Deus Ex: Invisible War gets all-in-one unofficial patch

A new unofficial patch has arrived for Deus Ex: Invisible War, bringing widescreen support and a few fixes to the game that I still think would be remembered quite fondly if it weren’t named ‘Deus Ex’. I found Invisible War technically fiddly and sloppy when I replayed it a few years back, and it sounds like the Visible Upgrade patch by ‘snobel’ fixes most of my gripes. It supports modern aspect ratios, including for folks who tape a dozen screens together, has an adjustable field of view, and fixes a few bugs. Oh, and it includes an optional high-res texture pack. Good stuff!

Some of the Visible Upgrade’s fixes have been possible before, through a combination of player-mode tools and, er, hex editing files, but having it all rolled into one simple update is grand. The Visible Upgrade also fixes problems with multicore CPUs and a few display glitches, speeds up level loading, gives options to tweak the HUD a little, and otherwise generally makes Invisible War nicer.

Including John P’s revamped textures is a nice touch too, making this pretty much the only download needed to modernise Invisible War. I tend not to use texture packs myself but hey, perhaps you do.

Swing by the TTLG forums to download the Visible Upgrade, and do pay attention to the installation instructions.

Ta to the reader in that there Visible Upgrade forum thread who says they sent us a tip; I saw it and I see you.

44 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    It was the technical issues I had with Invisible War that made me stop playing it rather quickly in, so this is quite nice. Merci, Alice and Lowenz!

  2. Der Zeitgeist says:

    Nice! Now I’ve got everything for my complete Deus Ex playthrough. Is Mankind Divided finished now, or is there more DLC coming for that still?

    • Ross Angus says:

      A true completist would also play Project Snowblind. (Don’t. It’s rubs.)

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        Topperfalkon says:

        I played Project Snowblind. A bit sad it ended up the way it did.

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          G-Lord says:

          I sure was glad that I heard about the DX connection after completing the game.

    • welverin says:

      There’s still more DLC to come.

    • CaptWaffle1 says:

      Mankind Divided…. I might actually like it as much as the original Deus Ex…. PERHAPS even a little more. Prague is such an amazing place to wander around and they smoothed out the combat a bit. Also: I find the Augment lineup to be enhanced. I believe there is another story DLC coming out.. but it’s good enough that I’m glad I got it when i did…. I usually wait until all DLC is already released to get a game but grabbed MD when it was on sale for $20 because I, too, was planning a straight “Entire Series Deus Ex Playthrough” type deal. Also- you should consider using the “Revision” version of the original. Adds a little and fixes up the graphics a little bit.

      • Der Zeitgeist says:

        I tried DX Revision out a few months ago, and I HATED IT!

        I think it really messes up the whole artistic vision of the original, and gives it a design that doesn’t feel like Deus Ex anymore. The orange filter on some maps was hideous. I liked the GMDX mod, however, as it preserves the original design of the game. I’ll probably be waiting for GMDX 9.0 until I replay the original Deus Ex.

  3. Kem0sabe says:

    Game is still an utterly mediocre Deux Ex experience, especially coming from the first game.

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      Harlander says:

      It feels a bit weird to call something a “mediocre Deus Ex experience”, especially considering that when it came out there were only two DX games, not really enough to find out where the middle of the road lies.

  4. GallonOfAlan says:

    Like Thief 3, crippled with tiny levels due to the 256KB memory in the original XBox, although Thief 3 got off more lightly.

    • Wormerine says:

      Thief3 and Deus Ex 2 Share similar problems but thief3 does feel like a thief game, while de2 feels just off. also de2 is still the worst of th series, while thief3 has the benefit of having a reboot to make it look like a masterpiece.

      • lowenz says:

        Thief 3 (Deadly Shadows) is not a reboot :|

        Anyway for TDS: link to ttlg.com

        • ooshp says:

          Yeah I reckon he means the Thi4f reboot makes Thief 3 look like a masterpiece. And I kinda agree, didn’t mind Thief 3 last time I replayed it, but the reboot is very ordinary.

