The Let's Play Archive

Deus Ex

by Bobbin Threadbare

Thanks! We like it too.Why not check out some similar LPs from our recommendations?
What would you like to tag this LP as?

Original Thread: Let's Play Deus Ex: A Series of Lectures



Deus ex Machina is the Latin version of a Greek phrase meaning "God of the Machine" (or possibly "The Machine of God"). It refers to a practice in Greek theater where a play would be resolved at the end by divine intervention. The god (or gift from a god, in one case) would be lowered in from above to signify its divinity, but the crane doing the lowering was obvious to the audience, hence being a god by right of a machine.

The practice was criticized even by contemporaries. In his Poetics, Aristotle determined that, even if divine intervention were necessary, it should either be established earlier in the play or else foreshadowed, thereby becoming a part of the play rather than a poor excuse for ending it.

I imagine making the God of the Machine the protagonist is a pretty effective way of integrating him into the plot.

In 1996, a crazy level designer named John Romero founded Ion Storm in Dallas on a lot of promises and very little follow-through. His flagship game, Daikatana, became an industry standard for overhype, vaporware, and eventually disappointment, and while his buddy Tom Hall's game, Anachronox, was pretty good, it took forever to get going and ended at what should've been the halfway point.

However, one good thing Romero did was find Warren Spector and tell him to start a second team in Austin and make his dream game. That game would be Deus Ex, which was and still is a landmark of integrated storytelling, freedom of choice, and setting immersion. I'd say more, but I'll be getting to that in the video. As for the developer, Ion Storm Austin would go on to create two more games, Deus Ex 2 and Thief 3, but both games were disappointments thanks to a pretty shitty game engine and tightening budgets. Both halves of Ion Storm went defunct by 2005.

As for Deus Ex itself, it lives on thanks to a surprisingly forward-compatible Unreal engine whose source code got released a few years later. I've applied both the 1.5 (final) New Vision mod, which upgrades the environment textures significantly, and Kentie's mod (which is packaged with New Vision), which allows the Unreal engine to take advantage of the numerous advances in DirectX 10. There's also Project HDTP, but that's still in development so I'm skipping that for now. I'm also aware of Shifter, but I'm not using it. For me, the gameplay of Deus Ex is like putting on a comfortable old shoe: the new model may be improved, but it certainly won't be the same.

Spoiler policy: Go hog wild! I don't want to see a single black line because I don't want you to think it's necessary. Studies have proven that an informed audience is better able to appreciate a work's story. Besides, it's been over a decade and Deus Ex is currently available on Steam and GOG, so anyone who isn't familiar with the story has no room to complain.

One last thing: Deus Ex touches on a number of conspiracy theories, politics, and philosophies, all of which I know folks have opinions regarding, myself absolutely included. While I wouldn't mind seeing some debate in the thread regarding these topics, I will not tolerate personal attacks (against those present or not) and if I think the spirited discussion is descending into shitty arguments, I will not hesitate to close the thread. Thank you for your forbearance, and enjoy the show.

Liberty Island mission map
The NSF Commander

The public map of Liberty Island
A fiance's note
An FNN editorial

UNATCO Bulletin: Terrorism
UNATCO Bulletin: Threat Profiling
UNATCO Bulletin: NSF
UNATCO Bulletin: Silhouette
UNATCO Bulletin: Triads
UNATCO Bulletin: Others
JC Email: Greetings
JC Email: "Stressors"
Reyes Email: bad nee
Reyes Email: Nano-Aug Briefing
Manderley/Navarre Email: Experiment
Hermann/Navarre Email: New Recruit
Hermann Email: re: Skul-gun
Reed Email: Nationalization
Group Email: Nano-Augmentation Rollout
Handbook: Dedication
Handbook: Welcome
Handbook: Origins
Handbook: Police
Handbook: Press
Handbook: Public
Handbook: The Future
A full list of potential nano-augs
Eye Augmentation
Assault Rifle
APR: Bootcamp for Betty
APR: Mass Grave
APR: USA's UN Dues
Midnight Sun: Gray Death
Midnight Sun: Mead from Mars
Midnight Sun: Prez Sells Out

Navarre Email: Dinosores
Jacobson Email: 2001
Jacobson Email: How to be both great and terrible at your job
Jacobson Email: Whupass
What is this stuff?
Ambrosia Flyer
Castle Clinton Sign
Atlantic Campaign Memorial

