One thing I’ve never understood with Deus Ex and Deus Ex Invisible War is that there is so much controversy and hate surrounding the latter’s take on the original’s world. I really don’t get it and judigng by discussions I’ve read/taken part in at various points in the past on other forums and in real-life, the majority of people who have played Deus Ex and then moved on to Invisible War — whether they’ve completed the original or not — then decry it almost as some sort of abortion of gaming. And when any attempt to semi-seriously discuss “why” that is, those very same people are reluctant to talk about the game any further.
This is bizzare for me for two reasons:
1) Deus Ex’s gameplay elements are not orignal in any way whatsoever and all have been copied or modified primarily from System Shock 2.
2) There are argubly far more flaws in Deus Ex’s execution as a game than there are in Invisible War’s.
The first time I played Deus Ex I would have been, hmmm, around let’s say 10 or 11 years old? I was obviously too young to understand much of the subtext, hidden meanings, ploys and the more philisophical conversations between characters but even then I was kind of entranced by the game’s setting and it’s atmosphere as a whole. It was the audio within the game that sold me on playing it ’til I lost interest (first time after Hong Kong– awwww 😉 ); the voice acting, the ambient effects but especially the soundtrack and it was that same audio that kept me playing along– which I realised little over a few months ago has been an recurring theme for many of the games I’ve played over time.
Apart from that, though, Deus Ex was a pretty shitty example of how to make a game. Certainly not one of worst compared to others but when I try to play it now, I realise in part how much I liked it because of my age at the time (heh, was technically not allowed to, but anyway). Deus Ex was a game composed of many several concepts made redundant by their execution in the game and few good parts when taken apart and examined. A game lauded by many for reasons no-one could truely understand nor reason with — even now, a whole decade later — and yet it deserved such praise only for popularising the fairly new idea of the Action RPG genre.
Invisible War, however, was a more solid example of how to make a game actually “work”. By condensing down and streamlining certain, unecessarily convoluted or complicated features and functionality as well as making a more conherrent plot and having a more intimate environment in which to play in, Ion Storm managed to make a game that was more plesant to play and experience than it’s predecessor
Unfortunately, this was completely cast aside in favour of the oft-popular opinion — which a sizeable proportion of people seemed to follow without even having played the full game or demo — that the game was a sham and an insult to the supposed “values” or “ideas” that were apparently set by the original Deus Ex– even though they were actually set by System Shock 2.
Since my last attempt at playing Deus Ex — a little over a year ago or about that — I have been examining that game in my head on-and-off every now and again and comparing it to Invisible War — which I last played just a little while after the original — and have found more to dislike about the former than I have the latter. So what’s up with that?
Well, in the words of JC, pre-Helios transfusion, “What a shame”