"You can't fight ideas with bullets."
DartingFro wrote this review on .
You play JC Denton (you can choose his name yourself, but you will always be called JC Denton - your codename - in both this game and the sequel), a biomodified and nanotechnologically enhanced 'super-soldier'. (Supposedly) Your whole life you have been training to become one of UNATCO's (United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition) greatest military assets, an agent that could far surpass the abilities of a regular human being. You are only one of two of your kind, with your brother Paul Denton being your counterpart. You are special in the respect that, while you are heavily modified with equipment, you are able to appear exactly like another normal human being, except for the lack of the ability to smile.
This quality alone makes you the perfect protagonist for an intelligent, mind-bending game that will make you question the idealogies of government and where the world should be headed. The game takes place in the not-so-far-off future and at the beginning, you are dropped in the middle of a fight between the NSF and UNATCO (with you being on the UNATCO side) taking place on Liberty Island. The soldiers have been told to cease fire, and you are given a gun to complete your objective alone: interrogate the NSF official leading the assault on Liberty Island and, if possible, liberate a fellow soldier from their clutches. Sounds fairly generic at first, and it is, except that it's executed in such a way that you are brought right into the power struggle of these two (and maybe more, as you go...) groups.
It doesn't take long for things to get interesting, and an hour or two in the game opens up what is really happening in the world. What follows is a sophisticated and extremely well-executed plot that holds tones of politics, government, philosophies, and war all in the same package. You will have to ask yourself big questions when playing: "What's the real difference between God and government?", "Why is this computer so freaking smart?", and "What the hell did this guy just say?"
Some of the dialogue will probably leave some gamers confused, as they are extremely intelligent conversations that usually end with no conclusion, and nothing to hit an idea home. This, however frustrating it may be for some, is an effective way to keep the player questioning everything and everyone around him. The game will take you across many areas (Hong Kong, Liberty Island, France, to name a few) that are all distince in their own ways, and with their own localized conflicts that you can either help out with or ignore entirely (anyone say 'side quest'?).
I'm going to conclude here, because I'm too lazy to go on: each of the game's three different endings are extreme, but they fit the character and complexity of the game perfectly. While it spawned a (somewhat) disappointing sequel, Deus Ex is still an awesome original that will affect both your mind and soul.
"Jesus Christ, JC!" - Paul Denton