularity says:

            @kament I can virtually guarantee you won’t be disappointed. ;) I replay it every few years and still keep discovering new things. The GOG version should work out of the box but you’ll want to install New Vision, and if you encounter any problems google and the TTLG.com forums can answer any question.

    • Sin Vega says:

      How is that dense, exactly? Cops are supposed to save lives, not end them. That some forces forget or deny this doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    • Razumen says:

      Um, they’re not? The military is trained to kill, the police is trained to uphold the law and keep order – deadly force is always (at least should be) a last resort.

  4. Horg says:

    You know, if Anna isn’t in combat, all it takes is one 10mm bullet to the back of the head. I’m starting to think you laid those mines down to make a point……

    • Urthman says:

      I’m no murderer. I’m not going to shoot a colleague in the back. But if she blunders into the perimeter I set up so I could capture Lebedev cleanly without interruption and gets herself killed, all I can do is shake my head and mutter, “What a shame.”

  5. Lamb Chop says:

    I remember being upset for reacting exactly as I would in real life…standing by impotently as she kills him, wanting to stop her, but it being over before I’ve really processed what she’s doing. And looking at her with hatred but no understanding that I could’ve stopped it.

    I blamed myself for my own powerlessness. And then I learned that you could kill her. The only thing that prevented me was my own inaction.

  6. SquireBev says:

    It wasn’t until I’d played through the whole game half a dozen times that I found out you COULD kill Anna.

    I assumed she’d be invulnerable, and I’d be set upon by endlessly-spawning troopers and bots.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I think I missed on my first playthrough that you can keep talking to Lebedev until she kills him, rather than just leaving the plane for her to do it in peace.

      And since John’s been blowing up Anna, it must be time to link Sunglasses at Night again.

    • skittles says:

      Took me a long while to find out you could save Paul also. Not least of which because the sequence is quite difficult and Paul loves getting himself killed. And even if you do apparently succeed, quite frequently the game bugs and treats him as dead anyway.

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        Paul is literally invincible in that sequence.

        This is one of DX’s cheapest tricks, and it was already mentioned in the comments to the previous part – the only thing that matters is which way you exit the hotel. Front door, he lives, the window in his room, he dies. That’s all there is to it. He has infinite hitpoints and can take out the entire raiding party on his own; it just takes a long time, because he’s a poor shot.

  7. kud13 says:

    No mention of the secret MJ12 lab under Hell’s kitchen?

    THAT was, I think, my first big WTF moment.

    Both the first time I played it when I just kind of went “wow”, this is a huge area that’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for a discount with Smuggler”

    And the third time, when I was out of multi-tools when I noticed that the armory door only has a 3-digit keycode, and it’s perfectly possible to brute-hack that with ease.

  8. JayG says:

    I still think Kieron’s review of Invisible War is one of the best reviews ever, and while I don’t agree with him, fair play for standing up for it. Still enjoyed it though.

    • kament says:

      Googled it, thanks. “The gaming animal is often a conservative one.” Truer words were never spoken.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      I thought invisible war was better than human revolution.

      There, I said it.

      • Shazbut says:

        I actually remember some fierce debate breaking out about women in games or something on these forums a while back and you being the only person I thought was talking sense.

        I remembered that!

        But here I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Easily. IW was rotten to the core in many aspects, unfortunately game mechanics themselves being key ones, but it was still at least Deus Ex.

      • gfs555 says:

        Invisible War was a good game, and I think it has a kind of good story, but it is too much toned down to fit consoles. I would like to see another Deus Ex with focus on the PC.

        Keep in mind that you had to manage you inventory up to the level of where to fit that giant GEP gun, the assault rifle, pistol, shotgun and a few medkits and different grenades (sneaking only in the beginning. Later on it is all about wrecking havoc), you saved all the information of the data vaults and conversations in the notes page, you created your own notes (man, that was neat to use), and you had to use this notes to get the codes and passwords and type/click on the screen, not like IW that the game does that fir you automatically.
        Each weapon had a different ammo type (all weapons use the same ammo in IW. NONSENSE!!!!). and above all stealth was the way to go, because the aim was realistic…

    • baozi says:

      For actual roleplaying purposes, the augs in Invisible War were pretty cool, I think. I think I read somewhere of a player roleplaying as a vampire, using the health leech aug to suck the life out of corpses, and avoiding temples (being uncreative, I never did something like that). In terms of building a kind of hacker personality, being able to control bots also definitely seems like a step up from just disabling or turning turrets. Maybe I need to replay Invisible War.

