Ready to head back into the Deus Ex universe?
If there is one thing that you can say about the Deus Ex franchise, it’s that the developers know how to make an epic comeback.
This popular first-person shooter (FPS) game series rolled out in the market in 2000. It was followed by Deus Ex: Invisible War in 2003. At the height of its popularity, it took a hiatus.
It was only in 2011 when fans of the cyberpunk game heard the return of the Deus Ex series with Human Revolution.
Thanks to the right set of tools, a dash of creativity, and impressive augmentations, the franchise rolled out its fifth game entitled Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It’s hard to describe the exhilarating feeling that you get while playing it hands-on. It has a compelling story, rich graphics, and intense gameplay that can attract both old and new players.
This short blog entry will give a sneak peak on what to expect from the latest installment of the Deus Ex series.
The story so far…
The story of Mankind Divided picks up after the epic conclusion of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which is two years after the main events.
In the game, people with augmented mechanical parts suddenly became violent and uncontrollable. What they don’t know is that the humans with mechanical parts are secretly controlled by the Illuminati.
This rogue group aims to spread bad publicity on the augmented parts and isolate people who have it.
In this game, you will be playing Adam Jensen. He is a former security officer turned Interpol member. His current mission is to capture the terrorist group that uses augmented parts to tear the society down.
But behind his law-abiding façade, he is a secret member of the Juggernaut collective; a band of hackers that aims to find the secrets of the Illuminati.
Impressive backdrop, vast world to explore
As part of the Deus Ex franchise, you can expect that Mankind Divided is rich in lush visuals and color. However, this is not a game with happy unicorns, sunshine, and rainbows, so the color palate is leaned towards gritty, rusty, and mysterious themes.
Everywhere you go, rubbish is scattered around the streets. Dead autumn leaves are skewered in barbed wires, and you can feel animosity and tension among the non-playable civilians.
The game also has a cyberpunk feel to it with advanced weaponry, cyborgs, robots, and the whole futuristic shebang. It feels like you are in the world of Akira or Ghost in the Shell, except it’s more western.
The world of this game is vast. Sometimes, it can be tiring to explore a depressing city, but it’s the mystery (and the virtual loot!) that will keep you crawling in every nook and cranny of each level.
Eidos, the developers of the game, did not include any flashing waypoints that can help you make your next turn.
An example of this one is the level where you can find an abandoned hotel in Dubai. While walking the empty halls of the venue, an air vent will suddenly crash down. This signifies that you have the option to climb and follow an elevated route instead of walking on ground level.
Thankfully, they use a more natural way to lead players around confusing streets. This is a well deserved improvement because you have the freedom to discover new shortcuts.
There are also instances wherein you have to revisit characters that you met in previous levels.
An example of this one is the police officer that you need to bribe in Prague. These encounters can further lead to various side quests that can last for as long as ten minutes. On some occasions, you can also unlock sub-stories that are as long as the primary mission.
Players have the freedom to engage with these virtual characters or not. However, keep in mind that every decision you make will have a huge bearing to your environment.
News reports, for instance, may change depending on the results of the previous missions. The way you behave also affects the other characters’ perceptions of you. It may not seem much, but these little details will matter when you meet targets in higher levels.
If you fight them with blazing guns, they will apparently act more hostile, and they may not listen to your negotiations. This means that brute force is not the answer to everything in this game.
Sometimes, you need to be stealthy with the missions, and you even need to be compassionate to your enemies to succeed.
Of course, it’s not a Deus Ex game if you can’t use a plethora of weapons. You can choose to add a stun gun, tranquilizer rifle, knives, and other fresh arms to aid you in your mission. You can earn these weapons by talking to some of the characters.
Also, you also have the option to personalize your weapons. You can customize a rifle with a new muzzle, scope, type of ammunition, and even the firing pattern.
This is a new arcade-style mode wherein you need to hack servers and steal data in the shortest time possible.
Its art is a little bit different from the campaign mode. The levels have a sharp and angular design, making them feel more compact. In this mode, the system breach that you will be doing takes place in a virtual world, so you are like playing a game within a game.
To make it more exciting, the servers have these tough virtual defenses. If you get caught, all the data you hacked will be deleted. This mode is ideal for players who enjoy the stealthy mechanics of the Deus Ex franchise.
The Wrap Up
Overall, Mankind Divided is an exciting addition to the entire Deus Ex franchise. The developers maintained the gritty art that fans love ever since the first installment.
The gameplay can be a little bit challenging, as you can’t just barge into each level by shooting everything in sight. You have to interact with other characters and mind your behavior to accomplish your goal. The Breach mode is also a refreshing addition because it lets you delve into the stealth aspects of the game.