In this post I’m going to be reviewing Deus Ex Mankind Divided.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to the critically acclaimed Deus Ex: Human Revolution®, builds on the franchise’s trademark choice and consequence, action RPG-based gameplay to create both a memorable and highly immersive experience. Players will once again take on the role of Adam Jensen, now an experienced covert agent, and will gain access to his new arsenal of customisable state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations. With time working against him, Adam must choose the right approach, along with whom to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy. The game also includes Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Breach, a new and innovative game mode. This new take on the game offers, for the very first time, an arcade approach to the gameplay of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, providing players with a unique puzzle shooter experience.
When I played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I was initially disappointed. I had never played a Deus Ex game before but I was excited to play a RPG set in a futuristic world. What I got instead, however, was a first person stealth game with RPG elements. Going full assault seemed like suicide in Human Revolution and I wasn’t ready for that at the time. Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve finally finished The Last Of Us and which left me looking for another tense stealth experience. This time I was fully aware that Deus Ex was mainly a first person stealth game and, after playing great games like Dishonoured, I welcomed the new Deus Ex with open arms.
Deus Ex starts 2 years after the previous game, Human Revolution. The story revolves around the oppression of augmented people, who are people with robotics fused into their body or brain. And an illuminati plot that finally revealed its true goal after the credits rolled. The thing about the big illuminati conspiracy, though, is that their goal wasn’t made very clear. I really didn’t understand why these plans were put into place until the very end. I like to figure things out and I love twists when it comes to stories, but looking back, there was no real opportunity to figure out what was going on myself and the twist at the end comes so far from left field and creates a fair few plot holes unfortunately.
The main story isn’t awful, but it isn’t great. Its mediocre and the ending left me unsatisfied because it seemed like the purpose of the story and the ending was to set up a sequel, not to deliver a complete experience. The story does gives you some reason to get acquainted with the real star of this game however, which is the gameplay.
Luckily the side missions had much better stories, simply because they were contained interesting stories that didn’t fall victim to the need to set up a sequel. The bad thing about the side missions, though, is that they weren’t very easy to find. There was no indicator on the map to let you know where to find them, you just had to stumble across them. From time to time you’d be given side missions directly, which was cool but I wish they gave us an easier way to find the other side missions tucked away in the game.
Gameplay in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided generally focuses around first person stealth. You do have the freedom of playing the game how you want to, you can be an aggressive super soldier or you can complete objectives and disappear like you were never there. Since I was itching for another stealth experience, I played that way – sneaking through vents, taking people out quietly, but sometimes things went pear shaped and I handled those situations like a boss and put all my weapons to use.
Most of the side objectives do encourage stealthy play, but they are entirely optional and if you are spotted or go on a rampage, as long as you can survive, you can complete the mission.
I didn’t find myself using everything I had at my disposal though. I played the game on the normal difficulty and it didn’t really force me to use my abilities; I was pretty cool just moving from cover to cover, sniping and taking down a few guards and shuffling through vents.
There were a few essential abilities, like hacking, remote hacking and having the strength to move fridges. Having these abilities allowed me to get into most places and approach my objective from wherever was needed. The combat abilities seemed cool but I focused on stealth for my play through so those abilities weren’t all that useful.
You’ll also spend a bunch of time having conversations with people, using a dialogue system that Bethesda should definitely take note of. The preview text under every dialogue choice makes sure that you know exactly what you’re going to say, there are no guessing games here.
You can also lose yourself in exploring the city of Prague, there are numerous secret stashes, flats to break into and a bunch of environmental storytelling for you to sink your teeth into.
There were a few bugs in the game but nothing game breaking. For example at one point I was dragging a guard’s body which then teleported into the ceiling and started jittering around like a creature out of a horror movie. I didn’t experience any crashes or anything like that.
The controls took a little getting used to but by the end of the game I was pulling off feats befitting a super agent very smoothly. Pressing the triangle button to run is one of the weirdest control choices I have ever come across but seeing as I almost never ran when in a combat situation, the awkward placement of the sprint button didn’t cause too many problems.
The lip synching in this game is atrocious, like really really bad. For a AAA game, this is a joke. It seems like no care was put into the lip synching at all. The character models looks okay, Adam Jenson looks pretty cool. But this game has terrible frame rate issues. I never ever care when people talk about frame rates in games and that sort of stuff, but wow, this game stutters like crazy. Luckily, it only happened while I was running around the city, i never experienced any stutters or frame rate drops in combat, but it was still very annoying.
As for new features, the basics from Human Revolution are still here with additional abilities. Probably the most important addition is the ability to take cover and move between cover, this makes the stealth aspect of the game much better to play. Other than that, this is basically Human Revolution refined a little. If you liked Human Revolution, you’ll probably like this
They did add a mode called breach mode, which basically takes a mission from the main game that was okay to play through once, and gives you the chance to play through that mission multiple times with different variations on the map layout for no reason other than to waste your time. I mean, you could sink hours into this mode just to upgrade your weapons and abilities so you can sink more hours into this mode, but it’s so boring. There really is no point.
Is it worth the price?
So, is it worth the price?
This is a full priced £45 – £50 game, I bought it digitally for £49.99 from the PSN Store and I had a good time. The main story isn’t super lengthy, but if you explore and do a bunch of side missions, you’ll find yourself sinking a fair few hours into this game. I completed the game in about a week. If I was the type to re-play games, I’m sure it’d be interesting to check out the choices I didn’t make, but I’m not that type of guy.
I’d say the game was worth the price, as long as you do side missions and explore. If you just want to play the main missions, don’t pick this up for more than £30.