While Deus Ex: Invisible War
features better graphics, it doesn't take advantage of all of recent technical improvements and the artificial intelligence of the computer-controlled characters is noticeably suspect. The much-vaunted physics engine has a tendency to make everything feel almost weightless as you throw dead bodies around as if they were made of straw. The original Deus Ex
is one of the most fondly remembered action role-playing games on the PC. The game was impressively opened-ended allowing you to march in guns blazing, take a more stealthy approach or concentrate on increasing your computer-hacking skills to use the technology around you. Even the storyline was highly adaptable to your playing style, with its X-Files
-style plot set in a future dystopia.
It's also a shame that the skill-building system that counted for much of the original's RPG elements has been dumbed down to the point where you simply end up buying upgrades to your weapons and cyborg body. Although Invisible War has many failings, none of them manage to impinge on the game enough to prevent it from entertaining. Games as ambitious and as serious as this are rare and to be encouraged, so anyone looking for something with more depth than the average first person shooter will certainly find it here. --David Jenkins
Deus Ex 2
takes place approximately 20 years after the events depicted in Deus Ex
. The winner-take-all geopolitics of mid-21st century Earth have given way to a struggle over more basic concerns: food, water, re-establishing civil law and cleaning up biological and nano-tech fallout. Several religious and political factions see in the chaos an opportunity to shape the world as they want. The player must reveal the secrets of each faction and the identities of the true players in this struggle for world power. In the end, the player discovers that he or she may be the key to all of the factions' plans.
In addition to a host of new friends and foes, players can expect encounters with a variety of characters from the original Deus Ex game. And, once again, players visit a variety of real world locations made more exotic by the passage of time.
In Deus Ex 2 players create a compelling alter ego through the selection of futuristic nano-tech augmentations, powerful weapons and hundreds of useful objects, character choices, weapons and object use work in combination with a richly interactive world to give players freedom to solve game problems the way they want to. Gamers can fight, sneak, talk or hack their way past any problem encountered and every situation can be dealt with in a variety of ways. Deus Ex 2 also features a more powerful physics system, startlingly believable AI, dramatically enhanced character modelling and animation, a groundbreaking sound propagation system and state-of-the art lighting and graphics. The game systems contribute materially to gameplay, minute-to-minute, mission-to-mission, and beginning to end.