Eidos Interactive and Ion Storm's own Warren Spector treated us to a demo of the PS2 version of Deus Ex earlier today. The game is nearing its final phases of development, and the build we saw had all of its console-specific features already in place.
The original Deus Ex was built around a pretty intensive interface, which was naturally the developers' main concern when porting it to a console. The problem has been aptly solved, though, from what we saw today. The PS2 version's interface will essentially be a multileveled "collapsible" version of its predecessor. Each item type essentially has a spot on the interface, which you can highlight and extend to access other items of that type. The interface basically takes the form of a vertical line of blocks, which can extend horizontally. There's one line on each side of the screen--one for items and one for your bio-enhancements. From what we saw, accessing them is a fairly simple affair, with all functions at hand when needed. The game seemed just about done, truth be told. Its time remaining in development, according to Spector, will be used to animate some elements of the game's interface and to optimize the frame rate, which was a bit sketchy in places in the build we saw today.
Spector also talked a bit about some of the game's redesigned levels. To address complaints players of the PC version had about some of the designs, the PS2 version's dev team made it a point to either tighten up some of the levels or loosen up those that "guided the player by hand," as it were. The first level, for example, is much more focused than it was in the PC game. Remember that large expanse of terrorist-inhabited parkland just outside the entrance to the statue? In the PS2 version it's been replaced by a much tighter corridor. In many ways, it seems to serve as a more focused introduction to the game's action; the enemy-littered beginning environment often felt like too much of a sink-or-swim situation, for many players.
In any event, once Ion Storm is through with the final round of optimizations, Deus Ex will be ready to ship. We'll have a full review for you as soon as it goes gold. Stay tuned until then.