Deus Ex (pronounced DAY-es-EKS) is a cyberpunk themed action-role playing video game that incorporates elements from four video game genres: a first-person shooter, role-playing, adventure and stealth. Deus Ex was developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive in the year 2000. First published for PC’s using Microsoft Windows (Released June 26, 2000), Deus Ex was later ported to Macintosh systems (late 2000, published by Aspyr), and then eventually for the Playstation 2 console (mid 2002, published by Square Enix).

Set in an dystopian world in the future year of 2052, the main plot centres around a newly recruited United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO) agent named JC Denton. As the plot unfolds Denton finds himself entwined in a deep and ancient conspiracy, encountering fictional recreations of organisations such as the Illuminati, Hong Kong Triads and Majestic 12 throughout his epic odyssey.

Deus Ex received universal critical and industry acclaim, it was frequently a candidate for and also winner of Game of the Year awards, including being named “Best PC Game of All Time” in PC Gamer’s Top 100 PC Games and winner in a poll carried out by UK gaming magazine PC Zone. The game drew praise for it’s pioneering designs in player choice and multiple narrative paths. Deus Ex has sold more then 1 million copies since it’s release in 2000, and has spawned both a sequel (Deus Ex: Invisible War, released in December, 2003) and a prequel (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, released in August 2011).


The initial idea of Deus Ex was thought up by Warren Spector in 1994 while he worked for Origin Systems. His original conception of what would become Deus Ex originally went by the name of Troubleshooter. After finishing development of System Shock, Spector had tired of straight fantasy and science fiction and he “got obsessed with this sort of millennial weirdness” leading to the conspiracy-focused storyline for Deus Ex.

In April, 2007, Spector stated the following to PC Zone;

“I was a huge believer in the ‘immersive simulation’ game style, exemplified by games like Ultima Underworld, and I wanted to push the limits of that sort of game further. But I could never get the project off the ground at Origin or, later, at Looking Glass. (I think it was lack of interest at Origin/EA and it was mostly a lack of money at LG!) But then John Romero and Ion Storm came along and said, ‘Make the game of your dreams. No limits.’ It took me about two nanoseconds to say ‘Yes!'”

The name “Deus Ex” is derived from the Latin expression deus ex machina, this translates literally as “god out of the machine”. This phrase is often used in drama and literature to describe an outside force that suddenly solves the seemingly unsolvable problem(s) the characters face in an extremely unlikely or impossible way. Warren Spector (executive producer for Deus Ex), has stated the name was both meant as a reference to the various factions in the game who aspire to god-like powers, as well as making fun of the typical video game plot, which tends to be laden with “deus ex machina” artifices and other poor script writing techniques.


Amongst it’s many locations, Deus Ex features New York, the skyline is often visible in these areas and the more astute of you will notice the absence of the famous World Trade Centre twin tower buildings. Harvey Smith has explained that the textures of the twin towers had to be left out of the game due to texture memory limitations. In place of the twin towers is simply the other half of the skyline texture mirrored to make for a uniform, symmetrical looking skyline. During the game’s development the developers justified the absence of the twin towers by stating that terrorists had destroyed the World Trade Centre earlier in the game’s storyline. The twin towers were destroyed in a terrorist attack a year after Deus Ex was first released, Warren Spector states

The meaning of the initials JC from the main character’s name JC Denton is unclear, the game’s story makes no reference to what the initials stand for throughout. Harvey Smith (lead designer for Deus Ex) has stated that JC was originally supposed to be a descendant of Jesus Christ, taking the first letter in each instance. However Warren Spector has stated the initials JC were chosen for it’s unisex qualities at a time when the developers were still deciding whether or not to let the player choose the main character’s gender.