The one thing the Xbox has needed for quite some time is a good solid RPG that could really help fill the genre that has been lacking. With Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, probably being the best RPG released in 2003. The Xbox was finally blessed with an RPG. Well guess what RPG fans your in luck because in the same calendar year that you got Knights of the Old Republic you got Deus Ex: Invisible War, maybe not up to par with Knights of the Old Republics status but still a very worthwhile title for your Microsoft Xbox.
In 2000 Deus Ex was released and it was a sci-fi RPG thriller that took many RPG enthusiasts by storm. The game showed so much potential and had so many things going for it that many just grabbed onto the game right from the get go. Now Eidos has teamed up with Ion Storm again to bring us to the sequel to the ever popular Deus Ex, and it’s Deus Ex: Invisible War for the Xbox.
Deus Ex: Invisible War takes place in the not to distant future, where things aren’t as you would expect they would be in the near future. Well you play as Alex D (male or female, it’s your choice) who goes to Tarsus Academy in Chicago. Now this just isn’t you ordinary school, it is more of the total opposite of what we are used to. Instead of learning to be peaceful and kind in school, this school teaches special op’s and other courses to further their skills in these different areas. During the opening cut scenes they show Alex and the Chicago school as well as the city itself being attacked by an unknown terrorist group leaving nothing behind. Alex and some of the other members of the school got out of there in time before all of Chicago went up in flames, and were sent to an Advanced Training branch in Seattle. Basically if you haven’t figured it out yet the unknown terrorist group is the main focus of the game and it’s your job to get to the bottom of this, how to do this is mostly up to you.
You start the game by creating your character by choosing either a male or female and then customizing from there. If you didn’t play the original Deus Ex then you would probably like to know that it is played in the first person perspective and that anyone who has played a FPS will feel right at home. Many people can argue that Invisible War isn’t an RPG but a combination of a ton of different genres. You have your fair share of stealth, as well as fighting, but then of course the path you do this is pretty open ended. In my personal opinion I would consider Invisible War a Stealth RPG.
Since Alex isn’t really human, throughout the game you can get him upgrades that will help you on your journey. These upgrades will become essentials to get farther through the game and really are quite cool to get.
One of the greatest upsides to Deus Ex: Invisible War is that you truly have the option to do what you think is best throughout the game. You have plenty of opportunities to make the key decisions of the game to decide which path you will take to complete the game. Ion Storm has done a great job of combining the action elements with role playing elements. I found myself saying the if all else fails go to the weapons, and you really have the option to either verbally work things out or take the quick way out, and this just depends on the situation at hand. Throughout the game you get to interact with tons of different objects and people. Then of course you have the stealth options to where if you don’t want to talk to these people or gun enemies down then your final option is of course to go around them using your stealth capabilities. And depending on which is your preference will decide which Biomods are right for you.
Of course not all is perfect when it comes to Invisible War there is still a few areas where the game could have used improvement. This comes to play with the Enemy AI, which is not really anything overly impressive. Enemies are quite dumb, and don’t usually do anything that they should. Shooting them is also usually a mix bag because you can shoot them in places that they should be down with at most two bullets but yet the keep on trucking. The final complaint that I have with the game is that it doesn’t have the typical length of a normal RPG. I mean you think about games such as Knights of the Old Republic or any RPG you think a good 30-40 hours of Gameplay, but with Invisible War you get a little over twenty hours. Which is a good amount but it is a little short for the RPG genre.
With these problems you would think that it would really hurt the game but for the twenty hours of gameplay you get plenty of bang for your buck. The game allows you to choose your own path and it does an excellent job of making these options very entertaining.
Deus Ex: Invisible War at first glance may not impress many people but as you progress through the game you will find that everything in the game is done so precisely and in such a way that everything truly looks quite nicely done. By far the most notable portion of the game’s graphics is the gorgeous lighting effects which does wonders for the game. Everything is accurately lighted for the setting it’s in and the lighting truly does wonders for the game’s graphics.
The frame-rate in Invisible War has its problems throughout the game. It’s not a problem that plagues the game, but it can become an annoyance at times, with such a great looking game you would hope things would run smoothly. The environments are saved by the great lighting but there definitely could have been more detail placed in the environments.
Overall the graphics are definitely quite good, and could have been great if the frame-rate issue would have been attended to. But since it wasn’t the game has some great aspects to it, and it is still quite a good-looking title.
This is all on your opinion on RPG’s and whether you can handle a slower pace then a typical action title. Personally although I am not a huge RPG guy this series has always appealed to me and this one is no different. Invisible War does a great job of combining action with RPG to create a game that is just a ton of fun to play. Although it’s only twenty hours or so long this is a fun twenty hours that I enjoyed thoroughly.
If you are looking for an alternative to Knights of the Old Republic, or have already gone through it, then you should definitely think about picking up Deus Ex: Invisible War for the Xbox it’s sure to make any fan of the RPG genre happy.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.