The Nameless Mod – Mod Spotlight
Deus Ex is a marvel of a game, even after all this time. And even though Human Revolution suits me a tad bit better in terms of gameplay, I will definitely not ignore the fact that it was its predecessor that revolutionized video games back in its day. What I will ignore, however, is Invisible War, just so we get that out of the picture.
It’s only natural that one such game, built on an as malleable engine as Unreal is, would get loads of mods. Some of them had to be brilliant, one way or another, and I’m happy to announce that The Nameless Mod takes the figurative spotlight when compared to every other Deus Ex mod out there. You see, this mod is a visual representation of one of the more prominent fan forums of the original game. The story takes place mostly in Forum City (hello, captain Obvious), which isn’t dark, gloomy and riddled with conspiracy because it’s a shitty place to live in, but because its residents want it to be like that. Every other house has to have a secret basement because the Forum City’s people would have it no other way. After all, would you expect anything else from a bunch of Deus Ex geeks?
Placing you into the boots of Trestkon, a former intelligence agent whose reasons for leaving the forum… city for two years are dubious at best, the game has you searching for the missing moderator. With most of the users panicking, other mods are spread thin and chaos soon ensues. Since Trestkon now has administrative access, his allegiance is contested by a multitude of factions – including but not limited to: powerful corporations, Llama/Goat worshippers and other moderators. Naturally, this being a Deus Ex mod, you can join any of these groups and tip the fragile balance in their favour, but honestly, why choose a goat when there’s a llama in town? Instead of being dead serious about these matters, The Nameless Mod spoofs itself whenever given the chance. Sadly, the only way to fully enjoy all the jokes this wonderful piece of software offers is to get to know the forums that initially spawned the idea. In the starting area, there’s a lot of commentary that we ordinary mortals can barely comprehend, simply because these are taken off the forum and placed into the mod as a sort of fan service. The mod also expects you to know your way around Deus Ex lore, so I’d suggest finishing the original game before delving into the mysterious depths of The Nameless Mod. On the other hand, why haven’t you finished Deus Ex yet? What madness is this?
Thankfully, forum jokes are few and far between, and there’s a massive amount of content that doesn’t require any additional knowledge, other than the basics of Deus Ex. Interestingly, this mod seemingly surpasses the heights of its progenitor in some respects. Character development and combat, in particular. See, whereas Deus Ex led you through the storyline in a rather linear manner, The Nameless Mod simply drops you into a vast, open city and tells you to do your best. Soon, every nook and cranny will be fair game as far as exploration is concerned, and it’s up to you to complete missions however and whenever you wish. This would be pointless had the Forum City been crafted as an empty shell, of course, but that’s not the case. Expect mountains of books, tech magazines and real-world lore on your plate. Even better, characters act like actual people, with some of them offering twelve dialogue lines to choose from during conversations. How did they manage to make all of this interesting? By doing the exact opposite! See, to build a beliveable world, you don’t need to come up with obscure storyline information nor anything like that. No, you need to offer dialogue choices – things that are unimportant and (some would say) boring. The NPCs talk to each other, giving you the chance to listen in and learn the history of Forum City, as well as stuff about Deus Ex itself and even some real world happenings. For example, you can learn why one moderator dislikes the other one, who are the poor, homeless people you find on the fringes of the city. Even better, try doing something strange (like drinking the booze you were given for molotovs) and there’s a fair chance one of the characters will comment on that! The way devs anticipated whatever strange action Trestkon might be up to is astounding. Thus, this intricately built world easily feels more complete and alive than most modern-day RPG games do.
When it comes to actual gameplay, some changes have been implemented as well. Before beginning the game, you can modify the amount of enemies and items available, as well as health levels and similar things. Basically, you can create your own difficulty level in addition to playing however you want to play. Guns are a much more viable solution than they were in the vanilla game, not because they’re overpowered now, but because you’ll actually be able to hit something even if you aren’t upgraded with firearms in mind. Trestkon’s unique golden handguns are sure to leave an impression, too. That all doesn’t mean that stealth and subterfuge isn’t an option anymore. Hacking and sneaking around is just as potent as always, just a bit more user-friendly. A welcome change, I’m sure you’ll agree.
The Nameless Mod gives you two parallel storylines to play through, with each being about fifteen hours long if you don’t prowl around the city as much as you should. A whole new game, built upon the solidest (what?) of solid foundations. Those seven years of development weren’t in vain, that’s for sure. A definitive recommendation to every Deus Ex fan out there.
1. Download the NMM executable file here: http://www.moddb.com/mods/the-nameless-mod/downloads/the-nameless-mod-exe.
2. Install the file normally (to the location of your Deus Ex installation).
3. Play The Nameless Mod.
The installation process is really simple this time around, but then again, it was in development for seven years so you have to expect some streamlining to happen during that time.