For those who haven’t heard of Deus Ex, Deus Ex is a series of first person role playing games set in a cyberpunk styled dystopian world in which humans augment themselves with mechanical parts. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the latest installment and set two years after the previous title, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with the same protagonist. The last one was a huge success, so does Deus Ex: Mankind Divided deliver to the same standard?
Controlling the game is as you’d expect with extra controls for some special augment provided special abilities. Set in a smallish open world you have the primary mission chain to complete and as you progress you find or unlock side-missions. Killing, avoiding killing, hacking, exploring, completing objectives earn experience points to spend on upgrading your augmentations. What upgrades you’ll want depends on how you want to play the game, e.g. weapon upgrades for the run and gun approach, invisibility and silence for a stealthy approach and hacking upgrades for hacking doors, robot, turrets, etc.
You can collect a variety of items which all serve a clear purpose, I liked that the couple of junk items clearly tell you to sell them for money as they have no other purpose. Weapon selection is a tad limited but you get some lethal and some non-lethal options. Littered throughout the game you’ll find crafting parts which can be used to build items or upgrade certain weapon stats too.
For me, level design is where Deus Ex: Mankind Divided excels. Due to the sizable selection of unlockable skills which allow you to break into places, the developers needed to make each skill valuable from the start to finish. I’d say they’ve achieved just that, all the skills felt equally valuable. They’ve even managed to this without making the levels seem unnatural or forced. The look and feel of the world is incredible and somewhat akin to Half-Life 2 in style.
My main gripe with Mankind Divided is the main storyline. It’s just a bit dull. The protagonist, Adam Jensen, has already played a massive part unlocking conspiracies and saving the world in Human Revolution and now he’s back as a kind of dull international policeman. I feel like Adam Jensen was forced into this title just because he was in the last one when a new character and time-period would have had a more meaningful impact. This was really drilled into me when I found out some secret augments had been added to Jensen during his time unconscious in the expansion (to the last game) which had been accidentally activated during the story - ridiculous.
While disappointed with the main storyline, there are tons of side quests and almost every place you visit has its own little story to embrace. I enjoyed doing these so much I pretty much avoided the main story until I had run out of other things to do and needed to progress in order to unlock more.
Deus Ex looks alright. I remember thinking the last one looked really rather good and so “alright” is a bit disappointing. Performance for “alright” isn’t great, there’s room for improvement. Audio is on and off for quality, cutscenes are pretty good but in-game (particularly guns) could be a lot better. I didn’t feel the sound gave me an accurate position of origin which is something I detest in shooters.
This is the buggiest games I’ve played lately. Here’s just some of the things I experienced: GUI text that wouldn’t disappear after being introduced in a tutorial, GUI indicators for objects in the game world pointing a good foot away from the actual object, got permanently stuck using a telescope, mouse aiming seems strange (can’t quite put my finger on it) and running on stairs didn’t work.
It took me about 26 hours to complete.
I recommend Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Despite a large number of bugs and my gripes with the main story the gameplay is exceptionally fun. Additionally the world is rammed with stuff to do, almost every apartment or building you break into has something going on.