I remember playin the first Dues Ex back in 2000. Trying the objectives in numerous ways. Sometimes I would play it as a stealth game, other times I would go in guns blazing.
For those of you who know nothing about the series, its a fps/rpg/stealth game. It has been my experience that often times when a game tries to do too much, it doesn’t do anything exceptionally well. This series is definitely the exception to that rule. Deus Ex really set the bar in all those genres. So how does Deus Ex: Mankind Divided hold up? Square Enix have taken everything that is great about the Deus Ex series and improved it. Deus Ex was already one of my favorite series, this game just cemented it. This review is based off of a review copy(thank you square!) of the PC version, this will however not effect the score. Below is a link to the launch trailer so you can see it in action. This is a mature game, so the trailer itself will be for the older crowd. Yes the game really does look and play that good.
Graphics – 10/10
This game is absolutely breathtaking at times. I had the graphics set to ultra on my PC, so that helps. Deus Ex Mankind Divided is definitely a well optimized game. If you do wind up having any issues with it running smooth, turn off the MXAA in the options(its a real ram hog). Otherwise very smooth indeed.
There were times I got myself in trouble because I was taking in my surroundings not paying attention to the bullets whizzing by my head. There were a lot of wow moments for me. At one point in the game I was looking over a balcony, marveling at the skyline and a whole flock of birds flew into sight, I had to remind myself to keep going, after all I had a lot more to explore. There were a lot more really cool moments like this.
It wasn’t just the wow moments that were impressive, it was also the little details. The way paper or leaves blew with the wind, the shine on the weapons, the detail in the environments both inside and out. Also of note are the various effects from the augmentations (I’m not going to go into detail, after all part of the fun is discovering the new augmentations yourself), we will just say they looked spectacular. My only slight complaint, was sometimes the animation looked a bit stiff to me. this is being very nitpicky though as the whole game just looks phenomenal
Story – 9/10
Often times in other shooters we get tough as nails protagonists that show up and blow up the environment and anyone/thing that gets in their way. Nothing wrong with that of course, I enjoying being large and in charge. It is however nice to have a character that has incredibly deep motive’s for what he does. Adam Jensen is a very dark character with a backstory that explains why. Mankind Divided also has returning characters as well as new characters who have great backstories that are worth exploring.
My recommendation would be to talk to everyone, hack every computer, there are story elements spread out through out the world that help flesh out the Deus Ex universe. You will also find notes laying around that help flesh out the story.
You might feel I am being quite vague with the story, the reason for this is that you absolutely need to experience the story yourself. Telling you too much would be like ruining the plot to a great movie.
As you go through the story you learn of the different motives for each character. This does take place right after Deus Ex: Human Revolution, if you didn’t finish or even play that game, don’t worry your covered. Square Enix has included a 12 minute Recap of the Human Revolutions story.
Audio – 10/10
I always play my games with a 7.1 surround sound headset. Sound can make a huge difference in any game, especially one as huge as Mankind divided. Thankfully Mankind Divided’s audio is up to the standards of the rest of the game.
The voice work was great, there are great actors voicing the cast. Adam Jensen sounded as cool as he looked which is saying a lot. Everyone sounded great, whether it was a civilian or main character.
They really did a great job with the surround sound. When I was sneaking around in Vents I could clearly hear other characters having conversations and moving around the environment. I could hear each bullet as it passed by. If you do play with a nice surround set up, you will notice a lot of little audio details, that you would miss with standard stereo.
I have always liked the Deus Ex soundtrack. It never felt over done or out of place. Much like movies a good game soundtrack stays with you long after the end credits. When I hear the Deus Ex theme it gets me motivated to jump back into Adam Jensen’s shoes.
Gameplay – 10/10
As great as the rest of the game is, it would mean nothing without the gameplay to back it up. thankfully Mankind Divided delivers.
Much like its predecessors Mankind Divided is an FPS/RPG/Stealth game. Whether you go in guns blazing or sneak around and take out people from afar, it all feels great. Depending on the way you want to play, the gameplay changes.
I chose to be aggressive and use guns for my first play through, my next play through I plan to sneak around. Whatever you choose you will get to experience each different element, just to a greater or lesser degree. I love the cover system in this game. It is really responsive and just feels great. You can move from cover to cover with ease.
The guns felt appropriately power full. If you used a pistol as opposed to a shotgun you could easily tell the difference. It might take a couple of shots to take someone down with a pistol, but if you hit them with a shotgun blast they would go flying. It was very satisfying to say the least. This might sound like a very silly statement, but I have played games where the guns felt weak.
The RPG element in Mankind Divided is really what sets this game apart. It really is all about the augmentations. As you level up you can level up or choose other augmentations. These are an absolute blast to mess around with, and much like other choices you make can really change the way the game is played. Again I am not going into much detail here, this is another part of the game that is more fun do discover for yourself.
Family Friendly Rating – 5/10
Mankind divided is a very dark game. There is a good amount of cursing, violence and dark themes. Adam Jensen is a hero and he wants to do the right thing, so points for that.
One of my favorite games this year. I would even go so far as to say it belongs on my favorite games of all time list. As much as I liked Revolution, this is a far better game. I highly recommend you go get this game when it comes out in just one short week.