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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Eidos Interactive
DEVELOPER:
Ion Storm
GENRE: First Person Shooter
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
December 02, 2003
ESRB RATING:
Mature
IN THE SERIES
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Invisible War

More in this Series
 Written by Leigh Culpin  on September 18, 2003

Updated Look: This game's gonna be anything but invisible?


Deus Ex: If you own a PC and play games on it you should know and worship these two words. If you own a PS2 you should have at least heard of them. And shortly, if you have an Xbox, you'll be lucky enough to own the only console that'll play 2003's game of the year.

For the uninformed (i.e. those living under a very large rock for the past few years) the original Deus Ex was Warren Specter's revolutionary genre-mixing FPS (well, FPS/RPG/Strategy/Stealth Shooter/etc etc) that won so many GOTY awards is was scary, and with good reason. I've never raved about a game more and you'll find references to it all over the gaming community. And now the sequel is arriving. Sequel might not be the best term though - the dev team's decided that it's more a brand new game taking place in the same universe, which makes sense since it occurs 15 years after the original. You'll pick up the role of Alex Denton in a world where all three ending of the original game have been merged into one (since hybrids are the name of the game), an interesting concept considering the contrast between each of the available endings the first time through. Nonetheless, that's the setting, and you'll find yourself running through another thick web of conspiracy for the many many many hours of gameplay to be found here.

Why will this game take so long, and why would anyone want to play through more than maybe a couple times you ask? Event based gameplay, that's why! The game changes depending on what you do - while this was true to an extent in the old game (you'd get different responses from NPC's in different situations depending on your decisions - i.e. Lethal vs. Non Lethal take downs) Invisible War will start bombarding you with decisions right of the bat, and those decisions aren't going to just affect immediate NPC responses, but the way the story progresses and you with it.

Speaking of character upgrades, there's been some changes to the system implemented - you can now uninstall your augmentations to be swapped out for another if need be, so if you get part way through and decide you'd be better off with stealth over speed then you can switch the two around, at the cost of having that aug slot's level reduced back down to 1. Some augs will always be on now as well (such as the stealth and strength augs) so you don't have to keep toggling them on and off when you don't need them to save some energy.

The interface of the first game was something that was slightly unoptimized and the team decided they needed to spruce it up a bit, so now we're presented with a circular HUD and a more simplistic inventory screen - each item only takes up one slot, so the puzzle created in the first game but multi-slot weapons will be abolished. There's also more universal ammo, so while it may restrict things a bit, everything should be a lot simpler to manage (which is especially good when you have a controller rather than a mouse). The controls will be similar to Halo's (go figure) with the D-Pad being the magical access to your inventory and the like. This is about the only area of the game that doesn't really stand out - the sound promises to be excellent, as the dev team's taken a physical physics engine and derived a sound physics engine from that - sounds from different sources will blend realistically and seamlessly to assist the outstanding graphics in presenting to us what will surely be one of the most suspenseful and surprising stories of the year. And the best part is, you can progress through that story however you like - the developers have created the game in a way that allows you to go through killing everything, sneaking around, talking to everyone, or any other numerous ways of advancing along the story which you'll partially write.

Alright, good graphics, good sound, event based driven gameplay, and a follow up game to one of the most revolutionary PC games in recent history. Heard it all before and been disappointed right? So what's going to make this game any different than your typical run-of-the-mill nobody likes it sequel? The dev team, that's who.

Final Thoughts
Ion Storm has quite the track record - working on Thief III as well as Invisible War (in fact the two games have some similarities - Thief's visibility meter will be adopted in the latest implementation of the Deus Ex license to give you a hand staying well hidden, an important feature in such a game) they've always proven themselves to be innovative and very driven. Graced with various talents from who knows where, you'll find that they're gamers at heart who want to take as much time is as needed to create a game that isn't just a window into another world, but is another world all it's own, one that you can influence in as many if not more ways than you can influence this one. This is why this game is going to rock - it's been made by gamers, for gamers, and it's designed to sweep you up and drop you back down in a world that perhaps our world will sometime shadow. It's detailed, it's gorgeous, and it's so alive it's practically real. And it's coming to the beloved ?Box in December.


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