Video Game Review: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Espionage, augmented humans and cybernetic abilities combined to create a unique blend of spy/action gameplay – We can only be talking about Deus Ex, where today we’ll be checking out the most recent incarnation, Mankind Divided. If you’ve never played a Deus Ex before, like me, then read on for what I thought about it, along with how it typically plays out. It’s time to get our cool shades on!
|Platforms||PC (Windows, Mac & Linux), PlayStation 4, XBox One|
|Initial Release||August 2016|
|Price on Steam||£19.99 (Steam)|
You take control of Adam Jensen, who I thoroughly enjoy pronouncing as ‘yen-sen’, as much as both the game and Jake disagrees. He’s an Aug – an augmented human – giving him an array of benefits, which makes him both feared and hated by non-Aug humans. Following on from the events of Human Revolution, Adam works for the Interpol unit, Task Force 29, where he assists with capturing a terrorist group of Augs.
However, that’s not all that’s going on in Deus Ex. The Augs caused uproar after the “Aug Incident”, through no fault of their own. The Illuminati had implanted a control device within Augs, to allow the cult to control the Augs in secret. When one rogue Illuminati member took control of some Augs, they caused the Augs to turn violent, causing the “Aug Incident”. As such, Adam looks to unravel the Illuminati in an attempt to expose them for their crimes against the Augs.
Deus Ex is a series well known for its dark and gritty world for you to travel and in Mankind Divided, this world feels expansive and vast. There are plenty of side-missions to do whilst wandering around, as well as plenty to do during the main missions. As such, it’s worth chatting to just about everyone as you explore – Besides, who doesn’t like chatting to a seemingly crazy man getting you to go and speak to the leader of a cult that lives in a sewer?
Whilst going about missions, or indeed just wandering around the open world, you are able to go into a Stealth mode. This mode allows you to be pressed against walls, lunging over small obstacles such as boxes and walls, sneaking around corners and keeping in a crouched position. With this mode, you can get up close and personal, allowing you to grab and subdue, or kill an enemy as you see fit.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, if you approach an enemy you can try to either subdue (typically knocking an enemy unconscious), or kill them. From the very opening segment of the game, you are given the opportunity to choose the sort of path you want to take, as going into missions means you can decide the sort of path you wish to commit to. It’s fair to say you can go between playstyles, if that suits you more, however I’ve seen people advise this game is best if you stick to a path, such as a kill path or a subduing path. I’ve opted for the stealth approach, subduing enemies along the way. Besides; the loot seems no worse!
Interestingly, as you go through the game, you have to skill up in hacking terminals, giving you access to computers, or breaching doors with security codes. The higher the level, the harder these tasks are, giving you a type of mini-game. Most interesting is the hacking mini-game, where you can hack into various bits of equipment and you have to get through the nodes in as timely a fashion as you can.
As another note, as well as combat and hacking, you have a crafting facility, allowing you to create bombs and the likes to assist you on your journey to uncovering the truth. As well as all this, there are plenty of characters to chat to, with lots of dialogue, which makes people react in different ways.
I love the art direction of the game, although I have to admit the mouth movements are kind of funny to watch at times. With that ever so slight niggle aside, it looks truly stunning, in a moody kind of way. If you’re new to Deus Ex, the dire situation their world is in will be a stark contrast to most titles we’ve played here:
The audio is good, in that it sets you up for getting through the game; from simple non-invasive audio during the normal scenes and much faster paced music throughout the battles. However, the audio truly excels when it comes to the voices – Even though Adam sounds like the type of man who has imitated Christian Bale’s Dark Knight one too many times, it’s fair to say that voices make this game great.
Plus, there’s something strangely fascinating about having this loud-mouthed man come blaring out of my PlayStation controller, swearing at me for being slow. Certainly woke me up!
I’m thoroughly enjoying Deus Ex, even though I’m not very far into the game. So even though I really cannot comment about the full game, I can indeed let you know what you can expect from it – and if you’re a fan of a game that encourages stealthy play, along with some great combat, then this might be the game for you. There’s enough challenge in it, to where you won’t just breeze past it, unless you’re an expert at these kinds of games, but it’s easy enough to pick up in one of the harder modes; even when it’s your first time playing any of the Deus Ex franchise.
If you can get it, it’s worth picking up, but only if you can manage to get it on sale. I was fortunate enough to pick this up from the January PS Plus exclusive free games, so I was very happy with this one. I’ve noticed some places selling it for £9.99, which honestly, is about what I’d recommend picking this up for. I’d say £20 at a push; because as far as I’m aware, the game is pretty short. However, if you’re looking for a raw action role playing game with great stealth elements, then you might want this in your collection. A shame though, as general poor sales and generally average reception has marked the game down quite heavily.