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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review

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Story:

As you should expect of a Deus Ex game, this is not a simple story as there is a lot going on beneath the surface. You can find conspiracies behind just about everything and need to properly navigate through them in order to determine what exactly is happening and possibly do anything about it all. The terrorist attacks, decisions about the missions you are sent on for Interpol, and even your new augmentations all have something going on behind the scenes for you to uncover. And just as important as uncovering these secrets is understanding the people around you, to know who you can and cannot trust. Are they ignorant dupes, good people trying to survive and make the best of things, or are they among the puppet masters? You need to be careful with how you deal with these people, as it may cost lives if you are wrong.

In addition to all of the intrigue, you also have to deal with the bigotry now aimed at people with augmentations. At the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, an event now called The Incident occurred, when a signal triggered augmented people to lose control and start violently attacking people around them. This turned much of the world against these people, giving the "Naturals" a reason to oppress, degrade, and violate them. This includes the police on the street who are actively told by their superiors to downgrade the importance of crimes against the augmented. Adam Jensen, the playable character, is somewhat fortunate in all of this as he is a member of Interpol and Task Force 29 (TF29), the organization created specifically for stopping augmented terrorism groups around the world. This position gives him the credentials he needs for safe conduct in many places.

Your TF29 group is set in Prague, which had been a safe and open city for the augmented, but not after the Incident. Now those within the city need the proper paperwork to remain or else be sent to the segregation camp called Golem City. Ironically, Golem City was originally a complex meant to peacefully house augmented people and even has some protection from the outside world, but it is not enough.

As a backdrop for all of this is the impending vote for the Human Restoration Act. This UN law would compel the removal or downgrading of augmentations to make the people "safe again." Those who refuse to comply would be exiled. Mankind Divided is an apt description and the role you play may determine what comes next for humanity.

 

There is definitely a lot more backstory I could supply without risking spoilers, or at least serious spoilers, but I want to get on with the review. There is a lot of depth to the story as there are many tangled threads to unravel, and I welcome this. A number of the story missions are long, which is nice because the side missions can be long too, and you would not want to interrupt the story too much while completing everything else. One thing I want to admit is that I found myself enjoying some of the side missions more than some of the story missions. Some of the story missions have you exploring the physical world around you while some of the side missions have you exploring the story around you, which can be as much or even more engaging and interesting.

While the side missions may help you discover the world, it is still the story missions that shape it. Sometimes you will be presented with two missions and only be able to complete one, so you need to weigh your options carefully, and then go for it. After making your choice but before you make it to that mission, you can expect an NPC to come in over the radio in an attempt to sway you back to the other side. In one case this actually worked on me and I decided to run back and do the other. Both options had such great merit to do, but what that NPC said changed my view on the strategy involved, and got me to change my mind.

Something kind of similar happened with one of the side missions too. One of the objectives was to meet a contact and when speaking with this person they indicated they were in danger and wanted to leave and meet somewhere else. Normally I will try to go through every dialogue option I can to get all of the information I can, but I was actually concerned here, so instead I ended the conversation early. I knew this could have been setting me up for a trap, but felt I could handle that possibility more aptly than the immediate threat to this NPC. And then there was always the possibility it was not a trap.

In some conversations you can also take advantage of one of Adam’s augmentations to persuade the other character. The augmentation monitors the character’s personality, allowing you to respond with something most likely to influence them. It also lets you interrupt the character, but it is not like you actually break into their speech. I will admit, I would have liked it if it happened like that, instead of being almost like a timed dialogue choice. Either way, it is fun to exert this kind of control of the characters around you, because of how much it can shape what happens next.

While there are naturally some limitations on how you can affect the story, this is a game that very much lets you influence the world around you. The repercussions of your decisions are not always going to be predictable, which is part of what makes this story so interesting and fun. The options can also seem so equal you do not want to make the choice, but you must. Pay attention and weigh your options carefully.




  1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review - Introduction
  2. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review - Story
  3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review - Gameplay
  4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review - Conclusion
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