By W James
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a character masterpiece with a melting pot of different gaming mechanics that fit both the tone and style of the video game.
You play as Agent Adam Jensen an augmented Interpol agent that is trying to uncover a series of terrorist attacks that are causing unrest in the Natural and Augmented communities.
The story unfolds more like a spy thriller than an action adventure game. Trying to find and fit the pieces of the puzzle before all hell breaks loose in the city of Prague.
What Deus Ex: Mankind Divided did well was the world building. Prague feel fleshed out a city trying to get by in the midst of a very complicated situation.
The Augments are constantly persecuted and checked for ID with only the elite getting the pass. As an Augment, Jensen even has to take the Augment train to fast travel unless he wants to get into a scuffle with the cops.
I felt uneasy a lot of the time because even though Jensen is trying to help he is always judged on site for who he is.
The other narrative piece the game does well is making me believe that the choices I make in the game matter.
You are given dialogue options in most every encounter. This could easily feel like a half-baked attempt to “branching paths” into the game.
However, Jensen’s responses all have facts and evidence to support the way he would react in the given situation. This feature is best utilized in the side missions that are found along the main narrative path.
When it comes to gameplay it is a frankenstein of different genres. The game is in first person unless you are talking in a scripted scene or run to cover, then it goes out into third person.
This is an idea that could use a little refinement. It is jarring sometimes going in and out of the different POV’s especially when trying to do stealth.
While the gun play is fine the targeting reticle in third person is weird as well. It gives you a zone rather that a precise dot you can shoot with. However, the take downs and different types of guns really help balance out the negatives. There is also a hacking mini game which is fine but not the best.
The game is also an RPG. Jensen’s Augments can be unlocked and upgraded via skill trees.
I like the skill tree system a lot I never felt too overwhelmed and the skills are very useful when in combat and beyond. The items you get are also managed through an inventory which can also be upgraded in the skill trees.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a must play even if you are new to the franchise. Adam Jensen is an interesting character that interacts with a world that doesn’t welcome him all while trying to salvage what’s left of the relationships between Augments and Naturals.
The gameplay is solid albeit a little disjointed and with the occasional frame rate drop. However, none of the problems in the game detract from how awesome this game is from beginning to end.