It’s a divided world, or so Deus Ex tells me. After 5 years the long awaited sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution is finally upon us. Does Mankind Divided live up to the pedigree of Human Revolution? No, but it’s still great.
Two years after the events of Human Revolution, the world is reeling from the “incident”. The “incident” being the murderous rampage all augmented people were forced into. Following this, augmented people are now being treated as second hand citizens the world over. Adam Jensen is in Prague, working for TF 29, an international task force established after the incident. Much of the game is centered in Prague with Jensen working for TF29 and a group of activists called The Juggernaut Collective. The game presents players with choices of where to place their loyalty, with The Collective or with TF29 although ultimately these choices have no real impact on the story. The story is missing a lot of details that would make it coherent. What exactly does TF29 do? Why are they in Prague? How does Jensen know The Collective? None of these questions are answered at all, and lots of moments in the plot leave you scratching your head.
Snake Would Be Proud
How does Mankind Divided play? Pretty damn good. Mankind Divided pulls everything great about stealth and gameplay from Human Revolution and improves on all of it. The cover system is excellent, sneaking and takedowns are refined, and the power consumption system has been retooled to make a lot more sense. Jensen has some new augments this time around that make stealth in the game a lot more fun and interesting, from cloaking to remote hacking. The biggest problem from a gameplay standpoint is a lack of boss fights. Human Revolution had 4 boss fights, all with unique layouts and strategies. The creativity of the boss fights was one of the high points of HR. Mankind Divided has only one boss fight, and it’s not much of a fun one. The last boss is painfully obvious from early on in the game, and the fight is just pumping ammo in him until he goes down.
Again? Yes. The Illuminati are the main antagonists of the game. Why? Good question. We never really find out what the Illuminati wants, but we know they’re bad. Mankind Divided is pretty hamfisted with its ideology, as is a tradition of the series. The themes of police brutality, segregation, activism, and a hard stance on modern media. It’s all very admirable, but it’s not explored with a lot of tact. Deus Ex still has an excellent conversation system that would make Mass Effect jealous and plenty of conversation “battles” to play around with. On top of that, Prague is an excellent hub world with lots of incentive to explore.
Should You Care?
Yes. Mankind Divided is an excellent stealth action game. While the story leaves a little to be desired and the ending only exists to set up a sequel, Mankind Divided is a great way to spend 20-25 hours of your time. I think it’s easily worth the $66 and highly recommend anybody picks it up when it goes on sale. What did you think of Mankind Divided? Let me know in the comments.