A game that's certainly in many of our top 10 games of all time, the original Deus Ex caused quite a buzz when it arrived on PC back in 2000. It's combination of solid FPS action, intricate role-playing elements and multiple game paths made for a real immersive experience, which some still argue is yet to be surpassed. Well, four years on and the much-anticipated sequel is here. Although the hype surrounding it seems to have been slightly overshadowed by that of the looming Half-Life and Doom sequels, the game is promising everything its predecessor offered and more, and, more importantly, it's also been ported to Xbox.
The action takes place 20 years after the events of the original, in a world that's beginning to recover from a secret, conspiratorial war and catastrophic worldwide depression. The winner-take-all geo-politics of mid-21st century Earth have given way to a struggle over more basic concerns, such as food and water. In the chaos, several religious and political factions see the opportunity to shape a worldwide government, and they know that the right moves now could determine the shape of human society for centuries to come. But the secrets remain, and once again the human race is at risk of an apocalypse.
Enter Alex D - aka you - rookie of an elite training force and unwitting future saviour of mankind. After having been rushed to a new training facility in Seattle for unknown 'safety' reasons, Alex soon discovers that his/her (you can choose, see?) former home city of Chicago has been completely destroyed by a terrorist nanotech attack. From here, things begin to get even worse, as conflict erupts and a powerful conspiracy, rich in mystery, lies and intrigue soon begins to unravel.
Much like its predecessor, Invisible War is in no way merely a first-person shooter - action, shooting, adventure, and stealth all play a big part throughout the game and, more importantly, how you choose to act has a significant impact on the resulting game story. In any given scenario there are multiple solutions to the respective problems and multiple ways to complete the level, each providing different consequences. You are also given full freedom of choice of friends, enemies, who to support, and who to fight, with the game changing based on those decisions.
The game still boasts plenty of FPS action, however, with an explosive arsenal of modifiable weaponry at your disposal, including the likes of shotguns, sniper rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and flamethrowers. As with the original, there's also heavy emphasis on bio-mod technology, used to develop your character and endow them with extraordinary powers. Along the way, the collection of bio-mod upgrades allows you to choose which particular abilities to improve, including such skills as invisibility, speed and X-Ray vision.
At the heart of Invisible War is a deeply simulated game world, complete with realistic physics, sound, lighting, and shadows - and they're not just there for effect either, as they also serve as tools to help you get through certain situations (listening for enemy footsteps, hiding in shadows, etc.). Combine this with the game's deep, cinematic storyline and the result is one of the most absorbing gaming experiences yet for Xbox. If you own one, you must play this game.