Deus Ex: Invisible War
Description official descriptions
Twenty years have passed after the events described in Deus Ex. The actions of JC Denton have eventually led to a period of economic depression, known as "The Collapse". The world is on the brink of chaos after the dismantling of the mighty biotech corporations, and multiple religious and political groups lust after power.
The city of Chicago is destroyed in a devastating energy blast by unknown terrorists. Two trainees of the Tarsus Academy, Alex D and Billie Adams, are evacuated to another Tarsus-controlled facility in Seattle. Shortly thereafter the facility is attacked by members of a religious organization called the Order. Billie admits that she has been collaborating with them, implying that Tarsus may be involved in a conspiracy. It is now up to Alex to find his or her place in the new world, and ultimately shape its fate.
Deus Ex: Invisible War is a first-person shooter that retains many gameplay elements of its predecessor, such as conversations with characters, inventory management, exploration, and mixing various gameplay styles during missions. As in the original game, the style of play helps shape the game as it progresses, from how characters interact with the protagonist to the types of situations encountered. Each potential conflict can be resolved in a number of ways, through peaceful means or through violence, using stealth or a show of force. Hacking computer terminals and unlocking doors with special tools are prominently featured.
Weapons can be modified in a variety of ways, e.g. increasing their rate of fire, silencing the shots, allowing the weapon to shoot through glass, etc. Characters can once again outfit their bodies with an array of biotech parts, some of which include the ability to see through walls, disappear from radar, regenerate from critical hits, or jump forty feet in the air. Unlike the previous installment, there are no true role-playing elements in the game. The player must search for biotech canisters to install and upgrade biomods; however, no experience points are awarded for either completing missions or dealing with enemies. Inventory management has been simplified as well.
The sequel places more emphasis on decisions and different approaches to missions. From the beginning of the game the player has the freedom of performing missions for organizations and people of his or her choice. Like in the first game, several endings can be reached depending on the player's decisions.
- 杀出重围：隐形战争 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 駭客入侵 - Traditional Chinese spelling
- 3D Engine: Unreal Engine 2
- Console Generation Exclusives: Xbox
- Deus Ex series
- Gameplay feature: Multiple endings
- Games with 451
- Green Pepper releases
- Middleware: Bink Video
- Middleware: FaceFX
- PC Gamer Presents Games
- Physics Engine: Havok
- Protagonist: Cyborg
- Setting: Arctic / North Pole
- Setting: City - Cairo
- Setting: City - Chicago
- Setting: City - New York
- Setting: City - Seattle
- Software Pyramide releases
- Theme: Hacking / Pseudohacking
- Theme: School
Credits (Windows version)
276 People (233 developers, 43 thanks) · View all
|Director of Technology|
|Lead Technology Programmer|
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 79% (based on 64 ratings)
Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 150 ratings with 16 reviews)
Deus Ex 2, along with games like Half Life 2 and Doom 3 were some of the most eagerly awaited sequels ever developed. And boy did Ion Storm have a lot to live up to. After all, Deus Ex is one of the highest rated games of all time (second only to Half-Life in the first person shooter department). But did Invisible War deliver? Well, yes and no. Invisible War is most certainly Deus Ex, but there are such gigantic "WTF?!"s in this game that it's simply perplexing...it's mind-numbing...it's pure insanity!
However, there is much much good in this game, and let me tell you about it.
Let me just get this off my chest: best graphics ever. I don't get the chance to be so blunt about this sort of thing, but yeah, I'll just say it. I'll say it again: best graphics ever. Deus Ex 2 has set a new standard for graphics in a first person shooter. Usually when I play games, gameplay always comes far before graphics in judging its worth. Take Nethack for instance -- NO graphics, but it's one of the best games ever made (in my humble opinion). The graphics in Deus Ex 2 are so good that it alone almost makes up for the gameplay faults. Yeah, it's that good. The lighting is absolutely magnificient, the characters are very detailed and realistic, all the little details from chairs to trays to lamps to books are all detailed and behave as actual objects, each that reflects light and which shadows can be cast upon, each that obeys the laws of gravity and can be manipulated by throwing around the room, watching them slide down or off objects, etc. etc. etc. And the "bloom" effect causes the world to look very ethereal, and it kicks the ass of any anti-aliasing I've seen yet. The graphics, the physics, the lighting, the shadows, the world in Deus Ex: Invisible War will immerse you in this game like no other.
