Thursday, September 08, 2005

Deus Ex: Invisible War (P)Review

Yeah, this game came out 2 years ago and I'm just now playing it. I'm a slow adapter. Also, my old computer would never have run the game, so go easy on me.

It's hard for me to give the game a real review, seeing as how my total play time has only been about an hour. Still, after just that, I can already tell you what the game has ruined from its predecessor.

Deus Ex: Invisible War is a sequel to Deus Ex. In the first game, you were dropped into a highly detailed world where the UN was battling terrorists leftover from a US civil war in the near future. The plot was genius, and fun to go through as you discovered the vast conspiracies in the world you thought you understood.

The game was actually an RPG-FPS. As you accomplished certain events, you gained experience, and eventually levels. Levels allowed you to upgrade your skills in certain areas, such as hacking, lock-picking, weapon usage, etc. Other upgrades you could make were to your weapons with mods, or to your system with nanotech solutions that gave you abilities such as healing, night-vision, armor, stealth, etc.

Invisible War brings you in a few decades after the events in the first game. Now, I'm sure the storyline is actually just as brilliant as the first. Unfortunately, right from the start you're pretty much given some very obvious directions the game will take. And as the Gamespot review says, you're not given much reason to care about these things. Add onto this that the game gives much less of the deluge of information and detail that you received in the first game, and the whole experience feels smaller, less deep. I just didn't feel like I was in as detailed a world as I was before.

The RPG elements were also screwed up. Now, all that's left are the weapon mods and the biomods. And again, both systems became much less intuitive, much less useful. The same thing happened to the inventory system, which feels harder to navigate and is much less useful than in the first game.

In fact, the overall interface suffered this fate in Invisible War. My suspicion is that while many of these elements were brought in to make the game more playable on console (it is also available on XBox), the game just suffered too much in the changes.

Other factors that are odd include the physics. While they tried to make the game realistic in how objects reacted, the entire world is filled with things that seem to have no weight. When I walk through a room, I push big lounge chairs around as if they were nothing. You can pick up the bodies of fallen enemies and fling them about like toys. And seriously, the main character jumps like a freakin' olympic athlete.

Perhaps the game is fun to play and has a storyline that is compelling and innovative. I'm just not inclined to discover this, because the degeneration the game made in so many areas make the experience trying, at best.

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