Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
Buy On
  1. 90
    Sure, some people will say that the game's made too many concessions to convenience -- no more skills and one kind of ammo spring to mind -- but all this means is that you have fewer concerns distracting you from the main point of the game, your experience making decisions within the game's story.
  2. It's certainly a bold undertaking that delves into some philosophical and science-fiction territory that most games wouldn't dare touch, and though it may not be a superior game to its predecessor, on its own merits it's a great and original experience that's well worthwhile.
  3. Titles like Invisible War are why video games are the superior entertainment medium. You mull over puzzles, weigh ethical dilemmas, and ponder the universe. [Jan 2004, p.143]
  4. There's an unfortunate lack of improvement in the gameplay here, but it seems that the gameplay of the first was so good that it could be simplified and still be very enjoyable.
  5. Cheat Code Central
    It's a smart game but it's not overly difficult offering just the perfect blend of challenge and non-stop action. You can finish it in a weekend but you can expect to spend a lot more time with it if you want to exercise all the various options.
  6. Invisible War kind of looks like it was meant to be a much, much better game than it is, with a lot of half-finished ideas that aren't taken quite far enough.
  7. 90
    A must-play for anyone looking for a fun, intelligent action/adventure game. Is it as great as its forebear? I'll say no. That said, Invisible War is still an excellent sequel to Deus Ex, which, while lacking its scope, smooths over many of its roughest edges and provides a decent conclusion to the current story arc. [Note: GameSpy's revised 5-Star conversion scale - see site]
  8. Certainly an excellent game, but in becoming a much more accessible and polished title than its predecessor and taking significant advances in storytelling, it has left behind some key aspects of gameplay and much-loved variety from the first title.
  9. The ability to explore and choose how you want to approach each obstacle is great, albeit a bit simpler this time around. It’s also much shorter, clocking in at around 15 hours, but again, you can play each level in various ways.
  10. 100
    It’s still vastly better than 99.9% of the other games out there today, and with properly calibrated expectations, you’ll find that Invisible War is a brilliant game that will captivate you like few others can.
  11. 70
    The end result is a good-if-you're-into-it, poorly performing, but interesting social experiment that seems more geared toward determining how players will react to certain situations than challenging them in new and exciting ways to accomplish tasks that are fun and engaging.
  12. A streamlined version of its predecessor, relieving you of the tedious tasks of micromanaging skills and clunky inventory boxes, thus freeing you to play the game and experience the rich story and immersive world that Ion Storm has prepared for you.
  13. games(TM)
    Early flaws give way to a masterpiece. The game's countless interweaving pathways will stand out as one of the year's most impressive design achievements, offering a mind-boggling array of routes while readjusting the world to the player's action. [Mar 2004, p.108]
  14. Fans of the first game will find a lot to like here. But newcomers and those with unrealistic expectations will inevitably discover either that the multitude of references to the previous game will cause confusion, or that the few technical improvements do little to offset the fact that this is merely a logical upgrade.
  15. Yes, it may be more streamlined than you would like it, but the story and feel of the game are well worth it. The framerate drops are frustrating, but when you look at the lighting and the Havok engine displayed in this game the framerate drops become almost second nature.
  16. Edge Magazine
    Ultimately, Invisible War is a very fine game spread too thin. It's a game that's made the effort to name the cat in the secretary's desk photo but not to make jumping work properly, that bothers to script loving exchanges between insignificant NPCs but pits you against clumsy and stuttering AI. [Feb 2004, p.94]
  17. 80
    Despite the wonky AI, the game mechanics are solid. And the rip-roaring story gets better with each passing hour. The problem with "Invisible War" is that it requires the player to stop bitching about every little detail and just enjoy the ride.
  18. Official Xbox Magazine
    Technical quibbles aside, Deus Ex is a brilliant RPG that manages to pull off freeform gameplay without a hitch. It's as smart as you want it to be, and cuts no gameplay corners. [Holiday 2003, p.72]
  19. Play Magazine
    If only more games attempted to create such a smart, bold place of fantasy. [Jan 2004, p.46]
  20. This gorgeous futuristic world demands exploration, and the story is intriguing enough to compel you forward. [Feb 2004, p.124]
  21. Improves on the elements Spector himself felt most integral to the game and does away with much of the extraneous elements he felt detracted from the experience he was trying to create. The result is a game that is more focused than the original, and although it often overlooks fundamentals it is one of the most brilliantly crafted games of the year.
  22. 80
    The game offers unparalleled variety and choice in the actual gameplay. The non-intrusive design sets just as much of a precedent as did Deus Ex, which is a joy to realize. The game feels a bit short -- especially considering how much choice the player is given -- and the presentation values could have been polished up more, but it's an experience like no other.
  23. The core gameplay is still here, just as good as ever, and it still has that absurdly addicting quality that makes it impossible to leave it alone. The end result is unquestionably one of the best games you'll find on the Xbox.
  24. This game is quality. You don't so much play it, but experience it...Invisible War gives us a new vision and for that we are nothing less than extremely grateful. It's legend time, right here.
  25. As incredibly ambitious and well-plotted the execution, Deus Ex: Invisible War falls slightly short of towering. If only those crash bugs and loading times were near-invisible, we'd be unapologetically, opaquely positive in our praise.
  26. It’s nice to see those of us who own the best hardware benefit from titles that actually push its limits; this seems to be the antithesis to many developer’s strategies, but one that will keep me an Eidos fan for a long time.
  27. It’s the jack-of-all-trades but master of none, and as long as you go in knowing that, then there’s a lot to be had in Deux Ex: Invisible War.
  28. There is so little that is linear in the game, I have dubbed it "the action version of Knights of The Old Republic". Now before the KOTOR fans grab their pitchforks, I am talking about how you can completely control your own destiny in the game.
  29. Even with some of the shortcomings, the game's still deserves a slightly higher score due to a tremendous effort that went into the open-ended gameplay, as well as the overall design.
  30. It’s difficult to convey a story in first person form without the use of heavy scripting and this is something that Warren and the boys haven’t gotten quite right.
  31. Sadly - and this is more true for PC fans - the game lacks the depth of character development that marked the original out as such an innovative classic. Even so, it looks great, gameplay is varied and smooth and you can be sure the experience will linger in the mind long after you've finished playing.
  32. One of the best stories ever told in a video game.
  33. No better and no worse a game than its predecessor, and there's absolutely no shame in that. And it's no airport novel, as it requires some serious time investment.
  34. The changes that have been made are the best compromise for a multi platform release but I can't help wishing it was as in-depth statistics wise as the first game.
  35. The very realization that it’s a role-playing game may put some people off, but those people will be missing out on a fantastic experience.
  36. 85
    A good game, but it isn’t nearly as good as the original Deus Ex. While I feel the changes that were made only improved the quality of the game, the overall drop in length, the incredibly stupid AI and the slight graphic downgrade really hurt it in the end.
  37. Action wise it gets a bit repetitive, so if you’re only in it for the body count, this is a rental. If you like your video games like you like your novels, however, then this is a must buy.
  38. The perfect balance of non-linear gameplay and plot development, the game offers a unique experience that successfully evolves the gameplay of the original. More so than any other game, it allows complete player-driven gameplay in the progression of the story and character development.
  39. 70
    Evolution or minimisation? One thing is for sure, if you remain uncertain as to which side of the fence you’re sitting on, you may just be able to allow yourself an immersive and unique period in which to decide.
  40. Xbox Nation Magazine
    Gorgeous to behold, boasting dynamic lights, shadows, and interactive environments, making it relatively easy to suspend disbelief. [Mar 2004, p.64]
  41. 84
    The master of storytelling and gameplay excellence.
  42. The game is built sublimely, with an excellent interface and crisp, rounded sound effects that grip the attention.
  43. Deux Ex: Invisible War is incredible, pure and simple.
  44. An exceptional game, especially on Xbox where the original didn’t exist, but its eclectic plot could prove too much for novices while its AI vices and repetitive gameplay devices will likely annoy the hardcore PC fraternity.
  45. Extremely fun and addicting. It has substance and style to boot and a great story.
  46. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 7 / 8 / 8 - 31 silver [Vol 810; 25 June 2004]
  47. 76
    The game's A.I. seems a bit lacking as well, primarily in the way that no one really seems to care whether or not Alex blatantly relieves them of their material wealth and/or rather expensive supplies and weaponry.
  48. With the sub par physics engine and numerous bugs including a disappearing biomod during the first level, and a crash when I exited a dominated bot just as it was firing, I am starting to feel as though a little more time could have went into testing this title.
  49. We were disappointed by the length and size of the maps sometimes, sure, but there is no escaping the fact that the wealth of options present in Invisible War make it one of the most approachable games we have ever encountered since, well, Deus Ex.
  50. The gorgeous visuals coupled with some brand new, incredibly realistic physics do draw you into the whole world. But then there are certain anomalies. For example, the loss of localised damage.

