Deus Ex – Day 5

I’m back at work again after a very brief Xmas break and I’ve only managed to play Deus Ex the once over the holidays, but I’m glad to say that it has picked up a lot since the last section and I’m finally starting to see what the fuss was about.

I’m back at the UNATCO base yet again. Simons is in our break room. I learn that he has the same enhancements I do (big surprise given the blue veins on his head) and that he is the director of FEMA which is supposedly an aid agency but he doesn’t look like he spends his time handing out food parcels. He assures me that my brothers actions won’t count against me and is a lot more pal-y than before.

Manderly is pleased with my performance but also tells me that he has activated my brothers kill switch. This means that I too have a kill switch which is not a pleasant thought. He wants me to go to Hong Kong and take out my brothers contact (Tracer Tong).

Jacobson wants to hear my brothers side of the argument and tells me that he will erase the recording if I can talk to him. Talking to the people around the base they seem surprisingly to side with my brother with the exception of the agents + Manderly.

I find another enhancement canister in the medical lab + use the one I already have to get ballistic enhancement. I’m starting to run out of slots for all these enhancements but I’ve not actually upgraded any yet and am unsure how that even works. I wouldn’t say that I’m using the enhancements very often but stuff like level 4 ballistic enhancement allegedly renders me almost impervious to damage and that sounds seriously useful.

When I go to the helicopter to fly to Hong Kong, the pilot tells me my brother is in trouble and takes me to Hells Kitchen instead. It seems like everyone below agent level at UNATCO is on Pauls side.

I find Paul not looking too well in his apartment. This doesn’t strike me as the best place to be hiding out but he sends me on a mission first to warn the NSF that they have tracked them down through Lebedev. I agree straight away to do this. My defection is understandable to some extent but it’s a bit of a leap to say the least as it’s only 15 minutes since I shot Lebedev. Paul says there is proof against UNATCO at the broadcasting station although I never did find anything much.

There is another subquest on the way out. Jojo has moved into the hotel and it’s owner wants to evict him. Ever helpful, I club him with my baton and he’s out for the count.

I look around for the NSF base. I can’t help but notice that the long tunnel which was previously blocked off is now open so it looks like the way to go.

The NSF base is swarming with troops. They don’t seem to mind me being around but I can’t see it staying like that. Paul gives me instructions on what to do. I have to use a computer on the 3rd floor to open up a hatch to the basement then get past a load of booby traps to find his notes. These notes will then give me the code to send the warning to the NSF.

The hatch control panel is in a room full of toxic gas. I dash in and press the venting button. This doesn’t hurt too much and there is a medical bot right outside. The control panel itself appears to need to be hacked. I decide to train up my hacking and electronic skills at this point with the remaining skill points I have. This drastically drops the number of tools I need to use to bypass a system like this + gives me a hacking option for terminals.

Hacking a terminal starts a timer. Some of this time is used to actually get into the system in the first place but I also have to do whatever I’m going to do on the terminal before it counts down. Not all the terminal options are available to me at the basic level of training. I can’t get turrets to fire on my enemies for instance but the hacking skill will still prove very useful and adds a layer to the game that was previously missing.

The basement hatch opens up and I head down to explore. It’s a confusing maze of tunnels with loads of alarms, lazer beams and gun turrets. I slowly make my way through using various tactics, from hacking security panels, piling up boxes to jump over beams to just running through the gunfire as quick as I can.

I find Pauls datapad. It’s doesn’t appear to give me any proof against UNATCO but does give me the password so I head back up to the top of the building to use this to send the message since it is clearly what is expected of me.

I send the message although I also need to use my new hacking skill so it’s just as well I trained in it. This is noticed by Simons who tells all the troops to turn on me. This was always coming as there were so many troops in here they were never going to just be for decoration.

This is the biggest firefight yet. My tactic here is to hide out in the room with the medical bot and shoot anyone who comes through the door. I just about survive this after a few attempts and that empties enough of the building that I can easily work my way through the rest of the soldiers.

I go back to Paul’s and he tells me that Simons is actually part of some organisation called Majestic-12 who are using FEMA for their own ends. UNATCO show up at this point and order him to leave his apartment. He tells me to go out of the window while he looks after them. Instead I decide to hang around and help.

Cleaning up in here could take a while but we take them all down between us. Paul does most of the work. He still wants me to leave through the window so I do.

