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Deus Ex: Invisible War (Windows)

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80
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
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Written by  :  Mattias Kreku (423)
Written on  :  Dec 18, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars3.29 Stars

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Summary

A classic turned into crap

The Good

Deus Ex (the original) is one of my top five games of all time. It's everything I want in a game: first person view, RPG elements, a great story, great characters, great weapons and large, well designed levels. Deus Ex: Invisible War still has some few good things left, like interesting weapons and a first person view. I liked that. Unfortunately there's not much else left to like about it, as I'll explain in the next paragraph.

The Bad

There's so many dumb decisions and failed motives baked into this game, I hardly know where to start. First of all: there are no RPG elements left in the game. They're all gone. Augmentations turned into biomods that are extremely easy to max out. Most players did it within the second level of the game. The levels are small, cramped, uninteresting and plain ugly. The loading times between levels (and there are a LOT of loading going on) are ridiculously long. The performance of the 3D engine is abysmal. Even a system with 9800 XT and 3000+ Mhz CPU can't make it run smoothly above 800x600.

The AI on the NPC:s is so unbelievably dumb it's not even funny. You can stand 2 feet away from them and throw barrels in their heads and they won't react. Another extremely stupid decision made by Ion Storm was the unified ammo. All weapons in the game uses the same ammo! How's that for strategic planning?

Healer bots now heal you automatically and they're everywhere. You get tons of money but no shops. The biomods are almost all automatic so you don't need to worry about them. The weapon are still modifiable (although you no longer have any skills so you're a master sniper from the start) but only by 2 different weapon mods. Both of which are useless.

The worst thing about this game, though, is that it was clearly made for the Xbox. It runs GREAT on that 733 Mhz Geforce 3 machine, but almost refuses to run on my 2800 Mhz Geforce 4 Ti 4600 PC. Nice optimizations, Ion Storm. Not only that, but most of the settings in the PC version of the game are still Xbox optimized! Even the ingame-UI was accidentally left in Xbox-mode. The dialogue text is optimized for TV-screens. Nowhere in the game do you need a mouse pointer anymore, to make it easy for the Xbox people.

The sad thing is I really wanted to love this game, I tried really hard to at least like it, but it's impossible. It's such a blatant sellout to the big Micro$oft machine I can't even stand to look at it any longer.

The Bottom Line

If you want an extremely simple, short game that can't decide if it wants to be a bad FPS or a bad adventure game, then this is what you want. But you got to love long loading times, stupefied gameplay, awful performance and lots of bugs to be able to enjoy this title fully.