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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Game: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Platform: Steam
Developer: Eidos Montreal, Feral Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix, Feral Interactive
Date Reviewed: 08/30/2016
Reviewed by: [TMC]Quicksilver6

What a game.


In all seriousness, I liked it a lot, and really appreciated how many ways there were to do things.
...Some of which I did incredibly stupidly and laboriously, only to find I had missed the easy way once I had accomplished the task. Which is fine, really, because then you begin to realize how many alternatives you have available to you and you start looking!


Vents are your best friend, of course, but there are more obstacles hiding them and putting them out of sight, and you really have to look in out of the way places to find them sometimes. The ability to climb ledges has been implemented, meaning that you don't necessarily need to completely clear a flat surface to get up there. The absurd protein shake method of energy replenishment is gone, biocells from DX1 have appeared. Biocells can also be used in the environment to give you even more alternative solutions. Cybervision can help find the vents a lot, but isn't perfect, you still need to explore and get a sense for the level for them to be truly helpful.
The energy system also bears mentioning. Instead of 1 -5 batteries that empty completely when you use a takedown or aug, it's now a blue bar that has its maximum reduced very slightly everytime you use augments or takedowns. There's a minimum range that it won't go below, but if you need to use several augments in a hurry, the biocells will push it back to maximum. Hyposprays and painkillers are still in and still increase your health over the maximum. So does getting drunk, but that fades away quickly and blurs your vision. Adam's drunkness is augmented.


The shooting feels a bit tighter, and it's much more tempting to use lethal weapons now. Besides attachments, you can spend spare parts to upgrade their damage, capacity, and firing rate. Reload speed and accuracy are determined by Adam's hand augments. Also the horrendous tazer was replaced with a much more intuitive stun pistol that has the same functionality, but has the glowing sights of the 9mm pistol and is easier to aim and use.
Several weapons actually have a couple unique variants that are hard to find and quite valuable and can be found on story important characters or their homes. For example, one carries a customized revolver that is worth thousands of credits. There are also at least 2, if not more variants of shotguns I've seen appearing in the normal game. Keep your eyes open.


The story is a bit shorter and narrower in scope but I still would give it a thumbs up. The previous game was very US centric both in physical location and politics - Detroit, pharmacorps in China, weird venture capital projects in the Atlantic...


This game is very european and middle east centric. Dubai, Prague, the Swiss alps, and finally London... Most of the politics are more UN focused and about the growing power of the conspiratorial powers behind the problems in the game.


A non lethal run with no fatalities is still an option. Even on bosses, though you will obviously have to work much harder for it there and use more tools than just your tranq rifle or stun gun. Doing a perfect stealth run with no alarms is much, much harder, guards are more likely to notice their missing friends now, and if they're searching for you due to finding a body or alerted by gunfire, it counts. Patience is an important tool for that one.
Multitools are back and let you skip laborious hacking minigames for keypads, terminals and safes. You can even make your own if you have the resources (spare parts).
Microtransactions are not required for anything, and have no bearing on the ability to play the game: Even maxing out your skill tree or making money. There's new game plus as well if you feel you're not overpowered enough. Just play the game and have fun, don't worry about having to pay extra unless you have way too much disposable income.


Some say the protagonist didn't seem to care or had no motivation, I disagree. You face a lot of discrimination in the game as a cybernetically augmented person, both from natural people for your augment impants, and the augmented due to your role in law enforcement. Despite all that the character very clearly has been showing initiative since the last game, and is still trying to solve his problems.
This also comes with an arcade mode called "Breach" that's short and fun, basically similar to Raid Mode in RE revelations. You play as a Ripper (the next generation of hacker, get it?), and basically hack corporate data havens by putting on a headset and going full Lawnmower Man through their security - using the game elements in a tron-like digital setting. It's not terribly complicated but the difficulty scales higher the more you play in response to what you did. Attacking causes AI to do more damage or be armored. Destroying cameras and turrets increases their defenses as well. Taking too long means you will eventually suffer energy/hp penalties in future levels, though all of these add to your score multiplier.


In summary, I liked it a lot. Don't know about the season pass, though.

 

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