“Treat people like animals long enough they’ll start acting like animals”
The Deus Ex series has always been about human augmentation, the fight between “naturals” and those with artificial organs, the “augmented”. In a way, it reflects the debate coming up in the world now with the rise of robots. Within this game, you’ll see people who get these artificial organs to survive, whilst some get them to become stronger, this divides the two. Does this remind you of anything?
The idea of different kinds of people within society doesn’t sit well with the naturals. This concept is just like the struggle with LGBTQIA+ people. The naturals can be seen as a clever call to cis, straight people who don’t understand the way of LGBTQIA+ people and their lack of “control” over their life. Just like the “augmented” within the game, LGBTQIA+ people have to deal with the same hate and segregation. Those who use augmentation to get stronger could be a nod to those cis, straight people who claim to be LGBTQIA+ as a sort of fetishization of the community. It’s all too clever, Square Enix, I like it.
Do you know another community Deus Ex is a metaphor for? The POC community. Throughout the games, the augmented are seen almost like “freaks” and “dangerous”. Those people are unable to travel normally without being harassed by guards, white women looking fearfully at you protecting their children, and they expect the augmented to sit in a designated area. If that doesn’t remind you of a certain period within American history, go pick up a book.
How clever is this game? It represents the hardships of TWO communities in one game, I think it’s a masterpiece right there. I love how unapologetic this message is throughout the whole game, letting its presence be known that this is happening, this is the society, you are virtually living it. It lets you, the player, know that you too are living in this society, and it is horrible.
Do you know what else is amazing? This game is stealth-based! Do you know what that means? Whilst you do get points for killing people, you can easily sneak by people without having to kill them! And if you do choose the route of killing, there are more humane non-lethal incapacitation methods! I love a good game that has a pacifist option of completing a game! Catering to both audiences who may want to play both styles (I don’t know why you would support murder though). You can beat the game without killing ANYONE! I’m in awe.
Whilst yes, they had “less than ideal sales”, I still believe this is a perfect pick if you want to play a quality game that emphasizes the issues within society and allows pacifism. This game gets a very rare journalist approved signature!