120 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
22.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 1, 2017
Deus Ex: Invisible War Review (Spoilers)
Twenty years after the events of the original game's official ending, the Illuminati and other related factions have once again risen in a struggle for power. JC Denton's existance is almost mythical as he has merged with the Helios AI. In Invisible War you play as Alex Denton, a genetic offspring project of JC Denton. Unlike the original JC Denton who already had a goal from the beginning working for UNATCO, in here you'll have the options throughout all the levels to aid certain factions in their goals. Of course, more of the "conspiracy" stuff is strewn about. Although unlike the last game which was red pilling anyone who played it, in here it's more of a convenient plotline.
This is essentially a watered down and more buggy Deus Ex. It's also a lot shorter. This game receives a lot of flack for not being as good as its predecessor, but the original was so damn good that it's almost asking the impossible. So although this has many flaws it's still a good game worth playing. Some of the improvements: the "nanokey" and all the door codes that you'd otherwise have to check your notes for have all been condensed into one system. This means that while speaking with characters who give you codes, or reading datacubes that have passwords/codes, all of them are automatically logged onto your keyholder, or whatever it's called here. Also the voice acting and dialoge is great. The graphics, as expected, look a lot better. Also this game's color scheme is very different from the original and a lot of the places look great. Some of the locations are unique, like the Mosque in Cairo. You'll also revisit places from the original game which is a nice treat for prior fans.
And now for the bad. This game is buggy. Enemies may end up blowing themselves up. The game crashed on me every other time I played it. Loading takes forever. The ammo system is awful. Instead of each gun having its own ammunition, in this world you have universal ammo clips. What this means is you'll have a little bar in the corner of the screen that shows how much ammo you have left. Each gun requires its own amount of ammo used. There's no number to track it, you just see the bar go down and the clips get used up as you use the gun. This would not be the worst thing, but the guns take so much damn ammo. I was running on empty nearly the second half of the game. Somehow I made it through but this gets really frustrating. Also the biomod system is screwed up. Originally if you had a biomod canister you'd simply use it on whatever feature you'd like improved. Here though it's not so simple. There are two types of canisters - regular and black market. Further, the features you want to improve are divided into a few catagories, which then have subcatagories of their own. You can only choose one of these subcatagories EACH. So if you have strength upgraded fully under one main catagory but then you choose to upgrade the black market biomod, your melee attacks are gonna hit like a wet noodle because you will lose it. I didn't figure this out until it was too late and I was swapping biomods, essentially wasting the precious canisters and wondering why all my upgraded levels for certain things was reverting back to nothing. This is frustrating and not necessary. Also the inventory system is weird. You'll have six main switchable items where you can hit 1-6 on the keyboard and switch to it quickly. To access the other items you need to press "V" (because all the menus are awkwardly divided) and then switch from the storage to the main 1-6 to use it. Not a gamebreaker, but again, frustrating and not necessary, especially considering how the original game got all this stuff right the first try. Characters are unlikeable and easily forgotten. The only good thing is you'll get a chance to kill some of them off as you play through the game.
And of course there are multiple endings to keep with Deus Ex tradition. Although in the first game I blew up everything up and reverted man back into the stone age, the official ending was JC Denton merging with the AI. Since that had already been done, I decided to merge my own character with the AI. The ending was weird with a speech from Helios about how humanity is becoming a hive mind or some crap like that. With the lack of impact from the story and overall inferiority to the original, I'm probably not going to remember this game way down the line like I did with the original. Everything is simply watered down. Still, I will say play it. It's a good game, we just have our expectations too high. If it was some sort of original IP, we'd all agree it was a good first entry for the franchise.
386 people found this review helpful 39 people found this review funny
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 27, 2014
This game is... interesting. So interesting, in fact, that I would recomend playing the original game, skipping this title completely, and then playing Human Revolution. Anyway, if you care about my opinion, read on! Otherwise, I hope you have a nice day anyway.