Public Bulletin: Chlorine in the Water
Public Bulletin: New Sub Pen
Public Bulletin: Battery Park Shut Down
Public Bulletin: Be Safe
Subway System
APR: Chinese Moon Base
NWP: Hospitals Overcrowded
Grayve Times
The NetChurch of God
Clinic Email: Apologies
Clinic Email: RE: Apologies
Clinic Email: Weekly Report
Paul Email: Miss You
Paul Email: Kvork Inc.
Paul Email: Settled In?
Paul Email: Message Returned
Paul Email: Classic Movies
CIA Factbook: Hong Kong
Vishnu's Fall
The Man Who Was Thursday excerpt 1
NSF Memo
Tenderloin Clinic Summary of Services
The 'Ton Register

NWP: NY Grid Law
Smuggler Email: Limites D'Affaire
Smuggler Email: Inquiry
Computer Virus Cultivation
Firearm Safety
The Order of the Cincinnati
Covert Surveillance
Jacob's Shadow: Ch 12
JSteward Email: Our Chemist
JSteward Email: Company Picnic
JSteward Email: System Hacking
JSteward Email: Delivery
Chlorine and Water Treatment
Nanotechnology for Stupid People

Satellite Image
Midnight Sun: Giant Rat?
House of Pain
Holy Smokes!
Proud NSF!
NSF Email: Collateral Damage
NSF Email: Good Luck

Repair Bot
Righteous Angels
Millenium Magazine
UNATCO Bulletin: Stopping Terror
UNATCO Bulletin: War Without Fronts
UNATCO Bulletin: Templars
UNATCO Bulletin: X-51
JC Email: Congrats
JC Email: Watch Your Back
Manderley Email: Arrival
Manderley Email: Report
Navarre Email: Denotn
Navarre Email: Mission Objectives
Reyes Email: RE: Mech-Aug Question?
Jacobson Email: Inquiry

Curly's Diary
Juan's Security

NSF Email: Out Sick
NSF Email: Quick Note
Ambrosia Barrels' Escape
APR: Seasonal Flooding Minimal
APR: Moon Base Operational
Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 15
Thursday: The President
Art of War: Attack by Strategem

Airfield Satellite Image
East Gate Key
Hangar Code
747 Diagram
Midnight Sun: Black Helicopters

APR: Hell's Kitchen Raid
Security Email: Paul Denton REVOKED
JC Email: Swing By
Manderley Email: Excessive Force
Manderley Email: Agent Sherman
Reyes Email: Aug Shipment
Reyes Email: RE: Excessive Force
Reyes Email: Best Guess

Public Bulletin: Attack at LaGuardia
Public Bulletin: Page Donates
Smuggler Email: Need Passage
Smuggler Email: Re: Polio Vaccines
APR: Ten Dead in Hong Kong

Halon Security Measures
The NSF Trio Are Bugging Out
Lebedev's Final Message
Paul's Proof

MJ12 Facility Map
The Peacebringer
Armory code memo
Armory Email: Plasma Gun
Walton Simons' Systems Chart
Greasel Dissection
The Lab Notes of Dr. Moreau
Moreau Email: Karkian Bio Eval
Sherman Email: Armory Code Changed
Sherman Email: Security Directives
Sherman Email: Operational Status
Sherman Email: Commando Refit

Series P Agents
Paul Denton's Pre-Eval
Reyes Email: Killswitch Evaluation
Jacobson Email: RE: Inquiry
Carter Email: Thank You
JC Email: Get Out
Manderley Email: Disappointed
Lloyd Email: Full Alert
Handbook: The World
UNATCO Bulletin: Hong Kong in Turmoil
Sherman's Password
UNATCO's Passwords

Maintenance Note!
MJ12 Memo
NWP: UNATCO Responds
APR: Mass Driver Accident
HKS: Canal Road Tunnel Collapse
HKS: "Gray Death" Cases Misdiagnosed
Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 20
Wan Chai Welcome
Wan Chai Map
A Gunfire Sensor
Police Note
Police Surveillance

Max Chen Email: Unpleasant Prospects

Captain's Log
Final Words
Map of the Helipad
Map of the Market
Map of VersaLife

Ms. Chow's Benevolence
Police Report: Maggie Chow
Police Report: Officer Tam
The True Way
Password Change
Interrogation Transcript
Maggie Email: Triad Control
Maggie Email: Alert
Maggie Email: Report
Jock Email: Fallback
Jock Email: Surveillance
Jock Email: Paul Needs You

