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Game Info:

Deus Ex: Revision
Developed By: Ion Storm
Published By: Caustic Creative
Released: October 13, 2015
Available On: Steam (Microsoft Windows and Linux via the Proton middleware for Steam)
Genre: First-person Action-Adventure
ESRB Rating: Mature (Animated Blood, Animated Violence)
Number of Players: Singleplayer (optional Multiplayer mode)
Price: Free (requires original Deus Ex to be installed)

When a video game is considered a "classic", it means the merits of the game have stood the test of time for all who play it, and the non-linear Deus Ex by Ion Storm deserves the title of "classic". Considering reinstalling it has become a video gaming meme; it's worth anyone's time. In the case of Deus Ex: Revision, a free overhaul mod of the original (currently available on Steam, GoG, and the Caustic Creative development website), it argues the core game is still good, but the player can and should benefit from modern game design techniques and other enhancements, if they so choose.

Stripped to its base, DX: Revision attempts to design the original game levels using modern-day gaming techniques that were not in vogue in the early 2000 era of the original game's release. Many game maps are much bigger, filled with more set pieces and life, and are more accurate to the real-world locations many of the levels are based on.

Graphically, this means many things. Some levels, like the UNATCO grounds and building, these were overhauled to be a more convincing international counter-terrorist organization's base instead of the rather slap-dash version of the original game. Some areas were made closer to their real-world counterparts, like Battery Park and Hell's Kitchen in New York, and some were simply provided a few more set pieces to lend a more authentic feel, like portions of the Hong Kong levels.

Gameplay is generally close to the vanilla structure of the original if one disables the other enhancements, but the improved set design does fix many areas where alternative solutions to the same problem were limited on many maps. They also stay true to the game's main hook of allowing any type of player to approach a level by any gameplay choice they deem fit.

Deus Ex: Revision
Highlights:

Strong Points: Extremely nonlinear gameplay that allows any type of playstyle; excellent music
Weak Points: Some flat voice acting
Moral Warnings: Extreme violence with blood and gore (though the blood and gore can be disabled); Drug use and ability to sell drugs to others; Frequent PG-13 level swearing; Some references to Greek mythology and Christianity, the latter in occasional blasphemous ways by the villains; Option to kill in cold blood almost anyone in the game, including children; Implied prostitution; Thievery can be actively engaged in by the player

Gameplay can also be enhanced with many new features for easier control and graphical fidelity, but these can be switched off for a more vanilla experience. When left on, many characters receive a high definition face-lift, many textures and models look far more detailed, and many effects and animations have much higher quality.

Several independent modding projects for the original game are bundled as togglable addons for Revision. Shifter, which randomizes loot and offers more unique weapons, and Biomod, which overhauls augmentation enhancements as well as including the enhancements of Shifter. These can be toggled on or off for your preferences in gameplay, or you can stick with a vanilla Deus Ex gameplay style. Many other tweaks from other mods are possible, such as options to make enemies much smarter than they were in the original or options to make the game laughably easy, and the player is given extensive freedom to pick and mix these options as they wish.

Sounds were overhauled and the player can use a remixed soundtrack, the PS2 port soundtrack, or the original soundtrack at any time during play. DX: Revision also incorporates many of the bugfixes that were never implemented to fix issues in the original game by default and even includes a New Game Plus mode that allows replaying the game to achieve different endings without having to sacrifice player builds from prior playthroughs.

However, this is not a perfect mod by any means. While many bugs are fixed, this includes many "good bad bugs" that could be abused to benefit the player in the original game, though some can be re-enabled to a degree via the in-game option toggles. Some of the set design changes cause some weird placement bugs for many scripted characters that aren't usually game-breaking but do complicate some of the more extensively overhauled maps. Finally, while the core of the game is identical in structure and layout to the original, a lot of cut or poorly implemented content is restored, so some levels will have some moderate changes in terms of dialogue, layout, or gameplay options, on top of the pre-existing Revision alterations.

Deus Ex: Revision
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 92%
Gameplay - 20/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 46%
Violence - 2.5/10 (+1 if blood/gore disabled)
Language - 3/10
Sexual Content - 6/10
Occult/Supernatural - 8/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 3.5/10

This works on both WIndows and on Linux via Wine or Steam's Proton service, depending on how Revision is installed atop Deus Ex. It will work fine with no known issues on both, but Wine/Proton users may have issues with in-game achievements, especially Steam, but actual gameplay and performance should be unaffected.

As compared to the original, Revision is Deus Ex at its pinnacle of graphical and level design fidelity without straying from the original game's tone and concepts. In the gameplay department, it has lots of options for more varied and interesting experiences in many more ways than the original already did.

The original Deus Ex, regardless, still holds up as a classic, and it's highly recommended one play Revision only after playing and beating the original to better appreciate the changes offered by Revision. Revision offers a truly "revised" take on a gaming legend, and while it doesn't displace the legend in terms of being worthy of its laurels, it's a worthy alternative way to play it that comes highly recommended.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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