Snoozy Alarm Clock

Deus Ex: Invisible War Walkthrough

Acknowledgments

Special Note:

Special note: Like my Deus Ex walkthrough, this walkthrough will present multiple paths as they avail themselves, but will focus on a pacifist approach to play. You can follow this walkthrough and finish the game without killing anyone.

Deus Ex: Invisible War ★★★★

Few games have produced quite as loud a thump after falling from such heights of expectation as Deus Ex: Invisible War. Its predecessor, Deus Ex, is widely hailed as being one of the most groundbreaking games ever to hit the PC. This sequel is widely regarded as being the bastard spawn of a console-PC quickie.

Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first. The game crashed frequently on my system, with CTDs and lockups requiring system reboots. (Update: the 1.2 patch has largely resolved the crashing problems.) Small zones force frequent loading, and loading is slow. A pet peeve is that the game does not alt-tab gracefully. There is no key to holster your weapon. Grr. When you die you have to click a checkmark to go back to the main menu, then click a load button, then select the save that you want to load. Um, how about, "You died. Click to load your Quicksave." Or better yet, just let the Quickload button work after you're dead. Double-grr. I could go on, but you get the point -- the UI stinks.

Another complaint has been the implementation of universal ammunition, whereby the same ammo clips are used for all weapons, thus simplifying inventory management. I have two problems with this. First, it eliminates that tiny little Christmas morning feeling when you come across the type of ammo you've been hoping for. "Yippee! Tranquilizer darts!" becomes, "Gee, another ammunition gift certificate." Secondly, and this is just an implementation issue really, is that the amount of ammunition you have left is represented by an analog gauge on the HUD. You never really know exactly how much ammo you have left. A simple "three sniper rounds = three sniper shots" is better.

So why in the world am I giving this game four stars? Am I a demented fanboi? Perhaps. But the real reason is that I love politics and philosophy, and this game delivers both in entertaining and thought-provoking ways. While the story takes time hitting its stride, about two-thirds of the way through I said, "Wow, now I'm playing the Deus Ex sequel!" That yowza feeling should have happened from the opening moments of the game, but rest assured it does come. You will get to meet many of the characters and revisit some of the places you were familiar with from the previous game.

In typical Deus-Ex style, the storyline makes you the pivotal player in humanity's fate. Does a hive mind sound appealing? How about bio-engineered eugenics? Genetic purity? Or would you rather not think at all, preferring a world engineered by unseen experts who make everything run smoothly with no input from the masses? The choice is yours, and this time you have four endings to choose from.

The mere presence of these thoughtful topics in a video game is heartening. While ironic that any volume of the Deus Ex saga should be criticized for being "dumbed down," it is reassuring that "dumb" is still considered to be a bad thing. With so much entertainment lacking any intellectual merit, I am willing to overlook serious technical flaws when the narrative tackles thought-provoking subjects. Perhaps it's time that gamers reflect upon which aspects of our games are allowed to be dumb, and which are not.

- Last Update 05/05/06