At the time of release, it was Golden. Today....it's still Golden.
Graphics: The game was released in 2000, so today obviously the graphical power is very outdated. Back then this game was a graphical powerhouse, I've even read the intro to a walkthrough where the writer mentioned how he had to buy a new Voodoo card to run the game, and with some average lag. When it comes down to it though, it looks pretty decent considering its age. Still very playable and there won't be many moments, if any, where you sit back and stare at the game like as if it was an abstract painting, leading to absolutely nothing and thinking, why did I pay $18 to get into the Art Institute of Chicago in the first place?
Moving on from graphical power, I LOVE the style of the game. They decided to build everything around the concept of a Cyberpunk society akin to Blade Runner, albeit with less detail. The game does well to show off the negative sides to a futuristic society, and at times locations like Hong Kong or Paris look very unique. Deus Ex's graphics and style, along with System Shock 2, did well to innovate in a genre that was quick to boom into something much bigger.
Storyline: There is no game out today that has a story like Deus Ex. Filled with conspiracies, lots of factions and tons and tons of characters, the story is probably the most outstanding factor when writing a review on Deus Ex. The plot-line itself is a mix of many famous conspiracy theories from the Illuminati to Area 51, and with added Political elements it's a thrill to learn all about how our world survives in a dystopian society by the year 2052. There are three different endings, and before you even reach the end you'll be able to influence many things along the game that will all come together under a brilliant climax. The fate of the world as we know it rests in the hands of JC Denton.
Sound: I will forever have the UNATCO HQ jingle stuck somewhere in the back of my head. The game has some memorable simple tunes along with an ambiance that will keep you immersed at all times. Today it would be nothing special, but back then it must have been the bomb to play this game with a good pair of headphones. I loved the voice acting in this game, not because it sounds fantastic, but the lines delivered along with the characters speaking them sometimes just come out either completely awesome or downright hilarious. I've never seen a protagonist so excited about a bomb.
Gameplay: Deus Ex is a First Person Action Role-Playing Game, or FPARPG as I'll pen it for short. Combat wise, at times it feels like you're playing Unreal Tournament, and that's because it was made with the first Unreal Engine. Standard FPS and on the side you have Augmentations to help you out, such as faster speed/higher jumping or regeneration. The game is VERY fun, I had a blast shooting my way through corridors left and right. But the real awesomeness comes in when you decide to sneak by all the combat. You'll find vents you can crawl through, computers you can hack, doors you can pick-lock you way into, it's all very fleshed out. At times you'll manage to complete a task and realize if you had taken another route it would have taken you much, much longer to finish, but by doing so you'd also gain a lot more loot.
There are also many ways you can affect the storyline through gameplay actions. Simple things like walking into the womans restroom will affect the dialogue of your mission debriefing, and that scales to more important choices such as the fate of many important characters. I can say for myself I regret making some decisions as it led to repercussions in the story-line, and I'll be sure to change things around the next time I play the game. Don't be afraid to mess around though, you're free to change a lot.
Final Verdict: If you're not interested in playing the game by this point of my review, it might not be the game for you. Chances are, you'll love it anyways. The game was revolutionary upon release and today it holds up as one of the greatest PC titles of all time. I pray that my kids will grow up and continue to have innovation in their games like Deus Ex had for our generation, whether it be virtual reality or whatever level of photo-realism we reach by the time that happens. Till then, we have Deus Ex, and I'll be playing it for a long, long time.