Chinese Silver Loaves
Dibbuk Meditations
MJ-12's List of Nano-Augs
JC Email: Welcome to the Fold
JC Email: Required Objectives
JC Email: SitRef
VersaLife Sign Ins
ALL SHIFTS Email: Weekly Memo
Justified Paranoia
VersaLife Security Log

Secret Email: New Orders
Secret Email: Employee Evaluations
Biocontamination Risks
Cascade Failure

Midnight Sun: Food of the Gods?
APR: Beth DuClare gets Legion of Honor
Clinic Email: Weekly Report
Clinic Email: Rumor Control
Clinic Email: Stay Home
Clinic Email: What's Going On
Smuggler Email: Friend in Need
Smuggler Email: Informatsiya
Smuggler Email: READ ME

Public Bulletin: New Cremation Center
Public Bulletin: MARTIAL LAW
Public Bulletin: Government Shutdowns
Public Bulletin: Transit Disruptions
Public Bulletin: MOST WANTED
Joe Greene's Image
New York Voice: Party Against Tomorrow

APR: Terrorist Search
APR: "Aquinas"
Navy Email: Bot Repairs
Navy Email: Gray Death Reminder
Navy Email: ASF Clearances
Simons Email: Preparations
Simons Email: RE: Security Report
Simons Email: He has left
Simons Email: VersaLife

New World Press: New Species Discovered
Wall Cloud Upper Decks
Wall Cloud Lower Decks
Ship Status (Draft)
Captain Email: Daddy
Captain Email: A Matter for Discussion

Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 23
Dowd Email: A Humble Request

Accord de Contrat
Thursday: Fear
Silhouette Report
Catacombs Plaque
Petals of Twilight
Activity Report
Public Bulletin: INTERPOL WANTED
Public Bulletin: READ ME
Public Bulletin: Curfew Hours Extended
Public Bulletin: Truth

Catacombs Entrance
Catacombs Map
Hela's Orders
Paris Investigateur: Catacombs Closed
Richard III, Act I Scene IV
Paris Investigateur: Catacombs Raided

Welcome to Paris!
APR: Bot Kills Three
Paris Investigateur: Scandal Resurfaces
Coq au Vin
To Do List
Common Sense

Eye of Argon

AF: Bob Page
Beth's Will
Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 27
Vault Code
Nicolette Email: Silhouette Business
Nicolette Email: RE: Your Help
Beth Email: Final Message

Cathedral Map
Public Bulletin: Local Sights
The Doctrine of the Mighty
Trooper Diary
The Red Cross vol. 1
The Red Cross vol. 2
The Red Cross vol. 3
The Red Cross vol. 4
MJ12 Compromised Individuals List
Testament of Adept 34501

Notebook of Giuliano
Project Morpheus: Notebook 8-B

Map of Vandenberg
Thursday: The Duel
Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 32
Vandenberg Email: We Must Stand
Saddle Up
New Datacube Transcript

Vandenberg Email: RE: Reaction Modules
Vandenberg Email: Genetic Profiles
Savage Email: Long Time
Savage Email: Wish Me Luck
Savage Email: Incoming
Tiffany Savage

Sub Lab Map
Ocean Lab Map
Pinkerton Email: Re: Karkian Assessment
Pinkerton Email: HElP

Last Will
Lab Email: Malfunctioning Turret
Lab Email: Illumination Is At Hand
Fires everywhere
It's all Ridley's fault
Lab Email: Where are you?
Universal Constructor: Theory, Principles, and Practice
Thursday: Sanity
APR: US Situation Worsens
CYA Login
Lab Email: destroy EVERYTHING
UC Component

Company Log
Area 51 Map
Jacob's Shadow: Chapter 34
Dreamland Hack
Problem Report

Alain & Julia
Sector 3 Map
Suzie: Go!
Maintenance Log
Area 51 Email: Cloning Prospectus
Area 51 Email: Bovine Manipulation
Area 51 Email: Secondary Unit
Area 51 Email: Aquinas Secure?
Area 51 Email: Situational Update
Blue Fusion Reactor
Sector 4 Map
A Soldier's Transcript
Julia & Alain
A List of Corners and a Non-Comprehensive Set of Connections

Archive Index