Deus Ex is an action role-playing game that was released for Windows, OS X and PlayStation 2 on June 17, 2000. It was developed using the Unreal Engine 1.
Set in a cyberpunk dystopian world, the plot of Deus Ex follows an anti-terrorist going by the name of JC Denton working for the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition, who is one day given superhuman abilities thanks to nanotechnology that has been developed in the year 2052. Now players must take on the role of JC and combat evil forces in a world that is infested by discrimination and inequality, and ravaged by a plague. On his he will clash with mysterious forces like the Triad, the Majestic 12, and the secret society known as the Illuminati, getting tangled in a world-wide conspiracy that threatens to put everything at stake.
Deus Ex combines various gameplay elements from various video game genres. It is one of the first video games ever to have first person shooter and stealth at the same time. Similarly it is also probably the first game ever made in which missions can be completed in a variety of ways. There is no definite path for completing a mission, and so players are given all the freedom they want, encouraging them to use different tactics to complete it. For example, players may barge in shooting with their guns loaded, or they may sneak in stealthily and take everyone out one by one. And not only the process, but even the outcome of the mission would change depending on player choices. This is part of what gives a high replayability feature to Deus Ex. Such freedom of choice was a genre-defining decision of the time, inspiring many other games in the subsequent years to follow in the same path.
Deus Ex also puts a heavy emphasis on world exploration and discovery. There are points marked on the map which can be fully explored as the player wants, essentially making the game open-world in this regard itself. Side missions are also available in these areas, and their completion will grant the player with experience points, which can be used to increase Denton’s proficiency in certain skills such as pickpocketing, aiming, reloading, hacking, etc among others. Weapons are also customizable, with the ability to add laser pointers, silencers and other modifications on rifles and pistols. Customizations for Denton, called nano-augmentations, are also available, and they allow Denton to perform a wide variety of superhuman abilities that will aid him in combat.
Deus Ex is a genre-defining game that added a lot of features that we see in games (NPC interaction, multiple choice, etc). It implemented graphics ahead of its time, and applied on-point mechanics for guns and abilities. For these reasons it is still considered one of the best video games ever made, and has managed to achieve critical acclaim to this day, with several “Game of the Year” awards to its name.