I wouldn't so much call Deus Ex a sequel as I would a follow-up to the original story. As you might know, you don't play as JC Denton, but as Alex Denton, a clone of JC's. Invisible War takes place twenty years after the events in Deus Ex as the world is recovering from a massive breakdown called the "Collapse" -- an event which was triggered by one (or all? none? it's hard to tell, really) of your choice endings in Deus Ex. As you do missions for either the WTO or Order, more is revealed of the state of the world and of the factions that influence it, both open and secretive, as well as JC and what happened to him after the incident at Area 51. Expect interesting plot twists, mission diversity, and plenty of non-confining decisions throughout the game. As with Deus Ex, you can do most missions any way you want them. You can hack a security terminal, causing all the bots and turrets to switch their alliances, or you can sneak through using stealth as your weapon, never being spotted. Or go in guns-blazing, blow everyone to hell. Your choices of weapons can even include anything you see in front of you. With strength bio-modifications, you're a deadly weapon with a chair or a jar. And beware the man that wields a bench, for he is a formitable opponent indeed! The choices can be endless.
It was also great to see characters from Deus Ex appear in the game, and to see what they've been up to in the last twenty years and how the Collapse has shapen them. It is especially interesting at the very end! Without giving anything away, the few levels of the game give a whole new perspective on Deus Ex. Also: multiple endings is awesome.
Whether or not the amazing physics, graphics, lighting and shadows, great storyline and nonlinear gameplay make up for the bad part of the game is really up to you.
Deus Ex has a gigantic fanbase. For many, many people it is hailed as the best game ever made, and I can certainly see why. Fact is, Ion Storm could have made the most mediocre game imaginable and plastered "DEUS EX 2!!1" on it and it would have sold like murder. But it is obvious they wanted to make a great follow-up. And as much as they succeeded, I just can't, for the life of me, understand some of the ridiculous changes they made. It just doesn't make sense.
No stats. That's right, none. No longer are you rewarded with experience points for completing tasks for which to use on your pistol skill, your hacking skill, etc. Instead, you are as good as you'll ever be with your sniper rifle (which is pretty damn good if I do say so!), same with pistol, melee weapons, etc. That alone is a HUGE drawback to this game. I've heard countless arguments about how Deus Ex shouldn't be considered a first-person shooter because it is really an RPG. Well, there won't be any argument about that with this game -- it is a first person shooter no matter how you look at it. And without any experience rewards, you'll probably be passing up many interesting side-quests. Unless you're really into the game and want to know more about little tid-bits here and there, I don't see any reason to bother, since the rewards are all pretty mediocre (usually money or biomods, both of which I had a truckload more than I needed by the end of the game).
No headshots. This isn't entirely true. A sniper rifle shot to the head usually kills in one hit, and if you've the proper weapon modification or strength bio-modification, you can kill with one hit to the head. But otherwise, it's a pointless effort, even on "realistic" mode which is anything but. It is simply too much effort to play as a stealth "silent assassin" in this game. I think that type of gameplay SHOULD be difficult, but not for these stupid "har har you shot me in the face four times" gameplay elements. How the hell ARE you supposed to play as a silent assassin without a silenced sniper rifle? If it takes two shots with the pistol to kill a soldier, that's one shot too many as alarms will be alerted before you get your second shot off. There are ways to do this, certainly. Hack a computer, sneak up and whack'em with an energy blade, whatever. But this "no headshots" bullshit is just inexcusable.
Unified ammo. Only one ammo type. Rocket launchers, machine guns, pistols, railguns, etc. They all use the same ammo. It has something to do with nano-robots morphing into ammo type or something STUPID LIKE THAT WHO CARES it's a DUMB idea. I read in an interview with one of the lead developers who was talking about this -- he went on saying how this system is better because the other way, the traditional way, players would get angry when they got a fancy new super-weapon but only had one or two shots with it before they would have to give it up until they found more rare super-weapon ammo. Well, with this new system, every weapon takes the same amount of ammo, but more powerful weapons take more ammo. Let's do the fricken math, shall we? If super weapons take super weapon sized ammo to fire, then we're STILL only getting a few shots off of it and then -- oh shit, we're out of ammo for all our other guns! This new system doesn't work, it's a DUMB idea, it kills a whole aspect of Deus Ex, and it's a STUPID idea. STUPID.
