Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review
Alex the Kidd, Gamers of the Round Table
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided lets the player choose their control scheme. Whether you want to go with their default layout, Human Revolution’s layout, or a generalized First-Person-Shooter control set-up, the player is offered a variety of control loadouts to accommodate individual play styles. The familiar RPG elements make a return, more polished, and with a new “overload” system that requires the player to use “experimental” augments at the cost of damaging your systems, or permanently locking out original choices. This brings a new level of unique customization to the franchise and creates consequences for players who choose to use the new abilities. Mankind Divided improves upon the idea that you can “play your way” throughout the game, whether you want to tackle a mission guns blazing, or you want to infiltrate and never be seen. In the previous installment, players found they were hindered for choosing to play the game with stealth when it came to boss fights; Mankind Divided creates situations where you can attempt to take down any enemy through any means, without making the player feel like they made the wrong choice.
If you haven’t played Human Revolution since 2011, this game gives you the option to watch a compilation video to recap the previous game; narrated by Jensen, the twelve minute video covers all of the major plot point from Human Revolution, and is highly recommended if it has been almost five years since you played as Adam Jensen. Depending on your sound system, you may want to adjust your volume to put more emphasis on voice audio as the music score can drown out the narration (or enable subtitles before playing). The addition of the Deus Ex:
Universe companion app allows players to access behind the scenes content created by the developers and shows their insight into how they came to develop the word and characters of Mankind Divided; the app is free to download, and allows players to scan in game collectables to access the content through their mobile device. This comes as a welcomed addition for players who immerse themselves in the world of Deus Ex, and allows them to experience the creative process behind the game.
The Breach feature feels tacked on and out of place; the introduction to the game mode is immersive, yet the actual content feels forced and out of place. While the art direction for Breach can be praised, it comes off as an unnecessary online component. Players can compare their stats using leaderboards, but the game mode becomes quite repetitive, and is little more than a puzzle game. While you can earn praxis kits through Breach, it requires you to hold off from the main game for its benefits to have any weight.
The biggest issue with Mankind Divided is its waypoint system – or lack thereof. Players must always refer to the map to find their objective, and there are several times throughout the game where mission objectives are not indicated on the map at all. Having to look online to find out where to go next takes away from the immersive gameplay; one mission requires the players to locate two individuals, but only shows the location of one without indicating where the other is. While exploring Prague is fun, wasting time looking for your objective is far from it.
9.5/10 – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided brings players back into the role of Adam Jensen in full force; while a few minor navigational mechanics that could use tuning, the game provides an immersive experience that allows you to handle any situation the way you want. This game not only follows up its predecessor, it stands on its own as an excellent video game. This is the quintessential espionage RPG gamers deserve.
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