1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lacking the magic of Deus Ex, but brilliant nonetheless!,
This review is from: Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC) (Video Game)
Deus Ex was a genre defining, superbly designed and absorbing game that absolutely rocked my gaming world when I first played it. The story was far bigger and more open than in any previous first person shooter, the augmentation and skill systems were revolutionary, and the game world was crammed with interesting and useful characters, and huge amounts of information, making it one of the most replayable games ever (I personally played through it at least 6 times, and found new things every time). So Deus Ex: Invisible War was always going to struggle to match its predecessor.
First, the bad points - the AI is poor, and not up to the current high standard, although the AI in Deus Ex was woeful, and Invisible War is certainly an improvement. The graphics are quite good, but again they do not hold up favourably against other current titles. The game world doesn't seem quite so rich - there are no newspapers lying around, or emails to hack from computers, and this is a sad loss from the original. The soundtrack isn't as memorable as that in Deus Ex either, and some of the voice acting is a little bland (although there are none of the truly terrible voices that occasionally appeared in the original - Hong Kong). Your character Alex D, isn't as charismatic as JC Denton, and ultimately you just don't care as much about him or her.
However, this is ultimately a very good game, and there are substantial improvements in some areas. The greatest strength of Deus Ex was it's freeform gameplay, and this is just as good, although different, in Invisible War - at times there are literally half a dozen ways to complete even a simple objective, and the only limits seem to be your imagination and the equipment you happen to be carrying- excellent. Some very fundamental changes are evident in the skills and augmentation systems too - biomod canisters can be installed in one of 5 slots, each of which corresponds to an area of the body, and can hold either an official or black market biomod. The abilities they give tend to influence your style of play far more than in Deus Ex, and this is a good thing in my opinion.
The plot is a little loose at the beginning, but progresses smoothly, and with superb realism. There is a great sense of freedom in your actions, and no matter what you do, the game has been designed to react accurately, and characters will often refer back to decisions you made several levels ago - this is impressive and creates a real sense of cause and effect. There are dozens of missions which are not crucial to the story, but carry rewards of equipment, money or information, and these seem a natural part of the game, rather than a tacked on extra.
Overall, Deus Ex: Invisible War is a brilliantly imagined and well-executed game, with some flaws, and without the sheer scale and scope of the original Deus Ex. However, it is a very worthy and progressive sequel, and absolutely worth a look. Incidentally, if you haven't yet played Deus Ex, make sure you do, you will not be disappointed - but play this one too!