No injuries. In Deus Ex, there was a whole interesting aspect of keeping sections of your body healed. Get injured in your legs and you'll be crawling on the ground, lose your arm and your aim will be shit -- if you can even hold the weapon anymore, and so on. Invisible War got rid of that system for the ol' traditional "this is your health and when it reaches 0 you die" boring system. Oh well.
Worst interface ever. No joke. Deus Ex had one of the BEST interfaces I've ever seen. Everything was right there for you. Your inventory screen, your stats screen, images, conversations, codes, etc. It recorded everything for you and was easy to reach. It took no time at all to get, it was well organized...it was great. Invisible War's interface looks like something from Mega Man or something. Your inventory is now divided into numbered slots. Now your rocket launcher takes up just as much room as your medkits. Also, datacubes no longer look like a datacube, but just another gigantic-texted message on your inventory screen. It no longer records conversations, your notes are pretty vague and hard to follow (and I never even used them as they appeared quite useless to me), and besides that, you'll always see the big ugly interface on-screen while playing the game. It has something to do with a "retinal interface" something STUPID BULLSHIT I DON'T CARE IT'S A STUPID IDEA. I don't WANT to see the fugly interface while I'm playing the game. I want my interface from Deus Ex. It was never in the way and it was still a hundred times more efficient, more informative. Also, you no longer have to remember codes, logins, etc. when accessing locked objects and what-not. Once you've read the ugly datacube that contains the information, you just open the door. I suppose it's more convenient, but hurts the immersion quite a bit.
There are some bad storyline elements as well. There are two plot-twists that occured in the game that I had always assumed Alex D. knew all along. Not that he appeared altogether surprised when he found out, but he still denied knowing it. I find it hard to believe as, one of these particular plot twists (won't say what it is) is right there on the back of the box! This just confused me, really. How could Alex not have known -- and why isn't he at all shocked upon finding out? Perhaps he's just a little slow.
Guard AI can be pretty fricken stupid, yet omnipitent at other times. I can kill a guard right next to the other guard, then proceed to fling the dead guard's body around, loot its corpse, smash windows with it, throw it at the other guard and fire a few rounds into it and the guard won't mind at all. Yet, I can be hiding in the shadows a mile away from any sort of detection, smash a window (setting off the alarm) and every cop in the city will know it's me.
Also, the game chugs. I've recently spent a thousand bucks or more on upgrading my computer, and I still get 15 frames per second or lower in some spots. People with much better computers than me get the same problems -- if they can even get it to work. For me, it was an effort to even get this game to run at all! I had to download a .exe tweak, and even then I had to run that in compatability mode to keep it from crashing during loading screens. Also I downloaded a modified .ini file that shrunk the interface and text so it didn't look so Sesame-Street goofy/ugly.
Over all, the game has a very bad "quick console port" feel to it. I don't care that Ion Storm wants to appeal to a larger range of players with Deus Ex 2, PC should still have gotten top priority. As with the route they took, they brought us an almost unfinished heavilly bugged nearly unplayable console game with terrible controls and atrocious interface and goofy game "features". Not all this has to do with it being a console game as well, of course. I'm just really, really pissed about it.
Other things are particularly awkward and bothersome, such as the loading times which seem to take way too long to load a level that's only a fourth of the size of an average level in the original Deus Ex 2. Also, a lot of people seem to temporarilly "crash" to their desktops during a loading screen, only to be thrown back into the game a moment later. I didn't experience this, however.
The Bottom Line
If Ion Storm had used Deus Ex's original interface, all the RPG elements, damage system, biomod interface, then I have no doubt that Invisible War would have been the best first person shooter every created. But for whatever whacky creazy acid-tripping reason they didn't...well, Invisible War is still a great followup to an excellent story, and if you can forgive the insanely terrible interface and lack of...so, so very much from Deus Ex, then you've got a great game on your hands.
