Deus Ex is all about choices, whether it be in the gameplay or story, and seeing how those choices effect everything around you. Who do you choose to trust? Who do you choose to kill? How do your actions shape the world? Eidos Montreal is aiming to push that further with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Refresh me, how did Human Revolution end?
At the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you were given four choices in response to uncovering a conspiracy by the Illuminati that resulted in people with certain cybernetic augmentations turning insanely violent. You could share with you know with the public which result in a backlash against cybernetic enhancements, blaming drug poisoning resulting in stronger cybernetic regulation, blame the whole thing on terrorists to shift blame, or leave it up to the world to decide how to judge events on its own.
How does that come into play in Mankind Divided?
The new game takes place two years after Human Revolution. Despite Adam Jensen’s best efforts at the end of the first game (or lack thereof, depending on your decisions), things have taken a turn for the worse in regards to the debate for augmented individuals. Everyone with an augmentation is now generally considered a second class citizen in what the developer is describing as “mechanical apartheid.” In short, it’s Deus Ex meets District 9.
How do we see this “mechanical apartheid” play out?
In many ways, big and small. In a section set in a grimy Prague train station, there was an atmosphere of oppression with heavily armored MONOLITH security guards around every entrance.
We watched as a man innocently bumps into a woman and graciously goes to help her with her spilled things… only to notice she has augmentations. His tone immediately goes cold as he pulls away hurls slurs at her.
On a larger scale, there is a large fight for equal rights from many groups, some of which claim to be peaceful such as the Augmented Rights Coalition… while others aren’t afraid to militarize. There are public bombings, groups referred to as “hacktivists,” (remember the Juggernaut Collective? They’re back) and general unrest and several groups are trying to take advantage of the social upheaval.
How does Adam Jensen fit into all of this?
Adam is in a tricky spot. He’s working for INTERPOL tracking down the radical groups responsible for much of the continued unrest… but he heavily suspects his organization is heavily corrupted by the Illuminati. After the events of Human Revolution, Jensen is actively pursuing the Illuminati’s destruction… which means he’s something of a double agent on his own people.
In the demo, Jensen is present for a bombing in that Prague train station. In a separate mission shown, he’s going after the leader of the group he believes is responsible. If Mankind Divided is like any other Deus Ex game, it’s probably safe to say now all is as it appears.
Are the same gameplay choices available as before?
Yup. The developers mentioned the four pillars were stealth, combat, hacking, and social.
Pretty much the same as the last game, with some welcome improvements. There are now more options available to nonlethal stealth players, which include EMP rounds for guns, a P.E.P.S. launcher that can be built into your arm, and another upgrade for your arm that can shoot stun darts at up to four targets simultaneously.
What if I want to try combat?
It’s more visceral than before. The highlights as far as upgrades go are a “nanoshield” that allows Jensen to soak up a ton of damage and a Mass Effect soldier class-esque time slowdown that Jensen move at normal speed while the world moves at a crawl around him.
Is the hacking any different?
It’s the same basic mini game, but they’ve made it more challenging with aspects such as a fog of war effect and traps. You can also remote hack, which is pretty snazzy.
What about the dialogue sequences?
It’s the same basic principle as before, but Eidos went to a lot of extra effort to add more expressiveness to the characters you talk to in order to gage how the conversation is going. If a tactic in, say, an interrogation clearly isn’t making your subject talkative you’ll be better informed that you need to switch your approach.
Awesome. When can I pick the game up?