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The fifth installment in John Walker's series of Deus Ex diaries for Rock, Paper, Shotgun covers the game's final sections and endings, in anticipation of a final piece where he'll discuss his experience with the game after all these years, and attempt to answer the central question at the heart of these articles: is Deus Ex still the best game ever? Here's a snippet on the way the endings are set up by the game's narrative:
And yes, the absolute nature of each is established in the final mission. But the truth of them, the reason you'd make any of those choices, was developed since the very first moment.
The game is always about philosophy and politics, and the more you read, and the more bar staff you talk to, the more deeply you'll sink into that. (Although not nearly as deeply as I remembered, but I'll get back to that in my final piece.) If you've been paying attention, you'll have heard a lot of opinions about the positives and negatives of meritocracies, dictatorships and feudalism. And less subtly, you'll have heard the rantings of Bob Page, Morgan Everett, Tracer Tong, Walton Simons (whom I dispatched rather ignominiously with a single tap of the magic sword), Paul Denton and Gary Savage in your head as you went along, each arguing for different resolutions.
These three endings are certainly extremes, but they're justified throughout, deeply established, and bearing in mind just how complex that final Area 51 section is, certainly not rushed. I'd ended up remembering a moment of almost having to click on one of three dialogue choices. The reality is having to complete a selection of a number of different tasks in a huge, meandering level.