Developer: Eidos Montreal | Released: 2016 | Genre: FPS+, Stealth
I absolutely loved the original Deus Ex. In fact, I loved it so much that I completed it twice, and I virtually never do that. It was a 10 to me. I also completed the sequel, as well as Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I really liked this reboot too when I completed it back in 2012. I gave that one a 9.
Yet, I almost abandoned Mankind Divided.
I started it one morning where I probably was in a sour mood. It felt overwhelming with its many wheels, panels and windows. I decided I couldn’t muster this level of complexity anymore and dumped it. But after lunch (and in a better mood) I gave it a second chance. And this time it grabbed me.
Did I just repeat the same rebound as with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare?
I’m really glad I gave it one more go – it was really fun to explore Prague. It was wonderfully detailed and it was teeming with opportunities for exploring, sneaking, shopping and side quests.
Most other games offer all tutorial tips right on the spot, but Mankind Divided also had sandbox tutorials in the middle of the prologue for learning cover, stealth, combat, and so on. These could be repeated with no repercussions, and when exiting I was back where I was in the real level.
I wasn’t fond of the hacking minigame. It was harder than in Human Revolution and it was easy to lose even when using software such as reveal, stealth or stop. The alternative was crafting a single-use multi-tool, which always hacked with a 100% success rate, but crafting materials were scarce – just like bullets.
Didn’t go solely stealth or combat. It was a mix for me. When getting close to humans, the tactical shotgun was great. I also didn’t hoard a lot of weapons. Typically settled with about three.
I really liked how a chest of drawers was always searched all at once, regardless of the size of the furniture. All drawers opened just a tad and then the loot window appeared. Saved a lot of time.
Why was there a myriad of televisions everywhere, all turned on? It was especially crazy in apartments.
I liked the way they showed a video clip of Adam travelling on the train while the level was loading.
To make it easier on myself, I maximized cloaking and silent takedown. Later I also maximized shielding and health, but it honestly didn’t make that much of a difference if I got totally reckless.
I got quite a few missions into the game – probably more than half way – before I discovered the hard way that the game actually doesn’t pause when hacking a computer, like it does when opening the inventory. Suddenly a cop was shooting at me in real time.
The augmentation expert in Prague discovered a series of additional augmentations in Adam Jensen. These experimental augmentations were flickering, and turning them on required me to turn off another normal augmentation to keep the system from overloading.
The first thing I maximized there was the remote hacking augmentation.
Visiting the cult in the sewers, led by the hypnotizing Richard, felt like a quest that could have been in one of the Fallout games by Bethesda. I liked that it was possible to find such side quests here.
I opened a secret door in an apartment by using a punching bag.
There was one apartment room where the door closed and I was slowly being gassed. I had skipped the rebreather augmentation and was scrambling to find a vent for escaping.
That was quite an unexpected trap.
I regret not taking that rebreather augmentation during the game. There were quite a few situations where it would have made life a lot easier, especially close to the theater late in the game. If you’re reading this and are thinking about playing the game, please do take that augmentation. You won’t regret it.
I was worried about sitting in the NSN chair for a virtual reality experience. I was surprised it didn’t really look like oldskool cyberspace. I had to get close to five data towers and download their information, but it wasn’t that hard. A little remote hacking and Bob’s your uncle.
Went with saving the female, when I got the choice of only activating one of two ID cards. My thoughts was like disasters at sea – women and children first. Later she joined the resistance.
I really liked the crime scene side quest. I was a film noir investigation right there, inside Deus Ex. And it had its surprises along the way too. The only thing I wasn’t fond of was that it ended with one of a total of two boss fights in the game. Not that I didn’t see it coming.
After being poisoned in Switzerland (which Adam survived) I had to sneak through the complex there. I found a blue tube for crawling past a few rooms in there, but I noticed that everyone started going into orange search mode as I was crawling through it. Thinking they probably spotted me through a window in it, I quickloaded and tried again with cloaking enabled. Same reaction. My guess is the search mode was scripted to automatically turn on at that point.
In the rest of that mission I completely abused the cloaking augmentation. You don’t play nice…
Returning to Prague for the third time and I found it in complete lockdown. I should probably have anticipated that one. More cloak abusing to get across town. What I did like was that the train was offline and Adam had to walk on the subway train tracks between stations.
Of course the inevitable boss fight commenced against the brute Viktor Marchenko in a London convention hall. A lot of drones joined him and it was frustrating to begin with, until I found a vent with three exits far apart from each other. That made it possible to sort of cheese this fight.
During the entire game I had always trusted Adam’s boss, Jim Miller, and luckily he didn’t turn traitor either. I also liked his death scene – it was nicely acted. It’s funny, one of the few things I remember from when I played Human Revolution many years ago is when a woman died in Adam’s arms in a corridor. The voice actor there also acted this very well.
I got the ending where although I disabled Viktor’s detonation device, all the VIP’s died.
Unskippable credits? That was not nice, Eidos.