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ROSS'S GAME DUNGEON: DEUS EX

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Deus Ex! While I knew this one was going to take a while, I seriously wasn’t prepared for how much this one was going to put me through the wringer. I think I’ve probably put more time in on this episode than any other Game Dungeon, there were just so many parts to cover. I really have been working around the clock on this for I’m not even sure how long now. My original plan was to have all three Deus Ex games covered before the new one comes out, but I can see now that won’t be possible, but I still plan to finish them and will get them out as soon as I can. I can say with certainty the next two will be shorter overall and likely lighter in tone. This episode got more serious than I normally like to get for Game Dungeon, but come on, it’s Deus Ex. Next episode coming semi-soon!

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Deus Ex! While I knew this one was going to take a while, I seriously wasn't prepared for how much this one was going to put me through the wringer. I think I've probably put more time in on this episode than any other Game Dungeon, there were just so many parts to cover. I really have been working around the clock on this for I'm not even sure how long now. My original plan was to have all three Deus Ex games covered before the new one comes out, but I can see now that won't be possible, but I still plan to finish them and will get them out as soon as I can. I can say with certainty the next two will be shorter overall and likely lighter in tone. This episode got more serious than I normally like to get for Game Dungeon, but come on, it's Deus Ex. Next episode coming semi-soon!

 

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...Wow.

I think my brain literally went quiet after you got to THAT part. Doesn't matter if I don't live in USA. Deus Ex!

 

Now, I have quite a healthy package of questions (sorry in advance) regarding the game - specifically, technicals. Besides the graphical bugs, did you encounter any kind of issues, like slowdowns or errors? If so, how did you deal with them? Is this the Steam version of the game, or a different version? Under which system did you launch it? Because I've tried to play the game before, and while I got no errors as far as I remember, it went at such a pace that it became a rapid slideshow. Never even walked further than two meters away from the docks in the beginning of the game :<

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I don't know what it is about Deus Ex pacifist runs. Pacifist runs on Deus Ex aren't challenging and that playstyle is virtually indistinct from a genocidal run. Outside of ammo conservation and a few more items you get from NPCs(which you don't need since there's plenty of items lying out in the open for you to take) I can't think of a good reason for limiting your playstyle in this way. With Deus Ex you should be experimenting with your playstyle (within the given boundaries of the game so you don't break it.) as much as possible in order to get most out of playing Deus Ex. Yet pacifists not only insist that playing pacifist is the only "correct" way of playing Deus Ex but they also insist on breaking the game in the process so that they don't have to kill anyone, why? Shouldn't that be like a sign that your doing something wrong if you have to break the game in order to play the way you intend? Why don't you mod the game to accompany your playstyle rather than having to go through this rather jarring and glitchy experience? I'm not condemning this playstyle but it does bring up a fair amount of questions and I find it to be rather befuddling.

 

By the way if anyone wants to get the absolute most out of Deus Ex please by all means get GMDX http://www.moddb.com/mods/gmdx before you play. As a newcomer to Deus Ex there are so many little niggles with the original version that it drove me insane to keep playing and as far as I'm aware GMDX fixed all of them. Not to mention it adds a ton of new mechanics. You have no idea how much ledge grabbing adds to the game.

Edited by Guest

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I'm wondering where you got that diagram of the Big Six Media Companies, because just off the top of my head I can think of a few mistakes. One, GE has never owned Comcast; they had joint ownership of NBC-Universal for a few years, but then sold off the rest of their stock to them. So it'd be Comcast who belongs in slot #1 (and you can add DreamWorks at the bottom of their list as of this year). Two, Viacom and CBS never really split up; they're still under the banner of National Amusements. Three, there should probably be a slot for Sony somewhere, even though they're not a US company, because of how many "American" media companies they own — in particular, they're the only ones that still have a hand in the music and/or video game industries. Finally, and this might just be a matter of the diagram being out of date, Disney sold off Miramax around the same time they bought Marvel.

 

THE MORE YOU KNOW!™

 

(The More You Know is a trademark of NBC-Universal-Comcast-DreamWorks, Inc.)

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Deus Ex: Revision isn't perfect, but I'd say it's three steps forwards and one back. Importantly, the step back doesn't hurt the story. It's actually hosted on Steam as a free mod for the goty edition, so there's a pretty reputable way of getting it.

 

I'm currently trying out a realistic difficulty run with reduced inventory and the biomod gameplay mode. So far haven't killed anything, but that's more because I wanted to try that gameplay style out. Weirdest thing about the baton for me is that hitting the back of the legs is an instant takedown, but the back of the head just annoys people.

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Damn Ross, I did NOT expect you to go so political with this episode. I'm glad you did, however. Your points resonated with my own feelings on the game's insidious nature. I'll leave at that.

