[singing] ["My country 'tis of thee
[singing] ["Sweet land of liberty
[singing] ["Of thee I s--"]
[Subtitles by danielsangeo]
Welcome to the Game Dungeon. Today, we're looking at "Deus Ex".
This is a game I've been meaning to cover for a while,
and a new Deus Ex game is coming out soon
so I thought now's a good time as any to talk about the ones that came before it.
Now this is a famous game and I'm sure there's a hundred other videos on it,
so why am I making one?
Well, I think this is a pretty significant game
and I guarantee I'm going to say some things
you're not going to hear in any other review.
In fact, I'm kind of surprised that, as well known this game is,
what ISN'T discussed about it.
So I guess that's my job. Let's go!
So the game starts off and two guys are talking to each other
making a lot of references to events we know nothing about.
It's obvious something is happening and these guys are probably important
and they're manipulating a disease but that's all you really know.
Now I admit, I can be kind of dumb sometimes
when it comes to spy movies or political thrillers
where I honestly lose track of what's going on with the plot.
So I might never be completely sure what happened, but it looked cool.
Well, by making all these references to things we know nothing about right away,
Deus Ex is taking that approach a little bit to the story.
"Have you talked to Smithers about Project Kneecap since the London Riot?
"I think we should go ahead on Phase 2 of the experiment."
"O'Reilly won't know what hit him until it's too late."
"Foxfire is doomed."
Now having played this game a couple times, I have the benefit of understanding it NOW,
but there's no way to not be a little lost just starting out.
And with that, we begin.
And here we are. Deus Ex takes place in the near-future.
We get conflicting information as to when,
but future games retroactively decide this is the year 2052, so we're going with that.
We start off at the docks on Liberty Island in New York
and a figure comes to greet us.
Okay, things get confusing fast so I'll try to explain what's happening.
This is our character's brother and he's welcoming us to our first day of work at UNATCO.
UNATCO is a peacekeeping organization
sort of like a cross between NATO and Homeland Security.
Now this is an interesting first day because terrorists
have descended upon Liberty Island, hijacked a drug shipment,
taken a UNATCO agent hostage, killed some UNATCO troops,
and are armed with militia members inside the Statue of Liberty.
So my job is to go in solo and apprehend the terrorists' leader.
Okay, I have to stop right here and say this would never EVER happen.
Another thing I should mention is that
Liberty Island is also the headquarters of UNATCO, so this is on their front doorstep.
So let's be clear: we're sending in a day one rookie agent, BY HIMSELF,
to resolve a hostage situation with armed terrorists
right outside our headquarters.
Now granted, JC Denton here has cybernetic enhancements
so he's a little more capable than the average soldier,
but guess what? So do two other senior agents ready to go.
["I wasn't exaggerating. He's our best agent."]
Yeah, that's your boss. He's talking about him, not you.
This would be like if armed terrorists took an officer hostage
across the street from NYPD headquarters
and we sent in a guy who had top marks in the police academy,
no actual experience, to handle it all by himself,
even though he had SWAT teams ready to go.
Anyway, it's not a big deal, but I had to point that out.
This isn't even obvious from the get-go anyway.
You don't find out that you're actually at UNATCO headquarters
until you bump into it later in the game.
Now if you're astute, you'll put the pieces together and things will click,
but if you're like me, this will feel more like a dream sequence
where you're not exactly sure what's going on here. But it's a good dream sequence.
Deus Ex's approach to the storyline is to spin you in circles a few times,
give you a smack on the head then send you on the way.
So off we go. Let's go stop some terrorists.
The gameplay on this first level is actually very representative of the entire game.
Deus Ex is not a game you can go in guns blazing.
["Now this is what I signed on for."]
Yeah, I'm dead.
The gameplay on Deus Ex is somewhere in between
a normal first person shooter versus real life.
You can only take a couple hits before you're dead,
less if you get hit in the head.
