Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Moby ID: 80361
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Description

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the fourth main entry in the Deus Ex series, and the direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Set two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided follows that game's protagonist, Adam Jensen, on a new adventure as he investigates a subway bombing in Prague. The world is heavily divided between those with augmentations and those who do not, with the latter fearing the former following the ending of the previous game. This division is known as the "mechanical apartheid".

As with the previous game, players will investigate the bombing by speaking to characters, exploring the environment, and completing missions however they choose. Various actions, such as completing quests, finding alternate routes, hacking terminals, and neutralizing enemies earn the player Praxis points, which they can use to activate Jensen's mechanical augmentations. These augmentations give Jensen abilities such as turning invisible, strength to lift heavy objects, and hacking into higher-level terminals. In addition to most of the augmentations from Human Revolution, several new "experimental" augmentations are available. Due to their untested and unauthorized nature, the player must deactivate one of Jensen's original augmentations in order to use one of these.

The game utilizes the same hybrid first/third-person combat system seen in Human Revolution, with the camera moving to third-person whenever Jensen is pressed against cover. There are many weapons available for the player to use, including several different types of guns and grenades. Some of the new augmentations offer additional weapons, including a blade projectile and an electric weapon which knocks out several enemies at once. Guns can be customized on the fly using crafting materials gathered by exploring the game world. Crafting parts can also be used to make special items such as mine templates and multitools, which can hack into any terminal.

In addition to the main campaign, there is another mode called "Breach". This arcade-style mode dispenses with the story and character elements of the campaign and focuses on speedrunning and perfecting different levels.

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Credits (Windows version)

1,127 People (1,023 developers, 104 thanks) · View all

Directed by
A very special thanks to
  • Gilles Matouba (Gilou)
  • for his dedication to the franchise and the work he put into Mankind Divided's early development
Executive Producer
Producer
Associate Producer
Art Director
Director of Photography
Environment Director
Props Art Director
Lead Presentation
Concept Artists
UI Artist
Additional Art
Additional UI Art
Executive Audio Director
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 31 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 28 ratings with 3 reviews)

From Deus Ex I've expected more

The Good
Multiple solutions to puzzles; satisfying stealth mechanics; choices taken affect the gameplay and story line; more open world-ed than the previous installments.

The Bad
Outdated graphics; the game conclusion is disappointing; the plot is not that interesting or compelling; navigation can be cumbersome.

The Bottom Line
Let me begin by saying that I hold a soft spot for the Deus Ex franchise. Finishing the first game in the series back in the day really changed something in me - the philosophical aspects of that game, it's lore and design, all accumulated into a masterpiece (it won several GOTY awards) that left me with a truly moving experience. To this day I can talk about DX1 and the way it made me feel when I've played it 16 years ago.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the fourth (if you leave Deus Ex: The Fall out, and please do!) installment in the series. It starts two years after Deus Ex: Human Revolution and is therefore too a prequel to DX1. Adam Jansen reprises his role as the game mechanically augmented protagonist.

Following an incident that caused a riot among the augmented at the end of DX:HR, the game world now consists of an Augmentation Apartheid. There are stores, subways and restaurants that forbid the entrance of augmented people and even concentration camps where the augmented are sent against their will. It feels a bit far fetched and anyone who played DX1 knows that this is not what the series was aiming to but it builds well on top of the the story line from DX:HR.

Adam, now augmented with a set of mysterious new augmentations, is an agent for the Interpol that also acts a as double agent for an underground, shadowy movement called the Juggernaut Collective.

Like the previous games in the series, DX:MD presents the player with a puzzle or obstacle and allows numerous ways to overcome it. For example, in order to gain access to a building, you can either enter by force with your guns shooting, infiltrate by an air vent, or make your way quietly behind the backs of your foes. Some puzzles can be resolved using the game parkour (clanky) mechanics.

I always enjoyed playing DX games as stealthy as possible and made no exception here as well, finishing the game without killing a single person and even winning the "Pacifist" award. The game stealth mechanics are excellent and were improved from DX:HR, such as now when in stealth mode you get a cleared view on how to move between hiding points without being detected.

For those who don't want to play stealthy, DX:MD offers a good shoot-em-up experience. There are no melee weapons and the overall number of arms is small however those available can be customized, from scopes and targeting lasers to recoil and damage adjustments. The GUI was also improved and it's now fun to switch between ammunition or change your fire-rate mode during battles.

The player can customize Adam augmentations in a variety of ways, some of them lean towards an aggressive gameplay and other to a stealthy one. They divide around this way, even though some augmentations are useful for both approaches.

