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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) artwork

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) review

"I love Deus Ex: Mankind Dividedís immersive open-world and nostalgic stealth play"

The Price of Augmentation
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the 5th major installment in the Deus Ex series, and a direct sequel to Human Revolution. Reprising his role as main protagonist, Adam Jensen must utilize his new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.

The Story Continues
Need to Know
Although it is the fifth game, HR and MD are set before every other game, so only a working knowledge of HR is needed for enjoyment. Fortunately, MD provides a very thorough (12 minute) summary of the events of HR at the beginning of the game. The important thing to know is that MD continues the story two years following the Aug Incident, an event that sends augmented (bio-technologically enhanced) people into an uncontrollable, murderous frenzy. By directly following the event, which takes place before any of HRís 3 game ending choices, MD bottlenecks the story so that everyone will have the same canonical progression.

As expected of any society overcoming such a tragic event, a dystopia is created, further dividing the augmented and the naturals. Heavily policed checkpoints and security robots patrol the streets in order to maintain order, with the widespread belief that order means augmented discrimination. Terrorist and activist groups continue leaving their ďmessagesĒ for all to see and Jensen, Interpolís newest counter-terrorism agent, must navigate through these troubling times in order to survive and seek answers to the many mysterious happenings occurring all around him.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) image

Augmentations & Playstyles
With many familiar augmentations brought back from HR, including the super flashy Typhoon, several new augmentations are thrust upon our cyberpunk veteran, such as: a built-in PEPS, Remote Hacking, Tesla, Nanoblade, Icarus Dash, and Titan. The plethora of augmentations, new and old, easily allow for the development of multiple playstyles. For those that have never played HR before, the main playstyles and recommended augmentations for each may provide some insight on the RPG aspects of MD.

  • Lethal: When anyone, humanoid or robotic, stands in your way, make sure they stay out of the picture by shutting them down mercilessly. Upgrades in the Cybernetic Weapon Handling tree will aid in stabilizing aim, reducing recoil, and improving reload speed. One new augmentation ideal for this style includes the Nanoblade which can be fired as an explosive projectile - pinning enemies gruesomely to walls.

  • Non-Lethal/Ghost: Laugh in the face of high-tech security by sneaking your way past armed thugs, turret sentries, and monitored cameras without being noticed. Upgrades in the Glass-Shield Cloaking tree will allow Jensen to turn invisible for short periods of time. One new augmentation ideal for this style includes the Icarus Dash; a teleportation type of move similar to Blink in Dishonored.

  • Hacking: Why stop at sneaking past high-tech security when you can control them. Upgrades in the Hacking Capture tree will allow Adam to access handy shortcuts through locked doors, and eventually, dominate turrets, cameras, and robots. One new augmentation ideal for this style includes Remote Hacking; the ability to hack objects, keypads, turrets, robots, etc., from afar.

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) image

    Although it is possible to stick to one type of playstyle throughout your entire run, a little bit of diversification will go a long way in making your life so much easier Ė if you so choose, of course. Avoid dangerous confrontations entirely with some well-chosen dialogue options (Social Enhancer) or parkour your way out of intense situations with physical augmentations (Klipspringer Jump Mod/Icarus Landing). These are but some of the very nice accoutrements any lethal or ghost player should take into consideration.

    Open-World Freedom
    One of the major factors that makes this game so enjoyable is the freedom you have towards choosing how to approach an obstacle. There are usually multiple routes, paths, or methods you can use to reach your objective. Donít feel like slithering your way through that chaotic room full of turrets, lasers and grunts? Go and look for a vent, climb a ladder, jump to a balcony, or turn on Detective Mode and bust through a weak wall Arkham Asylum style.

    The ability to provide this freedom to the player is solely reliant upon MDís large, open-world city hubs and multi-linear design. Prague is massive, comprised of multiple districts each large enough to spend hours scouring through due to the countless shops, apartments, and buildings available for investigation. Even when it seems that you are trapped in a room, often times you arenít. The multi-linear design favors incorporating air ducts and attics above you, and stashes, man-holes, and sewer drainage below you.

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) image

    The freedom aspect doesnít just end at physical/spatial progression. Often times when you initiate an NPC dialogue, various dialogue options will be presented, each with various outcomes. Excluding the example of Social Enhancer usefulness provided above, your decisions have a good sense of weight to them, and many conversations allow you to figuratively shape and mold Jensenís personality by replying with a passive comment or a hard-headed rebuttal. Although the NPC interaction isnít as encompassing as Mass Effectís, it definitely increases the immersion into the beautiful and fantastic cyberpunk world.

    Micro-Transactions & Single-Use DLC
    Iíll try to be as unbiased as possible; you can decide for yourself how it may affect you. The micro-transactions do not provide anything you cannot attain yourself in the game (in-game currency, Praxis points Ė level up augmentations). The progression in attaining those items naturally seem perfectly normal (it is not hindered to promote the transactions). The micro-transactions are not heavily promoted or shoved in your face; however, micro-transactions are stillÖ.micro-transactions, which is enough to annoy many.

    Another noteworthy aspect regarding real money pertains to MDís DLC. It was never forewarned that the benefits are single-save, single-use. Meaning once you redeem it to your play-through, it cannot be redeemed again. This, for example, affects a non-lethal play-through. If you accidentally redeemed all of your DLC guns in that play-through, then you can no longer redeem them in a new, lethal play-through.

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC) image

    Mankind Divided vs. Human Revolution
    A large population of MDís audience will probably be fans of HR, so I want to state a couple differences between the two, in addition to everything above, as I see a lot of Negative reviews on Steam due to unexpected design choices. First, regarding bosses, MD has . Second, the main story, so far, isnít as fast paced as HR. I donít feel like Iíve progressed that much even though Iíve completed half of the Missions and Side Missions. It could be that the developers had to tradeoff story content with world building and exploration, but ideally, I would have liked to see both.

    I personally love Deus Ex: Mankind Dividedís immersive open-world and nostalgic stealth play. Although the narrative can be very disjointed and slow at times, the synergy across all of the side missions help make the cyberpunk dystopia that Jensen lives in so memorable and fun to learn about. Even with minor immersion breaking aspects, such as insanely long load times and unsynchronized facial gestures, I would still recommend MD to fans of the Deus Ex series or the cyberpunk/stealth genres. Note: other users have reported game-breaking crashes and various bugs - be wary.


    silversuriv's avatar
    Community review by silversuriv (August 29, 2016)

    silversuriv loves to review games as an escape to reality, preferring to stay on the analytical side of the spectrum. Steam

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