So this game encourages you to play carefully.
In general, acting like a serial killer out of a slasher movie
where you pick off unsuspecting victims one-by-one
before you slink off into the shadows, is going to serve you well in this game.
It even lets you move the bodies so as to not alert everyone else too quickly.
My kind of game.
Now you can just sneak past people,
but that becomes an increasing pain in the ass later.
Alternately, you can try for non-lethal takedowns,
but that's not always an option and frankly, it's harder.
If you shoot someone with a tranquilizer dart,
they kind of behave like they would in real life--
which is to say they run around screaming for a good chunk of time,
alerting everyone in a radius around them, maybe setting off an alarm,
until they finally collapse.
Also, look at these cyborg guys. They self-detonate as soon as you take them down.
There is no non-lethal takedown of these guys.
I've heard it's technically possible to beat this game without killing anyone,
but it involves game exploits and makes some areas much more difficult.
While your brother is always whining about
how you shouldn't kill criminals with guns who are shooting at you,
the gameplay suggests otherwise.
So if you just imagine yourself as Jason from "Friday the 13th",
except with a badge and gun,
then that's the sort of mentality this game is optimized for.
Even then, this game isn't all cookies and ice cream regarding the combat.
You start off barely being able to hit a target ten feet in front of you,
then there's this small delay between each shot,
so you never have true semi-automatic control.
But I actually love how the aiming is handled in this game
because this is also an RPG, so you can level up your skills to get better.
Because, let's face it, whether you've never picked up a gun before
or you're a seasoned veteran, your bullets should still hurt.
But aiming, that's something that ties in perfectly with an RPG formula.
I wish every RPG that had guns handled it this way.
Progress is a little slow in this game, but it's slow in the best possible way,
because there are people to talk to, new areas to explore,
conversations of enemies to overhear before you murder them, and so on.
All this combined with the hazardous combat
makes it feel like an accomplishment when you move forward in this game
and just adds a sense of significance to everything.
Besides being able to talk to everyone you see,
you can also read emails, newspapers, book excerpts, public bulletins...
the game is chock full of content. It almost rivals an MMO.
So a level that might take you five minutes to get through in another shooter,
could take you forty-five minutes to an hour to get through in Deus Ex
because there's so much there.
So back to Liberty Island,
I rescue the Statue of Liberty and apprehend the terrorists' leader.
He surrenders because my trench coat is better than his,
and he has no hair.
Anyway, from here I get new orders to track down a drug shipment,
and the game just keeps expanding more and more.
I get to deal with hostages, fighting in the street, hostages,
shantytowns, hostages, and pimp cleanup.
That's another thing about Deus Ex is that, even though this is in the future,
and you have cybernetic enhancements,
and occasionally see military mechs walking around,
the vast majority of the game doesn't look that farfetched.
I mean, hey, the slums of New York still look crappy. Who could've guessed?
["Cops stop you, bro, don't talk back. Tonight, they just shoot your ass."]
See, that's just like today.
Now I have nothing against going super futuristic looking in other games,
but in Deus Ex, this helps ground you and adds a small touch of realism to things.
Although, I think the number of rats in the hotel lobby is a little high,
even for New York.
Also, while we're here, I want to point out Smuggler's Den.
When I first played this,
I always thought this felt a little tacked on in terms of the design.
This is a 100% optional quest area, it doesn't affect the main storyline,
and it gives you a short extra mission that you can't access by any other means.
Looking on this now, I can see this actually follows a DLC format:
It's short but not super-short, and it's very modular in nature
compared to the rest of the game.
It may sound dumb but this is actually one of my biggest issues
with DLC in story-driven games.
Deus Ex is one cohesive experience. It's great; you can get lost in this world.
But when you turn something into DLC,
just having a reminder that you can buy the DLC
rips you out of the immersion a little bit--or at least it does with me.
