Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of my most anticipated games of 2016. While I thought the last game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution wasn’t a perfect 10/10 game, it was still an overall solid game that did the original justice, and after playing a demo of Mankind Divided at this year’s Comic Con, I can safely say that my excitement for the game hasn’t diminished in the slightest. Even though I died and jumbled my way through my time with it.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place two years after the events of the Human Revolution, where after the “Aug Incident”, a worldwide event in which those with augments went berserk, society has begun to fear those with augments and treating them like second class citizens. It’s in this turbulent time we see Adam Jensen, the protagonist of Human Revolution, joins Interpol in the hope of capturing a group of augmented terrorists. It’s during this that Jensen and his team head for an abandoned hotel off the cost of Dubai to stop some weapons dealers from selling augments to terrorists, and it’s this hotel that the demo takes place.
Much like the beginning of Human Revolution, the demo had me choose how I wanted to handle the mission: stealth or direct combat. While my version of Jensen could handle a gun, I always preferred going into most situations using stealth; combat was fine, but it’s not the kind of game where you can effectively run and gun you’re way through, as ammo and health were limited and it was incredibly easy to get overwhelmed. Mankind Divided worked the same way, but I’ll get to that later.
Once I picked the sneaky approach and chose a rifle that shot sleep darts, I was on my way. The control options I had for the demo were based on the new control scheme for Mankind Divided or using the control scheme for Human Revolution, and I must confess: the new controls took a little bit of time to get use to, as Jensen now had a run button (versus Human Revolution where you had to hold the analog stick on the consoles), though I quickly got used to them. Another thing that shocked me at first but I quickly got over was that Jensen now has a meter for his augmentations. In Human Revolution, augment use was based on a small line of batteries that represented how you used them; those are gone and replaced with a meter that is not only easier to read and use (each augment uses a small amount of meter and then slowly drains as it’s used), but also enables Jensen to use new abilities, like being able to walk without making sounds, or activating a radar that makes it easier to see where enemies are, both of which were incredibly useful in my stealth playthrough.
Things were going pretty smoothly for me at first. I silently took out a few enemies with a few nonlethal takedowns (both from a distance with my rifle and close up), solved a few puzzles, hacked some terminals (the UI for which has improved by the way), and made my way to the second floor. After taking out some more enemies, I got to a room and tried to take out a guard, but unfortunately I missed and alerted him. This caused me to panic and waste my last gas grenade, a new item which enables players to take out a group of enemies in a nonlethal way. Just when I thought I was out of the woods, I was attacked again by an enemy that I hadn’t seen previously, causing me to once again panic and fire indiscriminately. Despite taking out the guy who was first alerted to me (and taking out his buddy using his body as a distraction), it was too little too late as I was gunned down by a bunch of his friends who had surrounded me, thus ending my playthrough with my quick and careless death.
But you know what? Despite that, I still enjoyed my time with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It hasn’t changed all that much from the last game, but the few changes that they did make are excellent improvements that fans will surely enjoy. The developers of the game have clearly taken feedback from fans to heart, and have kept what made Human Revolution work and fix what didn’t work, and I’m hoping the final product is better for it. You’ll be able to put on your trenchcoats and fight some conspiracies when Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releases on August 23rd for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.