Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: Nathan Baker

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Eidos
Price Range: $30-50
Learning curve time: 15 mins.
Age level: 17+
ESRB Rating: Mature
Patches / Upgrades: on Web site
System Requirements: 300 MHz PII (or equivalent), 64MB RAM, DirectX 7-compatible video accelerator, 150 MB HD space

Genre: Sci-Fi Shooter
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 2 of 5
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

"Deus Ex', a project by Warren Spector, is one of those genre-spanning games that you rarely will see. This is the first game that successfully (in my opinion) blends a role-playing game with a first person shooter. And it's gorgeous. The graphics are quite impressive, and the in-game physics and dynamics will have you immersed. The voice-acting is so-so, but the plot is great and it's possible to skip the vocal dialogue after reading the subtitles. With a mission-based storyline and four possible endings, the gamer has a serious treat in store with this game.

Deus ExThe setting: about one hundred to one hundred fifty years in the future. You begin the game as a secret agent working for a branch of the United Nations that fights terrorism called UNATCO. You have been “augmented” using new technology, giving you greater abilities than most other terrorists and soldiers out there. You are known as J.C. Denton, though your real name is up to you. You find that your brother Paul, also augmented, is with this organization as well. As the game progresses, and your choices about your character and the world affect the gameplay, the experience customizes itself to you. As the plot unfolds, you find yourself being drawn in to a huge conspiracy, and eventually your decision decides the fate of humanity.

As Christians, First-Person Shooters and RPGs are often genres to keep away from. Fortunately, in "Deus Ex", there are no occult overtones. Near the end of the game, you have to battle a person who could possibly, if he survives, end up becoming what the Bible calls the antichrist. It has a gore filter, which makes blood disappear immediately, and offers ways to sedate your opponents rather than killing them. The language is occasionally a bit strong, but this is a game based in realism, and real people do swear. It's not something I like, but it's something I've learned to live with. There are very few adult situations. The only one I can think of is in New York, where an acquaintance of yours gets backed into an alley, and it is suggested that the thug with her is trying to rape her, or pawn her off to someone else. You can save her either by paying the guy off, tranquilizing him, or killing him. Nothing offensive actually happens if you don't drive the man off, though. Despite all the realistic societal decay going on around him, J.C. remains an intelligent and semi-moral man. Though he is involved in killing those who are trying to kill him, the dialogue shows him to be compassionate towards those who have been ravaged by war, and he is genuinely trying to do what's best for humanity. He comforts the mourning, and rescues captives. Ultimately, his goodness is decided by you, the player.

Year of Release—2000

Negative—This game should NOT be encouraged by Christians. In one part of the game the hero finds a “tract”. Instead of informing someone how they can get saved it mocks the entire idea. On a billboard in the game is a mock picture of Jesus smoking a cigarette with the caption Savior Smokes. "Holy smokes". My Ratings: [1/4]
   —Chris Ricci, age 32

Neutral—I don't see how we as Christians can be so lenient with the morality aspects of "Deus Ex." Now, don't get me wrong, “Deus Ex” is not only an excellent FPS but one of the best games generally to be created for the PC. Except for a few minor bugs (common in all games), everything in “Deus Ex” from the storyline to the graphics is topnotch … but that's not what I'm here to talk about. Putting aside the rather heavy language, which can indeed be excused for reasons of realism, I can't help but disagree with the reviewers on the issue of sexuality. Most of the females in this game dress skimpily and many are hookers. In Hong Kong there are escorts available for the player, and we are able to overhear one lady come on to another while dancing. In Paris, we are introduced to the typical “dancing just for the money” dancer. I'm sorry, but I've lived in some real slums, AND PIMPS AND HOOKERS just don't go walking down the street! THAT IS NOT REALISM, IT'S MARKETING! Next time you're playing and the troops storm the 'Ton in search of Paul, try going up to one of the doors next to Paul's once you're safe … you can hear a couple having very realistic sounding sex. There's nothing Christian about that. My Ratings: [2/5]
   —Jeff. J., age 19

From a Christian standpoint, this game, while thoroughly engrossing and a marvelous FPS, it has many worldly influences. For example, in the ending, you have the choice of 'bonding' with a machine and creating a 'god like man/machine' and for another thing, the very name means, 'God out of a Machine' (deus ex machina) for crying out loud! While JC denton is obviously that, the ending may exemplify the title when he bonds with Helios (Right?) and creates a god/machine. If you ask me, the themes are just a tad bit too anti-christ(ic) for me. sorry. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Roboute Guilliman, age 22

