mankind

2011’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution is likely my favorite game of its generation. I haven’t been that enamored with a game in a long time, and I’m reasonably sure I’ve played through it (and its Director’s Cut version) roughly 600 times. I might be exaggerating a little there, but just a little.

I’m trying desperately to keep my excitement for its five-year-in-the-making follow-up, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, on a sane level. I wasn’t going to watch the latest gameplay trailer for fear of spoilers and altering my expectations and all that stuff, but I finally broke down and watched it.

The trailer, titled “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – 101” is basically an overview for the game’s world and how it might integrate with gameplay.

Protagonist Adam Jensen explains the layout for an upcoming mission where he’s dispatched to interrogate a terrorist group’s leader. Jensen explains different ways he can approach — guns blazing, hacking, sneaking — which are all in line with the gameplay pillars Eidos Montreal established in Human Revolution. However, particular parts of Jensen’s explanations had my ears perking — the likelihood of the target leaving peacefully with Jensen at the mission’s conclusion depends on which playstyle players choose to execute the mission.

In Human Revolution (not to mention just about every multi-playstyle game) players could take Jensen in with guns and explosions to clear everyone out. Alternatively (and my preferred method) is to sneak in and get through without enemies any the wiser. A mix of the two, with lethal and non-lethal means, is also viable.

Although I wouldn’t call it confirmed by the 101 trailer, it looks like Mankind Divided could reward players not simply with an interrogation sequence at the end of the mission, but by how the logistics of the entire mission are handled by the player. It’s not uncommon for a conversation challenge to dictate an NPC’s behavior, but for the NPC to react to how the entire mission is handled is rare. It reminds me of the cult classic Alpha Protocol.

Alpha Protocol had an innovative conversation system with more than the usual binary mean/nice options. Players had to learn to talk to NPCs the way they preferred to be talked to in order to extract certain information. The player’s boss might like direct, aggressive conversations. Another character might prefer players to be flirty and suave. This dynamic was refreshing because in most games it doesn’t matter which route is chosen – the same outcome usually happens, just in a slightly different way. That’s not true for Alpha Protocol’s conversations, and I hope it’s not true for Mankind Divided’s mission gameplay either.

Translating that dynamic to an entire mission would potentially be enough to push me out of my stealthy comfort zone of playing. Maybe if the contact at the end of Jensen’s current mission appreciates an aggressive, guns blazing style I’ll adopt that persona to get him. Maybe that style will hold better rewards at the end. Stealthing it up might get me to the same goal (or will it?) but a different style might pay off more – or differently — for that single mission.

I don’t want to get my hopes up too much about Mankind Divided and start deciding how things will play out before it’s in my hands, but now that I’ve watched the trailer the floodgates are open. See? This is exactly what I was trying to avoid in the first place.

Corey Motley

Corey Motley (like the Crue) has been gaming since the NES era. The first game he remembers playing is Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest. Horror and stealthy, tactical action games are his jam. Some of his favorites are Silent Hill 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mirror’s Edge, Resident Evil (most of them), Metal Gear Solid 4, Fallout 3 and Hitman: Blood Money.

He has a Bachelor’s in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri. He also has a personal blog (who doesn’t?) that he updates sporadically. He’s been writing for GameCritics.com since 2012 and has appeared on the podcast a handful of times.

If you want to dive deep, type his name into a Google Image search and you’ll most likely be treated to a scandalous picture of his Deus Ex tattoo. He also has a music background from 7 years on high school and college drumlines, and last but not least he’s dabbled in parkour. Don’t let those activities fool you about his ambition – he’s in his late 20s and still has no idea what he wants to do with his life.

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8 Comments on "Deus Ex: Mankind Excited"

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tom
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I’ll ask this here because I can’t find anywhere else to post it, but does any of the GC staff have VR yet ? Curious about your guys thoughts with or without it.
It seems that the VRlaunch has died so hard and so quick that i’m not hearing any talk about it. Traditional video games which has had a pretty good couple of months seems to have overwhelmed the new tech.
It is like I said from day one content is king…..always.

Warwick
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Well, forbes has been pretty heavy on the VR articles. . .

Li-Ion
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I’m not staff but I don’t see where VR launch would have “died”? It’s just natural that people are waiting for the first few games to come out before they take the plunge, and it’s natural that people wait for the “cheap” VR set for the masses. Which, oddly enough, comes from Sony this time around. Considering the big gap in price between vive/oculus and the Sony-VR that’s not too surprising. Perhaps it’s also depending on who you’re talking to. I am quite involved in Sim Racing circles and the excitement for VR there is really high. People are just… Read more »
Zippydsmlee
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VR is still too solitary in the MP and couch co op world I’m just not seeing it getting beyond the “3D TV” phase. Even more so when the hardware is trying to lock content to itself…..if a mouse/monitor set tried that no one would buy it…. it’s also got a long way to go, it has to get under 250 price wise to be marketable to to all hardware games can be sold on.

Zippydsmlee
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DE:HR was a bit easy other than a few exploring quirks and a few over simplified elements, Dishonored did it better but you were shoe horned into 2 play styles I hope DE:MD dose a better job at it all I like exploring and killing only the worst targets. It’s on my list of stuff to get with Dishonored 2, Shadow Warrior 2 I am not buying Doom until they put modding in or its 20$ And Dark Souls 3 could use a year of patching and optimization and HD texture packs LOL. Already have Fallout 4 I kinda wish… Read more »
Li-Ion
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Deus Ex Mankind Divided could either become my game of the year or my disappointment of the year. I liked Human Revolution quite a lot, but found it a bit weird that every building would have vents large enough for a murderous cyborg to crawl through throughout. Or the artificial scarcity of ammo, that every guard would only have a few bullets, even though they should have at least a clip with them at any given time. And the less is said about the outsourced boss battles the better. But these (and a few other) things were just minor annoyances… Read more »
tom
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Turn away from the first paragraph now Corey, if you’re sensitive to Deus Ex human Revolution criticism. For myself, human revolution had fantastic potential grossly let down too often by terrible gameplay, especially the action combat. Not omitting the decent but seriously repetativly overdone hacking, often had pointless artificial game length extending traversal, Dumb-ass AI, too many boring and useless weapons, atrocious boss battles that are not really much better in the Directors cut, too many completely useless upgrades…. I’ll stop there, for now. Discovery and exploration of different routes to your goal was nice. But that new trailer for… Read more »
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