 

I wanted to know if you tried out the Shifter Mod, and what your opinions on it are. I really like the concept (although the execution is weird sometimes), as in the original game there were a lot of gameplay styles that are heavily favored (as you mentioned in the episode). This mod seeks to balance the different weapons in the game, and reward the player for challenging feats, and best of all, they beefed up the AI, and made the game more realistic with a randomized inventory. I guess you wouldn't like those last bits so much, since they push gameplay in favor of Slasher villain-type gameplay even more, but I personally found the run-n-gun gameplay really effective (if you level up your skills appropriately)

 

I'm gonna watch the episode again tomorrow. Thanks for the insight and entertainment. Can't wait to see what you have to say about the rest of the series.

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Ross, I know you said the ending sucked, but which one did you pick as your personal ending? Also, I really hope you talk about the Pequod's and Queequeg's part of Deus Ex: Invisible War in your next video.

 

I don't know what it is about Deus Ex pacifist runs. Pacifist runs on Deus Ex aren't challenging and that playstyle is virtually indistinct from a genocidal run. Outside of ammo conservation and a few more items you get from NPCs(which you don't need since there's plenty of items lying out in the open for you to take) I can't think of a good reason for limiting your playstyle in this way. With Deus Ex you should be experimenting with your playstyle (within the given boundaries of the game so you don't break it.) as much as possible in order to get most out of playing Deus Ex. Yet pacifists not only insist that playing pacifist is the only "correct" way of playing Deus Ex but they also insist on breaking the game in the process so that they don't have to kill anyone, why? Shouldn't that be like a sign that your doing something wrong if you have to break the game in order to play the way you intend? Why don't you mod the game to accompany your playstyle rather than having to go through this rather jarring and glitchy experience? I'm not condemning this playstyle but it does bring up a fair amount of questions and I find it to be rather befuddling.

 

By the way if anyone wants to get the absolute most out of Deus Ex please by all means get GMDX http://www.moddb.com/mods/gmdx before you play. As a newcomer to Deus Ex there are so many little niggles with the original version that it drove me insane to keep playing and as far as I'm aware GMDX fixed all of them. Not to mention it adds a ton of new mechanics. You have no idea how much ledge grabbing adds to the game.

 

Certainly I don't agree with the people who think a pacifist playthrough is the only "correct" way to play the game, but I can understand why people want to be able to do a pacifist playthrough. Most games really don't give you a whole lot of choice over how you handle problems. If a game puts a gun in your hand, that's how you're going to solve your problems. It's hard to find serious games that don't require constant killing. For the most part, Deus Ex does a great job of putting the gun in your hand, but giving you the choice not to use it. There are of course the few exceptions that require taking advantage of glitches, but as a general rule the game lets you decide how you want to deal with your antagonists. Sure, stunning a character is functionally identical to killing them for gameplay purposes, but if in your mind you're thinking, "Those UNATCO guys I used to work with were just doing their jobs. I don't want to murder them just because they don't understand what's really going on," Deus Ex gives you ways to spare their lives, whether it be by avoiding them, or using non-lethal takedowns on them.

 

I never tried to play a dedicated pacifist run in Deus Ex, but in each playthrough, I treated the enemies in accordance to what I thought of them. At the beginning of the game, I'd pop each and every NSF terrorist in the head, but once I found out what was really going on, I was much more likely to use non-lethal attacks where practical. And in the case of the UNATCO agents, they were trying to do the right thing, so I didn't treat them all like vile criminals even when they were trying to bring me to justice. Then you get obviously villainous groups like MJ-12. All I can say is that free bullets were to be had all around. For a pacifist player who believes in the sanctity of life, a game that lets you wade into violent situations without forcing you to be a one man death squad is a pretty powerful idea. It really lets a pacifist put their beliefs to the test. Normally games that don't involve killing are designed so that killing is basically impossible. Usually, it's due to kid-friendliness, but some serious games simply make it impossible to use lethal force as a gameplay mechanic. It's very rare for a game to feature shooting mechanics, then turn around an make it possible to avoid just about the shooting. While I'd personally never be interested in a pure pacifist playthrough, I really like the idea of a game where that's possible. It means that killing people in a game really is a choice, rather than the sole means of interaction with an adversary.

 

And there is challenge to a pacifist playthrough. Ross even mentions one example, with those tranquilizer darts not taking effect instantly, unlike a bullet or two to the head. Stun prods are somewhat unreliable and require ammo, unlike knives. There aren't as many non-lethal weapons as there are lethal ones, and in my experience, non-lethal ammo was harder to come by than lethal ammo. In my experience, it really did require less effort to kill people in Deus Ex than to let them live. Especially with silenced weaponry, where one rifle bullet or two pistol bullets to the head could quietly solve just about any problem.

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Deus Ex is probably one of my favourite games of all times, so any comments I make will probably be at least a little bit tinged by fan-boyism. But as far as non-lethal and pacifist styles go, I played it the way I think I would have done in real life. That is, if I'm in law enforcement and go in to take down terrorists, I'm not there to kill them. I'm there to neutralize, apprehend and investigate. If I go rouge for the reasons laid out in Deus Ex, I would refuse to kill or seriously injure my former colleagues. On the other hand, when people like Majestic 12 show their faces AND kill my brother, all bets are off. I would not desire to kill them, I would avoid it if I could. But since they force me into a position where A) it is morally impossible for me to let them continue their operations and B) I'm at such a disadvantage that I can't deal with them in a civilized manner I would use lethal force against them. The prime defining aspect of the awesomeness of Deus Ex, for me, is that it immersed me so much that I wanted to stick to these principles.

