there isn’t a better tweet out there
Oh goodness. There are so many words that you see so often that are reserved/keywords in programming languages/just get used a lot that just look the same after a while regardless of spelling, like queue, access, canceled (porblaby has smohtneig to do wtih this, and just seeing errors repeated over and over again the wrong way probably doesn’t help. Brains are weird.
Is Deux Ex 2 good? I never played the earlier entries in the series
I remember enjoying it as a teenager, but it is a dumbed down version of the first game (in terms of level design, universal ammo, and pushing the setting from slightly in the future to full-blown sci-fi).
The new ones kind of split the difference (weirdly the prequels seem to be set further in the future than the original game) in most of those respects. I def recommend the first one though if you get the chance to play it, it’s a superb game – possibly the most ambitious immersive sim in terms of having a really sprawling beast of a narrative, and in terms of the illusion of freedom it presents you with.
Invisible War was kinda good for its time, and would probably be an okay game to run through in a weekend these days. They were weirdly limited by technical issues so most of the areas feel small, but it’s still an immersive sim - albeit somewhat limited.
Invisible War was designed partly with the Xbox in mind, which is why the UI is right in the center of the screen and the levels are small relative to the original. Thief: Deadly Shadows has the same qualities for the same reason. However, both are still great games! IW gets a lot of shit for its smaller scope, but the world is still very well fleshed-out and interesting, and some of the subcultures developed for it are super cool. I think it mostly suffered from being in the shadow of its predecessor. I definitely recommend it. It can be significantly easier than the first Deus Ex, too, so you can blow through it if you like.
It’s a very flawed game, but I will stan Deus Ex: Invisible War until the end of time, mainly because despite hating its ending when I first played it, I’ve come to realize that it’s subversive in a way video game endings often aren’t brave enough to be. (Sorry to make this joke thread serious, by the way.)
(Spoiler tag for a fifteen year old game?) Environmentally, it loops around to the same location as DE1’s first tutorial mission, where, if you played DE1, you were introduced to a power fantasy that ends with you singularly deciding the direction of the entire world (to the point where you can merge with an AI and become an omnipresent, omnipotent techno-god). Except here, Invisible War inverts that power fantasy. All you can do is subtly shift the balance of power between four factions that are all pretty terrible. Would you like to place the world in the hands of that aforementioned techno-god and essentially destroy individual agency forever? How about letting an extremist sect effectively commit genocide? Of course, you could always just give the Illuminati control over everything—maybe a shadow totalitarian government is a fair tradeoff for an appreciably normal world. Or—the semi-secret choice—you could kill them all and let the Earth turn into a nuclear wasteland where only a cult of cyborgs survives.
Every potential ending of this game is terrible, and that’s incredible, because Triple-A games almost never do that. It gives you this illusion of power and choice and then says “nah, this world is too ruined for you, or anyone else, to save.” It makes sense; this is the tree of games that spawned immersive sims, which often seem to revolve narratively around illusions of choice and agency, but because it has Deus Ex in the title, and thus will always be compared to DE1, I don’t think it will ever get the credit it deserves for that.
Invisible War would be better remembered I feel if it wasn’t in the Desus Ex series. It’s an okay game but it doesn’t live up to the first one.
Thief III is a legit great game that was unfairly shit on when it was coming out because it had one actiony trailer and because of Invisible War’s cold reception.
I like Invisible War too though, I didn’t even mind the universal ammo, just that it was very poorly balanced economically vs. how each weapon works and how much ammo they use up. I appreciated their comments on why they went that way too with regards to what your concept of immersion is - like if you’re really this super slick cyber agent person are you ever really consciously thinking about what ammo you’re using?
They were and are right, we make the mistake of “complexity” and “depth” in games meaning “more micromanaging” but that goes against what makes these games immersive to me. Like look at Thief 1. No upgrades, no just a small variety of arrows, and the way you move and traverse the game is set in stone from start to finish. Yet it’s still one of the best games ever made of its kind. Even if it didn’t have universal ammo, which even back in the day I didn’t see as the game being dumbed down, it would still not be as good as Deus Ex because of the small size of its levels. “Immersive sim” games are always going to live and die based on their level design and not on how many different types of grenades you have to choose from.
They wanted to make a game where immersion came more from the story but got hamstrung by the engine - IIRC the main person who made it quit the job at a vital point and that was also why it had a ton of absurd technical issues for a high profile game like that. Invisible War at launch would even make the PC port of Arkham Knight look good.
Invisible War just needed more time.
Two words that support this claim
I’ve definitely come around more to this line of thinking re: micromanaging in games like this. Maybe chalk it up to having a full-time job, and sharing the main TV with my spouse, but I have a much greater appreciation for games that don’t waste my time with micromanaging an inventory. I’ve went back and played some immersive sims and RPGs that I grew up loving, and am finding more and more that I keep feeling like my limited game time is being wasted in menus. Get me out of menus so I can actually engage with the damn game, thank you very much.
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