I had started Deus Ex: Mankind Divided soon after getting it, but from the early mission I wasn’t sure what to think yet. That first mission was a bit tutorial, and a bit of you having the skills and all from the first game – which you then lose as you move forward. And then you’re running around without your augmented abilities at all…
Oh, sorry, I should preface this a bit huh?
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a ton of fun, I loved it. I was playing it before the blog started, so didn’t talk about it much here… But it had a fantastic story, great gameplay, and was a good introduction to the world. It’s not the first Deus Ex game I played, technically, as I played some small bit of the first game on the PC back in the day – but not much. I think I borrowed it? Anyway.
Curious? Want to get a refresher from back in the day when you played? There’s the
It was an excellent emotional journey, because you feel the conspiracy, you feel the betrayal. I got more and more invested by the end. I was playing stealthy non-lethal, but by the end I was using big power weapons to shoot my way out…
Okay, so apparently Mankind Divided is unique in that it is a returning hero for a Deus Ex game, and that runs into the usual sort of gameplay problem: how do you account for a skilled and powerful character at the start of a game?
The usual answer is that they lose it, or at least some of it, and so you do after the first mission. Because of the Cybernetic Augmentations in the world, they have an easy explanation for why: they screw up. You lose them all, and have to sneak into a place to find your black market augmentations doctor.
This is where you get open access to the first hub of the game: future Prague. And this is where I learned enough about the game to feel like I could have a first impression!
The first and biggest one is that, oh man, this game is built to look and feel like the real world. I was having trouble finding how to sneak into a place, and looked it up online. I found that, oh, okay, those skinny window awnings and ledges and all are actually surfaces. And again, looking up another path, I found out even more innocuous environmental pieces that were for climbing and jumping and getting around.
The world is put together so well that it took some serious adjustment from me! I’m just used to video game surfaces looking more… like… video game surfaces? And there are still some things that are video game surfaces, like the air duct openings – although I’ve found some of these now in crazy spots, facing all sorts of directions, hidden away. And the hacking minigame is unchanged, sure. That’s very videogame.
Still, the look of the world has been great, and I am enjoying the exploring and problem solving – although I’m still looking plenty of stuff up online. But often, it’s looking something up once I’ve made my way through some cool bit of the world… Which in one case found mention of doing an entire different quest first, to get an achievement…
And then, finally getting my augmentations back! They give you a suite of really basic ones to start with, and they give you the points to buy several others to start with! Along with a few levels worth picked up along the way, you can really get a start on the playstyle you want to have for the game. I picked up a lot of environmental abilities, so I can now jump high, punch through walls, lift heavy objects out of the way, see through walls… a lot of my favorites from the first game.
Oh, and I picked up the crazy personal explosion ability… which in this game you can select as a non-lethal version! So… not a giant explosion of ball-bearings, then.
Last I saved, I had found even more side-quests to do and I might be in the office of a bank CEO stealing all their secrets intel… maybe… I’m having fun! This game has sucked me in, and it’s a blast to explore. I may break down and buy a strategy guide eventually… my preorder came with a code to get the online guide from Prima Games… through the first mission. It was really unhelpful and got me killed a bunch until I looked up advice elsewhere, so maybe I’ll just keep looking up random help.
How about you – any first impressions from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? Let me know in the comments below!