Days ahead of the 22nd anniversary of its release, PC gaming touchstone Deus Ex is getting a big 2.0 update to its ambitious Randomizer mod.
Headed up by modder Die4Ever, the mod's main feature, randomization, looks to shake up Deus Ex's well-trodden levels with shuffled start points, equipment locations, passwords, goal locations, keys, enemies, and even door/lock strength. A big "we're not in Kansas anymore" moment from the mod's trailer was seeing a player try to input the legendary 0451 door code to the UNATCO storage shed and having it deny access.
Similar to the various Souls Series randomizers we've covered in the past, this sort of shake-up can encourage improvisation and freshen up a well-worn experience. I think it could be even more transformative in an immersive sim, a genre whose exciting, chaotic potential can often be limited by familiarity with a game's maps and myths surrounding the "correct" way to play.
The Randomizer mod also adds some inventive and really out-there features to the game. It has an optional online component, including Souls series-style death markers for other players—they show up as little floating skulls on the ground, and hovering your cursor over them gives you a cause and time of death. Having online features enabled will also send occasional updates to a Randomizer mod activity account on Twitter, which tweets out brief snippets of activity from players.
JC Denton was shocked to death in Hong Kong - MJ12 Helibase (Mission: 06)Position: -1285.768, -20.001, 508.754Seed: 403026, flagshash: 2021284352#DeusEx #Randomizer v2.0.0June 19, 2022
There's also the matter of bingo. Deus Ex Randomizer's bingo feature adds bonus objectives organized in a bingo card in your menus. The tasks include getting erstwhile government pilot Jock buzzed, sinking a bucket at the Hell's Kitchen basketball court, and killing off members of the game's extensive supporting cast. Like the randomized levels, new objectives can really help you approach a familiar game with a fresh perspective.
Randomizer 2.0 also has fairly robust support for other stand-out Deus Ex mods, including Crowd Control, which lets a Twitch chat muck up your game, the Lay D Denton female JC mod, the HX co-op mod, and Deus Ex Revision, which we recently featured in our guide to having the best experience with Deus Ex in 2022.
I'm usually a bit of a purist with my games, but the Randomizer mod looks like a great time. I'm especially fond of the death markers—it's such a simple idea, but could add so much texture to a chaotic and surprising game like Deus Ex.