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Deus Ex: The Invisible War (Xbox)


Chris The Rock
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I loved the first one, but I've read some things about the demo for Deus Ex 2 that weren't favorable.

 

However, IGN reviewed the game and gave it a high score. It appears that they used the same review for both Xbox and PC versions (which I hate!), and they had some favorable comments about it.

 

I'm heading to EB tomorrow, and I'm either gonna get Max Payne 2 or Deus Ex 2. Hmmm....which will it be?

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I was REALLY looking forward to this game until about 3 or 4 months ago when the latest and greatest video's of it in action, were showing a poor frame rate.

 

Figured that it was no problem, Ion would be doing tweaking and tightening up the game before launch. But, as time got closer and I started reading the latest/greatest previews, the frame rate was still a big problem.

 

Now, it's out tomorrow. The final reviews are in and, they all complain about the poor framerate. :(

 

Yes, gameplay is king but, in an fps...frame rate is it's queen.

 

Been playing games since Pong so, I know to try for myself instead of solely relying on someone else's review but, I saw the video's, and I've read enough different points of view where all say that the framerate is not good, to believe that, in fact, the framerate is not so good.

 

Not really sure if I can stand that at this point in time.

 

It's difficult to lower your standards, so to speak, to enjoy a game. At least it is for me. When you've played Halo, with an overwhemingly smooth frame rate and, pretty damn smart AI, it's hard (for me) to thoroughly enjoy a game that has a poor framerate and stupid AI.

 

...at least the gamespot and IGN reviewers both commented on the dumb enemies that just simply run straight at you. :(

 

I realize that Deus Ex is going for a whole different feel than Halo, but the problems that are bothering me are technical of nature and not of gameplay, so to speak.

 

So, I think I'm going to wait to hear what a few of you guys have to say about the gameplay. If enough non professional reviewers complain about the framerate/AI, I think I'll just get Metal Arms instead. :)

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I'm not convinced that this game is action-packed enough for a framerate stutter to bother me, but you make some good points.

 

Since I'm on the fence on this one, perhaps I'll just pick up Max Payne 2 and wait for a bit for Deus Ex. Perhaps a used copy will be available shortly after Christmas.

 

Tisk, tisk...this game was at the tippy top of my list about a year ago.

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You know what REALLY scares me?

 

This is the exact same game engine that is going to be used for Thief III except, I've read, the Thief engine will have a few additions. (even worse framerate?)

 

While I thought the original Deus Ex was cool, I'm a comfirmed Thief I/II addict!! Absolutely LOVE the atmosphere and gameplay of the Thief universe. Awesome.

 

I hope the hell that Deus Ex II isn't a harbinger of doom for Thief III. Hopefully Thief III runs smoothly and the enemy AI is great because, for as old as it is, Thief I/II has some halfway decent AI.

 

Thief III would be absolutely ruined if it has mindless, run-at-you, AI since the enemy AI is a HUGE part of the Thief gameplay.

 

....worried here.... :cry:

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Originally posted by Pharmboy@Dec 2 2003, 04:22 PM

This is the exact same game engine that is going to be used for Thief III except

 

I failed an exam yesterday and this is still the worst news I've heard all week :P.

Did you mean you "think" you failed an exam yesterday? You probably did fine.

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You probably did fine.

 

I'm not gonna crap up the Doos Sex thread with my personal woes, but let's just say that it will take an intervention from god (small g, any one will do, even Ra) to keep this one from being a total bust.

 

Does this game have LIVE multiplayer?

 

The IGN factoid box says one, and I'm guessing that is likely to be the case. The first one only got multiplayer in the GotY edition and it was, to my knowledge, nothing more than an underwhelming deathmatch that was completely unbalanced by players using particular biomod combos.

 

Co-op would be sweet, but I wouldn't bet on it. So single player experience alone is the answer I can find.

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Played both the Xbox and PC versions last night.

 

Played the Xbox/PC game for about three/four hours and quit to play some Armed and Dangerous (which is great fun by the way!). Please keep that in mind as you read this as this by no means a final review and just my findings after an extended play period.

 

As I originally suspected the interface was tailor made for the Xbox controller. Moving items, opening the map, checking the data vault, upgrading weapons and bio-mods are naturally laid out on the Xbox controller and it works almost seamlessly. Its amazing how unintuitive this same interface is on the PC version yet it works without flaw on the Xbox controller.

 

I still find the interface horribly intrusive. You can thankfully change the opacity on the Xbox version but I much prefer the ability to push the interface more to the sides on the PC game (via an INI fix). Either way the interface poses no threat to your enjoyment if your picking up the Xbox game. The same unfortunately cannot be said of the PC game. In fact I only wished the PC version would allow for the use of a game pad as I'd forego the mouse and keyboard all together.:(

 

Graphically the Xbox game is downright identical to its PC counterpart (albeit with less resolution and clarity). The lighting effects are wonderfully done and rival those found in games like Splinter Cell, however the framerate is as expected problematic. It does smooth out as you move along the game into the more open areas but in the first hour or so of play, the framerate is just atrocious. Being that this is a slower paced game however I doubt anyone will find that it hampers the gameplay.

