Deus Ex: Invisible War Reader Review
Just like my wife, Deus Ex – Invisible War likes to make me think I have a choice. My wife once asked me if I felt like going to the cinema that night. The conversation went a little like this:
“Sure” I said, “what’s on, anything good?” “Well there’s this action/comedy movie starring The Rock, some horror movie, one about the world coming to another end & a Rom-Com”. “The Rock one is meant to be good, can we go see that”. “Yeah but the only viewing we can catch is a late one & I don’t want to be up that late. You know what I’m like, I’ll be asleep in the cinema after the opening scene”. “Okay well what about ‘the end of the world is nigh’ one, hasn’t that got something to do with ice & snow or something?” “Yeah, think so, nothing else you feel like watching?” “Well not the horror one as I’ll scream like a big girl in the middle of the cinema & everyone will look at me whilst I point at you shouting ‘it was my wife….honest!’” “You calling me a big girl?” “No. No. You know I wouldn’t do……no don’t walk out the door…..look that’s not what I meant…..please, look don’t give me the silent treatment….did you want to see the Rom-Com?” “I suppose so”.
In an act of genius that I didn’t even realise until well after the film had finished & I awoke the next morning, I had been given the gift of choice, only to be shoehorned into making the decision my wife ultimately wanted. No matter what I said, I was always going to see the Rom-Com, that’s clear now. The only opportunity I would have had of changing that eventuality was when I reached the till to pay for my tickets. If I had changed my mind at that last moment & chose another movie instead, I would have got to see the one I wanted and in the process got whinged at by my wife.
That in a nutshell is Deus Ex – IW. No not a Rom-Com, but a game that all the way through the 14-15 hours that it lasts likes to make you think that you are the one making the decisions that will shape the ending of the game. In truth, out of all of the decisions you are allowed to make during the game, there is only one real choice about 15 minutes from the end that allows you to choose which of the four warring factions you want to complete the game for. So no matter what side you choose all the way through the game, no matter what objectives you decide to complete & which ones you decide to leave, you can still change your mind right at the very end & complete the game for whatever faction you decide, cueing a different ending and a lot of whinging from the other factions. Oh I’m sure there are instances where if you did something slightly different, i.e. killed one of the main characters, then perhaps that faction would not have been available at the end but I could not be buggered to play through the game again to see.
As it was and by chance, I saved just before the opportunity to make your mind up for the final time & was therefore able to complete the game for each faction meaning that I only had to replay the last 5 minutes of the game in order to see each of the, very mediocre, four endings. Fans of the original, which encouraged replaying the whole game to see how things could have turned out differently, were obviously very disappointed.
Graphically better than it’s predecessor in its day (which lets face it, wasn’t hard) Deus Ex – IW received critical acclaim from most of the magazines but was mainly derided by fans of the admittedly superior original. To receive such high praise says to me that either they hadn’t completed the game before reviewing it & therefore didn’t understand that the story was a convoluted mess that didn’t mind what you did right up until the last minute or that they were too frightened to give it a score it deserved through fear of receiving backlash from the fans.
They also clearly hadn’t seen the “hidden” 5th ending where you get to see every character in the game having a party & get the opportunity to read quote files of the developers comments during the development of the game. If they had, not only would they have discovered that not only were many of the development team mentally unstable & that Warren Spector was voted 2nd most likely to go blind watching porn, they would also have found out that the development team didn’t even really have a lot of love for the game, examples from the quote files being the awful frame-rate, lack of NPC’s to interact with & the fact that they rushed it to meet the release date.
At the end when you realise that all of your work throughout the whole game meant nothing, it does leave a feeling of disappointment & removes the feeling of enjoyment of completing what had been up until that point, an enjoyable though not ground-breaking FPS/Adventure that played a little like a cross between Splinter Cell & Red Faction. Sure it wasn’t up to the standard of the original but not every XBOX owner would have played the original & when isolated from it’s much older brother, it’s still an enjoyable game that gave enough enjoyment up until the very disappointing ending. Okay the bio-mods weren’t utilised as well as they should have been & the environments were not suited to those who suffer with claustrophobia, but it’s not as bad as some, mainly the fan-boys of the original, would have you think & considering you can pick it up for less than a tenner now, it’s well worth considering.
The film, well it turns out “Girl next door” wasn’t your standard Rom-Com & involved numerous shots of Elisa Cuthbert in very little at all pretending to be a porn star. In actual fact, you could say it went down well!
6 / 10