This week I had the opportunity so sit down with a relatively newer game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Having never played a Deus Ex game before, I had no idea what to expect. Upon starting the game you are given the option to watch a twelve minute video featuring the events of previous games to kind of bring you up to speed with the series. I didn’t include these 12 minutes in my hour of playing the game, but I did watch it, and can say the series seems to have a very rich and developed universe. In the video you learn that two years before this game an event took place that was known as the “Aug Incident”. During this time people with mechanical augmentations became increasingly violent, often with lethal results. This created a divide between regular people and “Augs”. The augmented were actually being controlled by a shadowy organization known as the Illuminati (clever name!) even though they’ve managed to manipulate the public into ignorance.
When I start the game, I find out that the player character, Jensen, is en route to an abandoned resort to catch a weapons smuggler. I go over some quick decisions, resulting in what weapon I start with. After a quick cutscene of Jensen jumping out of a helicopter, I am finally able to play the game. The controls feel a bit clunky, and weirdly mapped, and differ greatly from many FPS games. My 2 biggest peeves with the controls are the fact that you can’t use L1/R1 to aim/fire, and the fact that sprint is mapped to triangle because L3 is used for cover (I would almost prefer it if those two buttons were reversed). The game does offer tutorial scenarios as you progress through the level, allowing you to familiarize yourself with the games weird controls. It is better to remain hidden throughout the mission, because the combat is very unforgiving. Enemies don’t seem to flinch at all when they’re being shot. This is slightly counteracted by the fact that they don’t seem to be spongy at all, going down with a couple of well-placed shots. After a few shots of trial and error, I managed to stop the mysterious group who were trying to steal a weapons shipment.
After completing the first level, I am greeted by a series of long, drawn out cutscenes. I understand the game being very story-based, but during my hour I felt more like I was watching a movie than playing a game. Overall, based on a hour with the game, I wouldn’t recommend it. A clunky control scheme with no individual button-mapping, lackluster gun combat, and an overabundance of cutscenes before you can even get into the game is a definite deal-breaker for me.
Feel free to check out my experience with the first hour of Deus Ex; Mankind Divided!