 

The music for the game is low key and very subdued but it also works quite well. The new remix of the DX theme is really wonderful and some of the techno/trance themes used in the games night club sections are actually really good!

 

One of the most irritating aspects of the Xbox version you will find are the load times. They range in the 25-30 second range. Now that in of itself is not a problem but you will see that load screen often. The levels in DX2 are quite small. On average you will enter a larger "hub" area that allows you to explore various sub sections. These sub sections house most of the NPC's you interact with and the important points of interest. Moving along these sub sections requires a load screen each time and you will move back and forth quite often. This is a problem with both the Xbox and the PC version though as the levels are exactly identical in size, however the PC version does load a tad quicker (suprisingly not by much).

 

Story wise the game keeps the Deus Ex intrigue and shroud of mystery (thank god). Alex D is a far less interesting protagonist than JC Denton (who is now depicted as a criminal for his actions in the first Deus Ex). Whether you play Alex as a male or female is irrelevant since he/she is rather bland both ways. The NPC's Alex interacts with though are varied and each have unique personalities. NG Resonance (a hologram of a popular female musician) is one of the most interesting and sexy females put in a game. She's a treat to talk to as are many of the folks you meet. The only downside is that these NPC's all recycle the same character models but its a minor point of contention.

 

The quest and data vault structure of the game are suprisingly very similiar to Knights of the Old Republic. Conversations and dialogue choices are handled in a very similiar fashion. Unlike the first game, DX2 has a more organized form of keeping track of available quests in the datavault. You will see each quest listed in order with the objective you need to accomplish. This is a change I like quite a bit since the first game did have the problem of seeming all over the place and a tad unfocused as you progressed into the later levels.

 

Combat in DX2 is just completely unsatisfying. Enemies show no feedback when shot as mentioned in various reviews. They just kind of continue to stand there and shoot as though your shooting into thin air. Eventually after about 10 pistol shots the enemy falls into a contorted mess thanks to the overly-exaggerated "rag doll" physics engine. Its fun to toss enemies about as though they are a basketballs but some form of wieght detection would have been nice. In the original game JC slowed down quite a bit while hoisting and hiding foes. That would have been a welcome addition here (both for added realism and an added stealth element).

 

Its interesting to note that there is a strength augmentation bio-mod that could have easily allowed Alex to, over the course of the game, upgrade to the point of being able to toss enemies about but for some reason all it does is allow you to pick up "heavier" items. Seems a missed opportunity IMHO.

 

The AI, as noted in the past, is downright stupid. Enemies use no teamwork nor do they try to even run away when they are injured (who knows if they are being injured anyway considering the lack of feedback;)). They usually sit in one place (ie right in front of you) and fire continuously. :( This in fact was also a problem in the first game as many reviewers have mentioned. I'm not quite so keen on forgiving and forgetting when it comes to the AI however.

 

You can steal what you like when you like and most folks will simply just say how disrespectful your being, or nothing at all. For those interested, it is indeed true that you can walk anywhere you like with weapon in hand and nothing will be said or done to you. In fact for the Xbox version of the game I have yet to find a "holster" function at all:f (besides leaving an inventory slot empty and selecting it!). Another plus for the PC game as having your weapon out constantly abstructs your already limited view.

 

Quick note to PC fans. The resolution, gamma and brightness settings for the game will not save until you actually create a save game. For some oddball reason your resolution settings are part of your saved game file. Keep that in mind. Also keep in mind that many of the INI tweaks needed to get the demo running decently are still necessary here.(ho-hum)

 

After playing the full game I'm still quite disappointed but I do feel much better about the direction of the story and the games ability to allow you to choose your path as the previous game. The gameplay and design choices Ion Storm made (which I wont rehash) I just find contrived and detrimental to what the original game presented but the crux of Deus Ex is still here. The storytelling and open endedness is still here and no doubt there will be DX fans that will be more than willing to look past the games flaws because of that. Just make sure to keep your expectations in check.

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Nice review, Romier.

 

I concur with what he said. Play this one for the story, not the action, folks.

 

I would say that this game is one where you can look past the shortcomings because of the good storyline and the overall unique gameplay. (Unique on the XBox, that is...not very many First Person RPG's on the 'Box.)

 

To get my Action Fix, I've also picked up Max Payne 2.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just played the OXM demo & my impressions are much the same as Romier's. Despite the problems with the AI & combat, I found myself enjoying the story & gameplay overall. The framerate is lower than I would like, but I didn't find it to be a "problem"...YMMV of course! The physics I found disappointing, they didn't take away from the game, but they didn't add anything to it either, at least not in the demo level.

