A Deus Ex grand return – now that’s a good idea. When I was a young chap, I had an unwritten rule that would determine my enjoyment of a game and if I felt it was worth playing or not. The rule is quite simple: if I’m thinking of a game and would be rather playing that game than one I’m currently playing, then it’s a sign of trouble. The rule recently came into my head when I was going through Cyberpunk 2077. Never a good sign. I had kept my expectations for the game low as I didn’t want to be another voice in a large chorus of groaning in case the game was disappointing. While playing Cyberpunk 2077, I kept thinking to myself, “I’d rather be playing Deus Ex“. That’s when I came to the conclusion that it’s time for a Deus Ex grand return.
I’ll explain why it is the right time for the Deus Ex series to make a grand return sooner rather than later. I love the whole “Cyberpunk genre”. Everything from its visuals to its stories that concern low life’s and high technology, it’s a genre that has always fascinated me. What has also drawn me to the genre is the dystopian society, a typical setting for a cyberpunk story. World’s where the skylines are dominated by neon-soaked corporate logo’s beaming down to the street in a gloomy, grey city. Stories concerning shadowy figures who are plotting the downfall of humanity from behind the scenes. It’s all right up my alley. The genre has been criticized for rehashing the same old themes and visuals but in today’s gloomy world they are all the more prevalent. Playing Cyberpunk 2077 did not do much for me in curing me of my cyberpunk hunger.
Bar the broken launch and the controversy surrounding CD Projekt Red’s use of crunch to finish the game, I found the content of Cyberpunk 2077 to be a tad disappointing. Some choices I made went nowhere and I got bored of the story and world. The gameplay left a lot to be desired, especially with the augmentations. The game was breaking my rule the more I played. I kept thinking back to Deus Ex and how I found that world to be much more interesting. The more I played Cyberpunk 2077, the more I wanted to play Deus Ex. The series has had quite an interesting history, so lets briefly go over it.
The series has sold over 5 million units and contains a cult like following. The first Deus Ex, released in 2000, is widely considered one of the best PC games of all time. The sequel, Invisible War, received positive reviews but nowhere near the acclaim the first game got. Human Revolution brought the series back to life and its sequel, Mankind Divided, was a very good follow up. We haven’t heard much from the franchise which worries me slightly. Square Enix, the publisher of the franchise from Human Revolution onward, expected Mankind Divided to sell three million copies. Square Enix have a history of setting unrealistic sales goals for their games, with Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider all famously failing to meet “internal sales goals”. We don’t actually know the sales that Mankind Divided achieved, as its not public. But the rumors suggest it was a sales disappointment.
The Experience of the Games
The series is known for its revolutionary gameplay and choice-based system. The first game introduced mechanics that we now take for granted in gaming today. Seeing enemy’s through walls, lifting double or triple your own body weight, strong RPG mechanics and choices, all displayed proudly in the first game. While playing Cyberpunk 2077, I started to miss that. Many of the upgrades are disappointing and as I mentioned, the choices to me felt as though they didn’t really influence much of the game. The game isn’t all bad, but Deus Ex was consistently on my mind. Cyberpunk 2077 came out to a loud groan of disappointment from fans and sure enough forums were full of people crying out for Deus Ex.
Human Revolution was my first introduction to the series. Before that, I had played many RPG games that were focused on choice such as Fallout and Mass Effect, but nothing like Human Revolution. I knew I was playing something special before I had even started the second mission. Your character, Adam Jensen, is tasked with saving hostage’s from anti augmentation terrorists. You start in the hub base of Sarif Industries and have to meet the pilot in order to fly to the location of the hostage’s. I hung around the hub base for a while exploring, only to be informed that the hostage’s had been killed. The game had punished me for waiting too long. From there on, I had a game experience unlike anything else I had played.
A Deus Ex Grand Return
Mankind Divided was a game that took me a while to like but I eventually came to be a fan of the game. Like any Deus Ex game, it has great replay value and various choices to make which had me coming back for more. Thinking about all this, I believe now is the right time for the next entry in the series. Those who played Mankind Divided know how short the game was and it certainly left me wanting more. The disappointment of Cyberpunk 2077 only increased the demand for immersive RPG sims after its release. However, I wonder how long it will be before we see a new entry.
The developer of the games, Eidos Montreal, assisted with the development of 2020s Marvels Avengers. If any of you have played that game, you’ll know how dreadful and boring it is. The game was ruined by Square Enix turning it into a live service, microtransaction riddled mess. Squares history with Deus Ex isn’t much better. Mankind Divided was the subject of much controversies, from the addition of microtransactions to Squares constant meddling in the development of the game. Its all a lot to take in, so instead of rambling, watch this video by Jim Sterling.
The demand for the series is there and Square isn’t having much luck with the output of its western studios. With the catastrophic failure of Marvels Avengers, they may want to focus on one of their already established franchises. Given all that’s going on in the world now, a series about secret factions vying for world domination and transhumanism seems to be all the more prevalent.