Even if you've bought the content ahead of time,
the damage is still done because it's all ready primed you mentally
to remember that this is a game, not some other world.
So, if I buy Deus Ex with the Smuggler's Den add-on clearly advertised,
then every time I hear about Smuggler in game, I'm going to remember,
"Oh, this must be the DLC."
So instead of wondering who Smuggler is, or thinking about something else in the world,
I'm thinking, "This is the extra part of the game I paid for" instead.
For me, this is the damage of DLC.
Every time you rip the player out of the experience to remind them,
yes, this is indeed a game--
["Take off your shoes."]
--it really harms the overall impact of games with a lot of narrative like this one.
And hey, this game pre-dates DLC so this isn't even an issue.
But I wanted to point this out because it's obvious to me
that if this game was made today, Smuggler's Den would be DLC.
The game really starts feeling like its own world at this point.
Besides a bar, clinic, hotel, subway...
there's also a wealth of side-alleys, warehouses, rooftops,
hidden underground passages, and all along the way,
as many homeless people as there are pigeons.
And these are just the ones out on the street.
There are so many homeless people that later you discover
what's practically underground society of them in decommissioned subway tunnels.
Welcome to New York, 2052.
[singing] ["Land where my fathers died
[singing] ["Land of the pilgrims' p--"]
From here, the plot takes some turns and you go on a globetrotting adventure,
following up leads and, uh...
I forget why you're going everywhere you do.
See, this game is so large that, by the time you get to a main plot point,
you've seen so much of the world around you,
if you're not careful,
you can lose track of why you were doing what you're here for in the first place.
The presentation can leave you spinning.
Like I'm supposed to do favors for this guy
because he wants to help out the local gangs by giving them better sword designs.
Now I DO owe him because he saved my life
because I betrayed my organization
because my brother got info from some guy
saying he found evidence that my bosses took bribe money
and MAYBE were involved with some shadier stuff?
I want to emphasize that at no point prior to my betrayal do we have proof of this.
It's literally just an email from my brother saying he HAS proof
but we never actually see it. It's all hearsay.
It seems like it would make more sense to just report that to other authorities?
Or hell, just resign from your job?
The plot here would be like if your brother was involved in WikiLeaks
and he said he KNEW another guy in WikiLeaks
that said he knew the Director of Homeland Security had taken bribe money.
So your conclusion would be to send classified information to militia groups
with no PROOF of any of this, and go rogue.
Now even if WikiLeaks is right,
that still doesn't seem like the correct course of action.
And more importantly, you see how we got off the topic
as to why were helping some local Chinese gangs. That's Deus Ex.
But this guy DID save my life so I owe him,
but even then, us stealing some sword designs seems really aimless
compared to everything else that's happened up until this point.
Besides just doing some locals a favor, I don't even know what I'm doing anymore.
I'm practically wandering aimlessly.
But the world is so fleshed out and the gameplay is just fun,
so you just go with it.
Well it just so happens that the people who manufacture these swords
ALSO manufacture that virus that was mentioned earlier
that's devastating the globe.
So it all comes together now,
except there wasn't really a good reason for us to connect the dots to begin with.
Later, the game just starts throwing one conspiracy theory after another at you,
with the Illuminati,
men in black...
and of course ends with a plan to either control or blow up the Internet.
It's a bit of a mess but the game is so much fun the whole way,
plus there's a little more going on here that I'm going to come back to.
So in Deus Ex fashion, let me give you a chance to forget what I just said
and let's talk about the music.
The music in this game ranges from okay--
[guitar and synthesizer music]
--to simply amazing.
This game had four different composers
but the majority of it was done by Alexander Brandon,
though Michiel van den Bos had some really excellent tracks also.
There's so much good music in this game, people who have played it
are going to have different answers for which tracks are their favorites.
Now this was one of the last mainstream games to use MOD tracker music,
which is like MIDI music except it's a lot better
because the composer gets to chose his own instrument sounds.
