Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
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  1. 100
    Not only the proverbial sequel-better-than-its-original, but it’s also deep, challenging, and intelligent on a level that action games usually don’t reach.
  2. Players can influence the way every action, subpolot, and mission plays out to an uparalleled degree. [Jan 2004, p.152]
  3. Yet again, more than the sum of its parts. Immersive, story-driven brilliance. [PC Gamer UK]
  4. More so than any other game, it allows complete player-driven gameplay in the progression of the story and character development.
  5. The gameplay might be simpler, the setting more clichéd and the duration shorter, but the ideals of the old ‘Looking Glass Aesthetic’ remain intact. If you care about this, you’ll love Invisible War like your own child.
  6. One of the most captivating and thoroughly polished titles in recent times. It’s not perfect, however anyone who has an interest in well-crafted Sci-Fi storylines a la "Minority Report" will find themselves completely captivated with this game.
  7. netjak
    Like its predecessor, DX2:IW is stunning both in technology and in design, and should be required playing for anyone interested in the evolution of gaming.
  8. Judged on its own merits, Invisible War is a great example of a game that offers meaningful freedom of choice, that rewards different approaches and that creates a coherent, intelligent world wrapped up in a very well paced and expertly written plot.
  9. 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]
  10. 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.
  11. While there were a few problems, like AI issues and boggy framerates, Deus Ex: Invisible War is still a worthy successor to the original.
  12. All in all, Deus Ex:Invisible War proffers an intriguing storyline, powerful presentation, and relentless execution, delivering it all with a punch.
  13. 89
    The master of storytelling and gameplay excellence.
  14. Some purists may cry foul with the dropping of the skill feature and the new HUD design but overall, fans of the first game should be happy that Invisible War maintains the same level of storyline depth and open-ended gameplay that the Deus Ex name is known for.
  15. Had Deus Ex 1 not existed this would’ve been a godsend. But…
  16. It is quite easy to write about the few design missteps in Invisible War but I’ve found it hard to explain the magic it has to grab you in and not let go.
  17. It's hampered with a number of issues that originally wouldn't have existed if only the game was designed with the PC in mind. But even as it is, Deus Ex: Invisible War is an intelligent, mature and engrossing project that deserves the attention of every self-respecting shooter/adventure game fan out there.
  18. 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.
  19. A better game than Deus Ex, but it’s a lesser experience. It is far less ambitious, not as complicated and about a third as long.
    PC game-heads will be outraged at the dilution of this franchise by its console leanings, but there is still a great adventure and gripping story to be enjoyed.
  21. PC Gamer
    With the right hardware, Invisible War offers a thought-provoking, multi-layered journey with a side order of free choice. [Jan 2004, p.81]
  22. The game's edges have been softened for the mass market. Many of the original's complexities have been watered down for easier consumption. Because it takes place so much further into the future, it also loses some of the familiarity.
  23. It has been said that you’re supposed to be able to finish the game without killing anyone, but I can promise you that you’re in for a world of frustration if you try that yourself.
  24. A somewhat disappointing, but fun sequel.
  25. The game is built sublimely, with an excellent interface and crisp, rounded sound effects that grip the attention.
  26. If you liked the original Deus Ex or you thought it was just a tad too convoluted, Deus Ex – Invisible War would make a fine addition to your Sci-Fi gaming library.
  27. Some of the AI responses seem pretty stupid. Enemies don't appear to be very good at fighting, and will generally stand in place to shoot you. They won't duck behind cover or retreat.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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]
  31. I’m utterly disappointed by Invisible War. And nothing makes me madder than knowing what a masterpiece it could have been, if it was developed only for the PC (as it should have been in the first place) and THEN ported to XBOX.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Play Magazine
    If only more games attempted to create such a smart, bold place of fantasy. [Jan 2004, p.46]
  35. It's frustrating, though. There are so many great ideas on display in Deus Ex: Invisible War, but the implementation is spotty at best.