As far as ambiance goes it is reminiscent of the original game. The dark and oppressive cityscape, the futuristic techno music, the neo-noir use of shadows and, of course, the color blue.
The one improvement this game has over it's predecesor is the ragdoll mechanic. Stuffing the limp bodies of victims into the ventillation grates is more entertaining than the story itself.
This, of course, leads into the story. I played this game for about five and a half hours. In that amount of time in the first game, I stopped numerous political terrorist plots, took out some nasty drug dealers, saved a girl from a pimp and many, many other things. I definitely felt like I was making a positive difference in the world. In the first five hours of this game, I escaped from a bizarre super-soldier training prison that was under attack from generic religous terrorists and then wandered around for a while fighting mercenaries, killing random gang members, discovering that the terrorists were purposefully religously generic, cheated in some illeagel gambling, burglarized some rich dude's apartment, and wrecked a coffee shop. I felt like a roving psychopath.
In the first game, I felt torn between the urgency of completing the story missions and helping people by completing the side quests. In this game I felt like there was something I was supposed to be doing, but I had no idea what that thing was or if it even mattered.
The first game eventually gives you a sense of moral ambiguity; over time you learn more and more about all the factions competing with each other and also that every side does varying amounts of honorable as well as evil actions. Aligning with a certain side doesn't make you feel any better than the other side, but you just feel like you need to go with the lesser evil in order to save humanity. This game gives you an immediate feeling of moral ambivolence. You discover within the first hour that every faction you've encountered has a mixture of good and bad intentions which culminate in stupidity. There is no urgency. These people are just going to fight amongst each other for ambiguous reasons and they want to draw you into it. At that point I figured I'd just go and see if there was anything remotely interesting happening elsewhere. Cheat in some underground mutant lizard fighting betting? Why not. Get involved in a feud between rival coffee chains? Sure! It's more interesting than helping the Orwellian police force fight some self righteous murderers.
Last and perhaps least, we have the player character. In the first game, you get to be the badass JC. Do you think his baggy coat is unnecessary and it's ridiculous that he wears sunglasses at night? He could not care less about your opinion. If you order him to do something he thinks is questionable, he will not blindly follow your orders. He will do what he thinks is right, and he will go about it however he wants. Playing as him, you feel like an awesome futuristic warrior as you gradually upgrade his nanotech and acquire new and better equipment. In this game, you are Alex. His/her character was not developed at all in the time that I played. All in all, (s)he pretty much just lets the different factions tell him/her what to do with very little (if any) question or objection. Truely, a compelling character. Playing as this wimp, you get a bunch of weapons and upgrades almost immediately and not much of anything to do with them.
This game is not technically good. It is not even that fun. As an experience, it's a mediocre spiral into the depths of a deranged world. The prequel is amazing, and the first game is a masterpiece. This sequel is ultimately disappointing. It is basically just one of the many Godfather 3's of the game industry.
This is all, of course, just my opinion and I sincerely thank you for reading it. I hope it was helpful. Have a nice day!
20 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
25.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 20, 2016
Should you play this game?
Short Answer: Whether or not I recommend you play this game depends on your answer to one question. How much did you like the story and universe of the original Deus Ex? If you really liked it, then I definitely recommend playing this game because I really think that, for all of the game's shortcomings, the story is not one of them- and it carried me through to the end. On the other hand, if you didn't much like the story and universe of the original Deus Ex, then I wouldn't recommend this game- because I found that the story is its one saving grace. Without this factor, you're left with a decidedly subpar game, especially when compared to the original Deus Ex.
Background Info: Action role-playing game developed by Ion Storm, as a sequel to the hugely successful original Deus Ex on PC. The game was released for PC and the original Xbox- with the developers seeming to focus heavily on optimising the game for the latter.