Before I left, Paul gave me the code for the subway which has been locked up. I head there (after LAM’ing a security bot) and take the train out. At the other side I’m met by my ex-partner Anna who isn’t about to come over to the NSF and I have to take her out. This is a tough fight and my pistol isn’t any use for it. I switch to the assault rifle in the end which is much more effective.

The top of the subway is looking worse as I’m faced by an unbeatable force. They want me to surrender. I try to fight but it’s near enough impossible and I get shot down.

Rather than this being the end of the game, I wake up in a cell in some unknown location.

I receive a transmission from someone calling themselves Daedalus. He cuts the power for a few seconds to allow me to escape.

This gets me out into the corridor. I’m in a detention area and there is a guard at the end of the corridor but he is looking the other way for now. Fortunately there is a load of equipment lying around and I baton him into submission.

The access code for all the cells is on the guards desk. There is more equipment in here + an NSF guy who volunteers to help me. I ask him to come along and he helps out a bit in the first couple of firefights before vanishing.

Daedalus gives me exact instructions. I’m in the Majestic 12 base and I have to go to the medical area to find Pauls body so that Tracer Tong can get the information he needs to turn off my killswitch. My equipment is in the armoury through the bot maintenance area though so I go for that first. This is an interesting area with far more varied ways to play it than anything I’ve seen before in the game. My new hacking skill is making the game more interesting as I now have the option to hack any terminal I see. This one here gives me the option to alter bot AI so they don’t attack me. Later on I get terminals to deactivate security cameras, or certain bots, etc. The base here also feels much more like a believable area than the airport mission.

It’s just as well I’ve been reprogramming the bots as there are some seriously big ones around here that look like they would be a bit much to take on with the limited weapons I’ve got.

I find my equipment along with a load of other goodies including another enhancement. I go for the missile defence system which allegedly blows up missiles before they hit me. Not that anyone has fired missiles at me yet but this sounds like it could be good.

I retrace my steps to find Pauls body at the far end of the base. Daedalus gives me the exit code to get out of here now so I head straight for it.

This exit actually leads into the bottom of the UNATCO base which is kind of unexpected although there was always a suspicious looking door I couldn’t get through. I’d expect to have to fight my way out of here but basically everyone is on my side and appears to want to come over to the NSF. I suggest to Jaime that he should go to Hong Kong and we meet up there. He also gives me another upgrade and I go for the Regeneration option which allows me to heal. This should be very nice and will be the first thing I’ll upgrade when I figure out how.

Alex is also on my side. I accuse him of being Daedalus at first but he says its not him and that he has no idea who could get through the security.

Carter gives me full access to the armory although he is going to stick it out with UNATCO himself.

That just leaves Manderly to see. He is being lectured by Simons when I walk in. I learn that my killswitch has been activated and that I only have 23 hours left to live.

Jock is waiting for me outside having been contacted by Daedalus himself. He is going to fly us to Hong Kong where I can attempt to get in touch with Tracer Tong and get my kill switch sorted out.

Deus Ex finally got going today and picked up in every way. The plot is getting more complicated and a bit less predictable and I like the idea of the kill switch as it adds a bit of impetus to the game. My defection wasn’t handled too well. I never really had any definitive proof either way and had no choice but to defect because the game expected it. The way everyone else went along with even less proof seems highly unlikely also.

The really big improvement was in the level design. This is partly due to the fact that my skills are developing and it’s giving more gameplay options but the levels themselves were bigger and more complex. This is starting to feel like an RPG where I’m finding my own solutions to a situation rather than just picking one of two clear options. The base had plenty of areas to explore, a lot of which were entirely optional. I even found a vent system under the base and could bypass everything if I just wanted to sneak around between the essential areas. When crawling through the vents Daedalus would contact me and tell me which room I was under while exploring. I chose to stick to the main corridors and blast my way through the guards but it’s good to see a realistic environment providing the gameplay options. I’m hoping things can keep getting better and Deus Ex can earn it’s classic status.

I’m liable to get distracted from Deus Ex as I’ve been buying a load of games in the GOG & Steam sales recently but I’ll do my best to stick with it and finish it fairly quickly before I move onto anything else. There are some great deals around in the sales at the moment though which combined with unlimited free bandwidth between Christmas and new year from my ISP mean that I’m going to have a lot of games lined up for when I finish this. I probably won’t need to buy another game for the rest of year by the looks of it.

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