If there’s one thing that Deus Ex consistently nails as a franchise, it’s that each game released is at the very least good. I personally haven’t played any of the old Deus Ex games, but I did jump on Human Revolution a few years after its release and I really enjoyed. So naturally I was looking forward to Mankind Divided. I’m incredibly happy to say that Mankind Divided reaches and easily exceeds the likes of Human Revolution, setting a new bar for Deus Ex, while simultaneously setting itself up for a very likely game of the year award. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is not only what I think is the best game in the franchise thus far, it’s also the best gaming experience I’ve had this year.
A World Divided
The Deus Ex games have always been well known for their intricate conspiracy ridden storylines, and I’m glad to say that Mankind Divided is no different. It picks up a year after the events of Human Revolution (if you haven’t played it or have forgotten about it you can watch a 12 minute catch up video) and once again follows the augmented protagonist Adam Jensen. The world is torn and unsurprisingly divided on the concept of progress and augmented human bodies. Augs are discriminated against, treated poorly, exploited, and Mankind Divided captures it perfectly. Without spoiling too much, I bomb goes off at a train station, killing and injuring many in the process, and it’s your job to find out who’s the culprit of said bombing. Various groups get involved with the storyline, and I found that it got a bit confusing once or twice, but after thinking about it for a while it became clear. The game has a fantastic cast of likeable characters, with the same protagonist as Human Revolution, and Elias Toufexis does another brilliant job as Adam Jensen. Mankind Divided serves as a satisfying continuation to Human Revolution with believable voice acting, a solid plot, and a fantastic antagonist.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was praised for its various options and ways to tackle various missions and objectives, and Mankind Divided takes it to new levels. There are many possible paths to get to an objective, and it always feels like there’s no wrong way to do it. If you want to completely stealth through an entire map, non-lethally taking out targets, the game rewards you for it, but if you want to go loud and guns blazing, the game appreciates that too. Mankind Divided rewards the player no matter how they choose to deal with the situation, and that kind of unprecedented freedom is refreshing and much needed among the games of today. Various Augments to Jensen’s abilities, and they cater to various play styles. Most of the augments from Human Revolution return, but a few brand new ones are innovative, interesting, and they often never failed to stump me on my decisions when it came to upgrading Adam. If I’d gone to upgrade one of the new augments, it overclocks Adam’s systems, meaning you have to permanently shut down another augment. At first I thought this would mean I’d have to sacrifice some augments for others, which makes for a very interesting mechanic. Unfortunately, completing the correct side mission completely removes the overclock function, completely unlocking all augments for upgrades, which I found surprisingly disappointing. I found myself playing through Mankind Divided using tools like the tesla to silently take out targets that I believed didn’t deserve to die, while I used nano-blades to take out the targets I believed should’ve died, and I was consistently rewarded no matter what. I generally progressed through the world silently, using hacking and platforming to navigate through the game world. Level design is fantastic, and eventually doing with various enemy types keeps the game interesting and refreshing. Gone are the notorious boss fights from Human Revolution, which makes for a more fluent, cohesive experience as a whole. Gun-play feels tight, and I was always finding other uses for my augments upon further inspection, which consistently surprised me. Level design is fantastic, and exploration is heavily rewarded for those who go out of their way to find secrets. Mankind Divided’s other main game mode is Breach, which puts you in various virtual reality-esc scenarios. I was enjoying it at first and I thought the progressions system would keep me interested, but I eventually drifted away for it. It can probably provide some extra gameplay once you finish the campaign, but it feels underdeveloped and shoehorned in.
Mankind Divided from a technical standpoint is literally flawless. The open world setting of Prague is open and beautiful, and the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps legitimately amazed me the first time I saw them. Mankind Divided consistently pleased me visually, with a beautiful art style and setting, and all of it runs at a smooth 30 fps. Would’ve been nice at 60, but 30 is definitely bearable when it’s consistent. I also surprisingly never ran into any bugs at all, which was definitely a pleasant surprise for a game of this kind.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is in my opinion, the strongest entry in the series. It does what all the past titles have done so well, and more, with a fantastic story, excellent, unrestricted gameplay, and enough content to justify a full priced purchase. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been my favourite gaming experience this year, and I really do help Eidos Montreal keep putting out quality titles such as this.
-Unprecedented player freedom
-Looks beautiful and runs smoothly
-Rewarding no matter how you play
-Fantastic characters and believable voice acting
-Augment limitation system is mitigated
Thanks for reading guys! Up next is Attack on Titan.