Gameplay: The game itself plays out as a fairly rudimentary action RPG. It feels like the developers took the in-depth systems of Deus Ex and stripped them down to their bare essentials- probably in order to downsize the game for the benefit of the Xbox. As a consequence, the “skills” system has been completely removed; ammo is universal for all weapons and multitools/lockpicks are now a single item. However, there is one saving grace in the form of the biomodification system. This system plays out in much the same way as the augmentation system from the original Deus Ex, with plenty of scope to craft a character that will cater to your playstyle. The augmentation system was one of the most interesting parts about the original Deus Ex; so I’m glad to see that the developers at least had their priorities in order in this regard when creating Invisible War.
Gameplay itself resembles the original Deus Ex, and the options available to the player in order to achieve certain objectives are much the same. Stealth, combat and hacking are viable options. Similarly you can choose between a non-lethal/lethal playstyle. These options are very rudimentary compared to the original Deus Ex; however their inclusion is appreciated. On the other hand, a major problem of the game is how easy it is. I played on the hardest difficulty (realistic) and didn’t get stuck at all. For the record, I played a stealth character; however I did try out combat as well and wasn’t impressed.
However, hands down the biggest problem for me is the game’s miniscule areas. It’s no secret that the original Deus Ex had massive areas, which you could explore for hours and continue to find new things. The areas in Invisible War are so small that you can finish each in 10 minutes, tops. And after each area you are forced to endure another painfully long loading screen. Any tension or momentum that the game might create is utterly sapped by the repulsively frequent and lengthy loading screens. This is a huge issue, and I would be much more tempted to recommend the game were it not for this problem. Finally, the physics engine is hilariously bad- so be prepared for some unintentionally funny moments if you do decide to play this game!
Final Verdict: Adequate. Feels like the developers downsized the original Deus Ex’s systems and were left with incredibly subpar gameplay mechanics and insufferable load times.
Soundtrack: It's no embellishment to say that the original Deus Ex had an outstanding soundtrack- with not a single unmemorable tune in the whole repertoire. The sequel to this game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, also had a great, fitting, memorable soundtrack. Invisible War, once again, falls short of these lofty standards. Tunes aren't particularly memorable, and there aren't too many of them either. Nevertheless, I would say that the soundtrack fits the cyberpunk setting of the game- so it deserves credit in that regard. Similarly, the soundtrack does have SOME particularly good tunes, such as the "Heron's Loft" theme and the title theme.
Final Verdict: Adequate. Some standout tracks, but for the most part unmemorable. Nevertheless appropriate for the setting of the game- which is worthy of credit, I think.
Story and Setting: Deus Ex: Invisible War, takes place 20 years after the original Deus Ex. An interesting point of note is that the original Deus Ex had multiple endings, so you may be wondering how Invisible War could continue such a story. Interestingly enough, Invisible War does not commit to a single ending- instead melding aspects of each ending into one, and building off of that. I acknowledge that some may not be a fan of this decision- as it essentially invalidates the endgame choices of the original Deus Ex. However, I found this design decision interesting, and was intrigued to see how the game would continue such a story. Overall, I think it did it well. Thematically, Invisible War is extremely similar to the original- tackling the ethics of body modification, as well governments and secret societies and how they influence the world at large. In other words, the game is rich in conspiracy- in true Deus Ex style.
The plot starts out fairly slow- with a tedious tutorial area followed by being ejected into the first “hub area” of the game- Seattle. I found that Seattle was the hub with the most activity; boasting lots of areas and a lot of side missions. However, at the same time I found it to be the least interesting. Instead I think Seattle serves as the area where all of the main factions of the game are introduced, offering the player choice in terms of who to side with at a very early stage. Thankfully you don’t have to commit to a faction for the whole game; you’re given plenty of time to ponder individual ideologies and motivations. In a way, Invisible War trumps even the original Deus Ex in this regard, wherein a lot of the decisions pertaining to “choosing a side” were out of the player’s hands (at least until the end of the game).
Final Verdict: Invisible War’s one true claim to fame in my opinion. Not as enthralling as the original Deus Ex’s plot, but it still kept me going until the end. I consider that the plot gains traction when you reach the second hub area, as this is the point where I felt connected to the story, and the compulsion to see it through superseded the subpar gameplay mechanics.