It does mean some tracks can sound a little clunky, though.
[pneumatic percussion music]
"Clunky" is really a good way to describe this game, actually.
Even at later levels, the combat is never what I would call smooth or fluid.
Everything's a little rough around the edges.
Why do I need a timer when I read emails?
Why do I jump like a senior citizen?
Why is a flashlight a super power that requires specialized fuel cells?
And pretty much any time you have a game as huge as this is,
you're going to have bugs and shortcomings and Deus Ex is no exception.
There are loads of small glitches.
Like look at this: the troops have me trapped in here. I can't get past them.
They don't flinch from gunfire either.
I literally cannot escape without attacking them.
Yeah, that's bound to make me popular with the coalition.
This is also a game where, if you're trying to break it, you absolutely can.
The first time I played, I was trying to gain entrance to this compound
but they were giving me a long runaround for letting me in
even though I only had 12 hours to live.
Then they sent me to this lady that they don't even like
and she wants me to break into a police station.
Oh yeah, that's going to go well.
So I decided, "Hey, how about I use my cybernetic abilities
"and just sneak into the compound?"
Well, uh... that didn't go so well.
My, uh... 'allies' and I weren't becoming the best of friends.
Plus, besides glitches, most of the animations are very basic.
Half the people in Hong Kong don't exactly look Chinese.
["You missed them. They left over an hour ago."]
And their accents could use some work.
["Illegal products, of course, but you find everything in the canal,
["things that have been lost, thing people wants t'forget."]
This is a game where you have to use your imagination on
like how a group of underground terrorists
are all wearing conveniently matching uniforms.
Or how every major city you visit only has a dozen or two people on the street.
Or how you can drink ten 40 ounces in five seconds and not die.
You just can't take everything at face value with a game like this.
Another thing you have to overlook is that, even though you're a hero,
the game still encourages you to play like a criminal anyway.
If you're not breaking and entering, picking locks,
and stealing everything you can find, you're going to have a hard time.
It doesn't matter if you're stealing from rich or poor,
your own colleagues or complete strangers, you need their stuff.
At least with hacking into people's email, you're trying to gather intelligence,
but hacking ATM machines so you can steal $100 is a little less classy.
It would be like James Bond sabotaged a vending machine
so he could steal 20 bucks from it.
This isn't a good game to overthink, or at least not the gameplay.
But for all its quirks, it does so many little things to make it seem real.
Even simple things, like breathing animations add a lot.
And it may look simplistic now,
but this lip-syncing goes a long way towards helping to immerse me.
Or hey, if you shoot a foot soldier a couple times, guess what they do.
They run away!
They don't come back either. That's because they are scared for their life!
How many first person shooters do THAT?
Things like this add up.
Though, I should probably mention that because this was made on the Unreal Engine
which is highly moddable, there have been some serious mods made for this game--
total conversions actually.
I haven't had a chance to play all these,
though "The Nameless Mod", I did give a shot.
I didn't get very far, though, because if you're expecting something like Deus Ex,
you should keep looking.
It's more like a runaway project from an online community
that's only intended audience is itself.
It has a lot of humor that breaks the fourth wall,
isn't that funny and you're probably not going to get it
unless you were part of this community.
I think this mod could possibly be the largest inside joke ever made.
At 14 hours of gameplay, it's an oddity that you wouldn't think exists,
but here it is.
Additionally, "Deus Ex: Revision" is the most recent
and is intended to be an overhaul of the original game,
to add some more features, particularly visuals.
This one reminds me a little bit of George Lucas going back
and altering the original "Star Wars" in order to enhance it.
Although that's a little unfair
because I think this mod respects the source material more than Lucas did.
Some things are better, others are questionable.
Like if you look at your boss's office here.
It's looking a lot more posh now,
but who would position a luxury office so everyone has to approach you from the side?
The original has a wall separating things; you're always facing him.