    • bill says:

      This was the best Kieron Deus-Ex post. From back when RPS was more serious and all about the games:
      link to rockpapershotgun.com

  9. Al Bobo says:

    I remember the time, when Deus Ex’s shiny marble floors looked amazing. Not to mention MJ12 floors! I spent lots of time looking at my nonexistent legs. Great… Now I need to re-install DX and look down again.

    • El Stevo says:

      I think they just created a mirror of the room below the floor and made the floor texture translucent.

  10. trivial says:

    I have the same disease where I have to scout every possible option before reloading and making my choice.

    Also, while it may be true that the AI sucks compared to today’s games, etc., those details don’t stop making it my favourite game of all time. My experience with Deus Ex happened relative to my other gaming experiences up to that point. Someone picking up the game today is bound to be disappointed. “THIS is your favourite game??” Alas, I feel sorry for them.

    • Al Bobo says:

      Back then, when I played Deus Ex for the first time, I noticed a funny thing about the A.I In the Area 51 lab, where you can fight that alien who throws big O’s towards you. There was this staircase near that alien’s holding cell and I ran down those stairs and when that grea dude followed me, I ran up. I happened to position that staircase’s handrail so that it was between my eyes and the alien’s eyes. And it stopped the fight. I was gazing towards the alien downstairs and the alien looked at me and as long as I avoided the direct eye contact, everything was just peachy. It didn’t matter that the rest of my body was fully visible.
      Don’t make eye contact with aliens.

  11. karnie says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that wants to see as much of a game as possible; sometimes I really do think it it ruins the experience, but I’m not one to replay entire games over and over, so I try to do as much in one game, sometimes resorting to the ‘ol “save, try, reload” tactic.

  12. Amazon_warrior says:

    I lined the passageway of the plane with LAM mines. When she burst in, she, well, burst. Everywhere.

    *chuckles drily* We’ve all been there…

  13. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Right! That’s it! I’m reinstalling

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Oh god I love this game, and New Vision + HD mod seem a lot better than last time I tried. Very shiny. Anyone ever play the training? Just replaying it again to fiddle with graphical options and why the hell did they render a volunteer unconscious for you to learn about pickpocketing and carrying bodies!? Couldn’t a dummie do? Or the cadet just play dead? Should have seen UNATCO were wrong ‘uns from the start.

  14. PancreaticDefect says:

    HA! I remember killing Anna too. It took me a few tries, but eventually I figured out a spot where she just couldn’t get to me (I believe a desk was involved). Gunther was not pleased.

  15. marano says:

    Never was.

    Good, sure. But best ever? No, not imo.

  16. epeternally says:

    Flamethrower is very useful for taking out Anna, since it turns most of the fight into her just running around like a chicken with its head cut off until she finally goes out and you light her up again. A bit tougher once she goes invisible, but still pretty trivial. I know the flamethrower is generally regarded as not being useful enough to justify its size (albeit less so than the plasma ‘worst weapon in the game’ gun), but in this circumstance it’s quite helpful.

  17. Papageno says:

    I never played more than a bit of this, unfortunately. Is it worth trying to do the voodoo necessary to play it on a modern machine (since this hasn’t gotten the GOG treatment)? Per the experience of John Walker, you can’t even install texture update mods and have it run reliably?

    • Horg says:

      Deus.exe should be all you need if you have an original copy. It works flawlessly, so it’s probably steam that’s screwing with johns copy.

    • baozi says:

      Deus Ex is on GOG and should run without problems.

  18. BannerThief says:

    While I greatly admire what Deux Ex was going for at the time, and for the (genuinely) amazing things it did in terms of making the player feel like the world was reacting to what they did, it’s hard to ignore that even for its time, it was a clunky mess to play. The AI was awful even for the time, the shooting was basically useless for the first half of the game (the only reason I ever even went non-lethal is because the handgun the give you to start with was laughable), and the writing was…acceptable for the time, but I’m afraid our standard for voice-acting and video-game writing has advanced. And all this was in spite of the idea of a dystopian, cyberpunk FPS-RPG being my dream game at the time. I’ve never brought myself to finish this game, because the mechanics grate on me so much. It’s amazing to me that Invisible War gets so much hate, despite being mechanically superior in almost every aspect to this game. I finished Invisible War multiple times, and loved the hell out of it. Human Revolution was similarly amazing (despite disproportionately rewarding nonlethal means). Deus Ex was interesting but seriously flawed, even for the time. Greatest game of all time? Not even close.

