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Deus Ex, revisited

Since the topic came up on an IRC channel, here are some notes on what I did to get Deus Ex (the original) running on my gaming rig, in widescreen. It’s a classic game, considered one of the all-time greats. I played it a bit years and years ago, but didn’t get too far. I don’t remember why I stopped, but probably just other things came up and I just never got back to it. The old “first world problem” of too many great games, too little time. Sure, I could find time to play all the PC games I have, but then I wouldn’t have time to do all the other stuff I want to do in my free time.

In the year 2000 when it was published, it was a groundbreaking game: a first-person shooter / rpg hybrid, with a deep storyline and multiple ways of achieving goals. The fact that it still holds its own as a game, even though game technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, speaks volumes. Of course, there is no getting around the fact that technology-wise it’s an old game, and the vanilla version looks like crap on modern widescreen systems. Fortunately, there are mods available that improve the look&feel, though it still looks aged no matter what you do.

Anyway, I’m now playing the game seriously for the first time, partly fueled by the just-published Deus Ex: Human Revolution which I hear is equally brilliant. I sort of want to play the original game first, assuming I don’t run into any showstopper bugs or such. I’m not too far yet (New York subways at the moment), but so far the game has only crashed once (at the end of the tutorial) so things are looking good.

Since people asked, here is what I have installed (in installation order):

  • The Steam version of Deus Ex (Game of the Year edition)
  • The New Vision Mod version 1.0, provides high-def textures for the game
  • Hotfix (v1.000001) for the above, from the same site.
  • Kentie’s DX10 renderer (from his site, not from the New Vision package), version 3
  • The Shifter Mod, version “1.8.4. probably”. Fixes and tweaks for the game engine, including secondary fire buttons for most weapons, increased NPC lethality, etc.
  • The Deus Ex Enhanced Mod. The new version 2.0.0, which includes some hi-def icons, did not work for me. Version 1.3 (which just fixes scopes and binoculars) worked.

In all cases, I followed the installation instructions, taking a backup of the original files first. I set “Default GUI”, 16:10 aspect ratio, and 1920x1200 resolution on Kentie’s launcher, and things worked. Looks pretty nice, all things considered, though the fonts and icons are quite blocky. The new “Deus Ex Enhanced” mod is supposed to fix those, but as noted it didn’t work for me.

Maybe the above will help someone. Of course, it’s only with a “worked for me, if it doesn’t work for you I can’t really help” disclaimer.

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