( Sorry for taking forever for this review.)
Deus Ex was a masterpiece of a game when it came out in 2000, at the beginning of the 21st century and laid down the foundation of what we would see 16 years later with videogames. The franchise came back to life after Human Revolution in 2012 and in an world where sequels come out faster each year, it’s surprising that Mankind Divided took this long to make.
The charm of Mankind Divided is how unusual it is and how unmodern it is, despite being a somewhat heavy political game with relevant topics that we see everyday and it’s powerful to see around what’s going in the world and feel like it harkens back to today, in the year 2016 but don’t let that turn you down: It’s a powerful mechanism and that’s what drew me to this Deus Ex, after not playing the entire series including the reboot, Human Revolution since the original Deus Ex.
The setup remains the same like in previous games, but this time it feels darker and has waves of political activism that’s reverts back to the real world, somehow. In a universe where augmented people are being targeted and shot in the street, in a universe where the people are being oppressed by the government, in a universe where it’s very oppressive, players are sent to uncover a conspiracy. We are dropped into open-ended environments and play the way we want to play, the opening of the game is very Deus-ex and then it never returns to that, which is disappointing.
The game becomes formulaic instead of what we played in the beginning of the game, the missions are dull and flat. I know you must be saying “That’s the core of Deus Ex.” , but my back was never really backed to the wall unlike the original Deus Ex, and I barely needed to switch gameplay. It was either mostly shooting or going stealthy without shifting gameplay naturally like in the other Deus Ex games, perhaps it’s just me and I hate what the game does: It’s somewhat predictable.
I suspect this is my own imagination since Deus Ex was never really predicatable, everything felt natural especially for someone who hasn’t played the newest Deus Ex game, Human Revolution and when he only played the original Deus Ex. I suspect there’s freedom here, but I couldn’t find it this time around, perhaps when I do a second playthrough, I will find freedom. It’s disappointing to know that the options are somewhat limited when the game tells you that you have options to take care of an issue.
Don’t get me wrong ,you’re never without options but it is just limited. I decided to give it a whirl and I decided to knock out a guard, put him in a closet and make away stealthily until I got discovered and thus my stealthyness was blown and I had to fight my way out.
Other then the negatives, the positive is that the game opens up to you and you’re free to go wherever you want. None of the hubs are huge but they’re really open, the best part of Mankind Divided is the world. The world is fully realized to it’s potential, it gives us a look at the different systems of the world and the impact of the government has had on the state of living, it’s something that’s relevant in today’s world and walking the streets and watching is an intense experience.
I made an effort to connect to the world and I did, although the gameplay was lacking and the story came to an abrupt end leaving it for more, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a very good game that deserves your time. Let’s hope the third game in the rebooted series is grander and have more aspirations then Mankind Divided.