Developed primarily for fans of the series, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided offers fun side missions and gameplay diversity
Conspiracy theories, "machine apartheid", augmentations, paranoia - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided seems to be juggling several different balls at once. That's not including the stealth/RPG shooter approach that the series has taken since the beginning. Is the latest sequel worth exploring for players new to the franchise or is it a web of intricacy best suited to veterans?
Adam Jensen is once again the protagonist and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follows the events of Human Revolution. Man discriminates against augmented man, Interpol is working to contain threats, mysterious groups move in the shadows with their own plans...you get the drift by now. How Jensen fits into all this remains to be seen but is also left up to the player. The detail in the environments is as startling as the first game and there are secrets, upgrades, side missions and so much more to be discovered as you go along. Spoiler alert: The story isn't as good as the first game and the ending may disappoint you.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is somewhat kinder than the previous game in terms of powers. Your energy bar now refills passively, encouraging ability usage, and your weapons can be modified in the heat of battle. The sheer range of abilities combined with the level design encourages different approaches to each mission, whether you're unleashing detachable blades and silently killing enemies or sneaking past each conflict with cloaking. Running and gunning is also possible though this isn't a straight-up action experience.
In many ways, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided feels like a major upgrade to the first game. Mechanically, it's very similar, save for the lower number of boss battles. Exploring the levels and encountering different NPCs to take on various side missions can be fun. Decisions made will echo throughout the story and offer different outcomes, especially in the ending. The amount of freedom you have in playing the game contributes most to its charm. If you're not interested in the story and simply want some quick action, Breach Mode allows for objective play within a VR simulator. It's very straightforward and lacks the campaign's various enticing plot threads however.
While it might not sway first time players to its cause, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided combines a decent narrative, exceptional side missions and enough freedom to play how you want. The overall story and ending could have used a bit more closure and obviously it won't compare to Human Revolution. As it stands, you'll have a pretty fun time for the game's 30 or so hours of playtime.
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