Deus Ex Mankind Divided: From Eidos Montreal and Square Enix comes this much awaited sequel – or 4th instalment – to the Deus Ex series. Adam Jensen (Elias Toufexis) returns with his augmented limbs to help those who need it most in this human-versus-Aug world. Armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons and abilities, you take Jensen through this new world which is the outcome of the Aug incident from the previous title based in 2027. After a much loved previous title with Human Revolution, how well does this new world hold up, especially on current generation systems? Let’s talk story first.
The year is 2029, two years after the events of the last game, and the “Aug Incident” – an event in which mechanically-augmented humans lost control of their augmented bodies and became violent. This was the outcome from implanted technology designed to control augmented humans by a rogue member of a group who works in the shadows known as The Illuminati, for his personal hatred towards augmented technology. After they successfully cover up their misdeeds, humans become untrustworthy and fearful of anyone with augmented body enhancements.
Adam Jensen’s now working with a special Interpol unit to capture a terrorist group of augmented humans. For his own reasons, he’s also involved with the Juggernaut Collective, a hacker group helping him to confront The Illuminati to expose what happened in 2027, and stop the fear and terror on the streets. While playing the game, the story seemed a little weak and a bit too ‘in the background’ to the game itself. Usually, I’m all for more gameplay over story but the Deus Ex series is much more a cinematic story-driven series and I hoped it had more to offer.
When it comes to the gameplay, Deus Ex is a first-person-RPG/Shooter with a third-person-cover perspective, standard FPS controls with a few extras on stealth, and augmented upgradable technology. you will find credits and crafting materials for along your journey.
Unlike the previous title in the series, Mankind Divided feels less open-world, with a more condensed hub world, but at the same time, there seem to be more items and extras to find plus the ability to have a less linear route to completing missions which opens up more possibilities for multiple playthroughs.
Augment upgrades and unlocks make the gameplay more accessible and makes for more interesting ways to play through missions. I found items like the Icarus dash to be fun to take out enemies – choosing between going stealth and taking out areas of enemies guns blazing really puts you into a situation of playing to your gaming strengths. If you die and respawn, this also allows you to replay through in a different way which you may find easier, and allows the capacity for you to make your decisions on where you wish to apply your upgrades for future missions.
Using cover to cover, infrared and having the ability to grapple onto ledges you jump to – similar to the newest DOOM – comes in handy for stealth and getting out of dodgy situations. Gameplay is fun and you are always kept on your toes deciding which method, augment or weapon to use next to progress which can make this game a fun one to come back to after completion.
The stunning atmosphere and graphics of this near future world feel alive with great visuals and performances from the cast. The game is a lot more enjoyable to explore, due to this aspect. The only downside is, I wish there was more of a world to see than the few destinations in Prague among the few other places you get to visit during your gameplay.
Voice performances are top notch including the sound design of environments, items, weapons and vehicles. Most of all, I was happy to hear an all familiar style soundtrack to the previous title which feels like it belonged in the world of TRON. The symphonic electric style seems perfect for this augmented futuristic cyborg cop ambiance and definitely kept a smile on my face while playing, especially when knee deep in enemies.
Final Notes: This latest Deus Ex seems to hit most of the right spots, but unfortunately it could have been a bit better with a deeper, more interesting story. I found myself trying to skip the story after a while to just get to gameplay, which I find unfortunate as I enjoy a good story, especially if there is detective-type work needed. I’m sure that fans of the series would be satisfied with this entry, however, and would like to see more of the Deus Ex universe in the future.
Graphics: 8/10 – The graphics look like an upgrade from the previous title in the series but it doesn’t take the feel and style away from what the previous title provided.
Sound: 9/10 – Great all round, especially enjoying the soundtrack and I might even download it when available.
Gameplay: 9/10 – Lots of fun and tension which should bring players back for a second or third playthrough.
Story/Enjoyment: 6.5/10 – Weak story with very little to hold my interest throughout my playthrough, but thankfully, the gameplay saves the replayability and lastability of this title.
Overall score: 8/10 – Weak plot but great soundtrack and gameplay, not a perfect game, in fact I enjoyed Human Revolution much more, but I’m sure I would pick the game up to play some more.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Players: single-player
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1
Directors: Jean-François Dugas, Patrick Fortier, Paul Furminger, Kazuyuki Ikumori and Kody Sabourin
Producer: Olivier Proulx
Writers: Kody Sabourin, Paul Furminger, Mark Relf, Matt Sinclair, Mary DeMarle, James Swallow, Annakin Slayd, Craig Towsley, Rees Savidis, Kasper Hartman and Taras Stasiuk
Sound: David Acord, Adam Bourne, Linda Brenon, Michael Levine, Josh Lowden and Matthew Wood
Adam Jensen: Elias Toufexis
Alejandra Vega: Victoria Sanchez
Elias Chikane: Chimwemwe Miller
Jim Miller: Vernon Wells
Marchenko: James A Woods
Duncan MacReady: Peter Serafinowicz
Václav Koller: Karl Graboshas
Delara Auzenne: Mylene Dinh Robic
Talos Rucker: Alex Ivanovici
Allison Beatrice Stanek: Sonja Ball
Otar Botkoveli: Vlasta Vrana
David Sarif: Rick Miller
Retro game fan, comic book reader, board game lover and film fanatic. I have loved videogames since I was 5 years old after visiting my first arcade, I have grown up with gaming since having my Atari 2600 then Commodore 64. I ended up building my own career crafting pixelised characters and have had the pleasure of meeting many of my retro gaming heroes who developed some of my absolute favourite games.