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So fun fact about the main theme song to this game. When the composer sent it in, the director didn't like it and told him to make a new song, but then changed his mind because he couldn't get the theme song out of his head.

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As said by Heliocentrical, GMDX addresses many of the clunky mechanics of the original game. It's a gameplay mod similar and yet radically different to Shifter and it brings Deus Ex, a game that's already on a level of its own, to a new level. It doesn't make you overpowered because the experience is smoother, either - if anything, it makes the game a bit harder and makes you own up to your mistakes.

 

Also, I'd like to comment on TNM (The Nameless Mod) - it started as a mod featuring the Planet Deus Ex community on the old GameSpy forums, so it features a lot of its members. It revolves around this community of Deus Ex fans, newcomers and the administrators who moderate them. Some are childish, some are insane, most just like to talk with people who like the same game they do - if you were on a forum 10 years ago, it was a pretty common sight.

So, yeah. A lot of in-jokes (which you can understand as you go along, as the entire forum setting comes to life) and a lot of insanity and wackiness that comes from things like representing an internet proxy and memes in a game. But also a lot of good level design, a fleshed-out world that semi-accurately represents an internet forum about a game with conspiracy theories, and a lot of good music.

 

Seriously, Ross, if I can't get you to play TNM again until at least DXI, give a listen to the soundtrack. It's incredibly well done, and not just for a mod - the mastering outside the game for the standalone release is amazing, too.

 

Anyway, TNM requires a lot of suspension of disbelief all throughout it - that's the nature of that setting and its portrayal in a FPS-RPG. But, also, it tells a coherent plot in that setting, with a pretty good execution all departments - level design, dialogue and character building to music. I consider it a must play, as it's a mod specifically designed for Deus Ex fans, by Deus Ex fans, and it hits all the right notes in spite of a ridiculous setting (pretty much equivalent to Deus Ex's layer 1 in Ross's analysis).

 

Also, a great analysis. Did you know that in one of the textures in the gas station level, you see an accurate prediction of the 2011 (I think) gas price in the USA? Just sayin', Deus Ex might've been a message sent to us from the future in a way we can comprehend.

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Great episode, Deus Ex remains one of my favourite games to this day for the exact reasons you've listed. And cause it totally blew my mind when it came out. I had never played anything like it before.

To this day I think it remains one of the most immersive games I know and I constantly go back to play it as I just love being lost in that world.

 

Can't wait for Mankind Divided.

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Hey Ross, long time viewer, first time commenter.

 

I really enjoyed the Deus Ex review. It made me go out and buy all four games. Deus Ex, Invisible War, Human Revolution, The Fall. (First two from gog, the last two from steam.) I am curious to know if you are going to cover The Fall in any capacity for this review/retrospective? In any case I look forward to the review of Invisible War.

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I really disagreed with a lot of this, and I think even Ross must realize the kind of people he's attracting from the comments on the video (i.e. a lot of people talking about Jews and the "mainstream media" the way Trump talks about it).

 

I was especially disappointed by the way he used basically one paper to back up his argument that the U.S. is a plutocracy ruled by the rich, and that paper has received plenty of criticism (see http://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11502464/gilens-page-oligarchy-study -- note that Vox is by no means a right wing media outlet). If Ross is cynical about politics, that's his right, but I hope he keeps it out of future Game Dungeons. I already have to get bombarded with messages about how the system is rigged against ordinary people from the TV my stepmother (I'm a pathetic NEET at the moment) keeps constantly tuned to Fox News or One America News.

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I really disagreed with a lot of this, and I think even Ross must realize the kind of people he's attracting from the comments on the video (i.e. a lot of people talking about Jews and the "mainstream media" the way Trump talks about it).

 

I was especially disappointed by the way he used basically one paper to back up his argument that the U.S. is a plutocracy ruled by the rich, and that paper has received plenty of criticism (see http://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11502464/gilens-page-oligarchy-study -- note that Vox is by no means a right wing media outlet). If Ross is cynical about politics, that's his right, but I hope he keeps it out of future Game Dungeons. I already have to get bombarded with messages about how the system is rigged against ordinary people from the TV my stepmother (I'm a pathetic NEET at the moment) keeps constantly tuned to Fox News or One America News.

 

 

 

 

While I can see lack of sources as a concern, I don't really agree that he should watch his step to such an extend. Ross said it himself, he is the equivalent of a mad street preacher, these are the things that make the show great, he gets to talk about unusual topics about the games. I also have serious doubts that analysis of specifically game related politics will draw a noticeable hostile crowd.

Also I admit that not everyone can do this, but honestly I think it's as simple as ignoring the parts of a fanbase you dislike if they become disagreeable.

Additionally things like /pol/ and fox have little overlap with people against income injustice and the military industrial complex, they're usually staunch defenders

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