Since I recently reviewed Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it’s appropriate that I review it’s sequel as well. I gave high remarks for Human Revolution, so you can bet I was excited when I found out about Mankind Divided.
Spoiler alert: reviewing this game means I will reflect on the events of it’s prequel; you’ve been warned.
[Platforms] Linux, OS X, Playstation 4, Windows, XBOX One
[Graphics Engine] Dawn [based on IO Interactive’s Glacier 2]
[Developers] Eidos Montréal, Nixxes Software BV, Feral Interactive
The Deus Ex universe is one that focuses very heavily on the concept of human beings going to extremes of modifying their bodies with Augments. The enhancing of physical and mental attributes; breaking the barrier of what the human body & mind are capable of. However, it’s also a controversial subject across the globe, and many influential characters argue the terrible possibilities of the people around the world being influenced or controlled by a network of augments. This fear is not far from the truth; a secretive group of people pull the strings, and they are a big reason for many of the events that occur in this series.
[Year 2029] You play Adam Jensen again, two years after the events of Human Revolution, and the world has been changed from the disaster that occurred. Jensen had stopped the worst from happening two years ago, but not before it affected billions of people. Humanity was reminded that they had gone too far with augments, or at least that someone had the power to control almost all human beings within the augment network. Understanding what occurred directly after the ending of Human Revolution is a bit blurry, as Jensen was under comatose for several months following the events at Panchaea in 2027. What is known right upon entering Mankind Divided is that you are headed to an abandoned resort in Dubai to capture a weapon smuggler. Jensen now works under Interpol, alongside Task Force 29; a bit different from his past role in the previous installment. Also, during Jensen’s coma, he received hidden experimental augments; he doesn’t find out about them until meeting with Václav Koller.
Overall, the progression of events in Mankind Divided are decently paced, with various ways to approach decisions in certain moments. The choices you make can save someone’s life, but condemn someone else to a fate that is unavoidable. Whatever choice you make, it is notable that many lives can be saved; it’s only limited to how much time you will put aside in attempting to save them or what choice you make.
This series constantly touches on the subject of what Humanity is; how far can technology advance before it either destroys us or creates an evolution of the entire Human species. Is it ethically acceptable to take advantage of these Augmentations? Will it ultimately help us in the end or be the cause of our extinction?
[Appearance / Environment] Mankind Divided is even more visually pleasing than it’s predecessor, but some details do seem slightly outdated for modern game engines. Deus Ex never was quite focused on top-notch graphics; rather the stealth functions and capabilities with augments. The combat choices are appropriately flexible, as the player can choose to either go in guns blazing or take the stealth route; incapacitate adversaries one-by-one and Ghost the game all the way through.
Many objects are able to be interacted with; it’s a bit time-consuming if you want to find hidden items and inspect every detail of each map. Finding certain information can be extremely beneficial later in the game for certain codes and/or conversation topics; it can be the difference between finding sweet loot or saving valuable items for another day. Taking full advantage of the environment and objects in each chapter can be fulfilling for a smoother run-through as you progress your way through each chapter.
There’s a decent variety of weapons, mostly late-game, but from the beginning, you get a choice of non-lethal weapons and/or a variety of lethal tools to pick from. It is to be noted how you approach situations can change some events later in-game and the ending of the story; your actions reflect upon the state of the world in a not-so-distant future. Your choices with certain characters also affect the game slightly; completing a mission appropriately can also be the difference between life and death of important characters. It’s also appropriate to observe that not everything is at it appears, as some adversaries could be allies and possibly help along the way.
[Location / Setting] An important detail of a game is that the setting changes slightly and you aren’t constantly looking at the same people or places all the time. In comparison to Human Revolution, this installment of Deus Ex doesn’t quite deliver on that aspect. Mankind Divided keeps you in the confines of Prague; this makes the setting fairly bland because there is rarely any moving around to various regions. The constant loading screen in the subway [image below] is quite annoying by about the tenth time.
[Music / Sounds] This game has lack of sounds in certain occasions, such as the footsteps, the environment, dropping of items, gunfire sounding distorted or lacking somehow, and a few other details that were overlooked. It is also to be noted that this game was intended heavily for the stealth aspect and a story to focus on the premise of augmentation. Certain inclusions of sounds probably weren’t important details to enhance upon.
I did enjoy the gameplay, but the immediate story was a bit bland in comparison to Human Revolution. However, I am expecting the next installment to be fairly interesting; it appears this title was a setup of what is to come. Still was a great challenge to Ghost and successfully complete a Non-Lethal play-through of.
Link below is a reference to get the title for a decent price if you’re interested.