Home > Gaming, Opinions (Gaming) > Gaming: Project Pile of Shame – Day Four

Gaming: Project Pile of Shame – Day Four

The project: To spend two hours playing every console game from this generation that I own but have never touched (the ‘pile of shame’), to see if any of them are worth spending more time with.

Today’s entry isn’t on the original list because it’s a PC game, and if I tried to include all the PC games I own but haven’t played the list would be considerably larger (it would be the same if I went back multiple console generations, which is why I limited myself to just this generation). So to celebrate its tenth anniversary, on the fourth day I played:

Deus Ex

JC Denton

The character models seem to be the most dated part of the game. They're not pretty.

System: PC (also on PS2)

Reason I’ve never played it: Back when the game first released my PC couldn’t run it well, so it ultimately was just skipped over.

Thoughts: Deus Ex is often called one of the greatest games of all time, if not the greatest. Coinciding with both previews of the new Deus Ex game and the original’s tenth anniversary sites like Rock, Paper Shotgun and PC Gamer have been going over the original and why exactly it means so much to them, making it seem even sillier that I’ve never played it.

In the first two hours the game does indeed establish itself as something special. Essentially a first-person RPG with upgrades in place of XP and levelling, a full training level establishes the different approaches available, with pure, non-lethal stealth at one end and violently charging in at the other.

The first level takes place in and around the Statue of Liberty and is a fairly large area with multiple routes and possible approaches, and objectives that can be skipped if you choose. I opted to try and play it stealthy and it played out just like a stealth game, with enemies being spaced out but not in ridiculous positions and enough options to avoid or incapacitate that killing was never necessary (though once you’ve completed your objective soldiers do then come in and kill everybody you just spent time deliberately not killing).

Post-mission you’re free to wander down to the UNATCO outpost on the island and de-brief or just explore every nook and cranny, and it’s here that the game starts making it clear that your actions don’t go unnoticed. Soldiers mentioned that I wouldn’t get far being non-lethal against a real threat, the agent I forgot to rescue gently chastised me for leaving him to save himself and, in the most memorable moment, the commander told me not to go in the womens’ bathroom again (something which I’d guess pretty much all gamers do automatically because at some point in their gaming history there has been an item or something neat in there). It shows that the developers have properly thought about what the player might do and made a point of giving out these little rewards.

By the time I was done exploring the UNATCO building my two hours was at an end, but Deus Ex is the first game in my Pile of Shame that I genuinely want to go back to.

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