It's a testament to the legacy of Deus Ex that so many still see such potential in the classic cyberpunk game. With its Revision mod, a small team of designers at Caustic Creative is working to put its own stamp on the original experience with redesigned music and environment art.
There must be some sort of magical lure for stories dealing with trenchcoated, cybernetic soldiers wearing sunglasses indoors and uncovering nefarious schemes from world-domineering organizations, because Deus Ex just keeps augmenting itself with fantastic-looking mods. Nihilum has kept hidden in its development lab for a few years, but its ready to emerge this June as a fully voiced alternate tale involving the green-loving UNATCO and a mission to a futuristic Hong Kong.
The rough preliminary outlines for Deus Ex described a more brutal world with more aggressive foes than the enigmatic cabals encountered in Ion Storm's cyberpunk RPG. Eurogamer's report goes over the design documents in detail, but a few highlights include an original vision incorporating "X-Files weirdness" and significant personality changes for major characters such as Tracer Tong and Joseph Manderley.
For all its crazy cyber-conspiracy narrative and superior voice acting, Deus Ex didn't ride its Unreal Engine tech gracefully into the visual standards of the present. Still, its neon-lined cyberpunk locales are close to many a gamer's nano-heart, which makes the release of the final version of David Watts' "New Vision" mod for Deux Ex just another good reason to reinstall it.
There are two Deus Ex games. The original classic, and the brilliant recent sequel, Human Revolution. Sure back in 2004 there was an ill advised follow up called Deus Ex: Invisible War, but shortly after its release we all agreed that it never happened, and we would never speak of it again.
Warren Spector apparently didn't get that memo. Speaking to IGN during a preview of Epic Mickey he said he regretted listening to the feedback of focus testers when making the game.
What, exactly, is so great about Deus Ex? It didn't sell amazingly well, and plenty of gamers played it and just didn't see the point. Why all the reverence? Why is this talked about like it's the Mona Lisa of game design?
My exact answer changes each time I write about this, but like any Deus Ex fan, I always end up using the first level as an example. Liberty Island - tiny by island standards, but huge for an open-air game level. It showcased everything that was unique and exciting about the game's open-ended approach to missions, demand for tactical planning, and constant surprises. So I played through that level one more time, the way I like to play, and used everything that happened as a demonstration of why I love this game like nothing else.