Deus Ex: Mankind Divided follows many of the same features and subject matter that was found in the prequel Human Revolution. Despite this, Mankind Divided is still one of the finest Role Playing Games to release this year that offers choice and openness to how you approach every situation. It stumbles from time to time but the follow-up to Human Revolution is expected but enjoyable.
Once again, you play as Adam Jensen, two years after the events of Human Revolution. In this First Person RPG, the plot is filled with conspiracy theories and political twists which was present in the previous title. In fact, there was so much twists and turns in Human Revolution’s plot that a 12-minute recap is presented to you before you start the game to get caught up. This trend continues to Mankind Divided and although the story is enjoyable enough, it is definitely the game’s weakest part.
Gameplay in Mankind Divided is king. Nowhere feels linear. You will spend a chunk of time in the hub area of Prague and moving from area to area to complete missions feel seamless. Even when you get into a mission there doesn’t feel like there’s any forced direction. Utilizing your weapons and Jensen’s augments, you can either approach any mission stealthily or go literally guns blazing. What’s most impressive is that every approach is viable and enjoyable. The developers have went to impressive lengths to consider every single decision any type of player may take to every single mission.
When I wanted to mix things up, I simply could. There were always new routes, new approaches, and new equipment to utilise. I always felt like the gameplay stayed fresh because the structure always allowed me to change things up when either one method wasn’t working or I was starting to feel jaded. As a shooter, it feels pretty great. When things get hairy, everything feels responsive enough to accommodate the faster pace the game can suddenly take.
The atmosphere in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is superb. Walking around the city hub of Prague, you can feel the tension between naturals and the augmented and signs, graffiti, and even to citizens of the city carry that through. The hub itself is one of the best realised in a video game to date. It’s alive and filled with personality and is quite reminiscent of City 17 from Half Life 2.
Visually, the game no longer adopts to the black and gold of Human Revolution and instead uses much more colour all around making it feel more vibrant and it’s also used to highlight aspects in a better way than previously. Everything has a decent amount of detail and ambient features makes everything more enticing.
Music is once again excellent as they mystery synth and drums really does a great job to build tension and ramp up the importance of moments in the game itself, even if the delivery or story itself isn’t incredibly well done.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided feels very much like Human Revolution again but that isn’t a bad thing. All the augments from the previous game returns but with a few new ones at your disposal, you must now pick and choose which ones to use which further enhances the variety on show here. This definitely feels like a game that warrants multiple playthroughs.
Everything that Mankind Divided offers is very much a similar game to its predecessor but expanded in every conceivable way. It doesn’t thread new ground or even offer anything revolutionary. Instead, it brings everything together in a cohesive and impressive way to make it one of the most enjoyable games of the year, even if nothing about it distinctly makes it one of the best. An expected sequel of high quality.