Deus Ex: Thinking about parts of the game other than the part that I’m playing right now

At this point, I’m creeping around the warehouse district, playing hide-and-seek with NSF sentries on the rooftops. I’ve played this part before, but I have absolutely no memory of it. It’s immersive filler: not bad, perfectly absorbing in the moment, but doesn’t leave a strong impression. I remember having similar thoughts when replaying the original Half-Life and being surprised at just how much ordinary FPS action against human soldiers there was that I had forgotten about completely, padding out the space between the impressive set-pieces and creatively-designed alien monsters that I associate with the Half-Life brand. But it’s kind of different: the striking thing about Half-Life‘s filler levels is that they were contrary to what I remember the game being like. Deus Ex‘s filler is perfectly Deus Ex-y.

What sort of thing do I find more memorable in this game? An example that I haven’t quite reached yet: after you make your way to the top floor of a building, the floors beneath you fill with enemies. The last time I was there, I did something I thought was clever: rather than fight or sneak my way floor by floor past them, I switched on an upgrade that helps you take less damage from falling and simply jumped off the building. I still took a lot of damage, but possibly not more in total than I would have taken from going down the slow way. At any rate, it was a noticeable thinking-outside-the-box moment, or at least felt like it at the time, but on reflection it seems very planned. But the way that the game just gives you the tools and lets you think of the use on your own made it a special moment.

I haven’t decided yet whether I want to do things the same way this time around. Ordinarily I’d want to go wherever the guards are, because they must be guarding something worth having, but this particular place has the peculiar feature that I’ll have already finished my explorations before they show up. But the leg upgrade that lets you survive jumping off a building also increases your running speed, so it might be worth trying to just book it past everyone instead.

2 Comments so far

  1. Arthegall on 8 Mar 2023

    The take-down-the-generator mission had so many options for how to complete it compared to the previous missions (or anything I’d ever played before).

    Approach Options:
    * Rooftop
    * Subterranean
    * Alleyways

    Engagement Options:
    * Long-range sniping
    * Avoid everyone
    * Incapacitate everyone

    Handling the Generator:
    * Hack the system to cause an overload
    * Pitch a LAM down on it from several floors above
    * Sneak up to it and rig it with a LAM
    * Blast it with a LAW

    And you could combine all these options in such a way that it really felt like you had freedom to do the mission your way.

    Also, the dogs on the ground outside were a nice touch. They felt scary and unpredictable in ways that your normal patrollers didn’t. Plus all the secret exploration bonuses to be found throughout.

  2. Carl Muckenhoupt on 16 Mar 2023

    For what it’s worth, although I mostly took the rooftop route to reach the building, I found the guards on the top floor troublesome enough that I wound up climbing down at the very end and taking an entrance on the ground floor.

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