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The Father of Emergent Gameplay

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 4 March 2017 12:33

One word best sums up this game: possibilities. I think many games try to funnel you into a certain way of playing to the point where it has a numbing effect on a person's creative faculties. You become a habitual slave to custom and play a game without any wit, wonder or imagination. Warren Spector et al set out to strip away those artificial barriers in the hope of setting free those impulses or sparks of unorthodoxy and of course impudence. Without them who could've known besides blowing shit up, there is a secondary purpose to mines, like for example using it as pitons for climbing walls? This is a classic example of emergent gameplay. Creating something out of nothing. One of my favourite discoveries in this vein is recognising how useful a MIB unit can be. I figured that since it explodes during death, the explosion might help me open a locked container or even a door. So I lured it next to one when I had whittled it down to low health before delivering the fatal blow. Just as I had planned it, the container was blown open and the booty was there for the taking. Only in this way could I nab a lot of treasure and get into restricted areas without the need to waste lockpicks or spend so much skill points. This is just one of many, many examples of what you can do in Deus Ex. It rewards you for being left-field.

You can clearly see the influence of Deus Ex in games today, a prime example being Crysis. Not a lot of people, particularly those who are more of the console gaming persuasion knew how to play that game properly. Or rather they do not know how to 'create their own fun' and let the game go on rails so to speak. If it did not have robust rpg elements to provide another anchor to the gameplay, the same sentiments would've emanated from the feedback of Deus Ex. In fact most people who even professed a liking of the game did not really understand its true beauty. You won't find an explanation in reviews and tribute write ups. They mainly look at things in face value such as its story, character development system, level design etc. The fact that it can stand on these merits and still be called a quality game is an achievement in itself. But I'm a little worried that the most important and defining part of the game is going to be lost amongst its other praised aspects particularly to future generations. I certainly felt that way when I played the third game; the developer understood the appeal of multiple branching pathways but not much agency was granted to manipulate the game mechanics.

Even to this day, I still feel that Deus Ex 1 is the only Deus Ex that truly mattered. I never really got into the sequels. They're mere shadows of its predecessor's self. Invisible War for being consolised and Human Revolution for having little freedom.

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Deus Ex - Game of the Year Edition review

Posted : 6 years, 11 months ago on 7 July 2011 01:16

Deus Ex told a fascinating story and featured enough quasi-unique elements to make it a truly fantastic game.

The gameplay here was all about choice. Depending on how you outfit your character you could approach the same situation in a myriad of different ways. You could hack your way in, use stealth tactics to get the drop on your enemies or (this was often the most difficult approach) go in with guns blazing. That sense of choice extends to the various augmentations you can install in your character.

The writing and usage of familiar environments (like the Statue of Liberty) really made this game stand out. It's one of the best futuristic shooters out there.

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"Probably just a homeless guy"

Posted : 10 years, 3 months ago on 19 March 2008 01:32

The best game ever made?

Easily. DX utilizes the UT engine, but takes out the monotonous gameplay and actually adds some sort of plot! And what a plot that is - one of the most immersive and captivating plots of any game I've ever played. If games could be compared to books, this would be an encyclopaedia compared to the ten a penny Dr Seuss FPSs that seem to come out these days. I still complete it at least once a year and it still impresses me to this day. It's such a fun game. I think it's untouchable.

It's such an atmospheric and immersing game, with a solid storyline that puts the player in control of his own destiny. Built around one of the most legendary protagonists in gaming history, you are JC Denton, a nano augmented super agent who doesn't take long to realise that he's fighting for the wrong side. With amazing locations and hundreds of different character interactions, this is one of the most satisfying games around. If only someone reprogrammed it for the Source engine!

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