Deus Ex 2: Unique Playstyles

From PlayItHardcore


Deus Ex 2 on its face is not a terribly difficult game. It gets a significant boost if you choose "Realistic" and then even moreso if you are particularly violent, but even then is a "medium-risk" game at that. It can be fun, but the combat can become repetitive and dull.

To make the game more interesting, I played through it with different rules. Here are some ways I have played it or imagine it could be played to make it funner.

Melee Only

With this ruleset, you restrict yourself to engaging all enemies with melee weapons. It's not that difficult at first, especially since you can pick up the Energy Blade and maximize Enhanced Strength nearly from the get-go. It becomes much more difficult later on, however, when you start facing more machines and heavily-armored opponents, such as the Templar Heavies.

It also opens up some other options, such as the Electrostatic Discharge biomod, as excellent choices.

Once you start fighting Templar Heavies, separating opponents becomes paramount to your survival, as does hit-and-run techniques.

Pistols Only

Restricting yourself to only using pistols as your offensive mainstay is very interesting. Pistols are effective throughout the game, but often are used only as an accessory to your other weapons. As they will accept any mod, you can keep several of them with you for a variety of purposes. I tend to prefer one with Increased Damage and Refire Rate for open-quarters combat, Increased Damage and Silencer for assassinations, Silencer and Glass Destabilizer for sneaking around, and a final pistol with EMP Converter + Fragmentary Round for taking on bots/turrets/et cetera.

The difficult ramps up when facing multiple opponents or very difficult opponents like military robots. Avoiding the robots altogether is preferred in this instance, or allowing yourself the use of grenades for those instances. Or just be a man and obliterate the baddest of the bad, like military robots and rocket-launcher wielding Templar Heavies, with your pistols.

Grenades Only

Another unique way to play is to scrounge around for as many grenades as you can in the game, and only engage in combat when you have grenades to do it with.

This is actually more feasible than it seems. Concussion grenades are *extremely* effective as single shots and Spiderbombs are great at taking down certain opponents. Both are very plentiful, and there are more than enough EMP/Scrambler grenades around to dispose of any bots you need to. Especially if you focus on exploring and looting, and don't kill opponents you don't need to, this is a challenging yet feasible way to play.


Probably the most difficult way to play DX2, just ahead of Bloodlust. Avoiding all combat altogether is more difficult than it seems, and there are some less obvious ways that it can be accomplished. The Metro Station encounter in Upper Seattle, for instance, actually has at least three ways to complete it without violence.


Simple enough, in this playstyle you will avoid all deaths caused by your hand by using only non-lethal weaponry. This includes weapons like the Baton, Stun Prod, Gas Grenades, Boltcaster, Toxin Blade and others.

It's not terribly more difficult than a standard playthrough, but does make some areas more challenging, *particularly* if you combine it with other playstyles such as Bloodlust.


This playstyle tries to emulate reality as much as possible. You don't reload a game upon death, you start over. It's played on Realistic difficulty mode. You are limited in the number of weapons you can carry (one rifle sized, two pistol/SMG sized, one stack of grenades, and one long or two short melee weapons), and may not use any healing items from inventory. This prevents inventory-scumming during combat, and stacking healing items, and makes every encounter much more deadly, since you can only heal via your biomods, or in-world sources (medbots, water dispensers). Incidentally, this also makes healing biomods actually useful.

Lethal or non-lethal methods make no difference, it's all about how efficient a method is in neutralizing an enemy, and how risky it is for you. The higher efficiency and lower the risk, the better. Your safety comes first. This makes for some very practical and utilitarian choices for weapons and biomods. You don't go for what's fun, you go for what's effective and reliable, since one mistake can mean your death.


A very difficult way to play, for a number of reasons, but very rewarding and easy at first. You simply murder everyone possible. You cannot kill people in safe zones, like the Nine Worlds Tavern, Order Church in Cairo or the Greasel Pit, but in all other maps, every single NPC is fair game: Allies included.

Show no discrimination. Murder them all. Ok, maybe spare a few now and then for specific reasons: Like sparing Klara Sparks just so she can be kidnapped later, at which point you can still blow her to bits. Or sparing Leo and the Omar so that you can see his disfigured and pitiful self at the end of the game, only to hurl his body into space.


Of course, many of the above playstyles can be combined. You can combine Bloodlust with Melee-only or Non-lethal, for instance, attempting to dispatch every NPC in the entire game without actually killing them. Or you can combine Bloodlust and Pistols only for some fun, or Melee-Only and Non-lethal for another interesting combination.

The choice is yours.

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