| |

Deus Ex: Invisible War Review

Developer: Ion Storm Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: December 2, 2003 Also On: PC and Xbox

When we first saw Deus Ex on the PC, the game was amazing with many awards and achievements. The problem was, nobody really played the game and missed out. For those who did play the original, they would really be interested in a sequel. Well, they have one now. Deus Ex: Invisible War is the latest installment in the series. This time you are fighting an Invisible War with Alex D. If you read our preview of this game, you would know that I had high expectations of the game. Did Invisible War live up to them or will it be a major stinker because of hype like in Brute Force or Enter the Matrix?

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

The graphics system has been changed from using the Unreal engine to a whole new fully detailed world. The environments look great with some real-time lighting and shadow effects. This comes in handy in some cases in the game. Your character Alex D is detailed, but kind of looks like a zombie at times with his blank-like stare. If you want to get technical, every person in the game has the same kind of blank stare. Maybe some facial animation would have been nice here? Anyway, everything looks good until you get down to the frame rate. Deus Ex runs at 30 frames per second which causes some problems during the game. This problem basically occurs in firefights and battles. If this was improved, the game would have been a lot better than it already is.

The sound here is very good. The game music is well fitting in this free roam style world. The voice acting is very good also. There are no dialog boxes in this game; everything that is said is spoken which is a huge plus. The gun sounds are good except for the fact that the game tends to lag sometimes when you fire the weapon. You can distinguish footsteps, a burning fire, and broken glass, even if you were wearing a blind fold. It all just sounds really good, but in a non-linear game like this, that is always something that you expect.

Gameplay has one struggle area here. The game plays as solid as any FPS would, except the frame rate kind of messes you up. The slower frame rate makes gun fights harder and may cause you to take more damage than you really should endure. Add the fact that your ammo is pooled and is used for all your weapons is a pain in the butt also. Sure it’s a good idea, but your ammo can get used up fairly quickly when using heavy weapons like a shotgun or sniper rifle. Also, the beginning of the game tends to get really boring and it may seem like you hate the game to start, but believe me, it gets better.

Once you are able to get a hold of an object called the Bio-Mod Canister, you get to upgrade your character. These Bio-Mods can give your character abilities such as hacking, robot domination, speed, regeneration, and other things that are essential to your missions. The more that you find, the better you will become. The problem is that you can only upgrade one particular part of your body, so this requires you to choose carefully what you use your Bio-Mod for since you can’t really change it unless you feel like wasting a Bio-Mod. This is for the better though. Just having one in each area of your body makes you level it up high and get really strong. You can find either normal Bio-Mods or Black Market Bio-Mods. The difference between them is that the normal ones give you legal up-grades that won’t make a difference that you have them really. The Black Market Bio-Mods give you illegal upgrades so that you can hack, control robots, and more things you can think of that could do wrong if put in the wrong hands.

The interactivity of the game is incredible. Anything that you could use in real life is useable. Objects such as sinks, toilets, water fountains, and a various number of other things are interactable. This is great and makes the game seem more like a real life simulation of the future. The non-linear storyline makes Deus Ex one heck of a good time. You can pretty much do anything you want at any time. The decisions you make in the game can affect the world you play in. You will receive conflicting goals that require you to choose which one is more important to you than the other. You must balance out the rewards and consequences each time, so basically, the game is like KOTOR in a way of choosing a path, but the best thing here is how you can do missions anyway you choose. Are you a one man assault team just looking for some action? Are you a mysterious hacker that has robots and automatic turrets doing his work for him? Perhaps you are a Sam Fisher wannabe trying to show him that you are better than he is in being a spy? Any way that you choose to go about the missions is fine, it will make no difference in most cases.

As for just how creative this game is? Well, you read all I wrote about the gameplay. Answer this question for yourself. I mean, just what isn’t creative about the game? Everything about it makes it stand out hugely seeing as not many games are nearly as interactable or as non-linear as Deus Ex is.

The actual story mode will only take about 20 hours to complete, which is short for an RPG, but with this game, you will want to play the game over and over trying out new ways to do things like in KOTOR and you all remember just how good KOTOR was don’t you? The hype and expectations I had for the game were more than surpassed and I am happy that just one game this year lived up to all the hype that it had received. Eidos had a strong Game of the Year candidate in Deus Ex: Invisible War and it succeeded in the areas that I expected it to.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 9.2
Written by Shawn Review Guide