How the Original Deus Ex Changed the Face of Gaming

For their continued promotional efforts around Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the editors at GameInformer have put together a new editorial entitled "How the Original Deus Ex Changed the Face of Gaming" that seeks to define the impact and influence that Ion Storm's FPS/RPG hybrid had - and continues to have - on the video game industry. A snip:

In spite of Deus Ex's long gestation and troubled studio culture, an impressive game started to take shape. The game was no longer set in the modern day, but something more inventive began to take shape. Inspired by real-world conspiracy theories and shows and movies like The X-Files and Men in Black, Ion Storm began to envision a sci-fi adventure that would wrap together cultural elements such as Area 51, CIA drug trafficking, and even the John F. Kennedy assassination.

As a shooter, Deus Ex took elements from other popular shooters of the day such as Dark Forces, System Shock, and GoldenEye 007. But where most shooter developers were focused on improving visuals and working up large arsenals of weapons for players to cause havoc with, Ion Storm was hoping to break industry conventions and deliver a game that was part RPG, part first-person shooter, and part adventure game.

Of course, Deus Ex wasn't the first shooter to break this mold. Games like Half-Life had already experimented with telling meaningful stories in first-person. System Shock has played with non-linear gameplay and environmental puzzle solving. And Thief: The Dark Project had tested first-person stealth gameplay. Deus Ex, on the other hand, did all of this and more.