With Deus Ex: Human Revolution due on store shelves later this month, VideoGamer has taken advantage of the pre-release buzz by dishing up a retrospective for Ion Storm's original masterpiece. Reading about the series' roots never gets old:
That's why I love Deus Ex: it's a game where you can use a rocket launcher to bypass all that tedious hunting for keys and passwords. It's an idea that seemed incredibly fresh back in 2000, and it's a crying shame that it never became an industry standard. For decades we've been taught that a locked door is a request for patience. "Play properly," it seems to say. "Find the key, and you shall be rewarded." It's a carrot and stick mechanic - but Deus Ex breaks the stick and lets you chomp on you orange prize as soon as you like. Take a jam jar, throw it against the nearest wall, and then use your fingers to scoop the sticky goodness from the resulting glassy mess. That's what it feels like when you blow open a safe in Deus Ex.
But it's not all about locked doors. If anything, Deus Ex is about freedom - both the freedom given to you, the player, and the freedom that's being curtailed by sinister forces of government oppression. From the Majestic 12 to The Illuminati to the Men in Black, the game's plot provides a crash course in 20th Century conspiracy theories. The story ferries you from New York to Hong Kong, from the catacombs beneath Paris to the metal corridors of Area 51. And appropriately enough for a game so concerned with secrets, there's a vast sea of hidden stuff to find at every stop along the way.