E3 2015 – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Preview – Augmented Freedom
Fans of 2011’s Cyberpunk hybrid stealth action game Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be excited to know that its sequel, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is setting itself up to be one of the best experiences the franchise has offered to date. Based on a behind-the-scenes preview demonstration of the game being played, it was easy to see that the multiple year gap between entries in the series has allowed the developers to not only find more powerful hardware to push the experience, but to also balance out the gameplay between the various paths players can take in a game like Deus Ex.
Set two years after the end of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided is about a world where augmented humans are becoming separated from the rest of the human race in what the developers are calling a “Mechanical Apartheid.” From the beginning moments of the preview we could see augmented humans being oppressed, and forcefully segregated from the rest of the human race. Not only that, you could see through the simple interactions between humans in the background that the rest of the world had grown disdain for anyone with augmentations. As you walked through various military checkpoints on the streets, series protagonist Adam Jensen can be seen interacting with a friend, only to be caught in a terrorist explosion, which sets the stage for the tension in this futuristic world.
Freedom of Choice
Moving forward, the demo featured just how players will still be able to make their way through the game in just about any way they see fit. If you’re unfamiliar with the open ended nature of the franchise, you’re in for a treat, as Eidos Montreal is looking to improve the dynamics of how each style plays, and is able to handle a situation. Depending on your play style, you can decide to shoot everything in sight and use the new Titan ability, which gives Jensen increased defense, but costs him a drain on his battery.
Gunplay looks pretty much the same as Human Revolution, except now players can rotate in different bullet types for varying effects, as well as slow down time and even slam the ground with an Icarus Fall to cause massive damage to a group of enemies. On top of all of this, players have the ability to use a Tesla gun arm, which can take out four enemies at the same time or use the new Nanoblade, which can be fired to pin enemies to walls, as well as be charged to explode over time.
If going in guns blazing isn’t your style, Mankind Divided also lets players use a number of other more strategic styles of gameplay that can lead to unexpected benefits. If you upgrade your augmentations to let you dash, not only can use that for combat, but also to move from location to location or vent to vent faster. There is also an X-Ray vision augmentation that will let you track enemy movements, and the new ability to remotely hack devices.
Consequences of Decisions
While avoiding combat is the obvious advantage of being silent, there was also a story segment where the player’s decisions beforehand came back to bite them. This leads to the other options players have. The social option lets players have the ability to win arguments or even persuade other characters to progress through the story with less trouble, and the hacking tree which can also let players bypass problems they wouldn’t be normally be able to.
By just looking how Mankind Divided is coming along, and how good it looks on the new Dawn Engine, this is looking to become a great addition to the Deus Ex franchise when it releases in 2016.