One of the complaints many gamers had to with DX:HR was the boss fights. A pacifist player such as myself, who dedicated all of his XP and unlocked only augmentations that help with stealth maneuvers and infiltration, still had to fire-fight tough bosses. This angered many players and Square listened. There is only 1 boss fight in the game, that can be defeated non-lethaly; so no need to stack on weapons or grenades for a rainy day.

DX:MD feels more open world than it's predecessors. The central base of operations is the city of Prauge, which is of satisfying in-game size. There are lots of side quests and stuff to do in the city, and even though for some missions the player is transferred to more confine locations, the fact that you always come back to it and can continue whatever quests you left gives the game a more non-linear and open feeling.

The graphics in the game are good, but I expected more from a 2016 PS4 game. I don't know how it looks on PC, but on the console it looks like an enhanced PS3 game. The music on the other hand is nice and follows the futuristic tunes of DX:HR while Adam is voiced by the same actor as in the previous installment.

Since the areas in the game are quite big, I found myself relying on the frustrating, in-game navigational system. One of it's main flaws is that you can walk all the way to your target objective just to get the objective icon thrown all over the HUD as what your're looking for is actually just beneath you.

Another problem is that you can't add custom waypoints, so walking to a location on the map (a merchant, for example) that is not part of a mission is a real hassle as it requires to keep opening the game map and trying to figure out the location as the HUD mini-map is too small to navigate with.

Surprisingly, the plot in DX:MD is its weakest part. It comes to me as a surprise as complex stories and impossible conspiracies have become synonym for the series. In fact, the release of DX1 for the PS2 was called Deus Ex: The Conspiracy.

Without spoiling anything, the plot of DX:MD feels far less epic than the one in DX1, DX2 or DX:HR. In these games, you felt as part of something bigger than you. In DX1, there was the gray death plague and of course that unforgettable ending, where the player was able to alter the future of the human race forever. In DX2, it was the resurrection of a failed society. In DX:HR, the dawn of a new age for the human race, and that final last stand that lead to the disastrous event that set the ground for DX:MD.

In DX:MD, it just feels casual. Like it's a normal day in Adam's life. Not as nearly as epic. And for me, this is the biggest problem with the game. It's not that the plot line isn't interesting or that nothing happens. There is even replay value to the story, as choices made do affect your progress. It's just that DX games are supposed to provide bigger than life conspiracies and plot lines, and it's missing here. This is also the first DX game I played that is not concluded within itself. Many plot lines are left opened and unattended; there's even a major cliff hanger - a first in series.

By all means, DX:MD is not a bad game. It was built with the DX formula in mind and holds all of it's core aspects and values. It's just that to me, the story line is what made the series so epic and compelling.

And that's too bad, as for DX:HR we had to way 8 years and for DX:MD 5 years. Who knows how long we'll have to wait until we get the next, great DX game.

PlayStation 4 · by Scytale (41) · 2016

A majestic sequel to the epic Human Revolution, but troubled by some flaws

The Good
- The first half part of the story
- Game mechanics
- The soundtrack is very, very well done
- Engaging atmosphere
- Impressive amount of content even though the game maps are much smaller than Human Revolution
- Voice acting
- Graphics

The Bad
- The game ends way too abruptly
- Game areas are limited and not really big
- Story leaves much things to be desired

The Bottom Line
Following the applauded Human Revolution in 2011, Deus Ex Mankind Divided delivers more of what made the "new" Deus Ex great, but also has its shortcomings.

The story continues 2 years after the aug incident which happened at the end of Human Revolution. The divide between normal people and augmented are tense and certain regulations are put in place to keep it anything like the "incident" from happening again. Augmented are required to show proper certification, and those that don't get shipped off to a hell-hole called Golem City or "Utulek Compound" as it was originally called. We meet Adam Jensen, now living in Prague, and this time working at Interpol through Task Force 29, a shadowy corporation that aims to take out evil where regular state police fall short.

Of course, the initial setup screams for corruption and there's plenty to be had. There's a blurred line between "Police" and gangster and more than often do you have to act upon it. The game will throw you curve balls making you question if those decisions you did actually were the right ones. Were she or he a bad guy or some one trying to uphold law even when it was corrupt. If there's one thing Mankind Divided manages to deliver, it's this. The constant "what if" scenarios of a civilization in turmoil and chaos. As with its prequel, some choices are not apparent until later in the game.

