Deus Ex: Invisible War Reader Review
Boy or girl? Good or bad? Cake or Death? Choice lets us make our mark on the world. Choice is about being an individual. Choice is good, I'm sure we all agree, and the original Deus Ex gave us plenty of choices to make. Did I want to creep around, unseen, and pounce upon my unsuspecting target, or did I want to become a whirlwind of destruction and death, taking down all those who stood in my way? I could choose sides in a global conspiracy. I could be a god or I could throw it all away.
In Deus Ex: Invisible War how you approach the world is similar, but more straightforward. The restrictions on map size means that every important locked room has an air vent allowing access nearby, Multitools are always close to hand if one is required and the game is presented on a plate. Biomods are a lot more useful, the new ammunition system less so. Deus Ex: Invisible War is a competent game in these terms. When it comes to the storyline, however, things are very different.
I am allowed, and even encouraged, to make choices. You could renounce one side, kill their members on sight, refuse to complete their quests and not even meet their leaders. But it is all for nothing as you still find them communicating with you quite happily and automatically offering you missions. There are no consequences, so really I have no choice at all.
This lack of consequences throws a harsh light across the game. My character is no longer a representation of my projected self, merely an incoherent puppet dragged through a narrative by a dumb ventriloquist. The story has ceased to mean anything to me anymore, as it has become a seething mass of contradictions and paradoxes. I don't care about it anymore, I don't believe in it. It continues along its own linear path, with nothing actually changing, and then the real world falls sharply into focus. I'm just sat on my sofa, playing a game, and that is all there is to it.
Make your choice. Play the game or don't play the game, pick your own score and face the consequences.