Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PS4) review
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an interesting game as it looks to push the idea of inequality or as the game called it mechanical apartheid. Augmented humans are treated like second-class citizens as they have to constantly carry identity papers, get into separate train carriages, and are forced to live in almost slum-like conditions. Mankind Divided paints an incredibly bleak picture as the Augincident has seen people turn their backs on human augmentation with the United Nations even planning to push through something called the Human Restoration Act. However, some are sympathetic to augmented people. One of the game’s main faction, the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC) push for Augmented Rights, but once they get blamed for all the terror attacks people stop listening to them.
While the story of Mankind Divided could have been a story of both groups trying to find common ground, the story focuses on what happens when you divide people into groups, as the game shows terrorism attacks by augmented people are on the rise, at the start of the game Jensen himself barely survives a bombing at Prague’s train station. Very quickly, ARC is blamed for the attacks, but Jensen isn’t convinced and decides to investigate the attack, but as he investigates, he uncovers a dangerous anti-augmentation plot created by the Illuminati. As the story progresses you are also forced to make choices, for example, do you help the Juggernaut Collective stop a shipment of drugs or do you grab the bomb maker.
While, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided had an interesting story about how the relationship between augmented and non-augmented humans has broken down, the story feels incomplete. The end of the game, which features the game’s one and only boss fight, seems like it could have being the end of a chapter and not the end of the game. The reason why I say this is that by the end of the game I had more questions than answers, for example, who are the Juggernaut Collective – an unknown organisation that helps Jensen uncover several mysteries-, who is the Collective’s leader, and finally what is the Illuminati’s end game. In many ways, Mankind Divided seems more fixated on setting the groundwork for future sequels, rather than focusing on its own story.
In terms of characters, Mankind Divided is interesting. While not every character is fleshed out, those who are fleshed out are interesting. For me, Rucker, the leader of ARC, was an interesting character as he shows he has a good reason for his beliefs, even when he and his organisation are blamed for the bombings he still holds onto his idea of a non-violent solution. On the other hand, the game’s main villain feels almost comic book like, as he simply wants to cause chaos and destruction. There are numerous other characters I could talk about, but that would involve me rambling on for too long and potentially spoiling the game.
In terms of gameplay, Mankind Divided is similar to Human Revolution as the game has a strong focus on player choice with players being allowed to decide how to approach any given situation. This means players can decide to play Mankind Divided like a traditional cover-based shooter, or take up a non-lethal route by focusing on stealth and hacking. Personally, I took the non-lethal approach as I found trying to sneak around patrols by crawling through vents, hack doors, and knocking out those who I couldn’t sneak past to be far more rewarding than running and gunning. Of course, no matter your play style you have your augmentations to help you. These augmentations help improve your play style, so you might need to pick your play style very quickly. Augmentations include cloaking, silence movement, hacking and more. Of course, while the majority of augmentations are brought over from Human Revolution, Jensen does have new unstable augmentations at his disposal. While it isn’t known how they added these new augmentations enhance your play style, but using them early in the game require you to micro-manage your augmentations as using these new augmentations can slowly hinder Jensen’s abilities.
What else is there to talk about in terms of gameplay? Well for one we have weapon management. Weapon management is about altering your currently selected weapon. This includes switching ammo type, changing attachments and changing firing patterns. Weapon management can be an effective tool, especially when fighting robots as you can stun them with EMP ammo and then change to your normal ammo to finish them off. Mankind Divided also features enhancements to the hacking mechanic, these enhancements, which include a fog of war and firewalls make hacking far more challenging, although admittedly some of the challenges such as the fog of war can be more annoying than challenging.
Two additional gameplay features are the conversations and crafting. Conversations work the same as they did in Human Revolution as certain situations can be overcome by using special augmentations to scan the person and help you to choose the best response, for example, if the augment says the person has an omega personality then choose the omega reply. In regards to crafting it is very basic as it is involves picking up crafting parts to make special ammo, multi-tools and biocells, the ability to make biocells is important as they help recharge your augmented abilities.
What else is there to say about Mankind Divided? Well personally, I was disappointed by the location variety, with Jensen only visiting five locations over the course of the game, and a lot of which were rather small, I believe only Prague and the Utulek Complex allowed for any meaningful degree of exploration. If you are looking for things to do past the story, Mankind Divided does offer Jensen’s stories and Breach, although I never played either one of them.
So, let’s talk issues. While the PlayStation 4 version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was mostly smooth sailing several issues did crop up. These issues included the occasional screen stuttering when running around Prague, and the game crashing during a cutscene.
Before I reach my conclusion, I want to talk about the graphics and audio. Graphically, the game looks beautiful, especially when you begin to notice details such as water droplets running down Jensen’s body when it is raining. Audio wise, nothing particularly good or bad stood out, although for those who like subtitles I should point out they are off by default.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a game built on a strong premise, but unfortunately, the story feels incomplete. While the story can be lacking, the game still has a strong focus on player choice.
|+ Great world building||– The story feels incomplete|
|+ Player choice|
|+ Using augmentations is still fun|
|Eidos Montreal||Square-Enix||Action||18+||PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One||August 23rd|
For more information on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, visit https://www.deusex.com/.
Author: Aaron Meehan
Hi, I’m the creator of SG Gaming Info. When I’m not working on my writing or creating content for this site’s YouTube channel, I like to relax and enjoy character driven story games.