That's bad feng shui.
Also, look at the beginning here.
Let's stop for a minute and imagine what was happened
just before this conversation took place.
Did they decide, "Hey, let's both stand inside
"the middle of this information terminal because it will feel cozier"?
This mod really accentuates how much thought
was actually put into the original's level design.
A lot of areas start feeling too cluttered
and you lose track visually of where you should be focusing your attention.
So not bad, but I would still recommend anyone new to just play the original first.
And while I'm talking about the Unreal Engine,
I have to point out that Deus Ex used a trick the original "Unreal" did
in that, if you get close to a wall, you can see a secondary texture emerge.
So on wood, you can see the grain,
on paintings, you can see the canvas texture, and so on.
Now unlike Unreal, which did this almost everything,
Deus Ex only uses this on some textures,
but this was so far ahead of anything else for years.
And then when you got close to something, it wasn't a complete blur fest.
Okay, now I'm skipping huge aspects of this game,
probably more than any other game I've covered,
but I want to keep moving because I want to circle back around on something.
While it's far from perfect and has a lot of shortcomings,
Deus Ex is a great game by pretty much any measure.
Yeah, all-time favorite of mine. No surprises there.
The thing is, I would argue from a certain light,
this is the most significant game ever made
and it's for none of the reasons I've discussed so far.
I need to talk more about the story because this is where I think
most of the game industry doesn't realize what it has with this game,
or else can't talk about it fully because they have to stay more objective.
Well, not me; I can say whatever the hell I want. So here we go.
See, the story to Deus Ex exists on two or three levels.
The first level is what I would call "fun video game story".
You're stopping terrorists, fighting against a malevolent organization,
saving the world from a virus, uncovering the Illuminati, blowing up mechs...
this is nothing we haven't seen in other games all ready.
It's not too deep, you're not meant to take this seriously,
it's just to make the game fun.
So if you ever hear someone criticize the story to this game--
which you totally can do--
this is the layer they're talking about.
The second level, which some might say is still part of the first,
would be the world story of the game.
This is all the secondary stuff independent of the plot
where all these characters are brought to life.
You get to hear about all their thoughts, fears, motivations and philosophies.
The quartermaster here realizes his organization is corrupt
but still wants to save it because of his personal creed.
The Illuminati members see proactive guidance of mankind
as necessity for society to function.
Even your boss believes he's being practical
and trying to balance the needs of the organization
against political pressures to do things that aren't in society's interests.
The characters in this game have a lot of depth to them
and form a tapestry of views and beliefs that bring the game to life.
This part is extremely well done and is the reason this game feels so real.
Now a few other games have pulled this off
but I think a lot of the game industry has a difficult time writing characters
to be as believable as ones in Deus Ex.
Very few people feel contrived to me.
In any event, this breaks far, FAR away
from your typical Hollywood dialog you see in so many other games.
Now the third level I'll get to in a bit.
This is the one that I think separates this game from perhaps every other one made.
When I played this game for the first time, I was enjoying it,
but I remember a specific moment when I became hooked.
When you confront the terrorists' leader-- you remember, the guy with no hair?--
listen to some of what he has to say.
["For a hundred years,
["there's been a conspiracy of plutocrats against ordinary people."
["You have a single fact to back fact to back that up?"
["Number one: In 1945, corporations paid 50 percent of federal taxes.
["Now they pay about 5 percent.
["Number two: In 1900, 90 percent of Americans were self-employed.
["Now it's about two percent."
["It's called consolidation.
["Strengthens governments and corporations, weakens individuals.
["With taxes, this can be done imperceptibly over time."]
I became VERY interested in this game after hearing that.
So yeah, that makes me kind of a nerd
getting excited that a game is talking about tax rates,
but that's because I knew what he was saying was actually true.
Now it's a little more complicated than what he says
because it was never a pure 50%, since there was also a payroll tax,
but the point is, you bet individuals are paying more taxes
than corporations are nowadays.
