- Developer: Eidos Montreal
- Publisher: Square Enix Limited
- Genre: Action RPG
- Release Date:23/08/2016
- Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Windows
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided continues 2 years after the previous game, and if you don’t remember what happened too well, there’s a nicely put together recap video to watch before you start the game. Alex is now a member of Task Force 29 in a world which has suffered from the outbreak of the rampaging augs from the previous installment. Now augs have restricted access in public, they are looked down on and require permits to cross particular police check points. This is now a world split in two as memories of the horror which happened 2 years ago is still fresh in everyone's mind.
At the beginning of the game Adam is on a mission with his fellow team but is sent on a task alone. This is where the tutorial begins, it shows you his abilities, how to move around, navigate the menus and inventory. Even after the introductory mission the game will give you hints and tips until everything has been covered.
Mankind Divided, I feel, is still centered around being stealthy, despite what we were told at EGX last year. I often don’t have the patience to work out where all the vents are to crawl through or waiting for that guard to turn around and bugger off. So instead I tried the brute force attempt. Most of the time I simply got slaughtered - for an awesomely augmented military ninja like Adam Jensen he really is quite pants in a firefight! However, in some of the missions where I did survive, the police who were quite literally round the corner had no intention to investigate the bullets, screams and utter cacophony of frag and smoke grenades. So when I walked past the officer, covered in dust and bits of brick in my super spiky hair, all I got was a grumble of “papers” and told to piss off.
The gameplay is good, though it took me a few moments to get used to the aiming. I’m not sure what was off about it, but it didn’t feel quite right at first. It is possible to complete the game without killing anyone, but where’s the fun in that? When you’re close enough to do a take down, there’s the option to knock them out, or kill them. These moments are fun to watch, as nearly every one is different depending on if you’re crouching, behind them, hidden behind a wall and such. Yet, each one takes a couple of moments to commence after pressing the button, and after the twentieth time the lack of fluidity starts to spoil the immersion.
The graphics don’t scream anything new, and even during conversations with people you can see the polygons are quite prominent which may be a trade off to include all the detail in the world. There are items everywhere, and lots of people milling around, getting arrested or arguing, which does help to bring this world alive. The music, though really awesome when there are dramatic scenes, is sometimes too loud during conversations to be able to hear the people clearly, so I had to turn on the subtitles. The lips syncing also suffers at times, especially after you’ve made a choice as to what to say next.
Alongside all the active and passive augmentations you can unlock (there may be a new set of augs Adam has but I wouldn’t like to spoil the mystery!) there are plenty of weapons to find or buy from a vendor. From inside the inventory you’re able to modify the weapons, like adding silencers or scopes, but these become permanently assigned to that weapon. There is different type of ammunition though, which can be changed on the fly, and these really do make a difference when used correctly.
I found a lot of places had at least 2 ways of getting to, not just the kill everyone and walk on by, or find that smelly sewer pipe and crawl through ways, but quite often if you couldn’t hack a terminal to gain entry, there may be a weak wall which could be punched through. I found the little hacking games really fun, so it was really difficult for me not to run past some poor sods garage without me hacking into it and stealing his meagre supply of crafting materials. Yup, there’s crafting in this game too! But don’t worry, it’s very basic. There’s only a few items which can be created, such as a bio-cell pack, or ammunition for Adams nanoblade.
Aside from the main game, there is a side game called Breach. This is separate from the main game, Adam is not a part of this, and pits you against a series of puzzles in virtual reality. You are hired by ShadowChild, whose voice sounds exactly like Tali from Mass Effect, to ‘breach’ a company’s network and steal data. You control your avatar in the VR realm to find the nodes, steal the data, then make your exit before the time runs out. This part of the game has microtransactions, you can buy different packs to gain benefits, such as augmentations or better weapons. I’m not sure why they built this, perhaps to appease the players who get bored of all the stealthy stuff of the main game and want something a little more thrilling?
Mankind Divided does deliver a promising sequel to this long running action RPG. There are plenty of side missions which extends the longevity of this game, all new augmentations to play around with, and some nice mysteries which helps drive the story along. Early on stealth is a must, which may slow the pace a little too much, yet when Adam is reasonably upgraded, not much can stop this Matrix Neo/Super Saiyan hybrid!