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The Rise and Fall of Deus Ex - GVMERS


During the 80s and 90s, most video game genres tended to stay squarely in their lanes. First person shooters like Doom focused exclusively on gunning down monsters. Role-playing games like Ultima epitomized inventories and statistics. And stealth games like Thief prioritized sneaking through the shadows above all else.

Every now and then, an experience like System Shock or Strife would come along, and challenge the medium’s self-imposed rigidness by melding multiple genres together. Yet many would argue that it was only after the release of Deus Ex that the idea of a genre-bending game became truly popular. The brainchild of Warren Spector, Deus Ex allowed players to make their way through a cyberpunk rendition of the year 2052 using a wide variety of different mechanics and playstyles, allowing for an uncountable number of solutions to its life-like quagmires. The experience that it provided was as stupendous in its execution as it was difficult to quantify – so much so, that it would single-handedly usher in the term “Immersive Sim” to describe all prior and future games that would be included in its lineage.

Countless developers would incorporate Deus Ex’s most salient aspects into their craft in the wake of its release, and many would reap the benefits of doing so for years to come. Yet Deus Ex’s own developers would struggle to fully capitalize on their opus’s success, producing only a single, underwhelming sequel in the years that would follow before being scattered to the wind. A passionate team based in Montreal would eventually take up the series’s mantle, and release a respectful reboot over a decade after the first game’s debut. But in the end – despite following up said reboot with a solid sequel – the team would be forced to focus its efforts elsewhere, and the series would go dormant once more.

This is the rise and fall of Deus Ex.

One of my favorite video game series.
 
Awesome game series. Love them all really. I went into the original knowing nothing about it and just played it out thoroughly enjoying it. It waters down D&D to a point of making it an interactive game/sim which is where I think games succeed very much off the back of D&D. It takes all the grind and setup out to let you play in its sandbox so easily and adaptively. HR was another level of world building and immersion too, the stories have always felt engaging and worth your time diving into. Also we cannot forget the awesome sound track and audio that paired with the world and games seamlessly. Mankind Divided felt like a real upgrade to HR and it's some of the few games where the world and story progress felt cohesive, impactful and "made sense" for its universe too. The weapons and augs as well as characters were all fleshed out and meaningful. Replayability in these games was a joy to work your build early-mid way through the game while changing your approach to go stealth or straight up FPS maniac etc.

Denton and Jensen are iconic, the world is memorable and the games deliver fun underneath a masterful way of letting the gamer be in control and inject themselves into the game universe to play how they choose at any time.

I would kill for a new game entry of similar quality to HR or MD.

Also....SmackMyBitchUp.gif
 
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Death Atlas

Neo Member
Fantastic video. Human Revolution is not only one of my favourite games of all time, it also happens to have a God tier soundtrack. Michael McCann was the perfect pick as the composer.
I slept on Mankind Divided for far too long, having heard a lot of negativity surrounding it. It does have the long train loading sequences, as well as the abrupt ending. But aside from that, I found the game utterly brilliant. I would go as far as saying that the issues have been blown way out of proportion, especially because the critics of it don't seem to mention the much improved gameplay and the FAR better visuals, it's a stunner of a game to this day.

Thanks to RazörFist for convincing me to finally try it.
 

Death Atlas

Neo Member
Michael McCann is a god.
The soundtrack for both Human Revolution and Mankind Divided are some of the few gaming OSTs I play outside of the games for pure pleasure because they're just that good.
Yeah man, I never even see the guy mentioned when the topic of videogame composers come up. He's among the very best in my book.

Some of my favourite tunes are actually his more ambient bits. The one that plays in Jensen's apartment is KINO comfy.
 

ZehDon

Member
First game remains my favourite game of all time. The Eidos games are pretty great, and given Invisible War exists, I won't besmirch them for not meeting the heights of the original. Hell, I didn't even mind Invisible War all that much. After Deus Ex, it's just plain sad to see the industry descend into the microtransaction, Battle Royale, and "cinematic gameplay" riddled cess-pool it is today.
 

