Xbox One Review: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Adam Jensen returns, but just how divided is mankind?

Mankind Divided is set 2 years after the events of Human Revolution. Humans and Augs are more divided than ever, with constant checkpoints for both throughout cities to keep track of everyone after the Incident where Hugh Darrow caused all augmented people to lose their minds, killing millions in the process. You return as Adam Jensen who has joined a Task Force and after a botch job in Dubai, discovers all is not it seems with his own augments, not to mention he still has a vendetta to hunt down the Illumanti. Better get cracking then…
The game has a number of control schemes, including the one from Human Revolution if you are as accustomed to it as I am. It handles exactly as it ever did, but there are some noticeable improvements and changes to the way the game works. You will get new augments as well as some old ones to try out, while you can save up crafting materials for upgrades to your weapons or to simply craft objects like multi-tool hacking devices and mine templates.etc

Mankind Divided is much more open world than Human Revolution was. The scale is larger, the cities more populated and highly detailed. You can use the subway to get to different districts as you could in Hengsha back in Human Revolution as well as tackle side missions that as with the previous game, aren’t the easiest to initiate…you need to have a fair idea of who to talk to in order to begin them, but these side missions are just as good as the main story.

As with the past game, you can choose your approach. You can go guns blazing throughout the entire game or choose to be stealthy like a killer or a man with mercy. The game’s achievements ask you to be stealthy and a pacifist, this time even against the bosses. There’s even a permadeath mode included that unlocks after your first playthrough for those mad enough to attempt it. I loved the freedom that the first game allowed, so many different paths to the same goal and so many different ways to get there. Not to mention the tough decisions that could impact a lot of lives, Mankind Divided is no different and it too brings back the debate battles from Human Revolution.
Besides the main game, a new mode called Breach has been added which is essentially a F2P competitive mode where you hack servers for XP, credits and booster packs. High scores are posted on online leaderboards and the mode has plenty of controversial micro-transactions that will help you get better at Breach faster. It’s a good mode, but it’s not nearly as strong as the main game.

Visually, Mankind Divided has taken a big leap from Human Revolution. Everything looks slicker, smoother and runs at a great framerate. Load times between areas are a little on the long side, but nothing too cumbersome. Voice-acting is much improved too with more believable performances, although I was always convinced with Adam Jensen’s gruffly tones. The soundtrack is also impressive, matching the cyberpunk nature of the Deus Ex universe well.

The Verdict

While not as groundbreaking as the original, Mankind Divided improves upon it’s predecessor in pretty much every way. It has a larger scale, it has improved controls that are more responsive, it’s had a nice visual upgrade and the story is engrossing. Breach will divide fans with it’s micro-transactions, but ultimately it is a fun mode and at the end of the day they are an optional purchase. You can play it without paying, but that aside…Mankind Divided does deliver in being the sequel that Human Revolution deserved.

Score: 9.0