Conclusion: If you’ve stayed with me for this whole review, then I’m sure you’ll have noticed the amount of comparisons to the original Deus Ex. This just goes to show how the odds were stacked against Invisible War from the get-go. It came in with a TON of sequel baggage: the pressure to surpass what many consider to be the greatest game of all time. Couple that with being majorly downsized in order to appeal to the console demographic and it seems that Invisible War was doomed from the start. However, as a huge Deus Ex fan, I find myself recommending this game. Yes all of the gameplay systems are “adequate” instead of “superb”; yes the soundtrack is “okay” instead of “incredible”, but as an entry into the Deus Ex universe of conspiracy and intrigue, it’s just as worthy as Human Revolution in my opinion.
So, if you really want to see where the Deus Ex chronology ends, then I definitely recommend buying this game. On the other hand, if you have absolutely no connection with the story and universe of Deus Ex, then there really is no reason to buy this game- as there are much better alternatives in terms of gameplay. To conclude, I’m perfectly fine with accepting this game into the Deus Ex universe; however it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original Deus Ex and Human Revolution. Here’s hoping Mankind Divided will be another worthy addition to the franchise!
238 people found this review helpful 46 people found this review funny
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2015
The original Deus Ex is one of the best games ever made, so when Invisible War suffers from a bad reputation, I assumed it was undeserved. I assumed that it would at least be "pretty ok", and that its poor ratings were due to people comparing it to the first game. Holy cow, was I wrong.
This game is atrociously bad, and not just compared to its older brother. It's genuinely a waste of time and money completely by itself. In short: Had I known how frustratingly bad Invisible War was, I wouldn't even have picked it up for free.
Some of the bad parts (no real spoilers):
- The writing. While the story builds on Deus Ex, you get no build-up, no twists (excepting a few incredibly obvious attempts), no suspense, no room for wondering or doubting. You're never allowed to be curious about the world, the backstory or the events of the past, as most of this is just dumped bluntly at your feet. At one point you walk into a bunker, find some high-level people, and out of nowhere these complete strangers start telling you about their deepest, darkest secrets.
- The pacing. At times, people will warn you that "someone has a secret agenda for you", and you can be certain that within two minutes that same "someone" will give you a call to explain their agenda for you, right to your face.
- The level design. Pretty much every single level is a tiny, cramped area. For reference, the 'ton Hotel in Deus Ex is one of the smaller levels in that game, but it would easily fit in as one of the larger levels in Invisible War. This means you'll enjoy a lot more loading screens a lot more often, but it also makes the game feel so much more shallow: When security HQ is 15 meters from the doorstep of the terrorists, suspension of disbelief drops like a rock. It also means walking through four levels blasting bad guys, then walking back through four empty levels.
- The loading screens. Loading time is usually not an issue for me, with a fast SSD in a fast PC. Invisible War doesn't care. Every so often it goes through a complicated series of steps to load a new level, which includes shutting down the rendering engine to flash you your desktop for a few seconds, then going all white for a while as it restarts, and then it starts actually loading, which takes another 10-15 seconds.
- The number of loading screens. In one typical part of the game, you go through a door - loading screen - across a square - loading screen - across a room to talk to someone, then back out - loading screen - around a corner and down a street - loading screen - down some stairs, talk to a guy, and then retrace the whole route with all the loading screens all over again. Steam tells me I've had the game running some 12 hours, but my save game clock tells me I have 7,5 hours playtime. Including a little menu browsing, that means I have likely spent a quarter of my ingame time looking at loading screens.