  36. You’ve got a beautifully rich, engrossing sci-fi conspiracy story that suffers abbreviated cinematic story development. You’ve got a very cool RPG with futuristic upgrades, weapons and items that is hampered by a poorly designed interface.
  37. I prefer to think of Invisible War as a flawed diamond rather than a better-than-average lump of coal, as the sheer depth of its storyline and superb graphical quality make up for a multitude of shortcomings.
  38. 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]
  39. 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.
  40. A game that is less than its originator, in almost every way.
  41. Computer Gaming World
    Invisible War's mechanics are often repetitive and frustrating, but the choices you make are not, which helps keep things interesting even when you're unlocking yet another door with another multitool for the upteenth time. [Mar 2004, p.72]
  42. Computer Games Magazine
    When matched up against the complexity and challenge of similar PC titles like "TRON 2.0," the compromises made in the name of console game design are painfully evident. [Mar 2004, p.67]
  43. Besides there being a complete lack of interesting characters to interact with, Invisible War’s plot unravels pretty quickly.
  44. It absolutely defines mediocrity.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 348 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 78 out of 348
  1. A.R.
    Nov 3, 2007
    Forget the lobotomised combat, level design and character customization system. I could deal with these things, like the poor AI and graphics Forget the lobotomised combat, level design and character customization system. I could deal with these things, like the poor AI and graphics of the original. However, simultaneous to consolisation technically, the characters are all one-dimensional and unconvincing and the narrative is alltogether forgettable. I didn't just come to trust the original Tracer Tong's judgments, I made it so that he trusted me. I understood The Smuggler's motivations and situation. I returned to warn him in to leaving New York. Alex and Jaime had their reasons for leaving UNATCO, Carter had his own opinion, opposing and just as legit, about staying - Ideological reasons. I actually REMEMBER the story behind completely peripheral and ancillary characters like Sandra Renton when I ran into her again in LA. Jock made me respect his closed nature, but I sure had fun digging around in his HK apartment reading his Emails to figure him out (indeed, a location I only found after numerous run-throughs). The info was there, it was a detailed and subtle world inhabited by complex characters. I felt sorry for Nicolette when she reminisced at the old Chateau about her past. Even minor characters like Lucius Debeers presented an unclear, heavy moral dilemma above coffee wars. I can remember the deep philosophical insights of the prototype AI in its side-room. It's ideas made me feel for where our own world is headed. It wasn't just believable, it in fact, resonated with reality. I can't even recall the names of Invisible War's secondary characters, let alone their motivations and background stories, if they had any. I do remember that you could basically double-cross all the factions and nobody really cared, though. I remember that Klara was pretty much just a vapid, ambitious nonentity. But I only remember that 'coz she was hot. The game is half the length of the original and that half is not even half as detailed. While the consolitis is inexcusable, I think it's a microcosm for larger, sustained and crippling problems with the game's narrative design and setting establishment. I felt like I was controlling the narrative more than that the world was happening around me. I'm going to give this a three. It would be nonsensical to rate this against other FPS on the market before comparing to it's predecessor. It is, after all, a sequel. Full Review »
  2. Mar 16, 2011
    Enjoyable but terribly shallow - like going into the kiddie pool as an adult. The levels are atrociously tiny and the art direction looks likeEnjoyable but terribly shallow - like going into the kiddie pool as an adult. The levels are atrociously tiny and the art direction looks like a saturday morning cartoon in the worst way possible, but there's just enough plot and other fun mechanics (biomods, scavenging, etc) to keep it worth playing. Full Review »
  3. Dec 19, 2012
    While IW is good compared to most shooters of it's time, it's just horrible compared to first DX due clear console-lobotomization. LevelWhile IW is good compared to most shooters of it's time, it's just horrible compared to first DX due clear console-lobotomization. Level design is dull, combat is dull, pretty much everything is dull and monotonic. Full Review »