As for the story itself, it's a deep, serious and political ride that will take you from Dubai and Prague to the Alps and beyond. I've played a lot of games through the years, but some of the twists this game manages to make are very surprising. It continues the legacy from previous games [spoiler]and even keep the original bad guys like Bob Page in the game,[/spoiler] making for a interesting premise of a super power that has existed for a long time through many games.

Augmentations are the centerpiece of any Deus Ex game and this is no exception. This time around there are some new ones as well, like icarus dash, tesla guns and nano blades. They're all very entertaining to use, but you can only map up to five at a time (middle mouse button + F1->F4) which is at times counter productive. You're forced to select the four to five things you're most likely going to use. Remapping in the middle of a battle is not too tedious, but is error prone. For those aiming for the ghost achievement (don't se off any alarms), you absolutely need to be prepared for anything to get out of a tricky situation. Changing you augment hotkeys in the thick of things is NOT a priority!

While speaking of things that suck, Mankind Divided has gotten critique for having in-game paid DLC that are a one-time use. For instance, pay 1$ for 1 Praxis kit or get a specially skinned weapon. Myself I have no issues here, as you just can skip all of this. You don't have to pay anything, just play the game. On the other hand, some argue it hampered the game as it was a tacked on in the final stages of development, stressing the dev teams. I can't say wether or not that is true, but for the game itself, it doesn't show lack of polish.

For the most part Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is overall a very enjoyable game, but hampered by some characters being too shallow and some missions require you to travel back and forth between levels. For most of time you'll be spending it in two city areas of Prague, which are actually quite small. You are required to take a train between them, which is annoying. Why weren't these areas merged? It makes no sense. As for scale, the city is usually only half of what you see. I'd say at least 70% of Deus Ex is what you DON'T see. There are loads of hidden paths, secret compartments and corridors that will take you all around the city. After hacking a ton of computers and read my weight in emails I can safely say that there are a lot of doors and access points just waiting to be opened. In general if you see a ventilation shaft, jump in. It'll most likely send you some place useful.

Depending on how you play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, it'll take you anything from 15 to 20 hours to complete. However, if you want to check out most of the paths (both those you see and don't) and read up on the universe by computers you hack and pocket secretaries you find, multiply it by at least 3. There's a lot of content here, even if the main levels are not that big. Thankfully, the game mixes up levels by sending you out of Prague now and then, allowing for a pleasant change of scenery.

Speaking of scenery, the game looks incredibly beautiful, even when not set to max. The very first level is a testament to this, with huge vistas, broken down hotels and even cloth physics (it's an option)! Sea gulls, distant effects like traffic and helicopters that fly by all just come to show that this team has put in tons of effort. Voice actors and sound track are also top notch, with Elias Toufexis returning as Adam Jensen that I swear thought was Timothy Olyphant all this time. He's made a believable and authorative figure that'll stick with you - Adam Jensen is just awesome.

If you're willing to dive into one of this year's greatest FPS adventures Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will for the most part satisfy. Well, until the end that will leave you hanging and craving for more. The ending is a bit let down, it ends too abruptly which is a shame and puts a dent into experience as a whole. We need to get a hold of those people behind the scenes, dammit!

Guess we'll all just have to wait until the next Deus Ex game for that.

Rating: 8/10 - "Must play"

Windows · by Coreus (200) · 2016

Jensen 2.0

The Good
+ Fully supports stealth and combat play styles

  • New augmentations are fun to use

  • Excellent world design

  • Engaging sidequests

  • Nice graphics and soundtrack

  • Improved gameplay over Human Revolution

    The Bad
    - Only a small part of a larger story

  • Breach mode and microtransactions feel unnecessary

    The Bottom Line
    It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 5 years since Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released. That was a game that had quite the odds stacked against it. Human Revolution not only had to wash the bad taste that Invisible War left in so many players’ mouths, it also had to live up to the legacy of one of the most beloved games of all time. It was also developed by a new, unproven developer, Eidos Montreal, as their debut title. Fortunately for both developer and players, Human Revolution was a very strong game that didn’t necessarily surpass the classic original, but did improve and refine many of its ideas while also taking the series in an intriguing new direction. Even though I only finished the game recently, it was one of my favorite AAA games from the last generation of consoles, even with its faults. Human Revolution received lots of criticism, the biggest ones being the balance towards stealth and hacking and the boss fights that such players might have been ill-equipped for. The main takeaway from this sequel, Mankind Divided, is that Eidos Montreal seems to have listened to those criticisms, and have created a better, more refined version of their last game. This might not impress players who are looking for every sequel to be truly revolutionary, but if you’re in the mood for more of that unique mix of stealth, shooter, and RPG that only Deus Ex delivers, Mankind Divided is sure to hit the spot.