Butch_0451

Member
Its sad that deus ex died so square could make guardians of the galaxy. I hope MS buy the IP and give it to arkane. Harvey smith would love that.
Just look at the direction Arkane Studios is going under their new found leadership. Even if MS did buy Square not a chance. The same goes for Sony. The only way Deus Ex could come back to life is if the IP was bought by an independent studio.
 
As someone who loves the idea of Deus Ex, but found the games underwhelming...they failed because they put you in restrictive "problem rooms", gave you access to 3 - 4 tools, and asked you "Which tool matches with which problem?"

It was essentially this...



Very little creativity and improvisation.
 
As someone who loves the idea of Deus Ex, but found the games underwhelming...they failed because they put you in restrictive "problem rooms", gave you access to 3 - 4 tools, and asked you "Which tool matches with which problem?"

It was essentially this...



Very little creativity and improvisation.

You could say that about any game really. A bit reductive don't you think?
 
First game remains my favourite game of all time. The Eidos games are pretty great, and given Invisible War exists, I won't besmirch them for not meeting the heights of the original. Hell, I didn't even mind Invisible War all that much. After Deus Ex, it's just plain sad to see the industry descend into the microtransaction, Battle Royale, and "cinematic gameplay" riddled cess-pool it is today.
How does the first one hold up?

I might actually give the original a go if it holds up well with mods that help enhance the visual experience.
 

ZehDon

Member
How does the first one hold up?

I might actually give the original a go if it holds up well with mods that help enhance the visual experience.
If you've never played the original Deus Ex, and we're looking without nostalgia goggles, I'll be honest: it might not hold up for you. It uses the original Unreal Engine - which powered Unreal and Unreal Tournament - so if you're not fond of games from that era, it might not win you over from a visual perspective. For me, its late 90s tech and appearance is all part of the charm. If you don't mind games from that late 90s era, you'll possibly love it - it's a great game with a lot of personality.

In terms of mods, there aren't any massive graphical overhaul mods, but there are a few which improve the textures and models a bit to help it scale up better to higher resolutions. There's even a couple which fix some of the gameplay jank, though I always roll vanilla.
 
You could say that about any game really. A bit reductive don't you think?

I disagree. I think Fortnite crushed that problem. Improvisation and player creativity are probably its greatest strengths.

There are a bunch of single player games that do a better job with that too (Breath of the Wild, Civ). Then there are games that do a better job of hiding it because the players attention is elsewhere.
 
I disagree. I think Fortnite crushed that problem. Improvisation and player creativity are probably its greatest strengths.

There are a bunch of single player games that do a better job with that too (Breath of the Wild, Civ). Then there are games that do a better job of hiding it because the players attention is elsewhere.

Given your reply I think we might just like different games or playstyles. I find more nuance in differing builds of Deus Ex than all of Fortnite for example. Full one man army vs zero kill runs for example. Fortnite is just shoot, build, hide, shoot, repeat with differing orders. Don't even start me on BotW, what a grind fest for no reason; walking, climbing, crafting, gathering, degrading...fuck all that just to get to the brilliant or creative parts of the game.
 
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I never played the original Deus Ex. My introduction into the series was Human Revolution. It's one of my all time favorite games. I loved the soundtrack, story, and locations, especially Lower Hengsha. I enjoyed Mankind Divided, but not as much as Human Revolution.

I'd love a remaster of both, but I don't see it happening. 🥺
 
First game remains my favourite game of all time. The Eidos games are pretty great, and given Invisible War exists, I won't besmirch them for not meeting the heights of the original. Hell, I didn't even mind Invisible War all that much. After Deus Ex, it's just plain sad to see the industry descend into the microtransaction, Battle Royale, and "cinematic gameplay" riddled cess-pool it is today.
I don't like some of the gameplay design decisions in Invisible War, namely the universal ammo was pretty annoying. You ended up with so little ammo between all of the different weapons in your inventory. I didn't mind the smaller, compact levels because they still featured great atmosphere and music and the story was entertaining.

Also, the original Deus Ex has an enhanced visual mod with achievements called Deus Ex: Revision that I would recommend.
 