Besides, killing children by flinging burning barrels at them is great fun!
Windows · by kbmb (416) · 2003
Many of the great elements of the original game survive in the sequel - the strong story, real player choices, an interesting setting with a lot of intrigue which the PC must discover for her/himself. Like the original, you can approach the game in various ways - pure personal stealth, pure action combat, sneak and snipe, or various combinations between. Some of the changes for console compatibility, like the modified inventory system first used in the PS2 port of the original, work just fine.
Sadly, the game does feel a little "dumbed down" for console compatibility. Removing the skill point system in particular bothered me, both because it seriously reduced the amount of character customization you could do and because it removed the ability to have small rewards for exploration; combined with the limited map size to fit in console memory, there are very few of the nifty little cubbyholes that were so fun to find in the original.
There are also terrible problems with PC graphics performance, resulting in jerky mouse response at any resolution and making resolutions above 800x600 look no better than 800x600 does. Finally, the choice to invoke the 20 second CD copy protection check on every level load, when the actual loading is only 5-10 seconds, was particularly stupid given the new small map size. It can take 2 map transitions to get back to a known repair or medical bot while you are conceptually on the same map (in the same building, etc.)
Finally, the game is a little too short. Even exploring every inch of every map and completing all possible side missions, I finished in about 20 hours of game time and perhaps 24 hours of total playing time. The original took at least twice as long to finish. By another metric, the original had about 14 mission locations (counting each visit to Hell's Kitchen separately because you have stuff to do and meaningful new encounters each time) while the sequel has only 8 (9 if you count the second visit to a particular city, where nothing much happens).
The Bottom Line
I was very disappointed in this game because I was expecting an improvement on the original. Since the original was so great, any net improvement at all would have made this one of the greatest games of all time. But setting that expectation aside and simply looking for a great game comparable to the original, I've really enjoyed it - and I did start playing through a second time immediately after finishing the first.
Windows · by weregamer (155) · 2003
The Bottom Line
The original Deus Ex threw the first person genre into a loop, rather than conforming to established methods, it combined role playing, stealth, shooting, and adventure gaming into one neat little package. It had a very cool story which dealt with government conspiracies and changed around as you played. It was one of the few true "choice" systems that actually managed to conform to your playing style and keep you fully immersed rather than asking you to make a junction with a limited choice set.
I missed out on much of the last generation of gaming, but I did play Deus Ex and I loved it. Yet everyone kept telling me how terrible Invisible War was, but regardless I wanted to at least play it. And I have to ask... why all the hate? No, its not the sequel it could have been, but its still a very cool game with a heavy adventure element.
The story takes place 20 years after the events of the first game. After the destruction of Area 51 and the death of the man in charge of the Majestic 12, the world's government falls to pieces and leaves the world in an economic depression known as the collapse. Like in the first game, terrorism is seemingly common place now, no one is truly safe and no one is truly trustworthy. Global fear and panic naturally ensues.
Meanwhile, the augmentation project from the first game has taken a step up, able to genetically alter humans. This too causes unrest, people afraid of what an augmented human can truly do when the sky is practically the limit. The game begins with a terrorist attack on Chicago, and focuses on a corporation known as Tarsus. Relocating to Seattle, you are young Tarsus Academy student Alex D. Even there you are not safe as the Tarsus Academy is attacked, but the veil is slowly lifted when Tarsus is truly treating its students as lab rats for even further human augmentation and breeding genetic soldiers. This is where the game leaves you with the questions and as you progress, the story will take you for many twists and turns, much like its predecessor.
It also helps the story that the developers have expanded the games universe more. Although some things seem a little too high tech for a global depression, it does have a nice art design and there are many new facets of the series' universe which make it a richer and more diverse one. The story is a little easier to follow than its predecessor, even if it doesn't carry the same impact. My biggest flaw with the story here is that a plot point the game treats like a twist later on is made obvious right at the start. Your characters name is Alex D. What "D" stands for is a little too obvious to anyone who has played the first title.
