PC Gamer

Face Off pits two gladiators against each other as they tackle gaming's most perplexing conundrums. This New Year's Eve edition is a chronological throw-down: which decade gave PC gaming the most? Podcast Producer Erik Belsaas says it was the '90s—the origin of modern PC gaming. Executive Editor Evan Lahti insists it was the '00s, with its speedy internet, better PCs, and shinier graphics engines.

Evan: The 1990s had the CD-ROM and the McRib sandwich. The ‘00s had Windows XP and two terrible Star Wars movies. I think the latter birthed better games: the Battlefield series, Crysis, Company of Heroes, BioShock, Dragon Age: Origins, Guild Wars, The Sims, Rome: Total War, Star Wars: KOTOR, and the best Civilization games happened then. What've you got, Erik?

Erik: Lucasarts, id, Ion Storm, Interplay, Blizzard: the iconic names that created franchises that we still discuss today. “RTS,” “FPS,” and “MMO” had no meaning before the pioneers of the '90s came along with some-thing other than sequels and rehashes: Baldur's Gate, Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, MechWarrior, Unreal Tournament and every LucasArts adventure game from Sam & Max to Grim Fandango.

Evan: This is going to devolve into who can name-drop more game titles, isn't it?

Erik: Pretty much.

Evan: Cool. In that case, let’s put the best we've got on the page. What are the top three games from your decade? Mine: WoW, Counter-Strike, and Half-Life 2.

Erik: Just three? How about X-COM, Fallout, and The Secret of Monkey Island. Timeless classics that we still play today.

Evan: Is that the best that the decade that gave us the Spice Girls has got, grandpa? The innovations of the '00s will last far longer. Half-Life 2 wasn't just the basis for the way modern action games tell stories, it’s the technological foundation for the most ambitious mods we have today and the preferred canvas for machinima creators. World of Warcraft’s meteoric rise brought PC gaming into popular culture, ruined innumerable marriages, and earned its own South Park episode. Top that.

Erik:Your great games are all parts of established franchises that began in the '90s. For that matter, the original Counter-Strike mod came out in 1999, before Valve turned it into a retail product! Take away the names that began in the '90s, the '00s would've created very little of their own.

Evan: Megabyte for megabyte, I’d rather replay Half-Life 2 than its predecessor. Likewise for Diablo II, Warcraft III, Fallout 3 and other major franchises that began in the '90s but matured in the '00s. I really think that the tech of the '00s (better operating systems, fast internet, faster PCs) produced better gaming experiences. EVE Online couldn't exist in the '90s. Team Fortress 2's dozens of free content updates couldn't have streamed down our wimpy modems—the same goes for 25-man WoW raids or a heavily modded playthrough of Oblivion or Morrowind.

Erik: You've got a short memory. EverQuest allowed 72-man raids. And before Oblivion and Morrowind came Daggerfall, which was amazing and heavily modded. Doom, the father of modding, came out in '93.

Evan: I’ll play your game, Belsaas. Here's my ace: Deus Ex, our most favorite game ever, happened in 2000.

Erik: Deus Ex is a good game...but how about StarCraft? Has any other game absolutely defined its genre or rallied an entire nation behind it like a sport?

Evan: I was worried you’d play the Korea card. What can I counter that with? The 100-million-selling main-stream success of The Sims? The booming popularity of independent gaming? ...Peggle?

Erik: Peggle? Well I’ve got...you know...uh...Carmen Sandiego. Fine. Peggle wins.
PC Gamer
Deus Ex New Vision mod UNATCO HQ comparison

For all its crazy cyber-conspiracy narrative and superior voice acting, Deus Ex didn't ride its Unreal Engine tech gracefully into the visual standards of the present. Still, its neon-lined cyberpunk locales are close to many a gamer's nano-heart, which makes the release of the final version of David Watts' "New Vision" mod for Deux Ex just another good reason to reinstall it.

"I'd like to sincerely thank everyone in the community for their support over the years; without you, I wouldn't have had the motivation to continue working on this project for five years of my life," DaveW stated. "I hope you all enjoy the mod and I wish you all the best."

Just like popping out your organically inferior eyeballs for a pair of tri-vision photoreceptor sensors (with optional strobing laser accessory), New Vision enhances every single non-character texture in a hefty 1.2GB data package. The ghost in the machine whispers "reinstall," and New Vision makes it tough resisting another bout behind JC Denton's so-cool-I-wear-them-indoors shades. And hey, at least you can admire the soft torchlight bouncing off the domes of snazzier-looking skulls as you get absolutely lost once again in that labyrinthine Paris Catacombs area.

Grab New Vision from its Mod DB page, or check the gallery for more comparison shots.

Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

If you'd like to replay Deus Ex but are put off by the year 2000 graphics, you're a monster. Fortunately, dear monster, help is at hand. While the USA was off giving thanks for something or other last week, the real cause for celebration was that the final version of high-res retexturing mod New Vision was released, giving even the most monstrous of monsters no excuse not to revisit this classic.

New Vision replaces Deus Ex's level textures with new versions in the same style. Check out these comparison shots between the original Deus Ex and an older version of New Vision, and expect it to look even fancier now. Snag the 1.1GB download here.

"I'd like to sincerely thank everyone in the community for their support over the years; without you, I wouldn't have had the motivation to continue working on this project for 5 years of my life," lead texture artist David Watts said in the announcement. Lovely folks, the mod community.

Personally I'm a sucker for the classic look, digging that real millennial vibe, though you may be a monster. "But the level geometry is so blocky!" you might still grumble. Out. Get out.

Announcement - Valve
This weekend only, save 75% on all Deus Ex titles!

