Thursday, 13 October 2011

Deus Ex (PC)

At last, Super Adventures in Gaming reaches 500 posts! That doesn't necessarily mean 500 games played, and 89 of those posts weren't even written by me, but whatever, I'm going to celebrate anyway. Usually I stick to games I haven't seen before, but this time I'm replaying one of my favourite games.

I'm going to be playing it with the Direct3D 10 renderer found here: http://kentie.net/article/d3d10drv/ but I'll leave the lighting and textures alone. Click the pictures to see them at a higher resolution.

You know, I've always loved the Deus Ex theme. Plus I like how the logo forms a D, E and X at the same time, even as it spins around.

And then they went and changed the logo to blatantly spell out 'DX' for the PS2 version for no reason I can think of.

Invisible War brought the classic logo back, but no one wants to remember that, and then Human Revolution dropped it entirely. But it's an awesome game so I'll forgive them.

Deus Ex starts with a tutorial, which I've skipped, then I get to set up my character. Unlike the later games, I have skills to level up along with my augmentations. But I think I'll hold off spending any points until I need them.

I can't change JC's face or gender, but I can change his skin tone. So I will. Also JC Denton is actually a codename, so I get to give him a name.

The intro shows two sinister figures chatting about their sinister conspiracy under an ominous statue of a hand reaching to grasp the world. Apparently there's a plague sweeping across the globe and they have the vaccine, so they're using it to bribe people as part of an elaborate scheme to gain power.

Cut to: Liberty Island, New York. Super cyborg UNATCO agent JC Denton arrives at HQ for his first day of work.

The poor Statue of Liberty has seen better days. It seems a terrorist strike has taken the head and torch clean off. Of course instead of fixing it, they sealed the island off from the public and put their anti-terrorist HQ here instead. Welcome to the shitty dystopian future.

Hey it's my brother Paul Denton (also a codename), with the same skin tone as I chose for JC. The camera switches to third person view, and picks a couple of cinematic angles as we chat.

He fills me in on the situation. Terrorists have invaded the Statue of Liberty and are holding a UNATCO agent prisoner. My boss wants to see what I can do though, so I'm going to be sent in alone.

My only dialogue choice in the conversation is picking what weapon I want to bring with me. Which is a shame because I actually want all the weapons.Though seeing as I'm forced to choose, I'll go with the crossbow, because it's non-lethal and I'm going to try to do this without killing anyone.

I didn't kill him! He wandered too close to a UNATCO security bot guarding the dock, and got machine gunned to death while I was chatting to Paul.

Annoyingly when I search bodies I don't get to choose what I grab. So I'm going to end up with an inventory full of crap.

I love grid inventories. I'm really glad Human Revolution went back to this style. The ammo is filed away separately and doesn't waste space in my box, so I don't have to worry about what ammo types to collect. Not that there's much ammo around to pick up, especially for the non-lethal weapons.

Hmm, there doesn't seem to be any point holding on to the knife... but on the other hand if I search someone else it'll probably just appear again. So fuck it, I'll just leave it there for now.

Paul mentioned that if I can get to the north dock, a UNATCO informant will give me a key to the Statue doors. But he also said there may be other ways in.

Either way I think I'd have an easier time sneaking around if I go around the back.

Hah, look at those two having a chat over there, totally oblivious to me sneaking right past them. This area is so huge and badly lit that it seems I can walk right out in the open without being seen. Well, creep right out in the open, I'm not eager to see what happens if I make a loud noise.

There's a reason I'm taking the stealthy route, and that's because I probably wouldn't last long in a fight. I may be a cyborg, but the only augmentation I start with is bioluminescent vision. Right now I have the combat potential of an average guy in reasonable shape with the bare minimum of pistol training and a flashlight taped to his head.

I made my way around the back of the statue unseen, and found a convenient stack of boxes. Plus a convenient crate of supplies for me to smash with my baton.