          • lowenz says:

            Ah well, I misread, sorry. Thi4f (why “4” there…..) is technically good but otherwise forgettable. Or remember it as an example of how a story must never be told…..

    • Michael Fogg says:

      if only some crafty modders could redo and expand IW using the DX:HR tech. Bring the levels to respectable size

      • lowenz says:

        “if only some crafty modders could redo and expand IW using the DX:HR tech. Bring the levels to respectable size” -> There’s no level editor. Period :(

      • Nacery says:

        I would really like to know how difficult is porting Unreal Engine 2 (DE2, Thief3) to 2.5 (Killing Floor, Bioshock, All Splinter Cell games from CT)

        • lowenz says:

          Totally different engine(DXIW and TDS uses UE 1.x, only the SC series use it).
          Maybe working with TDS editor…..

    • illuminerdi says:

      The original Xbox had 64MB of memory/RAM shared between the CPU and GPU.

      Hell, the PS1 had more than 256k of VRAM (it had 1MB).

      I feel bad that the Xbox takes the blame for DX:IW being mediocre. DX:IW is mediocre for a lot more reasons than just “it had an Xbox port”…

      • lowenz says:

        Yes, but the average player must blame something :D
        And forget that DXIW is the *FIRST* PC game ever using complex (DX8-era) shaders AND dynamic illumination (see the stencil shadows usage for a good number of light sources).
        But levels dimension (read: frequent loading screen appearance) is really a suspension of disbelief killer.

      • one2fwee says:

        The average PC at the time had 1 – 2GB system RAM and 128 or 256MB of GPU RAM.

        The fact that the levels in Thief 3 have been stitched together and released as a fan-patch without hindering performance on PC really tells you all you need to know.

        Of course the fact that the person who wrote the engine and expensive shadow system left / was fired partway through development doesn’t help.

        That said, that they designed both games around the lowest common denominator both in terms of hardware and player expectation compared to their prequels doesn’t help either, and is a much larger issue.

        They could have easily released the PC version with joined up levels, it just would have required them to make a slightly different (superior) pc version, which they couldn’t be bothered to do.

        That said, invisible war has by far the best stealth implementation of any Deus Ex game – although the original has a pretty good thief-like one too.
        Human revolution on the other hand ruined it by completely removing any form of immersive stealth or subtlety needed at all. Hooray for third person magic camera, take downs and snap to cover.

        Deus Ex and Invisible War are really two of the few games that actually take Thief’s sound propagation and light based stealth mechanics and try and do it justice in another game.

        • Jenuall says:

          The various quotes on TTLG forums from the devs over the years have generally pointed at the poor engine implementation as the core problem that resulted in the need for tiny levels. However it’s probable that supporting the XBOX didn’t exactly help the situation either.

          I can’t recall how well Invisible War supported sound propagation and light/shadow based stealth (one would imagine fairly well as the engine went on to support Deadly Shadows) however I don’t think the original Deus Ex did this anywhere near the level of Thief.

          • lowenz says:

            It has a stealth system implementation but it is disable (it’s the same of TDS, you can find it in the config files).

  5. baseless_drivel says:

    I never really quite understood the dislike for Invisible War; it’s certainly not as good as the first, but there’s still quite a lot to like about it, and it touches upon a few interesting ideas not covered in the first game.

    But I personally played it before reading any reviews, so part of me wonders if it isn’t a case of certain memes (in the general sense) persisting and being reinforced over time.

    The only major problem in my book is the extremely small zones — an unfortunate side effect of consolification at the time.

    But as far as other technical demerits go, I don’t remember the original Deus Ex exactly being a programming and design masterpiece either, what with all the bugs, sequence breaking, and oddities like the pistol being the best sniper weapon, and rocket lockpicking.

