• Pechalin

The Ideas of Deus Ex

One thing that has always struck me about the Deus Ex franchise is how rich it is in terms of social, political, economic, philosophical, and other ideas and issues - be it an argument about the separation of powers and the function of democracy in a Hong Kong bar, or the more general tropes of the cyberpunk genre: abuse of power, corporate consolidation, social division, etc. I've recently finished a back-to-back replay of all four core Deus Ex games (Human Revolution, Mankind Divided, Deus Ex, Invisible War), and I thought it would be a good excuse to try to take stock of all these ideas and issues.

Below is a table that lists an issue or an idea, tags which Deus Ex game or games it features in, gives a location if the issue is specific to a game and place, and provides links to further discussions, usually to the free and excellent Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. I haven't included any DLC or spin-off titles (e.g. Project Snowblind), and I have been somewhat selective about what to count here: I've tried to avoid too many fine-grained or general issues by thinking of them as subsumed under others. I'm not going to pretend that the table is exhaustive, but within these constraints I've tried to be as comprehensive as possible.


HR - Human Revolution

MD - Mankind Divided

DX - Deus Ex

IW - Invisible War

Location - the place in the tagged game(s) where the relevant conversation or text appears, unless it is a recurring theme or subject, in which case it's marked as 'General'.

Deus Ex Issues
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