Optimizing Deus Ex…
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided returns players to the story of Adam Jensen and to the cyber-punk future that the Deus Ex world has to offer. Mankind Divided comes in as an engaging sequel. It sticks with all of what was loved and strong about the previous Human Revolution. It also changes and fixes what people critiqued from last game – one of the major complaints being the inclusion of boss fights.
At the end Human Revolution, Adam Jensen has only begun to scratch the surface of a much larger conspiracy, learning of an organization known as Illuminati, whom, through power and influence, have control over both corporations and governments. And with a group so broad and illusive, it is hard to know who can be trusted.
Mankind Divided picks up two years after the end of Human Revolution. The event that occurred then being dubbed, “the incident”, where augmented individuals lost control over their actions for a period of time. The result of this ignited the fear individuals had for those with Augments. Those with augments have now become second class citizens, needing papers to maintain residency in areas. If not obtained, they would be sent to a sequestered area in the outskirts, nicknamed Golem City.
The larger conspiracy will only be an over-arching story within the game. The larger focus is placed on the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC) and the Human Restoration Act. ARC is working and fighting against the restriction of rights. Their actions had largely been considered peaceful until bombing and terrorist attacks began to break out. And with the perpetrators being Augmented, the finger is being pointed at the Augmented Rights Coalition. It is up to Jensen to learn the truth of if they were behind the terrorist activities while still trying to find information on the Illuminati.
As mentioned in the beginning of this review, the good and solid portions of the Human Revolution gameplay is still there. The option to play as lethal or non-lethal and stealth or all-out still exist. My previous route of going for stealth has not changed. After prepping with some other stealth related games, I had a much better run this time around. I would contribute to some of this success being from how some areas are more open and connected. This gave a larger variety to the paths that can be chosen to progress. I could then use Augments in some of the tougher situations.
The areas being more open is one of the improvements from Human Revolution. I mentioned one of the big complaints from the last game being the boss fights and villains. I can’t tell you that there are no boss fights, but they are added in and structured in a far better manner. Human Revolution had the issue of including the boss fight for the sake of a boss fight. The area was finished to throw in a boss to cap it off. These fights were often in a small space with little room to hide or breath. Each scrum would need to be ended lethally. Mankind Divided does not have many boss fights, but each was organic and less forced. Also, the areas they take place in have more room to hide, allowing for a more stealthy approach to be taken. I remember sitting in a vent, watching a boss roam to learn the pattern. The other change to these battles is that the non-lethal approach is possible. The villains themselves also more entertaining and engaging.
One of my favorite parts of this game, even more so than the last, is just exploring the main area of the game. Prague is the “hub world” city of this game. It is where Jensen lives now. And the ability to go around and explore stores, apartment building, and the sewers is so much fun. This content does have a limit, but in my second run through of the game I’m still finding things I missed the first time around.
By going around and exploring can take away some of the running around that I remembered doing for side quests in Human Revolution. That’s not to say it isn’t there, but there are ways to skip steps. There is a trophy related to getting an item before a character asks for it. In other words, you basically need to complete the quest before it is issued.
Mankind Divided takes a step forward into learning of conspiracies and the organization behind it all. The story is given a better pacing that allows for more sense to be made over the deeper and more complex areas of its narrative. The addition of new augments allows for more variety to style and more gameplay options. It takes the basis and foundation of Human Revolution and does what it can to improve upon the formula. With additional side content of the Breach and New Game+ being included, it adds to the replay value of the game.