Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review (XBOX One)
Game Name: Deus Es: Mankind Divided
Developer: Eidos Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Date Released: August 23rd, 2016
Platforms: XBOX One, Playstation 4, Linux, Mac OS and Windows
I was a big fan and still am of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the sequel in this series and it starts off right after Human Revolution.
Mankind Divided was supposed to be released to us in February 2016. However it was pushed to August 2016 to make sure that the game was polished enough, and that all of the kinks / bugs were corrected. I purposely did not look at any of the spoilers, nor did I look at the reviews. I wanted to make sure that I experienced the game like it should be, without any influence.
Although Human Revolution was not the best game of all time, it did bring elements of FPS (First Player Shooter) with elements of a RPG (Role Playing Game) Upgrade System. That combination with a great story, could lead to an amazing experience. Unlike most games, this does not have any multiplayer, which means it pretty much guarantees that that the focus of the game is on the story and does not split your attention on the fluff.
Let us see how this game plays.
You play as the augmented Adam Jenson: the same agent as in Human Revolution. However this time around, there is a lot of distrust between naturals (non augmented humans) and augmented humans which are enhanced with implants. Due to the Aug Incident in Human Revolution, pretty much everything has gone to the poops. This is kind of funny as, replace the augs vs humans, and replace them with race, and you have a similar climate in our reality today. The obvious difference is that we have not gone to war, and that the violence has not escalated to this tipping point. I feel that many people will identify with the story in some way.
You start the game in Dubai where the visuals are amazing. The first mission is to attend a deal go down. Unfortunately, that was a front, and you and your team are ambushed by some augmented mercenaries.
Shortly after when you arrive in Prague, you experience a bombing at a train station. Throughout the various missions, you try to find out who is behind these "Terrorist" attacks. The end of the story opens the door to another Deus Ex.
The story is not too simple and not too complicated. It keeps the attention of the player.
If you did not play the previous instalment, Eidos Montreal has thought about you as well. On the game disk (yes I bought the physical disk), you get an approximately 15 minute recap of the last game so that you do not feel lost. For reference, I will post below the official recap from Human Revolution below.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Story Recap (Part 1)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Story Recap (Part 2)
Graphics and Sound
The graphics on my XBOX One looks great. It is true that I am the kind of guy who will always take gameplay over graphics, but these are pretty good. The only negative that I would say is that the lips do not always move in sync with the sound of the voice. I think that this could have been polished a little more.
The cutscenes when you go in the subway are pretty cool. I know that on my XBOX One sometimes the loading times are a little long, so the scene repeats. I rather have that then a still image of a loading screen. They really thought out of the box on that point.
The voice acting is amazing. Elias Toufexis reprises the voice for the main character. I personally do not know who else could have voiced Jenson for this game. He does a great job as well as the rest of the voiced acting crew. I really liked the voice of Alex Vega and James Miller.
The theme also sets the tone to the game and it does what it is supposed to do: get you in the mood to play this action detective game.
Overall, the graphics and sound are great, I would expect a little more on the cutscene sync, but that is only my opinion.
The game plays and feels very much like Human Revolution. In Mankind Divided, the first mission is essentially a tutorial. The first time that I played it, I always thought something would happen and essentially, nothing ever did. That is fine. The first mission is not a dragged on tutorial and it actually has a purpose to the storyline.
The missions are pretty even and and it never really feels repetitive. For example in Fallout 4 or Assassin's Creed, at some point you keep doing the same things over and over again.
The side missions are fun as well. You get good rewards for completing them and they vary enough to keep you interested. During missions, there are times when you can just explore and hack storage lockers or sneak into apartments to find some rare goodies.
How about those Augs!!!
One of the main reasons why we play this game is to use those augmentations. Did they keep them and did they add anything at all? Well, you will be happy to hear that the augs you have grown to love are still here. In addition, at some point, you need to go for a checkup as your augs are acting up after the train station bombing. During this checkup, you learn that you have augs which were for a lack of a better word, dormant. At the beginning, you cannot fully use them without loading your systems, but eventually you will be able to.
The controller scheme for Mankind Divided is slightly different and can take some getting used to. However, you can use the same scheme as Human Revolution if you really want, or you can customize the controller to your liking.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Sample Gameplay
Accompanying App for Android and iOS
There is an app that you can download for free that can accompany the game, called DX Universe. It is not really needed, but you can check some cool stuff on it. You can check your stats for the game which I am not sure is accurate. The number of hours that it says I played is insane. I never played 700 hours. I am not sure how they calculated the time.
During the game you can collect triangles that end up in your inventory. Then you can take the app and scan it for bonus materials like art work, trailers and interviews. I found that the scanner is wonky at best and it took many tries for me to be able to scan my TV properly. The light and angle are always off and it takes me at least 4 or 5 tries before I am able to unlock the bonus material. The idea is great, but in reality it does not work very well. I tried it with an iPhone 6.
You can also view all of your items from the game. So every item and pocket Secretary that you pick up can be viewed within the app. This I found pretty cool and works fairly well
The app is cool to play around with but for me it does not bring anything new to the experience and it felt more like an annoyance more than an accessory to the game.
Deus Ex: Go
You can also download a game on Android and iOS called Deus Ex: Go. It is along the same vein as Lara Croft: Go. It is a top down view of the Deus Ex universe and you play missions on your mobile. You can game some bonuses so that you can use them in the game. I cannot really comment on this as I have only seem sample gameplay online and I did not buy the game myself.
This is an add-on that comes with the game where you act like a hacker. It is linked to the game where you have to get some data fragments to obtain memories that can be played on a special machine. There is a mission where you have to do this exact thing to see what has happened in the game. I have only played it for a little bit and it seems pretty fun. You have time limits and you have to get the data and reach your checkpoint in order to win the part. Now that I finished the main game, I will probably play this for the next few weeks.
I personally found this game very enjoyable. I actually liked it more than Human Revolution. I cannot say why though. The gameplay just feels fluid. I am also intrigued by the storyline. I am a big storyline guy and Halo 5 disappointed me this year. I think in terms of story, this game has replaced it.
The price is a little high. I bought my version for 79.99$ CAD. This is expensive for a retail game. So I can understand people not picking it up right away. However for 40$, it would be well worth it.
The key thing is, is there replay value? The answer for me is yes. There are slightly different ways that the game can pan out depending on your choices. I also did not go through all of the side missions. I would like to go back and get this done. I also assume there will be some DLC (Downloadable Content) later on this year. I may pick that up at that time. There are also more difficult settings which could be interesting.
Between the story and gameplay, I would recommend this game. I know that it may not be everyone's cup of tea, as many people like the Call of Duty's and Battlefield multiplayer FPS (First Person Shooter) games. If you liked Human Revolution, then you will definitely like this game.
Rating: 8.5 augmentations out of 10
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