Andy Schuette has been gaming ever since he could hold a SNES controller in his hands and has been loving every minute of it. He's the funniest guy he knows, and the least funny guy everyone else knows.
While the initial release of Deus Ex was technically a part of the 21st century (June 2000), the technology involved now appears archaic. Mod developer Totalitarian brings the hit game into 2015 with GMDX (or Give Me Deus Ex), a comprehensive mod that makes major fixes throughout the game. The mod’s been around on ModDB since 2013, but the latest version (8.0) released earlier this week includes major and minor adjustments that can be divided into eight major sections: artificial intelligence, player-controlled mechanics, sim systems and effects, weaponry, RPG systems, level design and graphics, audio design and user interface, and preferences and miscellaneous fixes.
The AI in the original release of Deus Ex was lacking to say the least–though in Eidos‘ and Ion Storm‘s defense, video game AI at the time was derpy across the board. It seemed as though many of the NPCs were left to fend for themselves without any basic training on which way to point their guns. They’d be running at unrealistic angles before taking a shot at the player; last I checked, it doesn’t make much logical sense to run five feet past the edge of a corner to shoot down an open hallway when you could stop close to the edge and try to use it as cover.
With GMDX, AI will be improved to feel more realistic. The previous problem is fixed by having enemies stop shorter and not feel so much like a set piece, as well as allowing them to act less predictably with decision making. Long story short, the mod takes into account 15 years of AI advances and re-injects them back into the game.
Enemies will now be on the prowl for you. Where previously they may have given up, offhandedly blaming the wind for the shuffling they heard, they now try harder to find you by actually searching, even lighting up dark areas with flares.
Personally, it’ll be amusing to see a 15-year-old game’s AI have better awareness than that of vanilla Skyrim – a game where an NPC with an arrow through their eye decides the wind made that noise and go back to reading their book at the dinner table.
NPCs are not the only ones that will be getting upgraded: ya boy JC (that is, the main protagonist for those unfamiliar with the series) will have new abilities and can better interact with the world around him.
One big change (especially for those who enjoy sniping from long distances) is the addition of variable zoom scoping. This gives the player a much better chance to take out the enemy from a distance without being seen which is, you know, kinda helpful if you don’t want to be found out and shot at.
GMDX also gives the player a leg-up on maneuvering around and interacting with their environment. In most games of yesteryear, players could never vault or climb over short obstacles and barriers unless there was a helpful step ladder. Even with all of JC’s crazy augmentations, he was often bested by two-foot tall crates, needing to stack smaller boxes (if they could even be found) in order to get himself into position. With a few of tweaks here and there – and removing the lead apparently programmed into his boots – getting up, around, behind, and/or on top of unwitting enemies is easier, further building on the game’s stealth mechanics and giving the player many more options to tackle objectives and hapless thugs alike.
Other nuances such as being able to use items directly in the environment also make their way into GMDX‘s overhaul; for example, if you needed quick health in vanilla Deus Ex and find a beverage on the ground, the player needed to add the drink to their inventory before use. This tweak simply cuts out the middleman… err… bag.
Sim Systems and Effects
Physics engines were definitely a tricky obstacle in the era of Deus Ex. GMDX improves on that by giving appropriate effects when hitting different objects. To elaborate, when objects are hit they will break off different amounts of shrapnel according to what the material of the object is.
Another great system put into play is the real-time inventory screen. In the past bringing up the inventory screen would pause the action while you selected your necessary equipment. With the new mod there is an option for that to no longer happen, leaving your vulnerable while picking items. We saw this change a little bit in Fallout 4 with the V.A.T.S. system now only slowing time rather than freezing it, but in GMDX, time will not even be slowed for you.
It’s hard to change up the weapons of a game without changing the way the game plays. This principle being illustrated with Super Mario Rampage, the flash game that allows players to replay Super Mario with a shotgun. Case in point, it does not really feel the same as playing the original game.
Instead, GMDX will bring new weapons modifications to Deus Ex that grant damage and rate of fire increases, as well as allowing for some guns to have automatic/selective-fire capabilities to name a few. This will also be accompanied by a cleaner weapon mod menu to accommodate all the changes.
For those looking to complete the game without killing the enemy, the updated ammo types are right up your alley. There are now rubber bullets to subdue the enemy, as well as taser darts that will incapacitate guards while leaving them breathing.
Some smaller improvements that may fly under the radar are the weapon animations and bring recoil into a more realistic state. Designed as an RPG with guns, weapon-play was not the biggest concern for those making the original game so the makers of GMDX took it upon themselves to work on making weapons more prominent and less lackluster.
Speaking of which…
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