Richard Wordsworth posted a new article yesterday on kotaku with his opinion on how Deus Ex predicted the future. Here is a small sample of his article.
More information.A piece of driftwood internet wisdom that sometimes floats past on gaming messageboards goes something like this: every time you mention Deus Ex, someone will reinstall it. Somewhere, wheezing for breath under the clutter of my room/workspace/habitat, is my original Deus Ex CD-ROM, which I bought aged 12 on a whim with pocket money. My reasoning was solid: I'd never heard of the game, but the back of the box promised guns and conspiracies, and the dude on the front was rocking some dangerously cool shades. Little Me might not have known much about global banking conspiracies or the Trilateral Commission, but you could coax him onto the cyberpunk neo-anarchist bandwagon with a pair of polarised Wayfarers and a trench coat.
Fourteen years later, I've lost my fake RayBans and even the local Brixton drug dealers don't wear trench coats. Sunglasses at night went out with Corey Hart (or at least with Keanu Reeves). Deus Ex did indeed have guns, but even at the time they were inexcusably horrible to use. The game's not even a looker anymore – more a kind of papercraft tribute to how you think you remember it looked, with weirder walking animations.
So why do I go back to it? Because leaving aside its wackier conspiracy theories, it's the quality – the prescience – of Deus Ex's story that makes it such a great game to play in 2014 – in a horrible, unsettling sort of way. Revisit the game today and nano-augmented super-agent JC Denton's quest to unravel a global conspiracy doesn't seem twee or outdated. Somehow, it seems timely: moment after moment of sneering, political philosophising about money, health, corporations and the poor, punctuated by regular, 400-volt jolts of "wait, when was this written?"