Posted: September 16, 2014
First of all, don't let the Steam game hours fool you. I am a 6 year veteran of the multiplayer of this game, and have completed (and replayed without completing) the single player multiple times. It was in early 2000 (2001-2002? Maybe later?) that I began playing this game. We had a 'Sold Out' retail copy of the game, it was rare to find the game elsewhere. I had multiple go's at the single player, somehow managed to complete it in my youth with the help of my father, and got curious about the multiplayer feature... in fact that was the most memorable thing for me, and I'm sure many people have already reviewed the story of the game, so instead I will share my long time multiplayer experiences with the game. Maybe someone will actually read through it and consider trying to host servers for this game, or bring friends in to start another population, who knows? Maybe even one of my many forgotten friends from Deus Ex back in the day will see this and remember me.
I don't remember what player name I used starting out, I frankly don't think I even used a custom name... I just went under the many "player" variations. (Player5483, etc. It randomizes IIRC) Of course, I wasn't a good player, being a slow typer, younger with less reflexes (I had to be like, 5-6 years old or a little older at the time.) I was there to experience GODZ, Deja Vu's attacks on 0 aug servers, the move to MTL and Nepthy's (or whatever its name was)... everything. It wasn't until I went on Nobody's (That was his name) maps, an edit of Silo with a Stargate type of mutator active (I had no understanding of UnrealScript or mutators/mods in my younger age), that I got an actual username.
There was a bar after teleporting, in which a Bartender NPC (said nothing, performed no functions) resided, standing still and blank. I decided that to better suit the atmosphere that I would bartend... getting my official username "Bartender". In that time I had played many modded servers for the pure sake of fun instead of competition, was even involved in a machinima recording with a great friend of mine back then, who I no longer have contact with. That same friend eventually got involved with a clan named DXC (Deus Ex Council, I think it was?), and I wanted to be a part of it with him. It was then that he said that they're looking for people who are "good" at the game. It frustrated me at the time, that he said I was not good enough to be in the same clan as he was. At the same time, that was what drove me to compete and practice, to eventually surpass him.
After he had turned me away from the DXC thing, I joined up with RTK, otherwise known as Ready To Kill, a 0 augs (augmentation) clan focused on competition. It was there that I made many friends (Karkian, Maverick/Mustang, Killing Machine, Jima, and others), who taught me the tricks of 0 augs combat, being the tricks of movement to throw off the hitboxes, where to aim with an assault rifle/shotgun, leading and predicting player movement with a sniper rifle, and most of all... it gave me my headstart in to gaming. I've had good and bad days, I've went off on people who just clearly outclassed me that day, I've pulled off feats that people accused me of "hax" purely because I worked hard to develop that reflex/skill. I've seen players like Clix who just clearly dominate 0 augs who I could only wish that I'd be able to hold my own against. I've seen the mappers and modders make both fun maps and great fighting maps, which amazed me as a kid growing up... practicing my skills in this game for quite a few years.
I did end up beating my close friend on most occurrances of him fighting me, he had left DXC by that time and made his own clan. I had been promoted multiple times for showings of skill, and it was a wild ride in the multiplayer world of Deus Ex for both of us. It was around 2005 family issues arrived (parents got divorced, was not doing well in elementary school due to issues back then... somewhat involving this game heheh), and I was not able to play as often. I had dropped out without much of a goodbye, got addicted to Runescape later, and dropped back in around 2008 just to find out that my favorite clan was dropping out of Deus Ex, and I couldn't find my friend anymore. It was then that I gave up Deus Ex, because the disc was undergoing major wear and tear, and the game had taken its toll on me in immense rage having warped my mind (I practiced on that game a LOT, and as a kid I had not developed the anger management skills to understand a loss in a videogame doesn't equate to any real life value loss).
It is now 2014, the Gamespy servers for this game are shut down, effectively putting the final nail in Deus Ex's coffin, which was already becoming a dish only served cold. There are those among what remains of the Deus Ex Multiplayer (DXMP) community that are trying to host master servers to replace Gamespy, so that servers can be hosted once again. Do I think Deus Ex's multiplayer could return strong today? I don't know what to think, most people had started leaving Deus Ex after 2005... and all the servers on the master servers I've tried are empty. The good servers with interesting mutators/maps, whether RPG, botkilling or 0 augs/full augs... are gone. I'm afraid that DXMP is forever dead... and may it rest in peace as the biggest influence in my young gaming days. I only regret that now I have the technical interest to learn how to mod with UnrealScript and the unreal engine for Deus Ex and other games, to be too late to contribute anything before it croaked.
In a nutshell, that's my 5-6 years history with this game in its multiplayer form, but since Gamespy's shut down its servers, multiplayer probably won't matter to all but the persistent. So, what about the single player? The single player back then was very good, it was a system in FPS that was new and different from how FPS's worked at the time. Now? I think people can still get something interesting from it, even in its age... but you might want to get some mods to tweak the graphics. I couldn't play Deus Ex any other way than how it was made to be honest, but some people can't stand looking at low poly counts. The story is cliche, but how it is all executed... I felt involved in something bigger than I could imagine, and I found that exciting. I don't know how active the modding community is, but I have heard of singleplayer big name mods coming out for this game... and I feel you should give this game a try if you like single player. I hope that one day multiplayer will make a comeback, but I think that it has finally ran its course.