Is Deus Ex Still the Best Game Ever?, Part Four

In the fourth and latest part of John Walker's Deus Ex diary for Rock, Paper, Shotgun the writer both laments and praises the way Deus Ex handles choices. Walker describes his failed attempt at saving Paul Denton, and his encounter with Maggie Chow, which he compares to that of James Morgan, who also wrote an article on the subject. Ultimately, Walker seems to be very ambivalent on his experiences with this side of the game:

Not this time. This time I put LAMs in the doorway. The MiBs were dead before they could utter their lines. Then I filled the lobby with gas bombs, and accepting that I was now a murderer anyway killed every last green guard in the building, until Paul was safely alive in the lobby, instructing me to head out and make contact with Tracer Tong. I'd done it! Paul was alive!

Except when I encountered Gunther Hermann in that forced scripted sequence in Hell's Kitchen, he immediately told me Paul was dead. No, no he's fine, I assured myself. He's a-okay, I saw to that. Then others, upon my escape in UNATCO, told me the same. I was sent to the infirmary, and there he was, dead on the slab. How? Why? PAUL!

It turns out, from a spot of research I've done since, that it's because I didn't go out the hotel's front doors. I didn't go that way, because there were squillions more guards that way, and Paul pings out of existence as soon as I go through the doors anyway. It was a daft way to go, when I could escape to the roof, sidle down into an alley, and sneak my way to the subway via the sewers. Sure, I still get caught by Gunther, but what difference could it make?

It turns out, all the difference. And gosh, what a dent in the side of Deus Ex's polished memories. Much as how I was accused of murder for walking through the wrong door at the start, here I was without a sibling because I'd taken the sensible route out of the hotel once I'd assured Paul's safe exit. Come on, scripting! How can you not have seen that as a secure route for Paul's life? Sure, if I've left him in a building full of armed lunatics as I so cowardly did in 2000 then yes, he'd be dead. But this is stupid.

Sometimes Deus Ex is stupid.