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Mechanical Apartheid - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review


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Getting a new Deus Ex is a special occasion. We've been treated to just four games over the last 16 years, each a cyberpunk tale of powerful global powers, criminal organisations and people with mechanical augmented abilities granting them super powers. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set between Human Revolution and Deus Ex, a time of strife following a catastrophe which sees 'Augs' distrusted by normal humans, thrown into 21st century concentration camps and dying in their millions.


This one will be a little brief as I went quite in-depth during my Deus Ex: Mankind Divided first impressions, so be sure to check out them first. Since then I’ve ploughed many more hours into Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and my opinion really hasn’t changed. It’s an absolute joy to get lost in, and those who get on with its key tenets of choice, exploration and dense systems will find a lot to love here.




On that latter point, the one thing that strikes me is just how tiny Mankind Divided is for a 30-hour game. It’s entire game world probably isn’t that far removed from the size of a single level in other first-person shooters, but everywhere you look it’s crammed with detail. A large majority of the buildings can be entered, secret routes uncovered, roofs hopped across and vents explore, gradually peeling back the layers of what is a pretty sordid vision of near-future Prague. There are a few niggles which got to me though, including un-enterable doors. One shop had a sign saying ‘Augs enter around the back’, but I went round and there was no way of getting in. It kind of shatters the illusion for a moment, particularly in a game as involving as this one is.


Much like its world, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s story has grand ideas but an ultimately small scale. It doesn’t necessarily feel like the epic tale some could perhaps be seeking, but the small arc and individual quests I found universally interesting. Unlike the likes of The Witcher 3 you aren’t inundated with dozens of quests to do at any one time. In fact, there’s probably only two dozen in total, but each offers its own unique twist around the theme of the mechanical apartheid. It can be heavy handed and it felt like Eidos Montreal was naturally pushing players down the path of the liberal left, but I have no idea whether that was purely down to my decision making.





Each of these quests usually ends up funnelling Jensen into a guarded area and it’s here where Eidos Montreal amplifies its level design. There are usually a number of visible ways to go about any scenario, all tooled towards the augments you may have unlocked in the skill tree using Praxis kits. The genius of it all is that there’s always a way though. There may be a dozen guards, laser beams, poison gas and an electrified floor, but look hard enough and you will find a way to creep through without a soul knowing you were there.


Eidos Montreal has been pretty brash about its claims you can play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided non-lethally, and I put it to the test. I managed to get through the entire game without killing a single person, and I’m fairly sure I totally skipped a few boss fights in the process. Adam Jensen you silver-tongued debonair, you. I will admit though that I didn’t have a spare 30 hours to try lethal, so I can’t comment assuredly how well that holds up on a run-through. By all means it seems you’re free to kill everyone but you’ll no doubt have to be careful how you manage your ammunition.


I know we’re only eight months in but Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is certainly a strong contender for game of the year. For those who enjoyed Deus Ex: Human Revolution this is the same but sharper, more focused, and gorgeous to look at. Surprises may be few and far between, but few can craft a world as comprehensively believable as this one.

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The last reply on this topic is older than 122 days. Please do not unnecessarily bump it. The most recent reply to this topic was posted 2333 days ago.

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