Review by Jupasto

"Gameplay and Story add up to Great Game"

It all started back in June of 2000. Warren Spector and Co. crafted an amazing game called Deus Ex that, at its best moments allowed the player to choose how he/she wanted to play the game. There were many chooses, so many if fact that one could theoretically play through the RPG/FPS without killing anyone. And while most succumbed to the lure of killing (for practical reasons, as well as playability) it nonetheless set new standards in terms of story and shear variety of methods to play through. Deus Ex: Invisible War is the next in the series from Ion Storm, and in many ways it is a worthy sequel.

The graphics for this game are very good. I've read a few articles where Spector was bragging that this was the best looking game for the Xbox, and I'm certainly not going to disagree. The lighting effects are amazing in this game, at least as good as Splinter Cell's. Environments are varied and realistically stocked with odds and ends that will fall off shelves and bounce (when appropriate) and the physics engine is very realistic (even if basketballs don't roll enough). Textures aren't bad and vary from location to location. Faces have been recycled a few times, but I can easily overlook that. Of course, there are a few times
when the framerate drops, mostly at the beginning of the game, but it wasn't really a problem for me.

Controls are planned out and the default setup works well for the game. The interface works well and there are some neat features like quick gun retriever which help to make the game play well on the console. There is also a lot of things that can customized for those who like higher sensitivity, inverted controls, etc...

The ambient sounds are a bit lacking, but the overall game music is very good and adds depth to the game. Various bars and locations have techno-rock band Kidney Thieves playing in the background, which makes it even more realistic and just plain cool.

The gameplay is really a core requisite for a game that is part First Person Shooter, part RPG, and in this department, the game delivers. There are so many things to do in this game that it's really amazing. While the skills are gone from the first game, things have been 'streamlined' so to speak, and this works well. Biomods take the place of NanoAugs, while upgrades still remain. A few things are going to spark controversy (already have) like the fact that locational damage seems to have been toned down (not removed) making stealth kills harder this time around. Another thing is 'unified ammo' Basically it means that all weapons use the same kind of ammo, but at different rates. Some argue that this makes the game too simple, and I can see their point, because part of the experience of the first game was finding and conserving ammo, which is totally unnecessary in this game. But all in all these things do not hurt the game but rather make it different from the first one, which is what was intended.

Wow. The story is gripping and immersing and all-encompassing. Is that enough adjectives? Truly this is the reason to own the game. For those of you who played the first game, the story will pick up roughly 20 years after the end of the first game. However, for those of you haven't played the game, you will still be able to figure out what happened in the first place. Because of the multiple paths and branching of this game, you will want to play it multiple times in order to get every part of the story. It is a somewhat short game though, but replay value is high.

Overall this game is a great addition to the Xbox's Christmas lineup. It's compelling story and interesting game mechanics will
keep gamers satisfied. However, if you're like me, you might end up feeling that though it's a great game, with more polish it could've been perfect.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/10/03

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