Deus Ex: Starting Up Again

There’s not much to report about my first day back in Deus Ex. When I left off back in 2010, I had just finished the game’s first act and shifted the scene from New York to Hong Kong. I’m starting over from the beginning — even if I still had my old saves (and knew where they were), I’d want to start over to refresh my memory about the story, relearn how to play, and possibly improve on my plot choices. Maybe I can keep Paul alive this time. But on reviewing my old posts, I find that I had something of a case of decision-paralysis back then too.

I had some notion that I’d try to keep everyone alive this time through. I was eschewing murder in my last sally as well, but I remember there were still a number of accidental fatalities: I’d startle a guard and he’d go haring off and fall into a pool of water and drown, say. And I wanted to see if I could prevent that sort of thing this time. It turns out I can’t; even the very beginning of the first mission makes it almost impossibly difficult, with enemies that can spot you before you’re even really gotten out of your fortified base and, on seeing you, run straight into the automated defenses. I suppose I’m meant to regard this as a good thing, crack a half-smile and make an action-movie quip about it. All so the story can puncture that attitude later. Or, given how obvious it is that you’re on the side of the bad guys, so it can make you aware of the possibility of that attitude so you can reject it. I still haven’t decided how much of this game’s surface I think is intended to be ironic; it’s definitely set up to give the manshoot fans the manshooting they crave.

Anyway, all I’ve done so far is play through the tutorial and partway into the first mission, and read my old posts. One thing that’s bothering me a lot this time through is how dark everything is, even with the brightness cranked up to max. I commented on how dimly-lit the game is before, but I really think my current hardware in its current state is making it darker than it’s supposed to be. I’ll try to find a solution to this.


2 Comments so far

  1. Arthegall on 23 Jan 2023

    In my experience, the keys to not having to kill are:

    1) Not being seen. Use lighting, crouching, and an awareness of patrol routes to slip past undetected.
    2) Use non-lethal takedowns when avoiding confrontation is not practicable. The riot prod is best at this, IMO, although it requires you to get close while undetected.

    It is entirely possible (though not necessarily easy) to play through the first level (Liberty Island) killing no one–either directly or indirectly.

    And for what its’s worth, I always played on the highest difficultly to enhance the realism of being shot at. I was influenced by Rainbow Six in this.

  2. Simon on 16 Apr 2023

    For the darkness issue, I’ve found that changing the renderer in the DeusEx.ini file to the following helps:


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