I mean, a better measure is the effective tax rate.
This isn't the official tax rate;
this is the real tax for corporations after all the loopholes.
Also this isn't the year 2052. That could affect your numbers, too.
Now as for the self-employment thing,
I wasn't able to get numbers as far back as he's quoting,
but what I did find shows that,
yeah, self-employment is way down from where it used to be.
We have a ton more consolidation now.
Now that number is actually going up right now, but not in a good way.
That's due to corporations using less and less employees
and hiring disposable contractors because then they don't have to pay out as much
for benefits, insurance, and so on.
So if you do freelance work for what amounts to less than minimum wage,
congratulations, you're self-employed.
This all adds up to power moving away from the individual towards large institutions.
Now the terrorist guy claims
there's a conspiracy of plutocrats against ordinary people.
He goes on to say it's all the Rockefellers and alludes to the Illuminati.
Well, I don't know about that part but
normal people being marginalized and us entering a plutocracy?
Uh, yeah, right again.
Now I'll run through this as fast as I can because I don't want to bore people.
See, I'm not currently occupying the Statue of Liberty with an armed militia
so it's harder for me to get an audience than this guy, but here we go.
Besides the stuff he was talking about,
there are so many metrics you can look at that back up what he's saying.
How about wages as a percent of GDP? Yeah, that's been going down.
So when you hear the economy is great?
Well that's nice; that means some shareholders making bank,
probably not the actual employees of a company.
And hey, surely we're not living in a plutocracy. I mean, we can vote, right?
Well guess what? 91% of the time,
whichever candidate has the most money is the one that wins.
So if you're an informed voter and weigh candidate platforms, that doesn't matter.
Ten times out of eleven, the only thing that matters is how many ads Joe Voter sees
and you can buy that.
Want to know who's going to win the next election? Money. That's who's going to win.
But you might be saying, "Hey, those officials can still represent us, right?"
Well, no, not really.
There's a famous study floating showing that, over 20 years,
almost 1,800 policy outcomes were analyzed by financial influence,
and showed that average citizens have statistically no influence over policy decisions
whereas wealthy individuals and business interests had a significant amount.
Even though politicians are elected to represent the people,
they really only represent people that pay them the most.
That might be why over half of Congress is composed of millionaires.
Now I'm focusing mainly on the USA,
but stuff like this is manifesting itself globally in different ways.
Like hey, do you know it's been deduced by analyzing bank data around the world
that there's at least $21 trillion in secret offshore bank accounts
that aren't subject to tax?
Yeah, I didn't say that number wrong. It's $21 TRILLION.
And that's showing us the most conservative estimate.
It could be $31 trillion, and that was back in 2012. So it's probably higher now.
And don't get this mixed up with a completely different study in 2015
showing US corporations as holding $2.1 trillion in offshore banks to avoid taxes.
That's small time compared to what's out there.
So, uh, yeah, back to Deus Ex.
Seeing this in a game kind of blew my mind-- not because I've never heard this stuff,
but I had never seen this in a mainstream game presented with actual facts.
You almost never see this stuff on the news, or if it's in popular media,
it's been simplified or distorted to the point where it might as well be a kids' cartoon.
Meanwhile, here's Deus Ex just slipping it in the middle of a really great game
and subtly showing how some of this works.
There are reasons you see homeless after homeless after homeless person.
This is where a plutocracy takes us.
Now unlike Deus Ex, I don't think our current plutocracy transition
is the result of an Illuminati conspiracy.
I think it's more that ruthless rich people tend to think alike
and what we're seeing is a concerted effort of many powerful individuals
independently manipulating the system to achieve their ends.
So it's not a secret order with rituals and shit--that would be kind of cool.
No, it's more like a ruling class.
See, a rich person with an agenda pays lobbyists to influence politicians
to get laws passed that further his agenda.