    • lowenz says:

      “so part of me wonders if it isn’t a case of certain memes (in the general sense) persisting and being reinforced over time.” -> Indeed they are, but levels are really small :D

    • illuminerdi says:

      I think a lot of the dislike comes from a “watering down” of the systems seen in DX1. DX:IW used “shared” ammo for all weapons, for example. Thus eliminating the need to manage your inventory and weapon loadout to a finer degree, for example.

      Then you have the augs, which were much more combat focused instead of exploration focused, again, watering down the gameplay from a blend of exploration/stealth/combat/melee to “how do you want to shoot the bad guys?”

      Everything was just a diluted version of DX1. While I think some of the blame can be laid at the desire to make it more accessible to console audiences, DX:HR and DX:MD clearly showed that you can still do DX on a console. Hell, even DX1 had a PS2 port that was surprisingly accurate and overall capable! So overall I don’t think it was the console port that killed it, it was the *assumption* that console audiences didn’t want a “real” DX experience, I think THAT is what killed it.

      • lowenz says:

        Exactly. Nonetheless the story (and its philosophical digressions) is in pure&classic DX style.

    • Muzman says:

      That is what I liked about it too. The story and its background is an actual sequel. It takes the ideas from the first and builds on them.
      I doesn’t always do a great job explaining this, but buried in there is the same sort of thoughtful sci-fi and political philosophy as the first game. Arguably more so in some ways, as it actually grapples with some concepts the first game kind of avoids in it’s open endings and big hero narrative.

      This means it’s not just a rehash of the first game but with ‘new’ bits like every other sequel to anything.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Yeah, it was definitely a interesting game and I remember loving it at the time. I think part of that was how shiny it was, obviously coming back to it now the technical gloss has worn off somewhat. But yeah, some of the story, characters and ideas were really good. **SPOILERS** (although really, if you haven’t played it by now are you ever?) I loved the way you uncovered areas from Deus Ex, excavated from the ice like an archeology dig. And the whole Starbucks coffee house side story that ran through. The clearing Egypt of smog, it all just seemed very ‘day in the life’ of a Deus Ex protagonist.

      Loved it. Will never go back.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    Yeah, I like IW too. In fact, I said that I preferred it to the (imo) execrable HR and MD in pcgamer’s comments section a few weeks ago, and was duly roasted for my cheek.

    • lowenz says:

      HR is a great DX game. MD is a great PROLOGUE (prahalogue? Joke!) to a DX game :D

  7. lowenz says:

    “Ta to the reader in that there Visible Upgrade forum thread who says they sent us a tip; I saw it and I see you.” – Thanks Alice-Ophelia ( link to en.wikipedia.org ) :D

    To the readers, please join us @TTLG for further suggestions!

  8. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I recall enjoying Invisible War even if it was a bit wonky.

    Nowadays though… I dunno. The UI has aged so badly. It’s really hard to get around it.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Playing DE:IW now, and it’s… actually… quite good! In 4k with high-res textures, it even looks ok. I think it might be better to play it in these times, now that HR and MD showed us that a Deus Ex game does not have to match the original to be accepted.

  10. skyturnedred says:

    Someone upload this somewhere else other than Dropbox.

  11. kud13 says:

    I could forgive IW a lot of things.

    Tiny levels were not one of them.

    I’m interested in that Deadly Shadows fix now, though. Might make me replay the game and have it be okay.

  12. TheSplund says:

    I’m gonna dig out that copy of DE:IW and try this out – never had a real issue with the game, I even seem to recall enjoying it too, so let’s see if it stands that good old test of time…

  13. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Still the best of the official Deus Exes, although I’d say the Nameless mod is a tad more fun. IW doesn’t waste your time like DX1, and moves much more into interesting high Sci-Fi ideas than any of the others.

    Also, the disparate groups involved are more nuanced than the evil world conquering/nice technological ascension factions in the other games.