Part of the problem was his outfit. I’d be playing the game, immersed, “in the zone”, or whatever you call it when you’re playing a videogame so hard you forget you’re doing it. Then a conversation would start, causing the view to switch to third person and show me my character. The effect was a sudden rift between myself and my in-game persona. Oh right. I’m that guy.
I felt ridiculous having these philosophical and political conversations while dressed as a Morpheus cosplayer. It always felt like the NPC’s were just humoring me, and the room was going to erupt into derisive laughter the moment my character stepped out the door. The outfit also put a terrible strain on versimilitude; it’s hard to imagine how I was able to sneak up on people and move unseen while wearing that enormous floppy coat. It would be like trying to creep up behind someone while dragging a tarp.
This is not to say Deus Ex was not a tremendous game. It’s a playground of incredible potential, and I returned to it many times before I at last felt I had exhausted its dialogs and and explored the breadth and depth of its countless locales. It had much in common with my beloved Thief and the revered System Shock. Lots of freedom in how to approach obstacles. Interesting choices. RPG character development. Large, branching plot. Hours of fulfilling of gameplay just to get to one of the endings. (I’d gladly trade in one of today’s eight-hour graphics demos for another 30-hour gem like Dues Ex.)
I would have preferred it if Denton was a bit more approachable to the average Joe, and his costume was unintentionally funny, but he wasn’t a cardboard cutout. He was a serviceable character riding atop a stellar game.
LATER: More here. (Don’t miss the Monty Python reference at the end. Heh.)
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