- The AI. It is so bad it can sometimes be an involuntary source of rare fun. At one point, members of two opposing factions are involved in a firefight, while a couple of guards stroll idly through the crossfire, taking no notice. As the fight ends, the same guards suddenly freak out over the bodies at their feet - "Ah! A body! There's been a murder! You won't get away with this", they exclaim, and then just keep walking. On a different occasion, an NPC shoots another NPC, and then freaks out over the body *which he just made*. "There's been a murder!" - no, really? And that's saying nothing of the shoddy combat AI, nor the incredibly poor search AI. You can actually hide from enemies by standing on the other side of a glass door, or by closing an air vent cover, and they will have no idea where you went.
- Graphics – and I don't mean "it's ugly", I mean it's really poorly designed. Most weapons are close to identical both when equipped and as inventory icons. With a few exceptions, it's hard to tell what things you can pick up in the field really is (except blinky and futuristic). Are those credit chips, datacubes, or maybe weapon modifications? Who knows! Better break into this locker to find out.
- User interface. Of all the compromises made to make this game possible to run for its intended Xbox, this is likely the worst. Honestly, the UI of Invisible War is worse than trying to do internet banking with a broken gamepad.
I could go on for a long time - this is in no way a complete list - but honestly, if you still think it "can't be that bad", go right ahead and buy it. Or save your money, go on YouTube and find a "let's play" video. I enjoyed some 25 hours of fun on my last Deus Ex playthrough. In Invisible War, it took me less than 8 hours to reach the 2nd to last level. Then I just decided I couldn't be bothered, uninstalled it, and would rather just read about the ending than suffer through more.
16 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2017
I have very mixed feelings about Deus Ex: Invisible War. I had fun playing it most of the time but at the same time there were so many annoying things I had to deal with. I've never really written any "not recommended" reviews. Here I was close to doing so, but I changed my mind. I finished the game, it wasn't bad. It wasn't great. Let's not be too harsh.
I liked the story. I liked doing missions for different factions and feeling that I have to make some decisions in order to form my own story. Meeting some familiar faces from the first Deus Ex game was also very nice. The voice acting in Invisible War made me laugh so much. For example the grays (the creatures looking like aliens) or the biomodified cyborgs smugglers called Omars have very funny voices. And of course people say silly things. The reactions in some situations don't feel realistic but it's not a bad thing in my opinion. How could we possibly take a game seriously when there are violent toilets which are trying to kill you, right? Fancy toilet-killers Twitch Clip [clips.twitch.tv]
The most annoying thing in the game are loading screens. Everytime you want to enter a location, BOOM loading screen! That's not all. The game will shut down before loading a new location. My Steam friends were suffering almost 20 hours by "PlasmaWasp just started playing Deus Ex: Invisible War". I am so sorry, guys and girls ;)
I was a bit disappointed that Invisible War ignores my decision from the first Deus Ex game. I don't want to include any spoilers but this game will completely ignore your Deus Ex (2000) ending. It's not like in Mass Effect where you can import your save files and continue.
The game was much more fun for me at the beginning. I felt like there was less and less exploration and less missions as the game progressed. In the end there was almost nothing. Just OP Paladin patrols and not enough supplies to take them down. It stopped being a tactical game. The only thing which worked for me was running fast through them while healing with biomodes. It didn't feel right. It didn't feel smart. I think part of the problem was universal ammo. Really bad idea if you ask me. The controls are bad. Obviously made for consoles. It got me killed several times just because switching weapons and inventory management are unnecessarily complicated, Definitely not what I am used to on PC. It should be simple and it should be fast!
It felt like they rushed the ending because they didn't have enough time to finish it properly. I don't really mind. At least I can start playing Human Revolution! It was a nice experience, I don't regret playing this game. I recommend Invisible War to big fans of Deus Ex games and its enviroment. It's probably not for casual gamers or gamers who don't have the patience to deal with older games with bad controls.
