And welcome, ye faithful GHG congregation, to my very first video game review and how I lost my proverbial cherry with Square Enix’s highly anticipated Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The fourth console installment in the Deus Ex series takes place in the year 2029 — 2 years after the “Aug Incident”, an event where mechanically augmented humans became uncontrollable and lethally violent caused by the shadowy Illuminati.
You are Adam Jensen, an “aug” who is now working with a special Interpol terrorist unit who is also secretly working with the Juggernaut Collective, a hacker group poised to take out the Illuminati. Imagine a Terminator-sponsored crossover battle between Mr. Robot and E Corp…
T-800 (THE GOOD)
-Word? – Point blank, DE:MD‘s story is compelling and fun. As you venture through the game you are left pondering if people “[are] who we thought they [are]” (R.I.P. Coach Dennis Green). It adds a bit to the play. The gameplay also lets you decide where the game goes. You can choose to advance the main storyline while ignoring–and in some cases, deleting–side stories. If you do decide to run straight through and stick to the main storyline only, you will have to leave behind side stories that would affect the rest of the gameplay, so pick and choose wisely. Luckily, the game gives you some leeway regarding side missions since a few are actually needed upon completion of the main narrative.
-Voice & Diction – You also get to choose dialogue and how you want your character to react in certain situations; but be careful how you talk to people or how you augment yourself, or else you could seriously screw yourself over. Hard. With that, you can also decide how you want Adam to handle situations. Do you want him to hack and sneak around? Do you want to just go in guns blazing and pray that you can shoot/”aug” your way out? Mankind Divided (heh!) is a game for fans of both options. The voice acting is spot on, too. Elias Toufexis (The Expansion, Bitten), Victoria Sanchex (Rainbow Six: Vegas 2), Vernon Wells (Innerspace, Commando) and Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Tick) are just a few of the talented actors bring this game to life.
-The Sticks – The controls and shortcuts are extremely easy to get a handle on and grasp. It allows for you to switch back and forth between weapons and reload very quickly, which comes quite in handy when a few dozen dirty cops in Prague are shooting at you. The controls are smooth, which is always a plus for a game with so much going on.
-Aug 23 – The augmentations are a blast, and often better to use than any acquired weaponry. I mean, you can shoot swords out of your arms! If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. You get to be Batman! Not really, but you do have to put in quite a bit of detective work while you dodge murderous drones, C-4 laced pillars, and tons of hackable computers that — if you hack enough of — will lead to other side missions to stop drug dealers and/or gun running. Yes, good people, the rabbit hole does indeed go that deep down. This game is very open. You can turn on faucets and showers; in bodegas, you can clearly see a magazine labeled CABLED (a clear nod to the tech magazine WIRED). There’s also a nice area to pull up all emails, codes, inventory, conversations and instructions just in case you need to have your memory jolted.
T-1000 (THE BAD)
-Liquid Metal – In its attention to detail, the game leans a bit in the “holy hell this is hard!” direction. You don’t have, nor start with, a ton of ammo, having, instead, to acquire it along the way and pray that people you take guns from have ammo on them. This is especially tricky when you are thrown into a firefight against human gangs.
-DUI – Load points are a big turn off. Throughout the game you have to travel quite a bit on the trains, which is only cool until you have to go through check points where you get stopped and have to show ID. One time isn’t a big deal, but when you die you have to go through that every.. single.. time. Even Mr. Jensen gets tired of it all, with “this again? Isn’t this a bit redundant?” Hell, after dying a few times I almost died from annoyance.
-Robert Patrick – Facial features. Everything in the game looks awesome with plenty of attention to detail until the widescreen cinematics show just how “OK” the graphics really are. With all of those fascinating, albeit titillating trailers (especially the one featuring a guy who resembles yours truly), I was really hoping for more. When it comes to the cuts features, Eidos Montreal should take a hint from the Batman Arkham series or Red Dead Redemption.
T-X (THE PRETTY)
-Sit Back and Hack – Thought I was going “Ugly” on y’all, eh? If I was, that would clearly be Terminator Genisys‘ Pops. Not because Arnold–even at his current state of age–isn’t bad-ass; but because, in this particular analogy, Kritanna Loken’s T-X would be getting really drunk with me. Or.. shit.. would it be the other way around? Eh, either way (getting back on track, dammit), this “Cardinal” was only deeply annoyed with the aforementioned train travel loads. Thank God for the drinking aspect in the game because the computer hacking is exhausting and pretty lackluster until you actually finish it.
-Judgement Day – Overall, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is challenging and packs enough of a kick-ass good time to warrant the $60 price tag that comes along with it. As you just saw above, there are a lot of great T2-level experiences that come along with the game. It’s just whether or not you can deal with the Salvation-like jarring load screens. This is definitely not a game that you are going to be able to rent and get to “John Connor” over a mere weekend. Rather, you’ll want to get ragingly silly, run through the streets buck naked and maybe even POP into a random person’s house and hasta la vista baby all through their shizzle.
Eidos Montreal/Square Enix’ Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in stores now.