Having squeezed every goddamn drop out of the previous Deus Ex game (Human Revolution), I naturally had high hopes for the latest in the series – ‘Mankind Divided’. Those already familiar with the DE games would know that it explores the concept of human augmentation, and the effects these ‘enhancements’ have on society and the human condition. What drew me to ‘Human Revolution’ was the dark tone, polished gameplay and character driven story. Did Mankind Divided shape up?
Jensen, the protagonist, has not changed in the slightest, once again sporting his flashy styled metro-beard, gravel-grinder voice and ‘let’s get shit done’ attitude. Having thrown the disk into my PS4, I was raring to go. Luckily the game offers a skippable 12 min refresher, covering the major plot points and characters of the previous title. I appreciated this, and made me realise how very little I actually recalled.
The opening level served as a tutorial, helping to ease you back into the controls and game mechanics present in Human Revolution, while also introducing you to your ‘boss’ Jim Miller – head of TF29 (task force 29) – who to my surprise is Australian, and voiced by one. I was not expecting this, and immediately wanted to break into his apartment to see if an Aussie flag was hung anywhere. There was one – I was absolutely fucking delighted, and proud of myself.
Having passed the ‘test’ you’re given free reign on a ‘HUB’ in Prague. In the hub you’re doled out side missions, can visit shops and are constantly reminded that the augmented are an oppressed segment of society (it’s seriously drummed into you). After doing enough ‘investigating’ you are rewarded with a ‘story mission’, accessable from TF29’s base inside the hub. A mildly disabled South African flies you from mission to mission, but he’s an absolute prick, and I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to like him. I get it! You’re bitter, and South African! Geez!
Deciding what to invest your ‘Praxis’ (ability points) kits on was the most interesting aspect of the game. It was always a tough decision. Do I want to make my time hacking all the unattended computers in Prague easier, or invest in periodic ‘god-mode’? If making tough decisions like this doesn’t appeal to you there is always the option to buy as many Praxis kits as you desire, because you know, playing the game normally just isn’t enough right? Yes micro-transactions like this are available in Mankind Divided, for those with more money than sense – thanks Square Enix..
About 15 – 20 hours in I was still waiting for the ‘big twist’, the ‘game changing event’, the point in the story where everything came together to form some sort of interesting reveal. It never came. I only realised I had completed the final mission, after I had completed it and the credits were rolling. It completely blindsided me, and I felt incredibly disappointed. Did I miss something?
Ah wait I yes I did – I didn’t buy the season pass for future DLC..
What did Mankind Divided get right?
- Moody, dark tone
- Flashy, polished gameplay
- Fun new augment abilities
What did it get wrong?
- Flat, unsatisfying story