That politician gets re-elected because he has the money and cycle continues.
Now unlike Deus Ex, that agenda isn't to take over the world.
...at least, I don't think...
Instead, it's usually some flavor of changing laws
so that businesses said person owns or is invested in become even more profitable,
at the expense of pretty much anything else.
That's the important part; that's what leads to every other problems.
And by "rich", I'm talking Scrooge McDuck or Richie Rich... uh... rich.
If you're not on a first name basis with multiple representatives
on the national level you're not even on this chart.
And meanwhile, besides fueling politicians, said rich person may simultaneously
fund media organizations or think tanks to promote narratives or even propaganda
to try and get the rest of the public thinking the way they do
or at least suppress or obfuscate the scent.
Hey, to add to No Hair's fact list here,
in 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 different companies.
Today, the same 90% is controlled by six.
So that means, if there's any agenda that the people running them happen to agree on,
they can direct the attention of the whole country towards that.
Or, more importantly, AWAY from something they don't want to discussed.
With that kind of influence, you can affect the flow of history.
Now I know this is getting long but the game goes a step further.
When I first played this game, I thought it was great,
but I remember thinking so many references to terrorism seemed a little over the top
and almost preachy to the point of detracting from the game.
The Statue of Liberty has been bombed by terrorists.
There are frequent news bulletins on terrorism.
You work for an anti-terrorism agency.
Terrorism, all the time.
And then 9/11 happened.
It's important to remember this game was made BEFORE 9/11.
Okay, for anyone younger in the audience, I need to explain something.
Hearing news commentators, politicians, and the media in general
talk about terrorism ALL THE TIME didn't used to be normal, at least in the US.
Prior to 9/11, the average person heard about terrorists
more from Arnold Schwarzenegger movies than they did from the mainstream media.
I mean they would still cover events,
but it wasn't like clockwork multiple times a week, if not every day.
But since 9/11, it hasn't stopped.
All the terrorism dialog in Deus Ex doesn't even feel like an exaggeration now.
The game was prophetic.
I mean, everybody likes to point out that
if you look at the New York City skyline in the game, the two towers aren't there.
Now this is just a coincidence;
the real reason is because of a texture size engine limitation
but man, that sure goes a ways towards future-proofing this thing.
But back to terrorism.
The way we talk about terrorism now, you'd think it's the largest problem on Earth.
Now I have to be careful what I say here because this is the Internet,
so let me be clear:
Terrorism is a problem and should be fought.
But hear me out.
It's impossible to get an exact number,
but we currently spend approximately $100 billion a year combating terrorism.
But any given year, more people die from being hit by lightning than from terrorism.
Most years, in the US, you're more likely to die from bee stings.
However, the thing with security is, you don't see what you prevent.
So you might think $100 billion a year is reasonable.
After all, almost 3,000 died from 9/11.
But here's the thing:
There's public evidence that the CIA knew an attack from al Qaeda was imminent
as early as Spring of 2001.
They repeatedly tried to warn the Bush administration an attack was coming
so that they would put the government on high alert.
And during that time, there WERE some al Qaeda contacts that slipped through
that likely wouldn't have if we had been on high alert like they advised.
The Bush administration however did not take these threats seriously.
Now this is speculation, so we can never know for certain,
but there is hard evidence showing that, if someone besides Bush was president,
or if he simply took the CIA seriously,
the 9/11 attacks might never have happened.
Let that sink in for a minute.
It's almost as if we're living in an alternate bad timeline.
Although, we did dodge the Cuban Missile Crisis. That would've been worse.
Man, I try to avoid politics in these videos, but I can't for Deus Ex.
It's just too relevant.
["In a former life, I was a mule dragging a stone plow up a hill in northern Thailand."]
The point of all this is it wasn't a lack of resources
that led to the 9/11 attacks.
But none of that mattered.
