Review by MKim

"More time for tweaking and fine-tuning was needed IMO"

Deus Ex was definitely one of the most deceitful PC Games of all times because you played an authority who is thrown on a Hornet's Nest of Deceit, Lies, and secret Sins as you discover the real truth behind your adventures and in a sad note, you also had to question anything because any of the people you see in the game could turn out to be the Mole in this game of excessive lies from various authorities.

Deus Ex: Invisible War takes this one step further by increasing the deceit factor to allow you to see what the rewards and consequences are for a totally different playing experience. In Deus Ex, you had some exclusive friends and buddies. In Deus Ex: Invisible War, ANYONE CAN BE YOUR ENEMY so it's pretty much like a ''You can't trust anyone'' PC Game--it's many times more deceitful than the original.

Graphics

Deus Ex: Invisible War's major flaw is that its code uses more than 1 Action Game Engine in order to reduce the amount of time to create a game, meaning that the animation can somewhat get choppy even in lower resolutions (unless you can download patches that reduce the choppiness of the game itself). The game may look stunning at higher resolutions but if you use a whole lot of options and unless you know how to override Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering settings (not to mention turning off any background/shell programs that significantly slow down the game), you're gonna have a hard time seeing smooth animations because you have to fiddle with the controls a whole lot if you want to get the smoothest animation possible. Even at lower resolutions and with certain settings disabled, the animation can get overly choppy. In fact, the game uses WAY TOO MUCH code from certain past-game engines (including Tim Sweeney's Unreal Engine), adding to your animation worries. For some strange reason, the game has not been somewhat optimized to take full advantage of certain GPU Technologies from either nVidia or ATI. A Big Minus I must sadly undergo, even though the cinematics might more than make up for this.

Sound

The only beef I have about the sound is that Deus Ex: Invisible War, unlike its predecessor, does not take advantage of the Creative EAX Technology whatsoever, resulting in a minus on this section as well. All the voice acting is good, the music is good as well, sound effects are crisp, and even the simulated radio conversations are well-done as well. I'm gonna have to take some points away on this section as well because it does not take advantage of the Creative EAX Engine, even though this game was meant to take advantage of Dolby Surround via nVidia's nForce family of Gaming Motherboards.

Play Control

This is the only area that the game seems to be faring well at because the controls are nice, and all the input are really easy to get used to. Mouselook is fine, and switching weapons is easy to understand. You can use certain key entries to switch to one thing to another, and to activate one biomod to another. I noticed that it will take you some time to get used to the new way of activating some of the menus but once you get used to activating the menus, it's all second nature. You can customize the controls but it's generally best to leave the controls as it is since you have a Mouse with you for Mouselook.

Challenge and Excitement

5 Areas are just WAY TOO SHORT!!! The game was reprogrammed from the ground up so that you don't have to draw any blood by just simply using tactical stealth to get your way through. In addition, it's possible to finish the game without drawing any blood at all (Deus Ex required you to kill about 5 people). It would've been better if the game was longer and you would be forced to draw blood to make your way through. The system is the only thing that shines in this category because you have to question everything, weigh out your options, know your rewards and consequences, whatever you name it because anyone in this game CAN BE YOUR ENEMY one way or another. You can't really trust anyone and the good thing about this game is that THERE IS NO WRONG PATH--you face a tough choice and you have to go with whatever you think is right throughout the game. Deceit is the only thing that's good about the game. Because you can actually make your own choices, the deceit factor in this game is noticeably higher.

Story

20 years have passed since the events of Deus Ex. A mysterious terrorist attack has destroyed Chicago. As you wake up, you are thrown into a Hornet's Nest of Deceit and Lies and you have to decide for yourself which choice is right and which choice is wrong. Trust no one, question everything. Anyone can be your enemy at some point of the game.

There are some characters from the original that are returning to Deus Ex: Invisible War. You are Alex D, an Anti-Terrorism Operative who has to question everything you see and know about, and even your analytical skills can't help you. All Returnees can become your enemy if you are not playing the game by their rules, so like I said, the only good thing about the game is that you can't trust anyone whatsoever.

System Requirements

System Requirements was kind of disappointing. You must have an Intel Pentium 4 (Minimum Willamette Core) or an AMD Athlon XP (Minimum Palomino Generation) plus 256MB RAM plus about 3 GB of Hard Disk Drive along with a 32MB Video Card. To add to your worries, you need a 100% Direct X 9-Ready Sound Card, Windows 2000 or XP, and you can't play this using a GeForce MX-Class card whatsoever. The main worry you need to be aware of is that you'll probably need an Intel 875P Chipset or a High-Bandwidth, Dual-Channel AMD Athlon-Ready Motherboard to enjoy this game to full potential. You will also need PC3200 DDR SDRAM (Dual Channel if you are Intel Pentium-minded) for the best results, and Eidos really can't recommend you playing this game on an Intel Celeron Processor either. Another worry you have to be aware of is that you'll need a 256MB GeForce FX 5950 Ultra or an ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256MB Video Card in order to keep the animations running smooth at all costs. You also need Direct X 9.0 (the latest version possible) in order to play this game, which really irritates me. I really don't like the System Requirements of this game since you will need to invest on the most expensive and high-end PC Parts in order to get the game up-to-par.

Overall

Although the deceit of the game makes Deus Ex: Invisible War worth playing, the many graphical flaws and excessive coding hurts the game's potential for real. The Ultra-Stringent System Requirements can get really frustrating and cost-likely if you have a legacy PC and do a lot of gaming. Warren Spector needs to show some diversity in the PC Gaming Industry--and to use less coding for all of his future games. If this game was to be tweaked to a degree that not too many graphical and animational difficulties are experienced, then this game would have ruled supreme. If the system requirements was less stringent than what I saw on the box, then Deus Ex: Invisible War would be a better buy. If the game was longer, then Deus Ex: Invisible War would be a better buy. Either way, I can't put Deus Ex: Invisible War ahead of the original Deus Ex because I feel it's not complete graphically and hardware requirement-wise, aching for a lot of tweaking and more fine-tuning. Warren Spector should ease up a bit--and finely-tune his future PC Game Efforts to a degree that it runs smooth and efficient on NOT JUST high-end systems, but ANY PC system, and that he could make a profit out of it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/03, Updated 12/30/03


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