Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003)

Genre: FPS, Action, Stealth | Players: 1 | Developer: Ion Storm

20 years after the events of Deus Ex, the world has been reshaped following a period of global depression and war called the Collapse. Players control the either male or female Alex D. after a terrorist attack using nano-explosives destroys Chicago. Alex discovers the academy he attends is actually a front for bio-augmentation experiments when a group of religious extremists raid the campus. After escaping, players are then free to choose which faction they want to follow.

The open ended gameplay is mostly intact from the first game and several other elements have been streamlined. Skill points have been removed and the skills they affected are now static abilities or are now gained through augmentation. There are now only 5 augmentation slots though with 3 options for each rather than the original 2. 2 regular ability choices and 1 extra that can be gained with special black market bio-mod canisters. Choosing one makes the other 2 unavailable as long as players have the ability, but they can be overwritten if players gain more canisters. Ammunition is also now universal for all firearms with different guns using different amounts. Or players can augment their melee ability and anything they can pick up such as crates, chairs and coffee cups can become lethal weapons.

Players can still achieve objectives multiple ways such as through direct confrontation, stealth or just rubbing elbows with the right people. Though choice feels somewhat less important when it is really hard to make any one faction hate Alex enough to break contact. Directly disobeying an order rarely has serious consequences with usually at most a bit of dialogue saying they are disappointed, but then offering Alex a chance to redeem himself. In fact it almost doesn't matter which path players choose as it can all be undone with one choice near the end.

The game is significantly shorter than the original, there were a few graphical hiccups and combat is a bit clunky with some stiff movement and the enemy A.I. is really easy to overcome. The actual areas are also really small. Still worth the time though.

Buyer's Guide:
Available on PC and Xbox. Can be bought off Steam for $9.99.

4 Players can totally murder the children unlike that wimp Molyneux's game out of 5

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