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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review
Exceptional
by oliverxparker

I picked up Deus Ex recently to fill the emptiness that waiting for Cyberpunk 2077 has given me. I played the original and loved it but only played a bit of Human Revolution as i got it towards the end of the 360 life cycle. The game did a great job of explaining the story so far with a pretty lengthy cutscene and introduced all the main characters.

Early on in my playthrough I started out non lethal and actually carried this out through the entire game, it was really enjoyable actually playing through a game without killing a single enemy. Stealth in this game is handled great, the augments are fun to use and it all works really well together. I have heard the gun combat is a bit ropey but I cannot comment as I didn't use it even once. 

The world, characters and narrative is where Mankind Divided really shines for me. I am a huge sucker for sci fi, dystopia and cyberpunk stuff so right off the bat I was hooked. The storyline is great and the detail in the side quests and how they run alongside the main missions and get more and more detailed as you progress is excellent. Your choices definitely feel like they impact the world around you. However, I would liked the world to a bit more fleshed out with a bit more to do. Prague is a great setting and feels grimy and seedy but I just wish you got to interact with more of it. 

My only other fault is I felt the last mission was a bit rushed and it kind of just ended out of nowhere. However, the complaints are minor and I thoroughly enjoyed this game and am excited to go back and replay Human Revolution. 

Other reviews4

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The Reviews of «Deus Ex: Mankind Divided» were mixed up. I love the cyberpunk genre and am a Fan of the Series, but although I recommend the Game to be quite a success, it leaves me kind of cold on another Level. I go into it elsewhere, but I would like to draw attention to a few Points for which you unfairly abstract the Game: Microtransactions: Yes, there are. But not in «Star Wars Battlefront» or «Shadow of Mordor» manner. 1. If one is not made aware of it to any Place while Playing, no Advertising, nada. The Atmosphere is never disturbed. 2. There is simply no Need for transactions. Neither is the Title artificially stretched To sell shit Loot Boxes, nor do you need them if you can't get ahead at one Point (in this Case, it helps to simply put down the Level of difficulty). 3. Penalties a Title per se simply because the Developer understandably wants to make Money from Microtransactions, even though it is so fair, unobtrusive and yes ... Decently as is made here is childish, petty and stupid. And just so that we get along clearly, I HASSE Microtransactions. Bugs, Performance Issues, Poor Optimization: Don't go with me. I suppose that everything has been fixed by now. Basically, I think «Deus Ex: Mankind Divided» a great Title. Visually and acoustically a Force, playfully varied and extensive. I had a lot of Fun trying Around, exploring, tactical (Finished the Game without a single Kill) etc. There were exciting Moments, numerous Surprises, hard Decisions, everything you would expect from a «Deus Ex» And much more. Strangely, though, the Title doesn't grab me as much as its grandiose Predecessor. On The one hand, this is due to the Story, which is not so diverse and exciting over a long Distance, and also does not result in such an excellent Finale. On The other hand, the Open World. Had «Human Revolutions» also numerous mission levels, plays a lot here in Prague. The World here is bigger, but still seems smaller, more tranquil in the global Context. The various Excursions out of town are to be counted on one Hand, but would have done the Title much better. Prague also looks much more realistic, which is certainly due to the changing Times of Day and Weather Conditions, but at the same time It is not as cool as Detroit did back then. While I was» Fascinated by «Human Revolutions, «Mankind Divided seems» unapproachable. As if one had had a Date with two different Girls. One was pretty, interesting and cool, the New one, while gorgeous, but at the same time cool, aloof and somehow arrogant. While the Predecessor told a worldwide Story, «Mankind Divided seems» like an Appetizer on the next Part (which probably never comes due to lack of enough units sold). «Mankind Divided» captivates with a living World, all kinds of Information about the Daily Happised, history, Etc. The Game can be played in 1001 different Ways and there are various Solutions for everything. Game as you like is the Motto. The Gameplay, meanwhile, remains as terrific as you know and appreciate it from the Series. Anyone who can do what to Do with Cyberpunk should risk a Look. Unfortunately, the Time until the Release of CD Project Red's new Title «Cyberpunk 2077» is likely to take a long time at the moment.
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Note: Make sure to either pirate this game or purchase it from a third-party reseller to avoid supporting unethical business practices.

I've seen several complaints that Mankind Divided is unfinished, and while I don't agree with this sentiment, at least not in that particular wording, it's incredibly easy to see where these people are coming from. The original Deus Ex, as well as Human Revolution (MD's more direct prequel), and *maybe* Invisible War (honestly I don't remember enough of it to really say), all feature *multiple* hubs, designed in a semi-open world fashion. These hubs often contain many friendly NPC's (that can be easily pissed off and usually executed), many optional areas, and side quest-like endeavors with many solutions that give the world a feeling of depth, vibrancy, and even a degree of realism, or at least immersion.