The gameplay from its predecessor is largely intact, save for one element. While the Stealth, exploration, and shooting are all here in pristine condition the RPG elements have wandered off somewhere and are rarely heard from. You do not gain experience or skills, augmentation canisters are more common and save for black market or "professional" mods, they let you pick any augmentation you want right off the bat rather than having each augmentation canister have a unique trait. Upgrade canisters are gone as well, with upgrades available with each augmentation canister. The game also takes away your notes and makes keypads and other such devices instant use, provided you found that datacube. This does fracture the immersion some, and while the game is still highly immersive, it will not keep you glued to your chair as long as its predecessor due to this.
The dumbed down RPG elements are the weakest element of Invisible War and I too, was pissed at first and ready to condemn it like most other fans of the first game. But don't be so quick to condemn it, once you simmer down and have explored the world a bit, you will be hooked. At least I was. Once again, an important element of what made the first game unique shows up here: Exploration and adventure. They did not dumb this element down, and exploring the rich world is just as rewarding as it ever was. The adventure elements, like its predecessor, actually conform to your gameplay style rather than providing simple junctions like most games with a "choice" element. Granted, there are some exceptions here where you do make crucial choices from a tree, but they only open up separate possibilities and this element is really just to choose which faction to side with. The game will still evolve as you play, which keeps it a replayable and fresh experience.
The graphics, like its predecessor, are... well, "Meh." The Unreal 2.0 engine is used this time, and similar to how the first game failed to use the power of the first Unreal engine, this game doesn't make use of its powerful engine. Characters have creepy faces that stare with an occasional sprite blinking for them and they animate minimally. Textures are extremely low resolution. About the only thing the graphics really have going for them are some terrific lighting effects. The lighting is great and shadowing is realistic. Apparently the lower res graphics/textures were used to facilitate the Xbox, but that is not an excuse. Doom 3 had an engine tailored for the PC and the Xbox, but the PC version still took advantage of any extra hardware.
Another problem with the graphics are the framerates. Due to some very sloppy code, the game has performance issues up the butt. Sometimes, even on a modern computer, the framerate can dive and jitter. The games simplistic system requirements are misleading, and when I first bought it I was going to install it on the laptop I bought 2 years ago and play it on a roadtrip, and despite that Laptop being able to play some notorious system hogs such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but with the shadowing on the game ran at an unplayable 6 frames per second and with those effects off, 14 was an improvement but still pathetic.
I didn't have too much problem running it on my Desktop, but there were still dives and jitters and apparently everyone had these problems. Its one thing to neglect visual detail to facilitate a console, but you shouldn't neglect solid coding to facilitate a console instead.
Regardless, the game world is still highly immersive and fun to explore and will take you to many locales through the course of its story. The game is noticeably shorter than the first game, whereas the first game could take a solid 28+ hours to complete, Invisible War clocks in around 18. Granted, that's not bad and there is so much to see and do that that number would be higher if I were including side quests and such, I am only focusing on a dry run of the main plot length to gauge that number.
The music is really cool. Like its predecessor, the sound has a techno-ish vibe that fits the Cyberpunk style like a glove. There are lots of cool highlights, and the game also has one of the best fictional artists I've heard in awhile. What I mean by this is that there is a female techno/pop rock artist who exists solely in the games universe, but her music appears in the game universe and it ain't half bad. I'll admit that I pretended to dance to one of her tunes at the club where you first hear them. Granted that style of music may not be for everyone, but I certainly dug it.
The games shooting elements are base, but they work and can be expanded. You can still modify your guns, and the modification is a bit more balanced this time. In the first game, I had a pistol with a scope, 5 accuracy upgrades, 2 clip upgrades, a laser sight, a silencer and armour piercing bullets. Although it was kinda cool crafting a unique pistol through the upgrades, that pistol was overpowered as hell. About the only other fictional handgun I can think of that could beat that pistol is Dirty Harry's infamously awesome .44 Magnum. Here, each weapon can only hold two weapon mods. This keeps them a bit more balanced and the action a bit more even, along with the fact that this game is a little more forgiving at times then its predecessors. You won't turn into a bloody block of Swiss cheese within the first 5 minutes like you did last time.