It's a shame they usually only have one tiny box of ammo inside. Appallingly inefficient and wasteful packaging in my opinion.

Oh crap, I forgot that dropping heavy metal boxes makes a noise. Fortunately this seems to be the only guard who heard it, and he's firing silent poison darts at me.

If I can hit him with a tranq dart he should run off and fall over somewhere. I just have to survive being shot long enough to pull out my crossbow and steady my aim. With my level 1 pistol skill I'm going to have to hold still a while to get a guaranteed hit.


A FEW FLOORS LATER.


A gas grenade trap, those cunning bastards. With my health in the red this thing might have killed me. It might still if I don't pull it off the wall before it detonates

It seems that this leads to the central staircase of the Statue base. I have stairs going up, and stairs leading down. Going up would end the mission fast, but I still have a side quest to rescue the captured agent. So I guess I'm going down.

It seems that there's only two guards in here, so I should be able to get around without being seen.

There's no third person view to let me spy on my surroundings from behind cover, but I can tell where the enemies are by listening for their footsteps. Plus I can usually get away with peeking out around a wall for a second as long as I don't stop to wave at the terrorists.

I'm right across from where they're holding the captured agent. But first... I saw a cash machine on the wall. Let's put a few points into computer skills and see if I can hack myself an ATM.

It's okay, I'm a government agent, it's for the sake of national security. Plus I was only able to get 100 credits out of the thing.


SOON.


Okay, I did a bit of crawling around in the vents (and got an xp bonus for exploring), and now I'm outside the agent's cell.

The bad news is I kind of set off the alarm alerted every guard in the area along the way. The good news is I found a note with the password to this terminal written on it.
User Name: nsf001
Password: smashthestate

Look at them, waiting for me to finish so they can shoot me. It doesn't seem that they've noticed yet that I've told the security turret to fire at them.

I know I said I was going to try to play this non-lethal, but c'mon it's not my fault they're just staring at the ceiling mounted machine gun instead of running for cover.

I'm sorry agent Hermann, but it appears I misplaced my moderately upgraded pistol in the room outside before I came in to rescue you. Funny that.

However I do have this very nice knife to offer you.

With the UNATCO agent rescued, and running amok on enemies with a knife, I'm able to go pay a visit to the terrorist leader and put an end to these shenanigans. He gives himself up, and I get a free augmentation canister for my trouble.

And then the UNATCO troops come in and kill everyone I left standing. And worse, they strip the bodies of ammo!



LATER, AT UNATCO HQ.


On my way to report in for my debriefing I thought I'd go over and meet the other cyborg UNATCO agents. It seems poor Gunther Hermann has as much trouble with vending machines as he does with not being captured by terrorists.

Also now I wish I had some lemon-lime to drink. All I have in the fridge is orange... the tragic irony.

I also decided to take the time to hack into their personal email accounts and learn their secrets while I was here. But not too much time, because if I hang around in a hacked computer for too long I set off the alarm.

Sadly JC is a new-model nano-cyborg, so he'll never be able to get a skul-gun augmented onto his head. Maybe an idea for Human Revolution 2 though...

It's Alex Jacobson, the voice in my head feeding me mission details, in the flesh! Weirdly it seems that they've forgotten to give the computer guy his own computer though. He's just got a crappy looking desk with a couple of lights on it.

Oh wow, he's got a keyboard on his trouser leg, how did I never notice that before? Well okay that explains that then.

Jaime Reyes... isn't that the name of a comic book character?

The doc explains that I'll be seeing upgrades for my augmentations around in my travels, and I can use a medical bot to install them. I think I'll do that right now then.

The canister I took from the terrorist leader has two abilities to choose from: combat strength or lifting strength. And once I make the choice it's permanent.

I'll go with extra lifting strength. As much as I want to beat enemies unconscious with a stick, I think opening up new routes will be more useful.

Then, after redecorating my office a little with some stuff I borrowed from around the building, I decide to take the boat to my next mission.

