The title really says it all. Eidos Montreal’s next entry into the Deus Ex universe looks simply stunning. For an IP that’s been tossed around like the gaming industry’s own hot potato, seeing such promise is a huge relief to fans worldwide. Now it’s time to get excited about it.
In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, players are put back into the shoes of Adam Jensen, now a seasoned operative. Adam’s previous attempt to save the world didn’t turn out so well, culminating in a catastrophic event called the Aug Incident. Essentially, augmented individuals went nuts, going on killing sprees which have now caused widespread panic and distrust amongst the “naturals.” Sounds like an understandable reaction. Unfortunately, as these things typically go, the remaining augmented, or “augs,” are being ostracized and systemically separated from society. Jensen now works with Task Force 29, a secret group formed by Interpol, to blunt the wave of terrorism that has gripped the world in the wake of the Aug Incident. Aside from the obvious goal of stopping the baddies, Adam’s true focus is to uncover the chosen few who are pulling the strings and orchestrating the chaos in secret.
Eidos wants to improve upon some of the complaints from Deus Ex: Human Revolution, their previous title in the series. Chief among those is retooling many of Adam’s abilities, making them more useful and thus, more fun. An assortment of different ammunition types have been added as well, each with a specialized application in mind. This will also allow players more freedom to utilize the dynamic approach to missions in Mankind Divided. When speaking with Polygon, game designer Antoine Thisdale also mentioned Eidos’ desire to do better with boss encounters and that these, as well as various other, modifications should help to prevent similar missteps.
Human Revolution, while a fantastic game overall, did tend to shoehorn players into using either stealth to sneak about unseen or to go loud with guns blazing, eschewing other routes. For many gamers this was a real disappointment and would seem to be contradictory to the core of what this franchise is known for: options. While the FPS action and stealth elements have always been something Deus Ex has excelled at, social skills and hacking have very much been a part of its life-blood as well. Antoine Thisdale also told Polygon that skills and abilities have been tweaked to give appropriate weight and significance to the more asymmetrical approaches people might choose. Better yet, Mankind Divided’s website claims all these choices will have a noticeable impact or effect.
I genuinely believe that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be a serious contender for 2016’s Game of the Year. A heavily story-driven, immersive player experience with rich RPG elements, action, options, and meaningful choices. What’s not to like?
Mankind Divided comes out for PC, Xbox One and PS4 on August 23rd, 2016.