An enormous world. A rich tapestry of conspiracy. Labyrinth-like levels that give you the freedom to rush in all guns blazing, sneak past foes, or silently assasinate them. Incredibly deep role playing mechanics, and enormous scope that ensures that you can only specialise in certain ways on a single play through.
The year is 2052 and the world is a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorists operate openly - killing thousands; drugs, disease and pollution kill even more. The world's economies are close to collapse and the gap between the insanely wealthy and the desperately poor grows ever wider.
All the screenshots from this review are from the Mod's Steam Store page.
This is Deus Ex, one of the best games ever made, and an absolute pleasure to revisit, with the help of the Deus Ex: Revision mod, which is available on Steam; and makes ot ever so easy to get the classic game up and running on modern hardware.
No dodgy patches, no disabling hyper-threading, SMT, or forcing your monitor to run at an exotic resolution. It just works.
It is beautiful. Yes, its an old, dated game, but it is still beautiful for its dystopian illustration of a society fraying at its seam, exploring the inefficiency of bureaucracy, the power structures that make up the world's political, logistical, and financial systems - and all sorts of conspiracy theories.
At the original time of release, Deus Ex required a beast to run well, utilising the Unreal engine (the first one!) - and I remember playing this on a woefully under specced machine - which only served to increase the difficulty of the game, which remains well balanced (although leans more to the side of "unforgiving" than most games would consider these days) - given the fact that depending on your difficulty level, this limited the number of times that you could save the game.
The other thing to mention about this game is just how large and filled with detail every single level is - whether its computer terminals and coffee cups in an office, or trash, bottles of booze and bicycles in alleyways - the world is littered with an extraordinary amount of detail, with most of it interactive.
When you're not untangling the narrative, you can play pool in a bar. You can buy stuff from vending machines. You can take illicit drugs, and be impaired by them. There's no limit to the freedoms and liberties that Deus Ex provides to you.
Sneak. Shoot. Try notice what has changed thanks to nostalgia, and what the mod developers have done to try and modernise the game.
The AI is still challenging. The controls are still all there (but require some tweaking). The story, the themes, are all so very relevant, especially given the fact that the game describes a world suffering from a virus - and that alone gives it an outstanding modern context.
If you're looking for something to do, and you like PC games - and... you've never played the original Deus Ex, you now immediately have something to do for the next 20-40 hours. This game will change your life. It will change the way you look at every modern video game, and you'll realise the best computer games ever made are behind us, not in front of us.
This is a true title from the golden age of gaming, and is required for anyone who wants to slap the label of gamer upon their identity.