The weapon mods are also a bit more diverse and offer a wider variety of changes. Some are rarer and have unique effects, such as glass destabilization, which can actually melt glass. I had a pistol with that mod and a standard silencer mod and it was perfect for silent take downs as well as robberies. I do have to admit, it was fun, one time I snuck into someones home to rob them and rather than kill them, just knocked them out and I was thinking "What if he wakes up and hits that alarm?" and I noticed a ventilation shaft above the room and tossed his body there and shut it. Later I heard footsteps, and he was standing in the vent running towards the alarm but obviously couldn't get out. I also got a pretty nifty energy sword out of this with m handy glass destabilization mod.
Shooting this time also uses a unified ammo system, which is efficient, though it does have its con. You never have to reload per se and you never have to worry about a gun taking 3 hours to reload like some of the ones in the first game. Every weapon in your arsenal uses this ammo, although some drain more ammo than others. As I said, it is an efficient system that keeps the action fast paced. Its biggest con is that you don't get alternate ammo types in their proper form. Here, they take the form of weapon mods, meaning you can't switch between them once you've modded a weapon with the alternate ammo and I often feel its a waste of a weapons' modification slot.
As a whole, Invisible War is, in my mind, heavily underrated. I understand that more often than not, video game sequels are arguably the only form of sequels that can be better than their predecessors, but I do not understand why one slightly inferior sequel should be condemned when what content is here is in top shape. I had a lot of fun and loved the story, characters, universe, and gameplay. Isn't fun the primary objective of a game? To each their own, but I recommend Invisible War to fans of shooters, stealth em' ups and adventure fans; and I wish for Deus Ex fans to give this one another chance with a clear mind.
Windows · by Kaddy B. (777) · 2010
|It's not that bad!||Unicorn Lynx (180476)||Sep 15th, 2011|
|Screenshots||Cantillon (71174)||Sep 8th, 2011|
|Dynamic Lighting||St. Martyne (3644)||Nov 15th, 2008|
Continuing the Warren Spector tradition, Invisible War features a basketball court. It's right at the beginning of the game and there's no missing it; one of your mandatory objectives will send you through there.
Ion Storm licensed the Unreal engine and heavily modified it for this game. Its a inhouse engine with a tiny bit of Epic's Unreal code left in. It is said that the engine programmer left mid-development with a largely undocumented code which caused the game's numerous technical problems.
In order to bring popstar NG Resonance's music to life, Eidos licensed a few tracks from the industrial/techno band "Kidney Thieves". Said tracks can be found in their Trickstereprocess album. The original soundtrack for the game on the other hand, can be downloaded for free on Eidos's site.
The coffee shops, Pequod's, and QueeQueg's are from Moby Dick. The Pequod, was the name of the ship. QueeQueg is the Indian harpooner.* In the abandoned curio shop over the 9 World Taverns, you can find a book containing text on the care and cleaning of Ohio State Bobbleheads. Chris Carollo, the lead programmer for Invisible War is an Ohio State alumni. * The Tarsus Academy shares a name with the city that was the birthplace of Paul, the apostle. Paul Denton acts as the apostle for J.C. Denton.
- 2004 – Best Console Story of the Year
- 2003 – #7 Game of the Year
- 2003 – #3 Xbox Game of the Year
- 2003 – #5 PC Game of the Year
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 04/2009 - One of the "10 Most Terrible Sequels" (It is a good game in its own right but it changes everything which made Deus Ex big for the worse, e.g. exciting story, clever level design, RPG elements and freedom of decision.)
Related Sites +
Deus Ex 2
Official Web Site
Deus Ex: Invisible War Post-Mortem
<moby developer="Warren Spector">Warren Spector</moby> and <moby developer="Harvey Smith">Harvey Smith</moby> speak about the development and shortcomings of <i>Deus Ex: Invisible War</i> (Youtube)
Hi-Res Textures for Deus Ex: Invisible War
Download a pack containing hi-res replacement textures for the game.
Kidney Thieves official site
Site of the industrial/techno band Kidney Thieves, who contributed to Invisible War's soundtrack.
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Jeanne.
Xbox added by Jason Walker.
Game added December 6th, 2003. Last modified November 14th, 2023.