I like the Eidos ones. The original, I think I tried to get into it 5 times. Donno why but Im either too stupid for it or it just doesn't catch my attention to continue past a few obstacles. I love the vibe of it, color....Unreal 1 engine? Anyway Id love to get immersed in it but I never got farther than the very first level and just moved on.
 

jhjfss

Member
Just look at the direction Arkane Studios is going under their new found leadership. Even if MS did buy Square not a chance. The same goes for Sony. The only way Deus Ex could come back to life is if the IP was bought by an independent studio.
Not buy square, but the deus ex ip. MS could ask arkane to just remake the original one. Harvey even Mentioned he hated the pressure and crunch of AAA game development. A remake project would be perfect for them.
 

Solarstrike

Member
Just started another playthrough of the series. Absolutely love these games. The music and atmosphere are something else. Really hoping for a new Deus Ex game soon. Mankind Divided runs a lot better now on PC with newer generation GPU(s).
Some wallpapers I found, credit: Alphacoders







 
Deus Ex is one of my favorite franchises of all time. Square Enix is such a shit show, dropping this franchise for Guardians of The Galaxy.

SE, sell Deus Ex and Tomb Raider to Xbox, and let them do these franchises justice.
 
Sweet! I'll watch this later

I'm new to the series in that I've only played HR and MD but I LOVE those games - HR more than MD because the story felt so much bigger. Really sad that we probably won't get any more of Adam Jensen's story for a while, if ever
 
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Soodanim

Member
I have a lot of love for Human Revolution. I played it on PS3 through PS+, then bought the Wii U version with its GamePad integration, then the PC version of Director’s Cut. Just seeing this thread is making me want to replay it.

Mankind Divided never grabbed me the same way. I don’t know if it’s the setting, the story, the visual style, or something else, but it seemed lesser to me. I haven’t even replayed it with different powers.

I own the first two games, but I haven’t even finished the start island in the first. I don’t know whether to play Revision or not.
 
I don’t know whether to play Revision or not.
Revision fixes a bunch of bugs and technical issues, but I wasn't much of a fan of the upgraded environments. A lot of the time It just felt like they just took the original areas, made them somewhat larger (IMHO some of them were too large to begin with) and littered them with junk.
 

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

Yep, Deus Ex is still the greatest. Both as a game, and predicting the future.

Released in 2000, Deus Ex has been a game that some (myself included) consider the greatest game ever made. Even with all it's shortcomings, Deus Ex still manages to be the greatest at player choice in how they want to tackle objectives.

This Deus Ex review/analysis/critique/retrospective look at the Gameplay of Deus Ex, the areas of Deus Ex, conspiracy theories, how much Deus Ex got right in regards to how our world has played out, and more!

Timestamps:
00:00 - Prelude
02:02 - Making of Deus Ex
04:02 - Presentation of Deus Ex
05:59 - Gameplay of Deus Ex
09:55 - Game Intro: Liberty Island (spoilers begin)
14:52 - UNATCO
17:14 - Battery Park
17:54 - Hell's Kitchen
21:39 - The Airport
23:42 - Hell's Kitchen Part 2
24:50 - Majestic 12
25:51 - Hong Kong
28:20 - Versalife & Bob Page
31:06 - On Conspiracy Theories
35:48 - Shipyard
36:20 - Paris
39:49 - Final Stretch
42:39 - Conclusion
 

Camreezie

Member
Even though it's been 5/6 years since Mankind Divided I dont think the Deus Ex series is finished. I'm hoping we get another one in the next couple of years i think the "fall" of the series is overstated
 

zcaa0g

Member
Deus Ex among many things was about globe hopping to unique locations. Mankind Divided made a huge mistake basically going for one primary location and obviously the ending wasn't great. I still like the first the best, but Human Revolution was pretty damn good.
 
Deus Ex among many things was about globe hopping to unique locations. Mankind Divided made a huge mistake basically going for one primary location and obviously the ending wasn't great. I still like the first the best, but Human Revolution was pretty damn good.
I don't think MD was a bad game, I'll give it a solid 8.

Wonder if linear single player games are still commercially viable. CP2077 did not follow in Deus Ex footsteps but went the open world route.
 

anthraticus

Member
I slept on the whole series. Should I start from og or just do the more modern HR and MD?
Og.. of course. And play it with this...

 
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