The original Deus Ex for me has always been a beloved craving. Nearly every year or so I am reminded of the classic FPS RPG title and I must reinstall and give it a play-through less the itch for the game scratch at me. Like a comfortable old pair of shoes I install the 2000 classic and arrive on Liberty Island and I’m home. The itch came scratching again about a week ago again, this time in the form of the mod Deus Ex: Revision.
Deus Ex: Revision takes the original game and gives it a fresh coat of paint while maintaining the old retro feel. Each level is redesigned but still mostly maintains the general layout of the original map. For gamers like myself who has played through enough times to have every detail of each map memorized, it was a nice change of pace to have new levels to explore while still feeling like I was playing through the original Deus Ex I had always loved.
Under the hood Deus Ex: Revision adds a few touches outside the updated maps such as FOV updates, increased resolution options, and various bugfixes. Additionally players have three options in regards to how to play the updated maps. Shifter mode has slight gameplay tweaks and adds some unique weapons while BioMod mode does a complete overhaul of both weapons and aug abilities. I elected for the Shifter modes as a medium tweak while not messing too much with the core game mechanics.
In shifter mode I occasionally would come across unique weapons which were just base weapons with improved stats. My two main weapons of choice were the Blackjack, and improved baton and the Lo Bruto, an improved stealth pistol. Most weapons have gotten a graphical update as well as visual weapon mods such as a scope or silencer. Some human models have received an update as well, such as JC, Paul, and several other characters. While I came to appreciate some of the new models, the higher quality models of only several characters tend to stick out within the retro graphical style of the game. Additionally many of the new models don’t move their mouths when they speak so they just stare at you with an unblinking stare while voice audio plays.
In Shifter mode players also get small skill point rewards for taking out enemies with a small bonus if the kill shot is a head shot or from a significant distance. I was iffy about this addition at first because I was afraid I would be swimming in skill points by the mid-point of the game, but I didn’t really notice a surplus. This skill point reward was also fairly buggy as if an enemy falls too far away from the player the points are not rewarded. This was personally annoying since tranquilizer darts are my weapon of choice for the first half of the game. The mod also adds some quality of life tweaks, such as the automatic Power Recirculator when using Augs, which was a really nice touch.
The AI of enemies also seemingly got an update in Deus Ex: Revision. Gone are the days of baddies whose cone of vision so short and narrow it seems like they’re staring at their feet. Gone are the days of me leaning out corners lining up that perfect shot as the AI can actually see the players when they lean. At the same time the AI retains it’s brain-dead stupidity when it comes to forgetting about the player after an assault. Pop into an air vent for 45 seconds and guards return to patrol routines as they step over the bodies of their fallen comrades; just like the original. A couple non-game breaking bugs are present in the release I played, such as having the walking SFX sometimes play when sneaking.
If you’re anything like me and have lost count of the number of times you’ve cleared the original Deus Ex, then I highly recommend giving Deus Ex: Revision a try. The mod is free so long as you already own the base game. Those that have never played the original from 15 years ago will likely lose interest, but for those looking to sate the nostalgia itch then this mod is a must-have.