The Idiots Get Their Hands On Deus Ex, You Should Too September 5th, 2000
Gary: Hey man, nice look with the wrap around shades, doof. Who are you supposed to be, Nicolas Cage in Valley Girl?
Randy: Just doing my job, sir.
Gary: OUCH! What the hell was that?!!
Randy: Tranq dart. I was going to take you out with a headshot from my pistol, but I decided to take pity on you at the last minute.
Gary: Tranq dart? What the hell is wrong with you? You shot me with a stapler!!
Randy: All right, so I don't have a real tranquilizer dart gun. Would you rather I go for the bullet to the head idea again?
Gary: No! I would like to know what mental hospital you just escaped from. And what the hell is all that crap you have under your coat?
Randy: This is my flame-thrower.
Gary: Hey, you broke that off my camp stove!
Randy: This is my gas grenade.
Gary: That my antiperspirant!
Randy: And this is my stun gun!
Gary: And that's my car battery charger!
Gary: Oooooowwww! That really hurts. Oh, my God I can't feel my feet.
Randy: These are the tools of my trade as a super spy for UNATCO.
Gary: Randy, you really need chemical therapy. I would have to guess you have gone off the deep end for Deus Ex, the killer new title from Ion Storm that was ported by Westlake Interactive and published for the Macintosh by Aspyr.
Randy: Call me J.C. Denton. Super spy. Super bad ass!
Gary: I will have to admit Deus Ex looks like it is going to be a huge hit.
Randy: On both platforms! It's unique style of game play combined with beautiful graphics and a fantastic story line make this a don't miss game.
Gary: Basically, it's the future and the world has gone the way of, you know, that sci-fi movie where everything has gone haywire....
Randy: Mad Max?
Gary: That'll do. Anyway there is a huge plague that is decimating society, and there are two sides that are fighting for control of the Ambrosia vaccine that can save humanity. Whoever develops it first will have all the power. Your job, as an agent with UNATCO, is to fight the NFS terrorists and save the world. Or is it?
Randy: After having some hands-on time with Deus Ex, I love it. The artwork is beautiful, the user interface is very slick and the game play is a fusion of several styles of different games. I can't think about how many times you and I have talked about the idea of game fusion, or melding games from different genres into a new style of game. Well, Deus does just that with elegance and craftsmanship to boot.
Gary: The game is built in the Unreal engine so you'd think it's pretty much a first person shooter.
Randy: And technically you can play it like a straightforward shooter. If you have cajones of steel! I personally found that it's anything but a shooter. As the super spy for the United Nations agency UNATCO, the game really plays out as more of a puzzle and sneak around kind of Laura Croft game. I found I got much further in each mission if you found ways around your enemy rather than face them head on.
Gary: Yeah, the game does give you a pretty comprehensive training mission at the beginning that anyone who plays Deus Ex must complete. I mean you could skip it, but I don't know how you would know how to do anything but get your ass kicked. You learn how to use some specialized devices and some basic techniques that you must know to survive. Without the training mission, when you hit your first locked door, you would be toast.
Randy: Once the training is over you are on your own. And I mean completely on your own. You can run any place, grab most anything and talk to just about everybody. And depending on how you play the game, your actions effect how the story unfolds. Our editor says it's the most immersive game he has ever played.
Gary: And this amazing ability make Deus Ex a truly unique gaming experience. The plot is really well written with twist and turns that surprise you throughout the game. But your character can end on one side or the other depending on how you respond to the people you talk to or even how you deal with the enemy.
Randy: Hummm, pop a cap in his ass or just clock him with a cold forty? Choices, choices.
Gary: So rather than being a first person shooter or a Croftian style puzzler, at its heart, it's a role playing game.
Randy: True. You collect an inventory and have to manage you equipment load, trading items for information or other equipment with other characters you meet on you missions. And your interactions with these characters determine if they will help you or screw you over. And you need some of these people's help so you have to play it smart and maybe you'll live to see the next mission.
Gary: So you can write your own story in Deus Ex and choose to be a hard core agency man, or you can go rogue and jump sides if you think something's fishy. You Make the Call! Dum, dum, da dum!
Randy: What the hell was that?
Gary: The Monday Night Football music.
Randy: So when you're playing you want to save often because you probably want to go back and play that last mission again just to see how you could have played it differently.
Gary: But be prepared to burn up some serious disc space on all those saved games. Some of my saved games took up more than 10 megs of disc space. And I have over thirty saved games. That's a lot o' space, especially considering the Deus Ex full install takes up almost a gigabyte just by itself.
Randy: But the unbelievably high requirements don't stop there. While the recommended RAM is only 64 megs, the game really needs 160 megs of free RAM to play smoothly! Momma Mia! And you better have at least a 266MHz G3 processor for even medium playability. I run it on my Umax s900 with a G3 400 upgrade and a VooDoo 2 card and it still gets very choppy when I am playing in some outdoor scenes. However the Umax only has a 50MHz system bus speed so I'm sure that slowed the game down.
Gary: But if you have the hardware then you want this game. It's a great melding of adventure and puzzle games with role playing and first person shooters. It's unlike anything that's out there today.
Randy: The story is very intriguing, with lots of twists and side stories to keep you on your toes. In a day of "it has to be multiplayer" games, it's nice to see a great single person game that uses all the technology that has developed in the last few years.
Gary: Hey Randy I mean Denton.
Randy: Yeah Ooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww. What happened?!!
Gary: As an agent with the NSF I just pecked you off with my sniper rifle.
Randy: Ouch man! You just popped me in the eye with a Nerf dart.
Gary: Not such a tough guy super agent now, eh Denton?
Randy: All right terrorist scum. I'm gonna crack you so hard in the forehead with this cold forty.
Gary: You realize then that you won't be able to drink it?
Randy: Dammit! Don't miss Deus Ex folks, and we'll see you next week.
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .