Thunderbolt logo

Deus Ex 2: The Invisible War

deus ex

It’s been 20 years since the events of the first Deus Ex and things have gone a bit hay-wire on planet Earth. The world has now spiralled into worldwide depression, in which conspiratorial and secret wars are to blame.

There were 3 endings included in Deus Ex and Ion Strom has not yet said which of the endings DX2 will follow. Since the worldwide depression, religious and political factions have been taking advantage of the confusion and trying to seize power In DX2 you will play a clone of J.C Denton (male or female) in which the ‘real’ J.C Denton has gone mysteriously missing and you have the task of searching for him. That will unfold to be the whole story line included in the game.

Ion storm seem intent on following up their BAFTA award winning classic with a powerful, storey led sequel equally rich in mysteries, lies and intrigue. The original Deus Ex was acclaimed for its customisation features and in DX2, it pushes this to the very limit.

The first real example of this is that your character can be either male or female. This won’t make any difference to game play, but due to the advanced physics engine, non-player characters (NPCs) will react differently to characters of a certain gender. This feature adds to a more realistic game and also adds replay ability into DX2. Deus Ex 2 will feature multiple methods of gameplay, in which your character can lean towards the Rambo style; shoot everything in sight, the ninja; style stealth and sneaking or the intelligence style of distraction, hacking or just bluffing your way out of sticky situations.

In DX2 you will be able to create a compelling character, in which, through the selection of futuristic nano-tech ‘augmentations’; (enhancement modifications), powerful weapons and countless objects that can be used in many places to different degrees of effectiveness. DX2 will offer a richly interactive world through a combination of character choices, weapons and objects to give you the freedom to solve problems the way you want to. Every situation will have multiple solutions. This is a very big advantage as it makes DX2 non-linear to a massive degree and also gives it a replay value.

During the game it will be possible to enhance Deus according to your personal preference (Snaking, fighting, intelligence etc.). Nano-tech augmentation canisters achieve this by enhancing certain parts of the body (eyes, hands, legs, arms etc) from up to 3 levels, like level 1 eyes, level 2 legs and so on. There will be 2 types of augmentations, normal ones that will be earned and found throughout the game and black market ones. The black market canisters will have a major disadvantage as well as a major advantage, which is to be expected. A healing augmentation might heal your body naturally as a normal canister but you might need to feed off a dead body to achieve this. Another black market augmentation might be that is allows you to take control of any turret or robot within sight but your body will be left in a venerable trance. Some of the normal augmentations will allow Deus to see through walls, leap high up into the sky or just got radar invisible. The possibilities are endless for customisation.

Ion storm have greatly improved the A.I (Artificial Intelligence) in this game so that they are tactically interesting in that creatures and humans will work together in teams, sometimes using stealth and cover as an approach rather than just run and shoot. By this improvement it will get all of us thinking laterally about our approach/engagement tactics towards the enemy. It is reported that the A.I will make good use of the new and greatly improved physics engine in which if you knock over a torch it will fall to the ground, roll and at the same time it will dynamically alter the lighting effects and place real-time shadows. An example of this is that if an enemy is walking down a long hallway you will be able to see his shadow and prepare for attack or just run and hide. Because of the new physics engine, almost any object can become a weapon or distraction when thrown.

Deus Ex looks like it’ll be a totally immersible, action packed FPS adventure. It’s an RPG (Role Playing Game) as well, an interesting combination. The best advantage I can find in this game is the dynamic, non-linear storey with multiple solutions to every situation and problem and also catering for every type of playing style. The new and massively improved physics engine allows almost everything in Deus environments to be interacted with.

Ion Strom have really concentrated in the weaknesses of the first Deus Ex. The only disadvantage to this game will be its release date; it is pegged for November 2003, which will be in and around Halo 2. If any significant information is revealed I will add to this preview accordingly.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in April 2003.

Gentle persuasion

You should follow us on Twitter.