Paul Denton is leading a team to raid a warehouse, and I'm being sent in to take out the power generators first.



LATER.


But first I have to deal with a slight terrorist situation at the subway.

Yeah I know I said I'd be taking a non-lethal approach, but these guys have hostages trapped in a station rigged with explosives. I think it's fair to take a decisive approach to this one.

Plus they used the flamethrower on me first!


LATER.


Turns out they expected me to take the train to the mission area. Don't I at least get a cool black car to drive?

Also because I'm totally under-equipped for this mission, I'm breaking into my brother's crappy apartment via some boxes and a fire escape to borrow some of his gear. The exciting life of a nano-augmented government agent.

Oh of course, terrorists have broken in here too. I should have known that enemies stupid enough to stare into a security turret would consistently choose to set up right next door to the highly moderately funded highly trained cyborg agents employed to stop them.

I'm still not very augmented right now though, or even trained very well to be honest, so I wasn't quite fast enough to save all the hostages. In fact I didn't realise they even had hostages or else I would have used my pistol from the start. I'm trying to be nice here, but when lives are at risk I can't afford to screw around.

Sadly it's been ages since I saved so I don't get a second try at saving everyone.

Hey it's another side quest, kind of. The game has been pretty straightforward up to this point, but this area has more stuff going on around the main mission for me to check out. There's NPCs to chat to, secret locations to find, people to help out, and even the occasional dialogue choice.

Shame the lip sync is so bad. And the character graphics. But hey it came out in 2000, and not everything could look as good as Shenmue.

Suspect your family and friends!

Yeah I know I said I was going to go non-lethal, but...

Hey, it's the hotel owner's daughter... and her pimp. Nice future fashions they've got going on there.

Well I could try resolving this situation with words, but that'd totally ruin the surprise!

Okay enough screwing around with pimps and family problems. A guy at the clinic pointed out a way to get to the rooftops, and from here it should be pretty simple to get over to the power generators hidden in Osgood & Sons.

Crap, I think they've seen me.

I heroically leapt off the building... and landed in a bloody heap on the pavement. It turns out that I haven't augmented my legs to survive a long drop yet. Fortunately I made a quick save.


LATER.


Okay, the bad news is I'm half dead and I've somehow alerted every enemy in the entire building and they've all chased me to the ground floor where the only escape routes lead to more enemies... and turrets. Plus they have assault rifles and I have an electric prod.

The good news is... it's all going according to plan.

I quickly run up stairs again, leap through the window into the control room, and set the generators to blow. I sure hope no enemies are swarming around those things down there...

Black helicopter! That's way better than taking the train. Interesting billboard too.

Anyway, I can't hang around here all night (mostly because it's always night in Deus Ex), I've got to fly back to base and get my next assignment. And make sure no one's moved my potted plants.


Okay Deus Ex is still awesome, no huge shock there. But how does it compare to the shiny new Deus Ex 3? Hmm, well I think it's fair to say that although Human Revolution has far better enemy AI and combat (and looks a fair bit prettier), Deus Ex has catchier music and much less annoying boss fights. In a lot of game series, the innovations of the newer games tend to make the older ones painful to play in comparison, but Deus Ex hasn't lost its charm.

     

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations on 500 posts, dude. I love just how far this has come. Also, Deus Ex is awesome.

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  2. Came across your blog..Deus Ex is still the best game i ever played, in terms of story and gameplay. Simply awesome.
    PS Good job on the blog!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! That reminds me, I should probably get around to taking a look at all those other Deus Ex games as well at some point. Sure Invisible War gets a fair bit of hate, but anything that gives me an excuse to replay this again to compare can't be all bad.

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    2. Lol!
      Yep Invisible War was kind of "i'd like to be next-gen deus ex..but i miserably fail"..
      Human Revolution was nice, but my hard drive blew up while i was playing it and i haven't tried it again ever since..one HD is enough.
      Anyway, you just reminded me that i could actually reinstall the first episode

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