Deus Ex Mankind Divided Review – Two Steps Back
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided attempts to improve upon what Deus Ex: Human Revolution did to the series. Is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided the sequel we were hoping for? Or should you avoid upgrading your augments this time? Check out this Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review to help you make your choice!
Deus Ex Mankind Divided Review
You play as Adam Jensen, an augmented solider who works for the newly formed Task Force 29 (TF 29) anti-terrorism group. You start on a mission in Dubai where you have to stop an Arms Deal before it happens. This mission plays as a tutorial for combat and stealth, while adding a bit of story to what happened before Jensen joined up with TF 29. After you return from the mission, you experience a huge explosion at a subway. This is where the real story begins. You are tasked with finding out who is responsible and bringing them in. Of course, while this is going on, you are also immersed in the current rising tension between normal humans and augmented ones. Augmented humans are treated like second-class citizens and are forced to take different trains, use different lines and are subject to random stops while walking in town. Being that Jensen is augmented himself, you experience each of these while playing. I didn’t really have a problem with the story until the end, where it literally just cuts off. Of all the hard cuts in a video game story, this is probably the hardest. Worst part is you know there is going to be DLC that comes out afterwards that finishes the story.
You will spend most of your time in Prague doing various missions for TF 29 and side missions for various characters. This is a big step back from Human Revolution, which had two cities to explore fully. You don’t spend all your time in Prague, but it is the only area you will be doing any side missions in. The side missions vary in the game, some have to do with Jensen’s past while others have to do with the current issues in the city. While some of the stories during these missions can be interesting, the pay off typically isn’t there. Like the main story, side missions will often just come to an end without you receiving any real reward. You get a message from the mission giver but outside of that you rarely end up hearing from them again.
Combat in the game feels very similar to Human Revolution, and that’s not a bad thing. Jensen does feel a bit overpowered in the beginning of the game, but eventually you lose your points and have to make your own Jensen. Experimental Augments are new and they offer different abilities at the cost of some of your old abilities, at least until you beat a certain mission. These are really strong abilities and can give you the edge in combat easily. One of the downsides to the combat is the weapon selection. I found myself using the same weapons over and over without much of a need to change. That wasn’t because a certain weapon was just so strong, but because of the lack of variety in weapons. I know Jensen should be focusing more on Augments for weapons but there are plenty of situations you get caught in a gun fight and some more variety in choice would have been great. If I’m being honest, I can’t really think of any new weapons outside of the Battle Rifle. Worst part is if you want the special versions of a couple of guns, you have to pay for them in the micro-transaction store.
Let’s have a quick talk about that, because I couldn’t believe how much you could buy. You can buy weapons, Praxis Kits, or currency for real world money in the store. This means you can make yourself super over powered for the right price. I always hear “as long as I’m not forced to buy it, I don’t mind.” You are not forced to buy anything in this game, but during some of the side missions, I often felt that if I just had a couple more skill points I could get through the mission easier. It sort of pushes you towards the store inadvertently during some of the early side missions which really annoyed me. Again, you are not forced to buy anything to beat the game.
One thing I really enjoyed about the game is the exploration. There are so many houses, lockers, computers, and storage units to check out in this game, it is overwhelming. Any completion addicts are likely going to have a heart attack trying to get every email and every password for a locked door or crate. This isn’t a complaint, I actually often times got lost just exploring things around the city and enjoyed it quite a bit. Another thing is the fact that there are always, ALWAYS, multiple routes to take on missions. The game always presents you with a straightforward path that you can take if you just want to go in guns blazing. There are normally multiple paths you can take without engaging in combat or even alerting anyone that you are there. The game is very well constructed on that aspect.
I’ll be honest, I ran into quite a few technical problems with this game. First off the mouth sync and animations are awful. They don’t sync up and as soon as you see it, you can’t unsee it. Jensen has a magic mirror in his bedroom, one which doesn’t provide any reflection whatsoever. This is 2016 right? I don’t even know why the mirror was left in the game at that point. Constant frame drops and screen tearing were happening while I ran through the city exploring the areas. Oddly enough during combat I didn’t have any frame drops which I find odd considering how much is normally going on. We also ran into a couple of game crashes during our playthrough.
A new addition to Mankind Divided is Breach. Breach is a mode where you basically steal data from terminals and then try to escape before you lose the data. As you progress the game adds enemies and other obstacles that slow you down or even defeat you. I didn’t really have a problem with the mode but I also didn’t see the need to play it. It’s just kind of there for me and I feel like others will feel the same way. It’s not a plus or a minus for the game. Oh there are also game packs you can buy here – yay!
There’s just something off about the game, like the soul was taken from it. It feels like some suit came in and said “hey how can we make more money on this game?” We already know there’s going to be DLC, but what else? Oh how about a microtransaction store in the game so people can buy new weapons and even level themselves up easier. While we are at, let’s add a new mode that has Packs for players to buy – everyone loves packs! It really does feel like they are trying to milk every cent they can out of this game, and as a fan of the series, it hurts.
Compared to Human Revolution, the game feels like a shell of its former self. If you are a fan of the series prepare for disappointment.