Yes, it's Deus Ex
Lite. But I still enjoyed it.
Basically, Invisible War trades the original's larger scope for a more polished and distilled gameplay experience. The game is, yes, simplified, but you get access to varying play styles much earlier in the piece (having more choice in Bio Augmentation
earlier). The art direction feels more Cyber Punk
to me (although this is probably a result of the original Deus Ex
having technology limitations). The original Deus Ex
actually had a lot less freedom than commonly thought; clever writing was used to disguise the But Thou Must
moments. Invisible War's lesser scope simply makes the overal linearity much more obvious. The plot is still rather cynical; the morality is very much gray-and-gray, albiet with one of the factions being pretty much a Church Militant
Also, some of Deus Ex
's gameplay complexity was very much useless. Inventory tetris anyone? IW's slot-based inventory did the same thing (forced you to make choices about what you picked up) more efficiently. Some skills in the original game were absolutely meaningless (swimming? environmental training?). Yes, I would've preferred more options in IW; a few extra biomod types and a small skills system would suffice. And the Universal Ammo system is pretty pointless... they could've streamlined the ammo types without totally universalizing the system. But compared to other games, IW gives you more choice and flexibility than even most games published today.
This is an excellent game to introduce fans of standard shooters to a more complex experience. It also is genuinely good for what it is. The levels could be bigger and the game could be more complex, but quite frankly, I enjoyed it.
I liked the original Deus Ex. But I like this game as well.