The award winning franchise blends the best of Action and RPG: the perfect mix of combat, stealth, hacking, and social gameplay.

Discount ends Monday at 10am Pacific Time.

PC Gamer
Deus Ex Invisible War thumb

There are two Deus Ex games. The original classic, and the brilliant recent sequel, Human Revolution. Sure back in 2004 there was an ill advised follow up called Deus Ex: Invisible War, but shortly after its release we all agreed that it never happened, and we would never speak of it again.

Warren Spector apparently didn't get that memo. Speaking to IGN during a preview of Epic Mickey he said he regretted listening to the feedback of focus testers when making the game.

“We focus tested concepts." he said "and I was told, ‘Set the game further in the future and put the guy or the girl in a purple jumpsuit; people like purple jumpsuits. Why did I listen?”

Who on earth answers a focus test with 'put the guy in a purple jumpsuit?' What kind of questionnaire even asks that? Who could possibly think that was helpful or relevant advice? The mind boggles.

Thankfully Deus Ex did eventually get the sequel it deserved, years later and without Spector's involvement. You can find out why it works in our Deus Ex: Human Revolution review.
PC Gamer
Deus Ex Human Revolution

"Cheap as chips" is a throwaway UK saying for something that has plunged straight through the realm of "inexpensive," surpassed the grotty lands of "surprisingly good value" and come to rest in the sugary sands of "tat." Few things in this world are cheaper than the pots of oily polystyrene packs of potato shifted from small shops on street corners up and down this country, but thanks to Steam, one of our favourite games ever, Deus Ex, is cheaper than a small pile of fried potato. How has this happened? It's best not to ask. Instead, just head to Steam and grab yourself a copy if you don't own one already.

Eidos Montreal's excellent 2011 follow-up, Human Revolution, is also a steal at £5 / $7.49. If you already own that, Human Revolution's DLC pack, The Missing Link is also available for £2.24 / $3.74. Alternatively, you can buy all things Deus Ex (including Invisible War) for a bundle price of £9.99 / $14.99. The deal's set to last all weekend.
Announcement - Valve
This weekend only, save 75% on all Deus Ex titles!

The award winning franchise blends the best of Action and RPG: the perfect mix of combat, stealth, hacking, and social gameplay.

Discount ends Monday at 10am Pacific Time.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

If Shacknews Game of the Year runner-up Deus Ex: Human Revolution put you in the mood for more cyborg-dystopian RPG action, good news. You'll probably have a chance to play the original Deus Ex on your PlayStation 3 soon. The European board PEGI has issued a rating for "Deus Ex" on the system, most likely as a PS2 classic.

Siliconera notes that the rated game is rated 16 and up, while Human Revolution is rated 18 and up in the region. The PlayStation 2 re-release of Deus Ex was subtitled "The Conspiracy," and its generally positive reception showed the game making a solid transition to consoles.

Announcement - Valve
The Square Enix Publisher Weekend continues today with 50% off the entire Square Enix Catalog! Additionally, each day brings a new Daily Deal with even deeper discounts!

Today only, take 75% off the entire Deus Ex series! You can also pick up the Square Enix Hit Collection to add all of your favorite titles to your Steam library for one low price!

Be sure to check back each day, now through Sunday, for more great deals!

PC Gamer
Save some money this weekend by shopping smart. Learn how to get 50% or more off all things Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex, every King's Quest, a 48 game Sega Genesis collection and how to get Batman: Arkham City for just $10!

The biggest deal around Steam this weekend has got to be The Great Square-Enix Cost-Cutification of 2012! You can get all the available Hitmans, Deus Exes, Tomb Raiders, Dungeon Seiges, Just Causes and much more bundled together for just $75! They can be picked up separately, so we've listed a few of those in addition to other Steam highlights below. Deals are on 'til Monday!

 75% off Square-Enix Hits Collection - $74.99
 75% off Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light - $3.74
 50% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $14.99
 50% off Deus Ex Collection (2 games) - $9.99
 50% off Just Cause 2 - $4.99
 75% off Hitman Collection (3 games) - $6.24
 50% off Dungeon Siege III - $14.99
 50% off Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days - $7.49
 66% off EVE Online: Crucible - $6.80
 BIG 24 HOUR DEAL: King's Quest Collection (7 games!) ENDS 9AM PST Saturday!

Sadly, it looks as if EA's Origin deals aren't going to be as regular as we thought. Almost every discount from last week has evaporated, save for the pretty great deal of getting Arkham City for $10!

 Buy Mass Effect 3 and Get Batman: Arkham City for $10

It's Sega's turn in the Amazon deal barrel this week and several great titles are now $7.49 or less. And yes, you can activate them on Steam.

 75% off Total War: Shogun 2 - $7.49
 75% off Sonic Generations - $7.49
 75% off Sega Dreamcast Collection - $7.49
 50% off Sonic 4: Episode 1 - $4.99
 50% off Renegade Ops - $7.49
 BIG DEAL: 90% off the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive Collection (48 games!!) - $7.49

Impulse is still rocking the 2K Ultimate Bundle pack, which includes BioShock, Civilization III, IV, V, Mafia II, Duke Nukem Forever, Borderlands, the entire X-Com series and more for $69.99! You'll also find a ton of stuff from Paradox Entertainments steeply discounted right here.

 Over 75% off the 2K Ultimate Bundle - $69.99
 50% off Serious Sam 2 - $4.99
 75% off D&D Anthology: The Master Collection - $7.49
 75% off D&D Anthology: Neverwinter Nights Complete - $7.49
 75% off Europa Universalis III Chronicles - $7.49


Know of any more game deals this weekend? Be a dear and add 'em in the comments.

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