The more I look at Invisible War, the more I see it as an ok game. A very poor Deus Ex game no doubt, but on its own, it could have been alot worse. To me, I see this game more in the same light as Sonic 06. Both games weren't bad on their own so much as it was heavily rushed and poorly optimized.
Not to mention Invisible War's game engine is by far one of the worst having it made more for the XBOX than the PC, which was a huge mistake. Deus Ex always should always be made primary for the PC and then converted to console if possible.
But to back to Invisible War. What makes this game engine so bad? Well, for starters, the levels are painfully small. Way too many level loads to say the least in comparison to DX1. Not to mention this game is buggy as heck, crashing alot. Yea... I'm not going to lie. It's one of the main reasons why I'm very hesitant to play it because games crashing is by far one of the worst things I despise about a game. I understand sometimes it's inevitable, but if it's going to crash frequently because of how poorly programmed it is, then to me it is completely inexcusable.
Another thing that really bites about this game is how all weapons use universal ammo. On paper, it sounds like a cool idea, but Invisible War botched it up badly having it so all weapons use the same ammo source and once you run out, you run out completely. Great... way to make your weapons less fun to use. They should have seriously used the TF2 method of universal ammo. Sure, TF2 was made 4 years later, but the point is, I think Invisible War could have used the same system if they put enough effort into the universal ammo concept. That's the problem. They didn't. They got lazy with this as part of its rushed development and really hurt the game.
Not to mention alot of the weapons are not good in Invisible War too. Sure, some are ok like the Mag rail that shoots EMP blasts. The boltcaster weapons seem ok too along with the SMG's. Some of the new grenades and mines like the flash, concussion and spider mines are ok too. Other than that though, I really did not like them. The Plasma rifle is gone. The pistols pretty much are a joke compared to the ones in DX1. The Shotgun no longer has two types of ammo either for that matter. Sure, it can shoot smoke bombs, but quite frankly, that seems very useless compared to concussion or flash bombs.
So yea, I'm not going to say the weapons in Invisible War are as streamlined as Mankind Divided's are, but they don't exactly give as much depth as the ones in DX1 did either.
Anyway, are there any redeemable qualities about this game? Well, to be fair, there are a few. For starters, you can play as a male or female now as your character, which I thought was a nice touch, but to be fair, they really should have made it so you could pick your own hairstyle and facial expressions for the character you're playing since both Alex models are pretty dull looking to say the least. Plus, the female Alex has hair almost as short as the male version, which is pretty stupid IMHO. I mean, couldn't they give her hair at least to shoulder length if nothing else to have her stand out? Maybe even a little more curves in her body as well? But anyway, moving on...
Another thing I sorta liked was the additional factions in this game that you can choose to help or oppose. To me, this in a sense was done better than DX1 when it came to choices since in DX1, you have to help the NSF after mission 3 to continue. That to me hurt the game in a sense because it really would have been nice to have seen JC Denton given the option to stick by UNATCO and instead fight his brother Paul in the final level rather than Bob Page. Sure, I doubt it would have been as good as the original game intended when stopping Bob Page, but still, Deus Ex is about choices, so the more choices you can make in the game, the better the experience as far as I'm concerned.
That and I liked how the Omar and Templars showed extreme viewpoints of the whole augmentation discussion, with one being completely for it and one completely against it and they even explain why. Sure, they're not perfect answers by any means, but I'll take at least them trying to explain rather than Mankind Divided's BS approach of acting like they're having a discussion about it when in reality, it's just bunch of empty words. Sorry to bring that game into this review, but it still irritates me to no end how this game, a game that nearly killed off the franchise did a better job with the whole aug issue than the recent AAA game made by Square Enix that devoted nearly its entire game and story about. Just goes to show you bigger doesn't always mean better.
Lastly, I actually KINDA liked the story in this game too. Don't get me wrong. It's not a good story by any means, especially compared to DX1's, but it's better compared to Mankind Divided's to say the least. Invisible War at least had bigger stakes with the whole who's going to rule the planet thing near the end of it. Sure, it's not great by any means, but I like this game really makes you feel like you have to pick a side. Whether it be JC Denton's, the Templars, the Illuminati's or even want no part of any of them and kill them all instead and let the Omar rule the planet. Again, not perfect and not great, but I still can respect this game for trying to raise the stakes when it came to the ending.
If the gameplay, maps and weapons had been better, I'd say Invisible War could have been as high as an 8 depending on how fun it was to play. But because it wasn't well optimized and they really hurt the experience, I cannot give this game anything higher than a 5. Considering this game almost killed off Deus Ex entirely, it deserves no less.
Ironic though that I'm seeing the exact same issues with Mankind Divided, but in reverse with it having great gameplay, but a horrible and forgettable story. I hope we get to see another Deus Ex game since I'd hate to see it end on this bitter note, but I'm not holding my breath.
Deus Ex is in serious trouble to say the least in terms of being a sustainable franchise.