MD has one of these hubs: Prague, and it's shown in 3 separate iterations. It's a poor bastardization of something that was done really well in HR and probably the original as well (it's been a LONG time), returning to an area to observe the impact of both yours and the narrative's actions. Prague does that, except it adds a non-committal halfway point between the two extremes, and there's no other hub to break it up, just one-shot story areas. In short, you'll be really fucking sick of Prague by the end of this game, even if you ignore most side content, which brings me to my next point.

A lot of the main quest objectives feel like chores, and the illusion of importance is only preserved if you're the type to get sidetracked with mysterious air ducts and distressed civilians. I'm thankful that I have a near-obsessive compulsion to scrape content out of the corners of the map, or I would've *really* felt the back and forth nature of the questline.

Obviously, I'm addressing the campaign as a Deus Ex game. Even though the mechanics and formulae of Deus Ex are worth analysis and criticism, I enjoy its tropes, and these issues are ultimately irrelevant to my lukewarm opinion on MD. In fact, if the campaign were the only thing I'm addressing here, this would certainly be a recommended. I obviously have my issues with it, but the duct-crawling, armblade-extending fun is still largely intact. This is a game I wouldn't consider great by any measure, yet I can find myself engrossed in it for far more consecutive hours than most games I'd consider masterpieces. Take from that what you will.

The biggest threat to my opinion of MD is the pathetic, insulting, nauseating Breach mode. Before starting the campaign, I noticed the "Breach" option on the menu and made a point to investigate it after finishing the story. Throughout said story, I found many items titled "Breach Software", as well as a vendor that seemed to take those items and redeem them for *something*, without specifying what that something was. All of this made me very curious and excited for Breach, since I still had no idea what it *actually* was.

Breach is a bad multiplayer game, designed with a typical free-to-play economy at its forefront, and the primary goal of hemorrhaging its players to irresponsibly waste money on valueless fake currency, and to then irresponsibly waste said fake currency on intrinsically rigged and unfair lootboxes. You know what my "Breach Software" got me? Fucking lootboxes. I played an hour of this shit max, and it was incredibly obvious that many of the objectives being dangled in my face were designed to be impossible without a disgustingly bougie amount of money to burn and record-breaking lows of self-respect and dignity.

And that's all there is to say on that. On to the DLCs.

MD's DLCs are the definition of a mixed bag. Up first is Desperate Measures which is a pointless waste of time and belongs in the garbage. It's a single mission that fits into the main story. Like they actually just cut a mission out and sold it as DLC. Fuck you. Next.

Then it's System Rift which is...uh...okay, I guess. It's probably also pointless, but it manages to actually be enjoyable for the most part. Someone understood that breaking into the Palisades bank to rob corporate secrets was probably the dopest part of the main game, and it shows. Also at least there's a (very tiny) new slice of hub world. Even if it still takes place in Prague. My biggest gripe is a particular mandatory section of first-person platforming that just feels horrendous. Definitely not something the engine was cut out for. This is then followed by a really intuitive and intriguing bit of abstract puzzle solving which almost totally made up for it. But then the inspiration behind *that* short section visibly shrivels up and dies on-screen, taking the chances of this DLC standing up on its own two feet with it. But honestly, it isn't bad.

But then there's the last one. *Holy shit*, the last one. A Criminal Past is fucking top notch Deus Ex level design and gameplay. It's what all DLCs for this franchise should look like. A fresh and unique setting, familiar characters used only as a jumping-off point, new characters that actually have a point, world design that *rivals* and often *surpasses* that of the main game. Seriously, this bit in the prison is tangibly better than any section in the campaign. It's in a unique situation, where the thorough, meticulous, and immersive design of the main game, is paired with a story on a much smaller scale, and the result is ecstasy. It genuinely feels nonlinear, when you're tasked with breaking the prison's rules to accomplish your task, but the level is designed like an actual prison and not a corridor for you to progress through. You plan and execute your own jailbreak. Security is overwhelming and you're underequipped. Executing everyone and then casually picking your path is not a viable option. But even then it doesn't have to stay that way. Seriously the density of the prison as an area is absolutely fucking ridiculous and consuming. I joyfully tore through it in one sitting. 

Tl;dr the campaign and A Criminal Past are absolutely worth playing at least once, especially if you're a series fan, but keep away from the rest as far as you can *especially if you're a series fan*.
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«I could make it better»
Good story and execution. Sharp learning curve if it your first time playing a Deus Ex game.