For as long as I can remember, I have always loved science fiction. It never mattered to me in what form it came; whether it be film, tv, or whatever. I loved it. I still love it. So, when I heard that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was coming out I was thoroughly intrigued. I vaguely remember playing the very first one. However, I never got around to playing Human Revolution. Naturally, I caught myself up, downloaded the game and hopped straight into it. And I have to say, the sci-fi nerd in me was not disappointed. But, what exactly are you getting into?
Okay, so I think a little back story is needed. Humanity has been divided. Humans have taken a stance against Sarif industries who helped to create what are known as Augs or the Augmented. The belief that if you are an Aug, then you are no longer human. In the events of the previous game, the villain caused all the augmented to frenzy and attack all humans. This incident is what caused the rift between mankind. Mankind Divided takes place 18 months after this incident. As the title suggests, the world is at war with itself. No-one knows who to trust.
Now, the player follows in the footsteps of Adam Jensen. Previously in the employ of Sarif industries and now works with Task Force 29. The goal: to find and capture a group of augmented terrorists. At the start of the game, you are immediately thrown into the thick of it. You have to navigate your way through an abandoned hotel to help take down a gang who is selling weaponised augments. Of course, this does not go to plan. One of your men dies and the terrorist group gets away.
Then we arrive at a train station in Prague a few days later. We meet our friend Alex and what ensues is possibly one of the coolest cut scenes. As you walk through the bustling station, you get a real sense of what has happened to humanity. You can see the fear all around. And then, the station explodes. Yep, more terrorists.
From here on out, it is a relatively open world experience. You have to find the terrorists that attacked you at the very start. But, you also want to find out what happened at the station.
This entirely depends on how you want to play. At the very start, you are given the choice of using either lethal or non-lethal weapons. Of course, this choice can change as you play. Perhaps you started off wanting to go in all guns blazing, but later decide you want to be a bit more merciful. Or vice versa. Either way, it is up to you. Deus Ex has always given you this option in most of their games. However, there are certain aspects that feel mandatory. For example, the hacking in the game is something that seems like it would be optional but is not. If you like to explore everywhere and find every side quest, then you need to upgrade your hacking ASAP.
One of the best parts of the gameplay for me is the amount of exploration that is available. You don’t have to just follow the linear story, you can to get to know this world and find all the side quests. Or, you can to sneak into every restricted area at your hearts desire. Equally, if you simply do want to blitz through the story line, then you can do that too. I love the feeling of completing as many side quests as possible and even finding secrets. And, if you are the same as me, then this game is definitely for you.
There is only one aspect about this game I do not enjoy. The tutorials are lacking. Some are straight forward, but others don’t really explain much at all. The most frustrating one for me was the hacking. There is no tutorial for this. You simply have to figure it out. And, for someone who hasn’t played a Deus Ex game for many years, it was very annoying.
There is of course the Breach game play which has had its fair share of criticism. It spends more time teaching you how to use the store than how to actually play the game. And that fact that a single player game uses micro-transactions, well, let’s not say any more about that.
As you would expect from a new gen game, they are phenomenal. Deus Ex has so much detail and clutter throughout, you really get a sense of place. Especially when stepping into Prague for the first time. The mixture between the old world and the futuristic architecture works surprisingly well. And, as a sci-fi nerd, it sent all kinds of tingles down my spine. Everything works so well, from the clothing to the trees. You don’t need to have everything on ultra high in your graphics to still appreciate the beauty of this game. Just make sure you can run it first.
I believe that sound is important with any game. Especially one that has so much going on in its world. The music is very much in the background but what worked for me were all the sound effects. The train station scene made this point very well. Although you are in a cut scene of sorts, speaking to Alex, it is all the noise around you that you notice more. From the station announcements to the guards stopping any Augs that pass by, the sound is brilliant. Even when you step into the world to explore on your own, you still get a sense of place simply from the surrounding noise. It would have been nice to hear more music but I appreciate what is already there.
It would be wrong to say that you couldn’t play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided through a few times. The way it is presented, giving you the option to play how you like, means that replayability is certainly an option. Whether you would want to play again is another story. I will, more than likely, play through this game several times, mostly because I love the story and the genre. But, although you could play this game again using a different style of approach, I doubt a lot of people would. At least not straight away. It is such a vast game that some may feel they need a break from it before they pick it up again. Maybe in a few months or maybe in a few years but we shall see. Since it is a very new game it is difficult to tell just how people will react to it.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is so expansive that it certainly gives the player many options as to how they want to approach it. Stealthy and merciful, or loud and lethal, it really doesn’t matter. Play how you want and enjoy it all the same. I would recommend this game to anyone who loves this style of game and especially if you love sci-fi because it just works. As someone who loves a good story, this one has certainly peaked my interest. Whether you agree with purist humans or side with the Augs, only one question remains: Will humanity stay fractured forever?
- Storyline – 90%
- Gameplay – 75%
- Graphics – 90%
- Sound – 80%
- Replayability – 85%