 

The demo level is somewhat more linear (or maybe it's just smaller?) than the previous Deus Ex game's levels, but on the plus side, the story moves along much better this time because of that.

 

There's a good game here, but it's disappointing as a sequel to Deus Ex.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked this up at EB after Xmas for $40, thought I would ressurrect this thread.

 

Basically after about 4 hours (and the default RPG restart to make a different char), I'm loving the game. The framerates stutter a bit and the fighting AI is pretty stupid, but the game is really solid. The biomods are slickly laid out and easy to access in gameplay, the ability to complete quests in your own fashion (or not at all), and the nice story make for a great FPS/RPG hybrid. The closest thing to DX2 that I can think of is System Shock 2, which I dearly loved on the PC. Also, they used slightly modified Halo controls (the changes are actually a nice improvement over Halo) so it plays very intuitively.

 

I never played the original DX1, so I don't really have much to compare it against. For what I have played though, don't pass this one up too quickly if you are an RPG or Sci Fi fan. It's got what you want in spades, definitely worth a rent to decide for yourself...

 

EDIT: It is pretty humorous how badly you can rip people off in the game though. Just unlock their footlocker and grab everything literally right under their noses. But if you happen to fire off a loose bullet at a wall within 100 ft of them, get ready for a throw down! Fun game, but yes the AI is quirky.

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Just finished Deus Ex II, and for whatever reason, I couldn't get into it much, at all.

 

I found the "story" to be so convoluted that I really didn't care in the least about anyone or any faction.

 

The framerate problem wasn't QUITE as bad as I had read. It was mostly pretty playable but, some spots were terrible. I think with more tweaking, it would've been great.

 

What pisses me off is that Ion Storm knowingly put out a buggy product for the Xbox. Yeah I know that they certainly aren't the 1st nor, will they be the last company to do so, BUT...it's obvious that Ion made some serious design changes to this game to make it "fit" better on the Xbox than on the PC. Just play the original Deus Ex...you'll know what I mean. So...why piss on your primary target audience? Afterall, a friggin week after release, Ion puts out a patch for the pc to address many of the games problems.

 

Thanks...I guess Ion's target audience this time around, has to settle for the unpatched version.

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.I guess Ion's target audience this time around, has to settle for the unpatched version.

 

To be fair most of the changes made in the patch were PC centric (For example they changed the size of the text, changed how the mouse navigates the sub menus etc. etc.. and to make it worse most of the changes the fans had already made via INI tweaks weeks beforehand, IS simply put it all in a patch). The real significant changes to the PC game were the changes made to way the game loads as previously the game would have to reswitch resolutions everytime it loaded an area (ie shitload of crashes). Also the developers changed the damager head shots do to be a bit more realistic.

 

Nonetheless I most definitely see where your coming from Derrick. My hopes for Thief III are not high after DX2.

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Is Thief III an Xbox primary title too (then port to PC)?

 

It is being co-developed on both platforms same as DXII was. Its using the exact same engine as DXII as well. However I'm willing to bet there will be some optimizations done as IS has already revealed the next DX2 patch will deal with performance optimizations.

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revealed the next DX2 patch will deal with performance optimizations.

 

 

Excellent! I didn't know that. Perhaps there IS hope for Thief III. I watched the longer video of T3 in action. It's some German video. The framerate is pretty much butter smooth!

 

Maybe the team that did DE:IW just didn't have enough time to tweak it out like T3 seems to be?

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  • 3 months later...

Looks like Harvey Smith waves goodbye to Ion Storm:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/news/2004/04/06/news_6092978.html

 

Today, news of his departure from ION Storm/Austin started circulating on the Web. While today's news had been known among a cadre of industy insiders over the past days, Smith went public only this morning, confirming to GameSpot and others that his alliance with ION Storm, and that company's even more storied studio director Warren Spector, was over.
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Invisible War is a mess, imho. Found the "story" boring and convoluted as hell. I'm of above average intelligence and still had a hard time following its bullshit. Framerates blew ass, the Havok 2 physics engine wasn't properly implemented and things just felt...wrong. Unified ammo? Good God...:wtf:

 

I've been worried as hell about Thief 3. Figuring it's going to be a tech turd just like Invisible War, HOWEVER...I read on Gamespy (I think), an interview with Mr. Spector and one of the things in the interview that he said suprised him about the "console crowd" was that, "we are more concerned about framerates than the pc boys".

 

Smart guy. No doubt about it. But, could he REALLY have thought that we'd be okay with a framerate sometimes approaching a slideshow?!!? :thud: Come on Warren!!! Don't be a tard....

 

Anyhoo, he went on to mention that they were going to have to try to address that problem better with Thief 3.

 

GOOD!!!!!! :)

 

I have hope that the frame rate will be better...

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