    • baozi says:

      Dunno, thought Human Revolution was a solid, modern, polished game with a nice Deus Ex-y atmosphere, and I certainly liked it, but there wasn’t really anything special about it. Deus Ex is part of the history of gaming; Human Revolution is just a sequel (/prequel).

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      I’m going to take a guess here and say you didn’t play on Realistic difficulty did you? It should be mandatory really, don’t know why it’s the 4th of 4 options making it sound the hardest. Yes it makes you a vulnerable target but then all the enemies are ‘realistic’ too. You can headshot from the off and it only takes a few pips in pistols and a couple of upgrades to turn that starting gun into a Blade Runner-esque hand cannon. Can even one shot MJ12 gimps. Was a particularly fun play through that one.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Indeed, the starting pistol is one that just about any character should keep hold of throughout the game. Headshots kill most humans, body shots kill or maim after, what, 2, 3 shots. Ammo is plentiful, it’s accurate, it can fit a scope, laser, and clip/reload increases. About the only thing it can’t do is silenced shots or fighting robots, but that’s true of most other weapons too.

  19. Morganov says:

    Greatest game ever – I’m gonna say yes. Technical limitations aside it made an impact on so many of us – how many other games that old do we still talk about this much?

    Coincidentally I have been writing my own Deus Ex article. Very different style to Johns, more an vertical slice. I think some of you might quite enjoy – An in-depth analysis of what made Tonnochi Road (That dodgy street from the original Deus Ex) a great and important place in gaming history.

    The Real Tonnochi Road

    I’m sure you guys here will tear me apart for my misplaced reverence and over-indulged sentiment, but hey it was fun to write.

    Loving the re-exploration John. Interested to see your take on Tonnochi Road!

  20. Morganov says:

    Greatest game ever – I’m gonna say yes. Technical limitations aside it made an impact on so many of us – how many other games that old do we still talk about this much?

    Coincidentally I have been writing my own Deus Ex article. Very different style to Johns, more an vertical slice. I think some of you might quite enjoy – An in-depth analysis of what made Tonnochi Road (That dodgy street from the original Deus Ex) a great and important place in gaming history.

    The Real Tonnochi Road

    I’m sure you guys here will tear me apart for my misplaced reverence and over-indulged sentiment, but hey it was fun to write.

    Loving the re-exploration John. Interested to see your take on Tonnochi Road!

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      That was a good read, thanks. Never really thought about the fact that, more than just a break from enemy filled levels, it was still a threateningly tense place to explore in itself. You really do feel like an outsider in Hong Kong, culturally, genetically, genetically-modifidably. Shame the accents ruin any hope of it being taken seriously.

      One of my possibly favourite ever gaming moments happened in Tonnochi Road actually when I discovered, on a 4th playthrough, that you can enter Maggie Chow’s apartment by leaping through the window from the derelict building opposite action movie style (not from Jock’s apartment, from the huge, empty one over the road). You need the right legs Aug, the instinct to explore that otherwise deserted building, plus a suicidal curiosity to find this out which just hits home how much ‘unnecessary’ work went into adding so many possibilities to every activity in this game. They really do add up to making this the best game ever. It just is.

      • Morganov says:

        Cheers! Glad you liked it.

        Funny after all these years hearing another “Wow, had no idea you could play that scene another way” moment. No idea about the derelict building! Deus Ex were great for those moments – the most famous being the saving Paul moment (He died on me first time – I had no idea it could have gone another way!).

        Interestingly when I played back then, I distinctly remember trying to role play it like I could only take my decisions once – because I really wanted to preserve that sense of unlimited possibilities. The game inspired me to submit to the smoke and mirrors rather than trying to game it – looking for every angle, unlock every secret. The game design has gone so far to create that sense of an immersive simulation that I didnt want to break it but instead meet it half way, suspend my disbelief.

