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cruinne reviews Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC)

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cruinne said...

Deus Ex: Invisible War is the sequel to the much-vaunted Deus Ex. In Invisible War, the player takes the part of Alex D, a trainee at elite Tarsus Academy, the graduates of which go on to careers in corporate espionage, enforcement, and black ops. Only something has gone horribly wrong: terrorists have decided that Tarsus must be destroyed, and they have reduced the city of Chicago to ashes in their opening salvo. Alex D. is spirited to Tarsus Academy in Seattle where the adventure begins.

Invisible War takes place twenty years after the events of Deus Ex (wherein JC Denton and his brother, Paul, brought down the world economy with the Collapse). The world is just starting to recover but the process is slow, and rival factions are competing for the loyalty of the world's people. This comes home immediately when they begin to vie for Alex D's talents. In the course of the game the player must make decisions about who to work for: will it be the WTO and its ordered economies and rigidly members-only enclaves, The Order Church with its message of spiritual fulfillment, the Omar (heavily bio-modded humans who live on the fringes of society), or the Knights Templar who want to eradicate biomodification. And who are ApostleCorp, and what do they want with Alex D?

The game is a fairly straight-forward first-person shooter. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and found it immersive and fun to explore. There are a variety of endings, depending on the paths taken through the game, and enough humor in the game (despite the dark overtones) to keep me amused. A pleasant surprise for me was that it is possible to play Alex D as either male or female, which is a very welcome relief for this girl gamer who gets sick to death of always having to immerse themselves in male characters in many FPSes.

The majority of the complaints I've heard about the game are that the combat system was dumbed down from Deus Ex to Deus Ex: Invisible War, and that the story was not involved enough nor any of the characters interesting.

The combat system was fine and worked for me, but then I don't look for intense or complex combat systems in games of this nature. In a single-player game, I am looking more for story, immersion, and interesting things to explore than I am for mastering various methods of key mashing to get past one boss or another. As for the story, again I thought it was good, and it got me interested in what would happen to Alex D. But it must be said that I played Invisible War before I played the original Deus Ex, so I had no expectations about Invisible War going in -- and I think that's the best way to go at it: Yes, it continues the storyline of the Dentons and of the world after the Collapse, but it is a separate game. For me, going to play Deus Ex after Invisible War was the disappointment: I found the original game extremely two-dimensional in its character personalities, I could only play a male character, the voice acting seemed of generally lower quality, and the graphics (as could be expected) weren't as good. Perhaps it's all about which you see first leading to the expectations for the other.

My only real complaint is that I'd like to see more variety in possible endings. Now I get why this wasn't done (time, money, complexity, a third installment, &c.), but having played through all the possible endings, I felt them all fairly equally horrific. Or perhaps I missed the one where everyone lived happily ever after -- you never know.

Game Traits applied to Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC) by cruinne

  • The Setting:
    Dystopian future, Cyberpunk
  • Playing As:
     
  • Playing Against:
     
  • How it's Played:
    impactful choices, Stealth, story-driven
  • General Tone:
    Immersive
Deus Ex: Invisible War

Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date: 02/DEC/03
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