The 2000's were the best decade for videogames, no contest. We had the invention of beautiful graphics, new and super-powerful consoles, and absolutely no reason to shoot a prostitute other than 'just cos' or 'I felt like it'.
First of all, it's pronounced 'day-us-eks'. Not 'do sex'. I learnt this the hard way in early high school when I said loudly to my friend "I like do sex" and the teacher overheard. A strange look and an awkward silence later and I realised just exactly what had happened. But I didn't take it back; oh no. And I didn't apologise either. Because 'Do Sex' is legitimately one of the greatest videogames ever made, and it paved the way for all those 'RPG First Person Shooters' you now take for granted.
Like this. You take this game for granted...don't act like you don't!
In Deus Ex you play as JC Denton, a nanotechnologically-enhanced super agent who kills terrorists in the future and talks in a weird, inexpressive monotone. So he's basically a cyborg Jack Bauer with cooler weapons and no annoying daughter. I'm not going to explain the entire plot to you, because you (yes, you) need to buy this game and play it for yourself. If it's some incentive you need, well here's a few reasons why Deus Ex's gameplay was (for me at least, being a virgin pubescant at the time of playing) better than SEX! Totally better. Like way, way better.
It was one of the first FPS's to let you do 'whatever'. You could enter a level, talk to people, figure out the problem, then take on the bad guys however you wanted. And the best part was, after the shit hit the fan, onlookers would comment on how you did things. Screw it up, run in shooting, kill everyone without asking questions and kill any random bystanders because they looked at you funny? Some douche will tell you that you fucked up big time. Then you can kill him. Or maybe you wanna be stealthy, use your stun gun or police baton to take out the bad guys non-lethally without raising the alarm. The same douche will tell you that you were great back there! You totally ruled, man! But then you can kill him again, because hey, the game's just awesome like that.
And if you're lucky he'll burst into flames, too
Big word, right? You get three levels of it in this game. There are your typical 'skill points' which can be assigned to different character attributes. Stealth, Strength, Lockpicking, Computer Hacking, Penis Size, Liver Endurance (because JC Denton can totally drink beer). The second layer of customisability comes in the form of weapon modifications you find scattered through the game. Give your gun a silencer, scope, increase its range, strength. You can make your pistol the best weapon in your inventory by feeding it enough modifications. Same deal with the flamethrower...which in my mind makes for a way cooler 'best weapon' than a pistol. I mean seriously. The final layer of customisa-whatever are nano-tech augmentations. Because JC Denton is a cyborg, you can upgrade his body parts. An upgrade to the lungs make him breathe underwater. An upgrade to the eyes can let you identify enemies easily from a distance, or see in the dark. Hell, you can even have springs augmented to your feet which make you jump ridiculously high.
And Some More Freedom
On top of the whole 'do anything you want' style of gameplay, there are also moral choices you can make throughout the game. For instance, you run into a terrorist leader early on as he's hiding inside the statue of liberty. You can choose your responses during the conversation and, depending on what you chose, you'll either fight and kill him, or take him prisoner. There are typically three choices; a negative response, positive response, or neutral response. As you would expect, choosing the negative response every single time is the proper way to play the game because it allows you to kill people in situations where you otherwise wouldn't have had to/been able to kill people. Which is fun.
In the end, though, Deus Ex is just plain revolutionary. It didn't create any new genres, but it successfully combined them to create something deep and enjoyable.
There are also pixelated boobies. Yay!
There are no two ways about it; Solid Snake is the quintessential badass. If there's a Metal Gear that needs blowing up, he's your man. If you need somebody to bungee jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and land on a tanker, there's nobody else to turn to. Need a moustache to admire? He'll be there. So why am I choosing the one Metal Gear Solid game where you don't play as him (or his identical-looking kind-of father) and instead play as that girly man Raiden?
Naked cartwheels; all in a day's work for a secret agent.
Well there's a few reasons I chose Metal Gear Solid 2. For starters, I couldn't choose Metal Gear Solid 1 (obviously the best game in the series) because it came out in 1998. Secondly, because Raiden is the playable character throughout most of the game, it allows the gamer to see Snake's unrivalled manliness from a different perspective. Instead of being the badass, you play as the significantly lesser badass witnessing badassedness on a level you can barely comprehend. In other words, if you get Raiden to stand next to Snake it just makes Snake look that much fucking cooler. And isn't that what the Metal Gear Solid games are all about? Making Snake look cool?
There's also a lot of stuff about nanobots, super-soldier cloning programs, a computer AI that controls the world, shooting people in the nuts and vampires that are kinda not really vampires but still vampires.
What I'm trying to say is that this game is awesome because it depicts Snake at his most awesome. That, and it has the single most fucked up storyline of the entire series. And when we're talking about the Metal Gear Solid series, that is seriously saying something. First playthrough my mind couldn't even comprehend enough of what was going on for it to be blown. It was only on subsequent (and we're talking SUBSEQUENT) playthroughs that I managed to fully grasp just exactly who was double-crossing who and why that particular character went crazy and started telling me about UFO's in his backyard. And even then I was a bit hazy on the specifics. But none of this confusion was ever a bad thing; if anything it motivated me to continue playing the game long after buying it.
Above all of this amazing, deep, jumbled up and incomprehensible storytelling though, we have gameplay. Those are the parts of the game where you actually control the character (given we're talking about Metal Gear Solid, I felt I should probably remind you of that concept). While it's true that this game has more cutscenes than a Thai hooker (?), it's also true that the actual gameplay is some of the best 'tactical espionage action' you're ever likely to play. Spending time with this game is like going down on a girl whose pussy actually smells nice...(?) Sorry i'm having a bad day with comparison jokes. Let's just say this game rules, and we'll leave it at that.
And some more pixelated boobies. With...uh...hairy armpits. Yay...
If Solid Snake is the quintessential manly badass, then Gordon Freeman is easily the quintessential nerdy badass. He's the mute scientist who in the first game, after causing an alien invasion, picks up a crowbar and immediately takes charge. While his colleagues hide under desks and fall down elevator shafts, Gordon Freeman runs around like a fucking psychopath shooting or hacking anything that moves and solving puzzles by pushing crates around the room. He's a silent, intelligent, sociopathic killing machine. So what happens in the sequel, when you place him in the middle of a dystopian future with no knowledge of how he got there? Well...exactly what you would expect to happen.
The government brainwash him and he eventually dies off-screen.
Oh wait, no. This is a Half Life game. You kill fucking everything that even slightly attempts to oppress you. And then you place explosive barrels next to their dead bodies, shoot the barrels and laugh as their bodies flail around like crazy. Like I mentioned, the game starts out with Gordon Freeman thrust into this new environment, having no clue how he got there. But it doesn't take long for him to find his old crowbar, hack a few bad guys in the face and once again take control of the situation. This game is fantastic for so many different reasons, but the