        I think in certain parts of Johns article he’s finding it hard to suspend his disbelief because naturally Deus Ex hasn’t aged well in the interim – neither in visuals or the consistency of its systems because in many ways they were experimental. But then I prefer to judge games as a product of their time. Otherwise its like watching Citizen Kane and criticising it for its slow pacing or lack of colour. So basically still best game ever ;)

  21. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    In all my playthroughs, I have never felt bad about killing Navarre. Not even a little bit. But it was always Gunther’s reaction which ate at my insides. These were two outcast, obsolete, barely-considered pawns that a whole world was passing by, but they had each other, and that was enough. As much as Navarre had it coming, her death meant Gunther being profoundly alone for the rest of his life.

    I couldn’t blame him for hating me. He was just as murderous as Anna, but his anger at me was justified. When Gunther confronts you again in the church, I was elated to find that I could fight him to the point where he retreats away from me and lets me get on with my work, because there was no way I could kill him. In all my playthroughs, I’ve never killed Gunther.

    • Sin Vega says:

      I love Gunther. He’s impossible to hate, even though he’s at best too stupid or stubborn to be anything but a dangerous tool in the hands of villains. He’s this quietly tragic character, bigged up from the start of the game, then moved to the background to lurk and threaten, then dismissed as an irrelevant joke. It’s pretty much his worst fear, and what makes him really tragic is that he does everything he can to prove himself for the people he perceives as the Good Guys. He’s the most loyal and devoted employee UNATCO could ever ask for, but it’s not enough. He’s a horse in a world that’s just discovered tanks, and without Anna he can’t even showjump.

      There’s a datacube in the Cathedral level where one of the guards describes Gunther’s behaviour. It’s the defining moment of his story for me. Not gonna spoil it.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Also, despite being a big dumb brute and almost literally a killing machine, Gunther comes across as genuinely nice to his friends. And even when he hates the player, he has real respect for him.

        For a relatively minor character, who could easily have been just one big stereotype, he had a lot of personality.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Right. Lines like “Always have trust for me” or “Forget how Agent Navarre is not nice, she has every life to give for her partner” really get me in hindsight. He’s a killing machine because he’s not especially smart and the people he idolises have ordered him to be, that’s all there is to it. He’s not even psychotic like Anna is. He’s just trying, so SO hard, to do the right thing, to be a Good Guy. Tragic’s exactly the right word.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Agree with you both, Anna and Gunther are my favourite characters in the game. There’s so much obvious love there. And the way you are awkwardly crow barred into their lives by having to save Gunther on your first mission. This huge, powerful, proud man reduced to a prisoner in a cell, reduced to a secondary objective, because he wasn’t up to the job. After that he’s forever over-compensating. It’s such a human story in a fantastical world of robotic super-people. They’re cute, terrifying, pitiable and dispicable all in one.

        Skagooba- I agree with your feelings towards Gunther but I always put him out of his misery on the battlefield. That proud lion of a cyborg does not want or deserve to live out his days in loneliness and defeat.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        Come on, he’s not that irrelevant, all he needs is a skull gun to keep up with these young punks.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Do you mean the bit you’ll find if you search this script for “pulled this assignment”?

        (Which is, obviously, spoilers if you haven’t already played it far too many times.)

        ((Ha ha >implying you can play Deus Ex too many times.))

        • Sin Vega says:

          That’s the one (though the link doesn’t work, it’s easy enough to find on the googles). Lots of little humanising moments like that in Deus Ex, like that last line out of nowhere.

    • Jackablade says:

      I’m really hoping we run into the two of them in Humanity Divided and get to hang out and be mech-buddies.

      It’s kind of a shame they’ve ratcheted Jensen’s abilities up to such a ridiculous degree. I’d love to play a version where you play as the obsolete piece of junk in a world of nano-tech agents. I guess they still could, but unless they cripple him which would kind of miss the point, I think it might be a tricky sell.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        We could still get that down the line. I know a few people are theorising the next DX could be a remake of the first, but I’d much rather have a new story and new characters in the same setting. “Obsolete mech competing with the increasing power of nanotech” could be a ton of fun.

  22. Jraptor59 says:

    The part I remember the most is being able to kill the robot girl that was the girlfriend of one of the main guys. I am not sure you were supposed to be able to kill her, but I set my mind to it, tried MANY times, and somehow beat her. It is right about where the company takes you in. It turned the guy into a major enemy who tried to kill me instead of help me at every turn! I couldn’t find any reviews that mentioned this guy acting this way and I always wondered what I missed by killing his lady.
    This is probably one of the best games I have ever played, still, to this day.