Awards & Rankings

#30 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
  1. Apr 17, 2017
    Honnie, décriée et sévèrement vilipendée à sa sortie, la suite du très bon Deus Ex n'a jamais mérité pareil traitement. Je le trouvais aussiHonnie, décriée et sévèrement vilipendée à sa sortie, la suite du très bon Deus Ex n'a jamais mérité pareil traitement. Je le trouvais aussi brillant que le premier et avec le recul, je le trouve même un cran au dessus.

    Le jeu était très beau et très stable sur Xbox, l'interface était bien pensée et l'ambiance cyberpunk toujours aussi agréable. Ce mélange d'infiltration et de JDR est unique (même si le jeu laissait aussi le choix de se la jouer gros bill cela va de soi). Superbe ambiance et grande liberté d'approche.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 28, 2016
    This is an incredible sci-fi action adventure stealthy FPS with RPG elements, arguably one of the top 10 games in the entire original XBOXThis is an incredible sci-fi action adventure stealthy FPS with RPG elements, arguably one of the top 10 games in the entire original XBOX library. It is pretty depressing how MetaCritic and other sites continuously allow MORONS like Uter below to infect the compiled user score for this amazing game with their idiotic nonsense and 0 scores. Full Review »
  3. Aug 10, 2014
    Didn't really liked this game, I thought the gameplay was boring and uninspired, the controls are sometimes a complete mess, and the plot isDidn't really liked this game, I thought the gameplay was boring and uninspired, the controls are sometimes a complete mess, and the plot is bland. My opinions only, end of discussion. Full Review »