The most underrated Deus Ex game is criminally cheap on Steam, even though you all deserve to pay more after being so mean about it

Deus Ex image showing hero Alex Denton
(Image credit: Ion Storm / Eidos)

Sometimes, in our arrogance, in our ignorance, by some ugly quirk of fate, we reject the gifts we are given. We cast down beauty and topple perfection. We spit on art and forget that what is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. You know, like when everyone pretended that Deus Ex: Invisible War wasn't an absolute, bona fide banger.

Some of you owe Harvey Smith a written apology, is all I'm saying.

So it's with mixed emotions that I bring news that Invisible War is currently going for couch-cushion money. That is to say you can pick it up for $0.97 (£0.83) during the ongoing Steam FPS Fest (or FPStival, as I'm calling it internally). On the one hand: Great, a fantastic opportunity for more of you to have a come-to-JC moment when you fire the game up and realise that I was right all along. On the other: Do the doubters deserve this price after what they put the game through? Does Invisible War?

I say no. If anything, we should be jacking the price up. It should be a game that increases in price once a quarter in direct proportion to the indignity its reputation has been subject to. Deus Ex: Invisible War should, by all rights, cost about $200 by now.

You might think I'm joking (always a mistake), but I really do love the second Deus Ex game. When I got my hands on its Xbox version as a wide-eyed 10 year old back in 2003 it blew my mind. The choice and adaptability astounded me. I still remember spending ages just figuring out all the myriad ways I could pull off an Upper Seattle sidequest that saw you assassinate some schmuck in his hotel room, for instance.

It had its flaws, yes, and it wasn't as good as its predecessor. Its levels were annoyingly delimited by console hardware, and I'm not entirely clear what Ion Storm was going for with the universal ammo stuff, but overall? It's still a great, flexible immersive sim that the devs managed, miraculously, to cram onto an original Xbox.

Which, to be frank, might still technically be the best place to play it. If you do grab the game on Steam, make sure you go and grab its fan-made Visible Upgrade patch, which will make the game actually work on modern PCs. I can take or leave the texture upgrade part of that patch, but luckily you can just elect not to install it.

Invisible War isn't the only Deus Ex on sale as part of Steam's FPS Fest, it's just the only one I'm prepared to write a manifesto about. If you somehow don't own the original game, that's going for the same price. And you can even grab the The Deus Ex Collection of every game in the series—including the genuinely execrable The Fall—for $9.55 (£8). 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.