Mankind Divided begins two years after Human Revolution’s ending. The Incident which occurred at the end of Human Revolution, which caused many augmented humans to temporarily go crazy and murder non-augmented humans, has greatly divided the world’s population. The “naturals” fear those who have augs, while construction of a city exclusively for augmented people is under way. Adam Jensen, who seemingly didn’t die at the end of that game, travels to Prague to work with an agency called Task Force 29 while also joining up with a rogue hacker group known as the Juggernaut Collective, who believe that Task Force 29 isn’t an entirely trustworthy organization. While in Prague, he finds himself at the center of a terrorist bombing at a subway station, just one of several that has taken place over the last few months. With most of his augmentations damaged, Adam Jensen must begin unravelling the threads of another conspiracy to find out who’s really pulling the strings.

The conspiracy-thriller plot is as compelling as it has always been, however, Mankind Divided’s attempts to parallel augmented discrimination to racism are a bit ham-fisted at times. Augmented people are given derogatory names such as “hanzers” and “clanks”, and are forced to stand in segregated lines. At one point, Adam Jensen rides in a subway car “for naturals only” and gets pulled over by a cop. It’s hard to really feel the weight of discrimination that the game says is there, as most of the time Jensen is simply allowed to just waltz on through segregated areas due to his status as a spy. I think the attempts to address discrimination would have been more provocative if we were playing as a new character who did not have such privileges, rather than Jensen. At least the game seems to be aware of this, as there was one conversation that I heard between two cops which suggested that augmentation wasn’t necessarily equal to race.

I love how Mankind Divided opens as its very reminiscent of the first Deus Ex game. You get a short cutscene dealing the first mission, and choose a lethal or non-lethal weapon. Then you’re dropped into your first mission in Dubai, which is quite long and doesn’t really feel like a tutorial (even though it is). There’s no lengthy “opening sequence” to play through before you get to the first mission. Jensen also has a lot of his augmentations active during this mission, allowing you to see what exactly he can do. Later on, you re-spec Jensen from scratch after completing the first main mission in Prague.

Most of the augmentations from Human Revolution make a return in Mankind Divided, though some of the more “useless” ones, such as hacking identify and timer cooldown have been removed or included as standards. Some augmentations increase Jensen’s health, biocell capacity, and inventory size.  Other augmentations are active or context-sensitive, and allow Jensen to turn invisible, silence his footsteps, fall from great heights, and punch through walls, among several other abilities. New to Mankind Divided are several “experimental” augmentations, which were installed onto Jensen without his knowing between games. These augmentations include the ‘Tesla Gun’, which stuns multiple targets, the ‘Icarus Dash’, which is a dash move similar to Dishonored’s Blink ability, and even an ability which slows down time. The catch for these experimental augmentations is that Jensen needs to keep a stable system core, meaning that if you activate one of the experimental augmentations, you must deactivate one of the regular augmentations in its place. I should point out however, that there is a way to fix this much later in the game that involves finishing a couple of side missions, so you shouldn’t feel too punished by trying out some of these new augmentations.

Deus Ex is a series that’s primarily about exploring dense, intricately-designed, and complex spaces, and Prague carries on that tradition in grand style. The city just begs to be explored, with lots of cool little side areas and secret rooms which reward exploration with items and story elements. Sometimes, you might even stumble across one of the many side missions in the game. There are plenty of back-alleys, balconies, bridges, rooftops, and side streets, plus a number of visually cool landmarks. There are a lot of windows to climb into, shops and buildings to enter, and a very extensive sewer system that’s far bigger than anything seen in Human Revolution. In general, the levels in Mankind Divided are much more vertical than in the previous game. The standout in this regard has to be Golem City, which is a slum for augmented people just outside of Prague that Jensen explores in the middle of the game. My only complaint is that there are occasionally invisible walls or ceilings when traveling on rooftops, which limits the sense of freedom. The new mini-map is a valuable tool for navigating these twisting streets.

The cover and combat system is very similar to Human Revolution’s, though you now have a new feature which allows you to press a button when in cover to move to different spots. I remember seeing this feature in another recent AAA game, The Division, and I’m not sure exactly why it needs to be there. It makes using the cover system a bit more complicated than Human Revolution’s, which was one of the most elegant of its type. I also didn’t enjoy the lack of blind-firing. You only peek out over cover when either the aim or shoot button is pressed.

