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Deus Ex: Invisible War
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Deus Ex: Invisible War
Published by: Jeff McCloy on 2004-05-06
Page Views: 5640
Rating: 6/10

An unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot.

A person or event that provides a sudden and unexpected solution to a difficulty. )

A first-person RPG set in a cyber-punk setting that revolutionized the videogame industry in 2000.

While it really doesn’t have its own definition in the dictionary, Deus Ex still turned a lot of heads when it was originally released due to its open-ended and innovative gameplay. It took nearly four years, but it now has a true sequel with Deus Ex: Invisible War. Can Invisible War live up to the reputation set by its forebearer? Read on to find out.

Choice – this one word encompasses what Deus Ex: Invisible War is all about. Instead of being presented with a linear set of goals to accomplish with a pre-determined path laid out in front of you, you’re given the choice of how to progress through Invisible War. Even though it’d be easy to classify IW as a FPS, it goes beyond that: you can beat missions in a blazing hail of gunfire, stick to the shadows for a stealthy approach, or circumvent both by finding a more cerebral route for the puzzles.

Still, even with a ton fantastic ideas, IW falls short of the mark in several areas. While the freedom of choice may be a driving component of the game, you’re often offered choice without consequence or reward. You can choose to utilize the stealth route for missions and kill no one, but there’s no benefit of doing so over just tackling missions Rambo-style. Ultimately, the lack of consequence makes the world in Deus Ex feel lifeless and uninteresting.

While you can go about completing the game in multiple ways, none of the gameplay elements are refined to the point they should be. Gunplay in IW feels clunky, due mainly to the horrible AI that makes combat little more than shooting fish in a barrel. Likewise, the stealth elements just feel outdated by today’s standards, and since it’s often easier to go in with guns blazing for most missions, there’s really no need to use stealth on missions except on the hardest difficulty.

Invisible War’s main visual attractions are it’s lighting and shadow effects. There are a lot of fire barrels that cast ambiguous shadows in the game and while they serve no apparent purpose, they sure do look neat. Unfortunately, it seems a lot was sacrificed for those neat lighting and shadows, including the jittery framerates. Aside from the framerate issues, IW still makes a strong showing, although there’s nothing that’s mind-blowing in the visual or audio department.

Even with all these criticisms, Deus Ex: Invisible War can still be a highly engrossing and enjoyable experience – you just have to look past a lot of rough edges to find that enjoyment. It’s the jack-of-all-trades but master of none, and as long as you go in knowing that, then there’s a lot to be had in Deux Ex: Invisible War.



  

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