Winding back to "Deus Ex"

So I've been going old school with some gaming over the last few weeks, playing my way through the entirety of Deus Ex and now getting stuck into Deus Ex - Invisible War.

For some reason Deus Ex passed me by first time round, at that point I was embedded in the mayhem of Unreal and Half-life. Two amazing games, so worthy distractions.

Deus Ex still stands up. I played 35 hours of the first game and I'm a couple of hours into the sequel now.

They're quite different. Deus Ex still has that "constructed from blocks" feel, we associate with the early 3D games. Think the original Wolfenstein 3D and Doom for the extreme examples of what I mean. That doesn't take away from the fantastic gameplay, which is sufficiently non-linear to make the storyline feel dynamic and under the player's control. I love the system for building skills such as lock picking and computer hacking, that allow you to tailor how Denton develops as the game progresses.

Invisible War is heavier graphically and is encumbered with what appears to be some clunky re-work to get it to run happily through Valve's Steam. For example, returning to my Windows 7 desktop every time it loads a new scene and (damn it!) some random crashing - don't get me wrong though, they don't get in the way of the excellent gameplay, which even makes it worth the occasional restart. The game flows smoothly and it has a different feel to the original. To compare it with a modern game I'd go with something more like the Bioshock series or even Metro 2033. A minor complaint is that the controls are less intuitive than the original game. There are some unnecessary, rotational menu animations that I find myself willing to complete, as soon as they start. We'll see how I feel about it in a couple of weeks, I suspect I'll be just as hooked as I have been on Deus Ex.