When I play a game there are a few things I look for. Level design, gameplay, and story. For some games, the multiplayer only, the story doesn’t matter. But I love it when there is story. Overwatch did this right. But in a game designed to be story heavy with a singleplayer then story is one of the most important things I look at. That is where Mankind Divided falls short. The story. But it thrills just about everywhere else. The level design is amazing and the gameplay is enjoyable.
The cyberpunk future presented in the Deus Ex universe is awesome. One of my favourite universes ever. And Mankind Divided does a satisfying job of putting you in that world. I felt immersed in Prague in the future. It was detailed, the non main characters looked a lot better then they used to, and the city was alive. But the streets were empty. That’s my only negative comment on the atmosphere of Prague.
Some people have complained about there only being 1 hub. I like this decision though. I would rather have them create 1 great hub instead of several mediocre ones. A studio can only have so many resources. So kudos to Eldos Montreal for nailing the setting.
Now if only they could use that setting to tell a great story, that would make the game much better. The story has a villian that says “we are not so different you and I” and isn’t joking. He means it. Come Eldos Montreal. You can do better.
Throughout the story you do not learn a lot about Adam Jensen. Or anything. There is no character development. Not once did I feel attached to this tough augmented protagonist. Which is shame. There is a lot of potential for a inner battle raging within Jensen; He could feel bad about his Augs. Or he could resent the general populace and want to strike out, confirming their fears of Augs. There is so much potential here.
Not all the writing was bad though. There were some good characters that I enjoyed. Most notably was the editor of an anarchist newspaper. He was fun to talk to and do missions for. But beyond him I cannot recall any exciting or good characters. Which is a shame.
In Mankind Divided the story is just a distraction from the exciting stuff. The gameplay. Which is awesome, the level design is damn near perfect. If you want to shoot your way through the enemies you can do that. Or you could just sneak your way past them, which is also viable.
In the previous game being sneaky was viable, until a boss fight. Eldos Montreal learned their lesson., there is only one boss fight and I defeated him with only a stun gun and a stealth loadout. A much needed improvement.
The missions are enjoyable. The reasons for them are never good enough to warrant the response. But actually playing them are fun, and that’s the overriding reason for playing them. At the end of the day, a game should be fun to play. Even if it doesn’t tell a great story. And in the game aspect this game nails it.
I wanted to dive back in and see if I could do a better job completing the game. I could not do the whole game in sneaky mode. I know I know, I’m a scrub. I don’t play a lot of stealth games, they aren’t my thing. I prefer blowing everything up.
This game made being clandestine fun and worth it. Some games, like Tom Clancy, get frustrating if I don’t do do it in the first try. However, this game was fun and worth trying to complete everything hush-hush. The missions were challenging but not impossible. It felt rewarding when I completed a mission without alerting anyone to my presence.
And being sneaky has the added benefit of allowing you to learn more about the Dues Ex universe. If you aren’t sneaky then you aren’t going to be able to read the emails of people, unless after you have killed everyone you go back. But that is less fun then dropping from a vent to be a creep. Finding out about the word feels like a mini game. And that mini game is awesome. The gadgets are what make being sneaky so satisfying.
There are several new augmentations that they seem to have taken from other games. Icarus Dash is straight out of Dishonored. You charge it up and dash to where you are aiming. I changed the binding to a button on my mouse which made me use it a lot more. The only issue with that was its a button I don’t normally bind and so sometimes I would push it accidentally. Luckily the charge helped stop me from abusing it.
Another issue was the first person view. It did not feel as bad and light as Human Revolution. It just still feels twitchy and a little jerky. They still have to nail the first person feeling. But give them time and it will get better.
Who is this game for?
This game is for anyone who enjoys stealth games. Anyone who likes dystopian futures and a bit of exploration. The world is rich with lore and history. The creators are trying to draw a parallel to current day with signs like “Aug Lives Matter”.
While this is cool it seems a little obvious and they don’t make any observations beyond saying this is happening. But if you like games that draw a parallel to current day then this game is for you.
Click here to check out the tips before you start.
If you like cool gadgets, decent customization, and stealth. Get this game. If you are a fan of Tom Clancy then get this game.
If you like fast paced shooter, DON’T get this game.