Probably the biggest change to Mankind Divided is the weapon customization system. For starters, you can change various aspects of your weapon on-the-fly by holding down the reload button, including changing the ammo type and firing mode. There are several different types of ammo including standard, armor-piercing, and EMP, which disable electronic devices. Previously you would have to find and buy specific upgrades for each of your weapons and install them. these would increase things like damage, reload time, and rate of fire. In Mankind Divided, you acquire generic “crafting parts” instead, which allow you to craft the customizations of your choosing. You can also use the parts to craft multitools, biocells, and mine templates, though these are quite expensive. I really like this change as it gives players who like to use weapons a bit more freedom to customize how they want. And yes, you can play the entire game without killing anyone.

Hacking has also been revamped. The hacking minigame is very similar to Human Revolution’s, but features new obstacles including darkness (which prevents you from seeing the full system of nodes) and firewalls, which are invisible traps that stop you for a bit. It also looks and feels much nicer, with a neat isometric viewpoint and better controls when playing with a controller. If you play without hacking, there are XP rewards for finding the code for most doors, safes, and terminals, unlike Human Revolution.

In terms of aesthetics, Mankind Divided utilizes a new proprietary graphics engine called “Dawn”, which is based off of the engine powering the latest Hitman game. The Dawn engine allows for much bigger areas than in Human Revolution. Many buildings can be dynamically entered in and out of, and unlike Human Revolution, there is no loading screen when doing so. This creates a more “seamless” feeling game world. The downside to this is some really mean loading times. It’s probably my computer and how I installed the game, and your mileage my vary, but some of the load times in this game can take up to a minute. That might be fine if the entire Prague map were loaded in all at once, but it is split into two hub areas. This makes switching hubs really annoying, especially when a mission takes you to both areas. I tended to do as much as I could within one area before traveling to the next. The art design of the game in general has gotten away from the gold-tinted scheme of Human Revolution in favor of a less-stylized look. I wasn’t the biggest fan of how “gold” everything was in the last game, though I appreciated it as a bold stylistic choice. In some ways, Mankind Divided feels like the midway point between Human Revolution and the original Deus Ex.

Mankind Divided’s biggest downfall is its story. It’s not bad, as it is gripping for much of the time. It also makes a greater attempt to bridge the gap between Eidos Montreal’s new games and the original Ion Storm classic. There are a lot of neat characters and locations, and the side missions are some of the most interesting in the entire series. You really should try to savor as much of those side missions as possible as the main story is actually rather short in comparison to Human Revolution’s. On top of that, it’s only the first part of a story. While the main conflict is resolved, it ultimately serves as setup for what comes in the next game. Even some of the side stories which develop over the course of the game are simply not wrapped up or at least not satisfactorily moved along by the time Mankind Divided ends. It feels like watching “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1” except you don’t know when or if the next part of the story is going to be released.

Mankind Divided has also fallen victim to corporate greed. I’m not sure who is to fault: Eidos Montreal, or Square, but something is definitely funky here regardless. There are a lot of micro transactions in the game, ranging from Praxis points to weapons and grenades. None of these items that you pay for can’t be gotten from normal play of the game, making their existence completely pointless. I actually had excess Praxis points by the end of the campaign, and I didn’t even hack a lot of things. The microtransactions are also one-time, one-save use only, which has also irked a lot of people online.

Even worse is the inclusion of “Breach” mode. Rather than focusing on making a longer, even more satisfying campaign, someone decided to include a mode based around time trials and arcade-style gameplay. This mode is initially intriguing, but its bland, repetitious levels and nearly impossible objectives make it something you probably won’t play for very long. Breach mode incorporates elements from popular “free-to-play” mobile games, including microtransactions and booster packs. I’m not sure if it was Eidos Montreal’s or Square Enix’s call, but either way it stings, especially since the campaign ends just as it really seems to get going. The mode might have made for a fun mobile-esque game if you can live with the freemium elements, but it’s hard not to feel like resources were wasted on it, especially since all of the prior Deus Ex games had nothing of this sort included. This mode simply was not needed, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, despite its flaws with both the script and the business model, Mankind Divided is still one of the best games I’ve played this year, and the best AAA game to release in recent memory. Eidos Montreal really listened to a lot of the criticisms from their first outing and polished things up this time around. This is just about everything that I wanted out of a sequel to Human Revolution.

Windows · by krisko6 (814) · 2016

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Game added September 3, 2016. Last modified April 7, 2024.