Correction/Addition: Avellone and also all of Obsidian and also literally anyone trying to be Bloated CRPG Smart Boy Brain Video Game Writer. Also don’t forget flippant use of really heavy topics that you, the player, get to decide if they’re actually “that bad” or not, because even lefty fans keep fuckin cheerin this stuff on regardless of context for some reason.
I’m still dead convinced that the worst part of Prey where a moral choice about sparing/killing a convict has their rap sheet include “solicitation of a minor” is entirely the fault of Avellone being involved, because that is the most Obsidian bullshit possible in the middle of otherwise tonally tame/corny space game silliness.
Edit: fresh hot take - Deus Ex’s first act is abysmally paced and mostly utterly fails at highlighting what’s special about DX in both writing and systems. Even Liberty Island is about 30% potentially emergent gameplay (that’s far more likely to just be quicksaving-until-you-can-generic-stealth-behind-all-the-men-and-collect-all-the-things), and 70% dull negative space that’s done no favours by awkward movement speed, barely any verticality or interesting opportunities and every system being poorly explained or, in the case of augmentations, absent until the level’s done.