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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review


Having never really played a Deus Ex game before, coming into Mankind Divided was a bit of a new experience to me. I wasn’t sure what I was about to see and if anything my expectations were pretty low. Thankfully then, this latest game in the Deus Ex series won me over, mostly in part to its deep gameplay and thought provoking plot, although that's not all.

If you are new to the series, the first thing the game does is catch you up with what happened in the previous game. While there may be a temptation to skip this fairly substantial catch up, it is important that you watch as it really does explain what you’ll see and help you understand the current state of the world when the game starts. I know that if I'd skipped it I'd have been without a clue, although for some reason I decided to be patient for once.


It’s important to understand that Mankind really is a world divided, after an incident which caused cyborgs to go a bit rogue and start attacking everyone in sight. This obviously caused distrust for their kind amongst the humans and in the current time has cyborgs as the scourge of society, with police on their back and government legislation restricting their every move. This makes for a tense world and of course, doesn’t make it easy for our protagonist Adam Jensen.

Jensen himself can be described as a powerful cybernetically enhanced super agent. He can hack computers, withstand enemy attacks and of course, he’s pretty proficient at attacking too, especially once his mods are activated and ready to use. Whether that’s the arm-mounted nanoblade launcher or one of the other many enhancements waiting for you to activate and upgrade, there’s plenty of options for you to play the way you want.

All of the environments and missions seem to be perfectly crafted in order to make use of Jensen’s abilities, but even without these abilities, there’s still something pretty special about Prague. Shortcuts can be found via ladders, windows and vents. While you can also explore the vast underground next work via the sewers. Combined with the tension in the world around you and many buildings to explore, this means you could spend a lot of time just looking around without worrying about rushing through the story.


One of the things I love most about Deus Ex is the ability to hack practically anything. No matter where you go there is a laptop lying around or a closed doorway with a keypad teasing you for a code. What’s behind the door or the computers security lock? All manner of things and you likely won’t be able to resist finding out. I’ve lost count of how long I’ve spent hacking however many computers in order to gain access to private emails, text messages or whatever. Of course some things are harder to hack than others, which is why you’ll need to make sure to upgrade your hacking skills. Whatever area you concentrate on, this will then allow you to access higher level computers via a small mini game and even give you the ability to control doors, security cameras, laser grids, mines, ladders and window shutters.

Mankind Divided is a pretty massive game, with the campaign taking at least 20-30 hours if you decide to rush through it. Take on some of the side missions, which vary from stopping rebel groups from blowing your cover to finding missing persons and you’ll spend even longer in the divided world of Prague. You’ll sometimes even leave Prague, like at the beginning of the game when you head to Dubai to take down a bunch of terrorists. It’s fair to say that there’s plenty to see here and therefore you’re money will certainly be well spend in terms of time.

Of course none of this would be any good if the game wasn’t actually fun to play, but thanks to the game’s focus on a bombing event close to the start, the plot moves on at a decent pace and keeps you hooked. As you investigate you’ll find that there is a lot more to uncover than a simple terrorist bombing and you’ll also have to deal with the consequences that this investigation throws up, as well as having to deal with the restrictions in place by the police that make it more difficult for you to get into the areas you wish to investigate. 


If I had one criticism it’d be that the main character has the personality of a plank of wood. He is a cyborg of course, but it would have been nice if the developer tried to make him at least half interesting. Still, at least the world Adam Jensen wanders around in makes things more exciting and when combined with the countless things to do and see, sort of makes up for the fact that talking to this guy would be enough to send even an insomniac to sleep.

Outside the main game, Square has decided to throw in a bonus time trial mode in the shape of Breach. This basically brings a VR visual style and unique augs and abilities which are exclusive to this mode. With leaderboards included too, this is a fun mode which is great for short bursts of play, with the added element that you can try and get a better time than your friends.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided certainly surprised me, with it’s larger open world, fun to use cybernetics and varied gameplay. Whether you want to sneak around completing the main missions, head for the side quests, beat enemies with your fists or use the wide range of weapons you’ll find lying around, there are so many ways to play that you could likely have a second play through once you are done and still not have seen everything. Mankind Divided is a challenging and beautiful game and it’s made me wish that I gave the world of Deus Ex a chance sooner than I did.



Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)

Pros

+ Large open world
+ Looks fantastic
+ Plenty to explore
+ Augs are great to upgrade play around with 

Cons

- Adam Jensen has no personality

Edited On 22 Aug, 2016

Comments
( 6 )
jay.hamilton's avatar
jay.hamilton 3 months ago
mines on it way . . would love a remake or direct follow up to Deus Ex Invisible War
piglet0's avatar
piglet0 3 months ago
just bought mine never played it or the old ones hope it good
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 3 months ago
Yeah, it is a good game.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 3 months ago
Just downloading the 3.8gig day 1 patch! Can't get the day one dlc either as you have to redeem on square Enid site and they email the code but I doubt they will email until tomorrow
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 3 months ago
Won't let you stream from the ps4 - they must have a lock on it until official release tomorrow - never used to do that, bet it's 4.0 doing it
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 3 months ago
Really enjoying this game. I knew it was going to pull a Metroid at the beginning but I wasn't expecting what happens later on. Its interesting. first thing I did was go outside my flat, pick up the Wheelybins and throw them at people - they just bounced off them! Not actually killed anyone yet, been tranq them and knocking them out. Doubt i'll stay like that when it gets a bit more hectic later on though!

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