After 9/11, we ushered in the Patriot Act,
UNATC--I mean Homeland Security, the TSA, we invaded Iraq,
we added counterterrorist funding for local police,
and the media has not stopped talking about it since.
We also lost some constitutional rights in the process,
are spending $100 billion a year on this,
and it's not clear we're any safer than before all this happened.
In Deus Ex, UNATCO is formed after the Statue of Liberty is bombed.
Just like the two towers, this is super-symbolic
and mobilizes Congress to set up a new agency to tackle the problem.
But why are we setting up all these new agencies and spending $100 billion a year
when all we needed to do was to let the CIA do its damned job?
Because there's $100 billion a year to be made on this stuff!
Back to this chart, guess who some of these rich people are.
Defense contractors! Like Tony Stark, except without the morality.
This is what's known as the "military-industrial complex".
Essentially, if we're not at war with somebody somewhere,
then they're losing money and they can't have that.
So this is all the same thing as before, except this one involves the military.
So terrorism is our new global enemy and it needs to stay that way
so that Obadiah here can keep getting a slice of that $100 billion.
And not just him. Everyone who works at Stark Industries or is connected to it.
And as a bonus, the more time goes on and you start hollowing out society,
you might actually see some homegrown terrorists trying to fight the system.
Like the NSF in Deus Ex.
And that in turn increases the demand for more of a counterterrorist economy.
It just keeps going.
I'm normally not much a conspiracy theory person,
but if there's tons of evidence for something happening,
and there's a whole lot of money to be made by NOT calling attention to it,
then yeah, I get suspicious.
Some of you may know that Eisenhower in his farewell speech
explicitly warned about the military-industrial complex
and considered it a greatest threat to our democracy.
["We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence,
["whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
["The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
["We must never let the weight of this combination
["endanger our liberties or democratic processes."]
But hey, he was only President of the United States
and Supreme Allied Commander during World War II. What did he know?
This is how the world works, guys.
And that's the third layer of the story of Deus Ex.
It's more than a game.
It's illustrating not only real world issues
but arguably a couple of the biggest ones
that are shaping everything about our civilization
and giving us a glimpse of how it works and where it's taking us.
I haven't seen any other game come close to this.
Oh sure, there have been other games with rich first-person shooter and RPG mechanics
or a tapestry of characters that really flesh out the world,
or extremely layered and intricate plots and conspiracies.
But all that is only what makes this a great GAME.
Some of the issues explored in Deus Ex are RIGHT NOW
indirectly affecting BILLIONS of people.
We're seeing history being made and Deus Ex sees it also.
So for that, I give this the Transcendence award.
It's common for people to not take games seriously
because they're mostly just entertainment.
Well if you read between the lines,
Deus Ex gives you a better education for what's happening to our world
and what we should be concerned about than the damned NEWS!
And it's packaged in a highly entertaining game
so it can reach people it might not normally otherwise.
How's that for game relevance?
["Yes. Do exactly that. Keep me informed."]
I mostly play games for escapism, so if one is going to rip me back to reality,
I appreciate it being as awesome as this one.
And this is sort of a repeat, but I want it anyway:
Some of this is real.
See? "Real Conspiracies". They're not kidding.
Now of course, most of this isn't real.
The vast majority of it is still just fun video game filler,
but what it does hit on is so poignant
and in the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king.
Well, Deus Ex has that one eye open.
So to wrap this up, let's talk about the ending.
We get THREE endings and they're ALL LAME!
According to online polling, the game takes 24-37 hours to finish
and we get about two one-minute game cutscenes for each
and about two minutes for the Illuminati ending.
They're mostly just standing around talking saying,
"Gee, it sure is good we picked the ending we did."
Except for the Tracer Tong ending, which has HARD CORE ACTION.
These endings suck.
I'll talk more about them in the next episode so stay tuned for the sequel.
Okay, I guess I'll just end the episode
with as much effort as this game put into its ending.
["I'll be okay. Thanks."]