For Deus Ex's 23rd Anniversary, its most chaotic mod is literally flipping the script with a new mirror mode

It's been 23 years since Ion Storm released Deus Ex, to this day one of the best immersive sims, RPGs, or heck, videogames period. To celebrate, modders Die4Ever and TheAstropath have dropped version 2.5 of the Deus Ex Randomizer, which introduces a new mirror mode as well as an easy-to-use installer.

The Deus Ex Randomizer already offers a lot more than its name might imply. In addition to shuffling codes, items, and enemies, it offers full compatibility with most of the mods in our guide to having the best Deus Ex experience on modern PCs. Revision, GMDX, and Lay D Denton are all good to go, with only the Community Update lacking full support at this time.

The Randomizer mod offers everything from light-touch randomized changes to codes and item placements, up to maximum-chaos meme runs like its "Serious Sam" mode, which has ten times the enemies of a typical Deus Ex run but also bonus player health and damage resistance to compensate. I'm also quite fond of its challenge modes like "Ninja JC," which restricts you to using throwing knives, swords, grenades, and pepper spray, but also gives you a combined speed boost/run silent augmentation to really get you in the covert warrior mood.

The Randomizer mod also includes Dark Souls-style death markers and contributions to Die4Ever and TheAstropath's player activity-reporting Mastodon profile with its opt-in online functionality, and the mod's now easier to install than ever thanks to a .exe which detects the other mods (if any) you have installed and adjusts accordingly. You can start a new randomized seed of the game from the main menu, or always just opt for the original experience with Die4Ever's quality of life changes, bug fixes, and challenge constraints.

Mirror mode is a substantial addition to the Randomizer's repertoire, able to be activated alone or in concert with other variables. A flipped version of a classic videogame level is always a trippy way to revisit a familiar haunt⁠—see also Chop Goblins' mirror mode or how the Wii version of Twilight Princess flipped all of Hyrule so Link would be right handed. I particularly love how even level textures are flipped with Deus Ex Randomizer⁠—peep that backwards "Tonnochi Road" and other such signs in the Hong Kong portion of the trailer.

While I don't know if the Deus Ex Randomizer is a direct inspiration, some of its ideas are starting to crop up in other immersive sims as well. Both Deathloop and Amnesia: The Bunker have wrung more replay value out of randomized door codes (and item placements in the latter example), while upcoming FPS Fortune's Run took a similar FromSoftware asynchronous online inspiration, just with Dark Souls-style messages instead of Dark Souls-style death markers. Imm sims are a chaotic genre already, so why not add in a little more madcap energy to really spice things up?

Die4Ever and TheAstropath continue to work on improving and expanding the Deus Ex Randomizer, and you can check out v2.5 yourself on the modder's GitHub page. You'll need a copy of Deus Ex as well, but you're in luck if you don't have one yet: one of the greatest games of all time can regularly be had for under a buck on Steam and GOG.

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.