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Deus Ex, one of the most influential games in history, turns 20

Deus Ex, one of the most influential games in history, turns 20

The game of Ion Storm continues to be the mirror in which numerous titles are looked at to achieve an organic world with freedom of options

On June 23, 2000 Deus Ex was released, developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos. The studio was the inflated dream of John Romero to create a super studio in Texas after his departure from id software, with enough capital to form several teams with which they intended to revolutionize the video game industry with ambitious titles, in which technology I wasn’t serving merely graphics, lighting, or FPS, but narrative and the way we played, with a particular focus on the AI ​​field. One of those teams was the Austin headquarters, which featured numerous prominent Looking Glass names, including Warren Spector, which kept a team of 20 developers away from the internal problems that were brewing at the Dallas headquarters to create On PC a masterpiece whose influence endures today: Deus Ex.

Using the Unreal Engine license and highly conceptual and highly iterative development, Deus Ex is a natural evolution of Ultima Underworld’s ideas, but with the benefit of a more flexible engine put into the hands of a team without fear of breaking the mold. . What seemed like another first-person action game, was really an RPG with a revolutionary freedom for the player to find their own solutions to the problems that were presented, in a way that the world around them would fit in and react to those decisions, They ranged from dialogues with NPCs to how you dealt with the struggles and conflicts you were experiencing as JC Denton, a nanotechnology augmented special agent for UNATCO, a United Nations anti-terrorism unit based in the dystopian future of 2052.

A revolutionary game

As soon as you started you saw first hand how the open design of the game allowed different possibilities and styles. There was a wide range when developing JC, but we could not master them all: specialty in various types of weapons -which affected the pulse when handling them or our ability to move with them-, locks, electronics, medicine, computers or swimming, which also combined with multiple nanotechnological enhancement modules that ultimately defined the character we wanted to be. In the first mission, based on our earliest fortresses, we could attempt a (difficult) frontal assault, but it was much easier to use other alternatives such as hacking defense systems or something as crude (but revolutionary) as stacking boxes and making a ladder to access a high point from which we could skip the entire process of crossing the heavily defended main gate.

Deus Ex

The entire game was a constant demonstration that linearity and doing what you were told wasn’t necessarily the only alternative in a video game. Even in situations where the plot seemed to give us little or no choice, there always seemed to be one more alternative that was perfectly valid and flowed with a story that mixed cyberpunk themes with the amalgamation of myths, legends, and conspiracy theories from The X-Files. The flexibility of Deus Ex to accommodate our decisions continues to be legendary and an aspiration for current productions, which often suffer to reproduce all the options and alternatives that this 20-year-old game had.

Today, studios like Arkane or CD Projekt openly talk about the great influence exerted by game that helped create Tom Hall, Warren Spector or Harvey Smith and it has a very worthy contemporary continuation in the form of the Human Revolution and Mankind Divided that We hope it will be finished one day with a third party. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the game by buying it digitally on sites like GOG or Steam.

About author

Chris Watson is a gaming expert and writer. He has loved video games since childhood and has been writing about them for over 15 years. Chris has worked for major gaming magazines where he reviewed new games and wrote strategy guides. He started his own gaming website to share insider tips and in-depth commentary about his favorite games. When he's not gaming or writing, Chris enjoys travel and hiking. His passion is helping other gamers master new games.

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