Ion Storm, 2003
Windows 和 Xbox
Ion Storm, 2003
Windows and Xbox
相较于 20 世纪 90 年代末的黄金时代，21 世纪初可以算是一个迷茫的时代，对 CRPG 爱好者来说更是如此。这是一个“PC 游戏已死”的观念甚嚣尘上的时代。大量备受好评的工作室被关闭，而跨平台游戏携手以主机为中心的设计浪潮占领了市场。
这种转变在许多游戏中都表现的非常明显。但是相比之下，这些变化在臭名昭著的《杀出重围：隐形战争（Deus Ex: Invisible War）》中更加显眼和令人失望。
Compared to the golden era that was the late 90s, the 2000s were somewhat deluded times, especially for CRPG fans. It was a period tainted by the “death of PCs”, the closing of beloved studios and a shift towards multi-platform releases, with console-oriented design trends taking over.
While these changes are noticeable in several games, nowhere are they more notable and frustrating than in the infamous Deus Ex: Invisible War.
故事发生在《杀出重围（Deus Ex）》的 20 年后，你将扮演亚历克斯· D（Alex D，性别由玩家选择），一名接受了强化改造 的特工。他（或她）逃出了训练设施以调查一场摧毁了芝加哥的恐怖袭击。
为有史以来最伟大的游戏之一制作续作确实不是一件易事，但 Ion Storn 从一开始就选择了错误的方向——一个跨平台游戏。简单来说，Xbox 的性能无法支撑原作中的庞大区域，因此他们必须对场景进行缩减。
游戏的其他方面也惨遭简化——装备，物品栏，还有生化改造组件都被大幅度精简，连 RPG 式的技能系统都被彻底移除了。
游戏总监 Harvey Smith 后来很好地总结了当时的情况。他们疲于修复《杀出重围》中被玩家所讨厌的内容，却忘了关注玩家究竟喜欢哪些部分。游戏剧情就是一个很好的例子。尽管原作剧情非常线性，但却经过精心打磨并充满了反转。《隐形战争》提供了两个互相对立的派系供玩家选择，但剧情却乱成一团且毫无新意。
《杀出重围：隐形战争》不是一款烂游戏。即使在这样有限的条件下，游戏中仍然有充满创意的闪光点，核心体验也还算有趣。但它既是一款糟糕的《杀出重围》续作，也是当时 PC 游戏惨遭多平台发售所荼毒的典型案列。
Set 20 years after Deus Ex, you play as Alex D. (who can be a man or a woman), an augmented agent who escapes his/her training facility to investigate a terrorist attack that destroyed Chicago.
Creating a sequel to one of the best games of all time would be difficult in any scenario, but Ion Storm began on the wrong foot – a multi-platform release. Simply put, the Xbox couldn't handle the large areas of the original game, so they had to scale things down.
Replacing the large, open locations with small areas interrupted by constant loading screens wasn't just disappointing – it killed exploration and made the multiple routes feel like pointless cosmetic choices. With no room for elaborate alternative paths, it boils down to “pick locked door” or “go into air vent nearby”.
A lot of streamlining was done as well – items, inventory and bio-mods were drastically reduced, while the RPG-like skills were removed altogether.
Game director Harvey Smith later summed it up best by saying they tried to fix what people didn't like in Deus Ex and forgot to focus on what they did like. A good example is the plot. The original game was elaborate and full of twists, although very linear. Invisible War offers two competing factions and you can pick sides, but the plot is an uninspired mess.
Moreover, any choice the player makes is quickly forgotten in favour of “player freedom”, e.g. if you betray a faction, it will send men after you. Once you dispatch them, the faction goes, “hope you learned your lesson, don't betray us anymore, please do this new quest”.
Deus Ex: Invisible War is not a horrible game. There are glimpses of creativity and the core gameplay can still be fun, even in such limited scale. But it's a horrible sequel to Deus Ex, and became a poster child for the compromises that PC games suffered when transitioning into multi-platform releases.