Sequel to the hit title of 2011 and fourth installment in a franchise of worship in gaming, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a continuation arriving too late to do so little novel over its predecessor. It’s been 5 years since the last adventure of Adam Jensen, but, in terms of design, the latest installment is virtually identical to the previous one: in an industry that increasingly has given us more complex, immersive and open worlds, Mankind Divided commitment a formula which, although still effective, is clearly exceeded. However, the old elements of the franchise are here: conspiracies, moral dilemmas, multiple elections, secrecy and freedom of choice as to the completion of levels. Hence we cause a mixed impression: a sequel that should have come two years after the original and not 5, but is enjoyable despite its shorter duration, much weaker and unsatisfactory less ambitious scenario and history than its predecessor.
The game is set in 2029, after the so-called “Incident of the Augments”, in which the systems of all those humans who installed cybernetic enhancements on their bodies out of control, turned violent and resulted in mass killings. Now, augmented are victims of a “mechanical Apartheid” systematically excluded and considered a danger to the world population. In this context, Adam Jensen, star of the previous title who now works for Interpol, to investigate a mysterious series of attempts on his own team: an ambush in Saudi Arabia by a team of mysterious murderers with golden masks and an explosion in Prague. As usual, Jensen will soon be in the center of the conspiracy: the authorities seek to attribute both to activism rights increased, but the tracks cyber vigilantes point to an invisible hand behind these events … what would you choose? You shall gather a divided humanity?
In almost every way, Mankind Divided follows the mold created by Human Revolution, great delivery revitalized a franchise of excellence that had fallen into disgrace. With the perspective of years, these decisions are good and make sense, although they were certainly a slight setback for freedom and amazing open character of the original. In the game you control basically a cyber agent “augmentations” biomechanics, responsible for resolving various scenarios by infiltration or direct combat. The augmentations have several purposes: some make you stronger or more accurate with guns, stealthier, others a better hacker, and so on. The adoption of these skills by the so – called points system “Praxis” gives a sense of progression to your character and help decide what will be your approach to solving scenarios: looking for direct action, exploring alternate routes, extraction vital information? Everything is possible in Deus Ex.
On this occasion, new augmentations give some variety to the style of play, but not much. Fortunately, preserves the augmentations of the previous title, but as the game progresses, Jensen finds that, for some reason, experimental implants placed in the body during the time he was “off” or lost on the shores of the Arctic. These experimental augmentations are highly unstable and spend a lot of energy, but they offer tremendous power to your character: Nano shield, a new “dash” shields, tasers in your hands and more. The weapons also have new secondary functions by loading, so you will be more lethal. There are also more advanced enemies with augmentations like yours, which is a constant challenge.
We must say that, after 16 years, some of the solutions of the franchise already seem commonplace. I was not surprised to know that next to the Interpol servers there is a vent that leads into a hallway with an electrified puddle is possible to cross walking hunched over a pipeline. For those who do not speak in jargon Deus Ex , these things and situations exist from the first game, but in the original are less obvious and often have to use extremely smart your resources to solve any scenario (and remember, sometimes practically they forced you to break the game with your mind if you wanted to survive). Here nothing is like this: everything is too obvious, almost insulting in comparison, even though players from the new school, born yesterday (probably when he left the original) will look amazingly non-linear.
Actually, the new Deus Ex is a good game in its formula (increased agent finds conspiracy and must decide between several morally ambiguous choices, while infiltrating various scenarios using skills such as hacking, brute force, stealth and firearms), but has many problems not only against the original titanic (so majestic that nothing, not even the best in the industry today title, could be compared with intelligence and freedom in design), but also, at least in certain sections to its predecessor.
First, the history and the stage are much weaker than in Human Revolution. Cyberpunk is a genre that develops much better in hypermodern technology and dystopian cities of Asia or the United States. However, here it has been decided by a somewhat provincial capital of Europe: Prague, a beautiful city no doubt but that lacks the impact of skyscrapers, lit by neon, giant advertisements and anchor in the historical past (Futurism nights, in a nutshell). Developers opted for a futuristic scenario euro-tinged style dystopia communist Europe, but the result is impressive: only in places like the branch of Interpol buried underground you feel at home and cyber agent. The game really does not take off in visual appearance until you reach City Golem, a ghetto high – tech human augmented with stunning scenery, but overall I find it amazing that so original, made for almost 2 decades, made you feel at the future and this game … not so much.
The story and characters are also a bit weaker than on other deliveries. You become to find in the situation of working for an agency with his hands to the bottom of corruption and conspiracies, and fellow suspects work, but it needs the link with characters like Malik in Human Revolution or Jacobson in the original; your boss is a copy of Sariff in police version, situations are recycled ( to be a good guy or investigate the conspiracy to the bottom?), but lack the importance and strength of the original, and, above, the stage is relatively short and rushed, with little developed characters, to the extent that at times the dialogue moves from “acceptable” to “bad”.
On the other hand, maybe that gives us a greater sense of missed opportunity is the design philosophy of the game. It’s been 5 years since its predecessor, but Mankind Divided feels like a game that had to leave two years later. Its design is identical: small hubs scan (Prague, Golem), closed missions in which you basically hide in ducts and boxes or shoot when you run out of options, some decisions regarding the NPC here and there. In short, a world closed for years. The problem is that the style of Deus Ex lends excellent dynamic open world way, but Square Enix has gone to the safe and gave us an anachronistic delivery, which is not as free as the original nor its current competitors. It is true that is well designed (although almost everything I resolved on autopilot after playing all titles in the franchise), but its ambitions are really very few.
Another section a bit disappointing are the graphics and music. The models are exactly like those of his predecessor 5 years, great in his time and now look at times as rough puppets with blunt features. Jensen is cleverly designed to not show the shortcomings of the graphics engine (beard, glasses, square face), but the expression on certain characters is so little human that insults us. Overall, it looks like a game last generation. On the other hand, the performance, at least before it is updated on day 1, is very unstable, which may change but very surprised because it does not look nor of away- as well as more current titles. The music is also very prominent and pales before that of all his predecessors.
Having stated all of the above complaints, I must say that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a good game. It’s just that all the weight on his shoulders burden is so great that is inevitably a little disappointing that has opted for an easy and derivative sequel rather than an evolution of the franchise. The game is somewhere in between: a little freer than its predecessor ( Human Revolution ), without ugly battles with bosses inevitable, but much less free and more complex than the original, and, above all, obsolete before its current competitors. In short, it’s a safe bet that will appeal to fans of Human Revolution, but not too impressive when you take into account the original and its contemporary competition.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a well – made experience, but its limits are obvious. This is a sequel that comes too late given its design philosophy derived. Above, it has an abrupt and unsatisfying end (although it takes about 18 or 20 hours). Finally, Mankind Divided is a sequel that does not add too much, but it would still be enjoyable and even recommended