38 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 10, 2017
Of course not as good as the original one, but why not at least make it decent? They removed the hacking skill - that was just an awesome ability to read other characters private emails, it was one of the best ways in the original to flesh out its great story (luckily they brought it back for Human Revolution). The size of the levels was drastically reduced, making the loading time between the levels painful to sit through. Last but not least, here're some words from this game's director Harvey Smith: "I feel like we messed up the technology management of it, we had bad team chemistry, we wrote the wrong renderer, we wrote the wrong kind of AI, the story was just bad and then we shipped too early." http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=899535501http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=901010379
Wow, I don't get all the negative reviews about this game. Although, I agree with the general consensus that this is not on the level of the first Deus Ex in terms of overall game mechanics, depth of story, and function; I still think this game in and of itself is worthy of at least a decent rating to say the least.
What I liked:
I personally liked how the game integrated weapon upgrades and I liked how the weapons themselves functioned, although I do agree that the biomods and overall mechanics are more deeper in Deus Ex 1, this games mechanics while not as intricate are still good in their own right, and you have to remember this was made for both PC and consoles simultaneously so naturally there are going to be some hardware limitations both in function and overall game layout (now weither that is the way it should or was intended to have been is up for debate).
I also liked the very deep explanation and reasoning that JC Denton gave for his world plan, I thought some of the end game speeches were very emotional in terms of philosphy and relatability to the current state of affairs in our world and evolution. I also liked how alot of the side quests had some end-ties that made you think about people and morality (like the 'coffee wars' and the 'real' NG resonance).
What I disliked:
What I disliked about the game were its minor bugs and quirky mechanics (like the jumping sometimes was springy and ascending and descending ladders sometimes was glitchy as well). I also disliked the loading screens and I think the devs should have addressed this for the PC release, but as for a console the loading screens are justified due to obvious hardware constraints.
I also disliked the random crashes when simultaneously alt-tabbing and using google chrome, as well as some very rare crash(es) that only happened 1 or 2 times out of 30+ hours of gameplay. I also thought the keymapping wasn't very well implemented and the fact the steam overlay didn't work due to some .exe anomoly was kinda lazy to not be addressed for the steam release in my opinion. And lastly I thought some of the dialogue was dry and uneventful during some parts of the game.
What is up for debate:
The universal ammo system could be a tossup in terms of it being good or bad as well as how the limited augmentations are implemented, althought the limited augs/biomods and the ability to interchange them mid-game somewhat makes sense in terms of form and function. As well as how the devs decided to merge all three past endings to be the cannon for this game is all up for debate and is not either good or bad in my opinion.
+Very good mid-game and end-game story dialogue that really has some deep morality and philsophical messages. +Good weapon mechanics and entertaining ragdoll physics. +Stylish weapons and atmosphere that really capture the futuristic cyberpunk lore. +Game title that really fits the layout of the game (the wars really are invisible as they are mostly all internal). As well as some good cannonical endings and happenings that mostly tie in well with the first deus ex (although the implementation of all 3 endings of Deus Ex 1 is debatable in terms of how it was implemented). +Good music/ambiance and implementation of throwback remixes from Deus Ex 1
-Load times that should have been addressed for the PC port. -Poorly implemented steam interface in terms of in-game functionality of the overlay that should have been addressed pre-release in steam. -some minor mechanic bugs that seem obvious (namely the jump mechanic and ladder climbing seemed like it had clippng issues at times). -debatable mechanics in terms of form and function (namely universal ammo and a debatable sneak detection mechanic)
35 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2015
Not a bad game, but a disappointing Deus Ex Sequel. Smaller levels, character customization and upgrading system (biomodification) feels more constrained and limited. Level design is still fun and open ended, but not nearly as complex and interesting as the first game. The writing, and specifically for dialogue, is often very poor. Also, though this is a personal preference, the futuristic cyberpunky feel doesn't work nearly as well as the more grounded and realistic Deus Ex 1 version of a dystopian future, that's near enough to happen soon. Deus Ex Invisible War feels more like just a sci-fi game. But it's still a fun game, you can still sneak or kill people, you can still choose factions and there are multiple endings, and you can still upgrade your character with cool abilities. And it looks better than Deus Ex 1. 7/10? 6.5? Get it when it's on sale. Got it for 1 pound. It's definitely worth 1 pound.