  23. JeepBarnett says:

    Years ago when I was trying a “no one dies” playthrough I found a glitch so no one dies on the plane. I detonated a remote mine at the perfect range where it didn’t kill Anna, but injured her so badly that the AI goes into flee mode. He lives and you still encounter Anna later on.

    Other big work arounds are that many sequences don’t trigger until you’ve looked at them. So for example you can prevent street wars by sneaking around the edges of rooms while staring at the walls.

  24. Farsi Murdle says:

    There are a couple of places where the triggers are bad. One is Battery Park. The other one is Paul’s apartment. Looking forward to your experience with that bit.

  25. Josh04 says:

    lol if you’re over 18 and you give half a crap about being ‘good’ at a game.

  26. Dicehuge says:

    “Nobody cares what your opinions on Deus Ex are…”
    Since you’re taking time to shriek childish insults on a page about ‘what John thinks about Deus Ex’, I would say it is obvious you care very much about what John thinks about Deus Ex.

  27. Morganov says:

    Damn a lot of bad energy in that comment. Whadda you think guys? shall we respond with stun prod / sniper rifle / GEP gun? Only kidding I’m a non lethal kinda guy also. Sounds like the weapon you need is a hug.

  28. Rao Dao Zao says:

    In my very first play-through, I kept talking to Lebedev until Anna started shooting. Except I thought she was shooting at ME, flipped, and managed to kill her. Then… the game continued.

  29. Gabe McGrath says:

    I started replaying recently.
    And in the Anna vs Lebedev part, I tried blocking the doorway with explosive barrels so Anna couldn’t enter the room.

    Alas, Anna is far too strong and stupid so she pushes the doors as hard as possible and…
    BOOOOOOOOM!

    I felt bad as I was just trying to stop her getting to Lebedev to see if there was another solution
    but alas…

    “JESUS JC! I didn’t like her either, but you didn’t have to kill her….”

  30. Kerr Avon says:

    Good article John, nicely done! Yes, after another playthrough last year it’s still the best *PC* game (albeit a nano-close shave with Thief 2 the Metal Age)… but best “videogame” ever? No, not anymore. The “best game ever made” medal went to Red Dead Redemption a few years ago. Of course, I had to buy a PS3 just to play it but the graphics were somewhat lacking, compared to what we should’ve had in a proper full-blown PC version a la GTA V recently… grrrr it’s still annoying now to think of it, heh. So are Rockstar really never going to make a PC RDR? Not even with the upcoming version currently being made? I won’t be too happy if I’m forced to buy a PS4 for RDR II…

  31. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    I dunno about needing a rocket launcher, I think I just unloaded the SMG into her face until she exploded. And yes, it was, indeed, the best moment in gaming, period. Doing this on impulse, expecting to have to reload, and then having the game just go with it. Before that, I was playing a (stylish) shooter, one of many. From that moment on, it was PERSONAL. All of it. I owned that story, I was a part of it.

  32. bill says:

    I think replaying the game later is going to emphasize some of the annoyance and shortcomings with things like the AI and bugs in plot consistency.
    This is partly because later games have made those elements more common and also polished them up a bit, but it’s also because playing the game for a second time removes a lot of the “suspension of disbelief”.
    You don’t notice or care about many of those things the first time around because you’re too wrapped up in the game.

    Getting trapped in an area and trying different approaches to get yourself out of it is a core part of deus ex gameplay, right?

    Personally, I don’t quite get the insistence to never ever kill anyone under any circumstances, and judging games purely on whether they allow/support this approach or not.
    When I play these games I try not to kill many people, but I adapt to the situation and I accept that sometimes things don’t go as planned, or sometimes we have to do things that we don’t want to do. We aren’t in total control of the narrative of our own life.

    Best PC game ever? Never thought so. One of the best ever. Definitely. As good as it ever was? Yes.

  33. gfs555 says:

    Man, I replayed this game so much I think i`ve done most of the options until tonochi road.

    Yes, it is the best game ever. Just hope someday they will make another one focused on PC again. kind of missing the menu tabs and F1-F9 to activate the biomods…

    dammit, gonna have to re…re-install it again….