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GameSpot's Deus Ex Preview

Ion Storm


Target Release Date:
June 2000
Don't miss the other parts of our extended Deus Ex coverage. Also, check out the movie.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
By Amer Ajami

Page 1 of 4

Last weekend, we had the chance to visit Ion Storm's Austin offices to take a firsthand look at legendary game designer Warren Spector's current work in progress. To our surprise, we found the design team working on a handful of games concurrently, including a first-person shooter, a role-playing game, and an adventure game - and all three are called Deus Ex. That's because Deus Ex encompasses all three genres. "This game blurs the lines between traditional genres," explains Spector. "Some [Ion Storm] testers insist it's an RPG, some say it's an action game, while others call it in adventure game." Like Spector's previous work, Deus Ex is completely open-ended, and since it isn't grounded in a specific set of rules, it doesn't dictate to players how to play the game. It's the players, and not Spector's design team, that decide how each situation will take place and how each problem will be solved. As a result, Deus Ex doesn't play like any single game but instead borrows elements from a wide spectrum of genres. For gamers who prefer fast-paced action, Deus Ex is a first-person shooter; it's an RPG for those who prefer character building and interaction; and those who like quest-based missions will find that Deus Ex is a solid adventure game.

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The defining factor for this open-ended gameplay is Deus Ex's skill system, a series of customizable talents that let you decide what kind of character you want to play throughout the game, in essence, differentiating your player from everyone else's. In addition, the ability to augment your body and modify your weapons ensures that you'll get a different experience every time you play Deus Ex. But before we dive into some of the gameplay details, here's some basic information to familiarize you with Warren Spector's latest creation.

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The world of Deus Ex takes place in a dark future where crime has taken over every aspect of society. Armed to the teeth and bristling with machine guns and ballistic armor, the police of this future resemble an invading army, not a domestic peacekeeping force. Disease and drugs run rampant through the streets, and the landscapes are dotted with ruined buildings and aging landmarks that are overrun by homeless people, orphaned children and street thugs that range from petty thieves to mob bosses. You assume the role of J.C. Denton, a new recruit of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition, or UNATCO. As Denton, your character is thrust into a world steeped in lies, betrayal, and conspiracy. In true X-Files fashion, you'll come to trust no one in your search for the truth behind the events that transpire throughout the game.

Next: Gameplay