I have to disagree with some of what was said in the featured review of this game. Though I agree that the gameplay of the game was at times quite enjoyable, I can't agree with giving the game a 3 in Christian values. Part of what has made the gameplay of Deus Ex famous is that there is much more 'freedom' and non-linearity in the game. For example, the player can go almost anywhere he or she wants, talk to anyone he meets, and even kill people he just met! There are no moral guidelines, and the game leaves it up to the player to decide what to do, without even suggesting the morally correct option! This is clearly what the press likes to call “moral relativism” and it is just another way to edge the Good Book out of peoples everyday lives. Young people need guidelines to steer them away from potentially un-Christian situations, but games like Dues Ex seem to encourage this! In all, I found this game to be an unsuitable purchase for anyone with a Christian mindset. My Ratings: [1/4]
   —Anonymous, age 22

I found this game to be absolutely excellent, the games develops as you desire, you can be as violent or non-violent as you decide which is good, it doesn't take on the idea of death death death to anything that moves. Its a very intelligent game. The plot is an interesting one, your character JC Denton, becomes embroiled in several organizations that are basically plotting to control the masses, the Illuminate are in there, a group called Majestic 12 and an Artificial Intelligence are trying to take over the world, all have the same aims but it's up to you who succeeds. Its a very good game with excellent gameplay and an excellent story, maybe resonating a little truth, conspiracy theorists dream game :). From a Christian perspective the story of the game is basically about the establishment of the Anti-Christ's kingdom, you get to decide who rules Earth cause after all someone's got to keep a watch over people :) My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Matthew Allen, age 20

…the voice acting isn't anywhere near as bad as [this review] makes out. The only time I feel it falls apart is with the sailors you meet aboard the superfreighter and the mechanic you meet in the same location. Also, in the scene with the prostitute getting backed into the corner by the pimp, if you don't act fast enough, he does pull out a shotgun on her.    —Anonymous

Comments from Young People…

I'd like it better if it ran on my computer faster, but it is still a pretty good game. The morals are a little strange, since the game is completely interactive. You can be a madman and shoot everyone, or stick to the shadows. As far a shooting games go, this is non-violent. There is, however, a good deal of sex. You can go into whorehouses and dance clubs while in certain towns, but it's not really overdone. It's realistic. By 2052, there will probably be a lot of things like that. An okay game, should have been rated Teen in my opinion. My Ratings: [2/3]
   —Adam, age 13

This game is fun & has originality but I had to get rid of it when I got to tokyo (a level in the game) & had to go to a bar there where there were women dancing for sailors & two lesbians dancing together. I believe that with the cursing & adult themes make this otherwise fun game another “stay away” for Christians. My Ratings: [2/4]
   —Kyle, age 17

I think this is an excellent game from all aspects. Technically, the graphics are wonderful, and the physics and game engine are simple, yet efficient. The concept of augmentations also is helpful and rewarding to the player. The RPG element of this game is quite refreshing. Instead of mindless shooting (i.e. Quake, etc.), one follows pretty much his own course, with only a few inescapable events (but even with planned events, often it is you who decides when and the manner in which you come to those said events). Though not by any means a straight-up RPG, it is not a straight-up shooter either. Especially if you have the difficulty set on realistic, you can't just go through the game with guns a-blazin. You will be capped without mercy. A non-violent approach is almost always most advisable. In fact, after having beaten the game once, I have thus far played through it without killing a single person. Excellent programming. Now for the moral aspect examined. The game is set in the nitty-gritty world in which we live, only 50 years in the future. You can imagine the escalation of depravity that would occur. There is some colorful language by the enemy (no f-words that I can remember, but the UNATCO agents were fond of taking God's name in vain when referring to terrorists), but since the game is extremely realistic, that must be expected (though not accepted). Violence: It's an FPS…come on. Of course there will be violence. For instance, you are given the objective of the assassination of a drug dealer. You can do it yourself, but if you don't, someone else will. Like I said before, I've played more than halfway through with no violence (besides knocking people unconscious). As for adult situations, there is no sex or nudity. However, since this is realistic, when you patrol through New York's streets, there will be hookers, pimps, drug-dealers and the like there too. Your job is to make sure justice is met. Ultimately, the morality of this game depends on the choices you make. The storyline is excellent, not trite like most FPS's, and not based on love like almost all RPG's. It is based on real-life conspiracies. If you hear about something on the game, look it up on the Internet…you'll find it. Weird huh? All in all, mature gamers should enjoy this game. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —D, age 16

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Christian Spotlight Guide2Games is part of Christian Answers. Copyright © Films for Christ. • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

Go to Christian Spotlight on Entertainment HOME