Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the next entry in the Deus Ex series following 2011’s Human Revolution. An action-based game with role-playing elements, the game is set in the near future of 2029 with the primary conflict revolving around how humanity is split between those who are augmented — fitted with cybernetic prosthetics or implants — and those who are not.
Players control Adam Jensen as he works with both Interpol and the Juggernaut Collective, a hacker group aimed at combatting corruption.
A major selling point for the Deus Ex series has been providing players with the choice to approach situations however they wish. Mankind Divided allows players to choose between using stealth, walking into a room guns blazing, or a mix of the two to complete objectives.
Players who choose stealth have abilities such as cloaking and remote hacking, whereas those who choose combat as their preferred path can upgrade their weapon handling, armour, or unlock weapon augmentations such as nanoblades (the ability to shoot swords out of your arms) and TESLA arcs (the ability to shoot electricity).
There are also choices offered on how to progress the story and complete side quests. As Jensen, it is up to the player to decide to either support Interpol or the Juggernaut Collective. For example, after acquiring an important piece of evidence the player has to decide whether they should trust the item to their superiors at Interpol or hand it to their allies at the Collective in hopes of uncovering more information.
Side quests are also affected by the actions of the player: some can be lost forever as a result of players’ choices, while others will be unlocked.
The gameplay is very strong, keeping with the series’ trend. There is a lot of enjoyment in seeking out the best way to tackle a room full of enemies one at a time without alerting the others in a stealth playthrough. It is also challenging and rewarding to take on large groups of enemies in straight-up combat with a mix of abilities and weaponry. Augmentations help keep things interesting, as some abilities can make situations easier or help take advantage of the various level layouts.
The game is also technically impressive. The cutscenes are stunning and the level of detail put into Prague and other locations gives the game a sense of realism. The music is fantastic at capturing the feeling of various scenarios whether it be the exhilaration of combat or the calmness of walking down the street. The voice acting is also quite memorable, with a great cast of actors providing compelling performances.
Mankind Divided excels in many areas, but there are some noticeable flaws in the finished package, including notable visual problems such as hair clipping through clothing, long loading times, and other various bugs. The biggest issue, however, is that the game ends somewhat abruptly, with many of the threads never coming to a conclusion. It isn’t as though the game is incomplete — players can expect to spend about 30 hours finishing the game — but one can’t help but feel like there are some parts missing.
Overall, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a worthy sequel and a great title that anyone can enjoy. The small number of flaws do not do enough to detract from an enjoyable experience. You can’t go wrong picking up this title.