Started this thread to see what other people think of the game. Haven’t gotten it myself yet.
Gamasutra has an outstanding interview with Mary DeMarle on the writing in the two most recent DX games.
I was looking for more of how the “game” part is compared to the original Deus Ex. I didn’t really like Human Revolution as much as the original so im wondering if Mankind Divided has gotten better from an immersive sim gameplay perspective.
Nope! The levels are a little bigger and more interactive, but other than that they haven’t really moved the needle any closer to the original game. There’s a lot more emphasis on choice and consequence in your dialogue options, though. If anything, it feels like there’s more VTM:B and/or Obsidian Interactive influence.
If you didn’t like Human Revolution, it’s unlikely you’ll like this. Fortunately for me, I did like Human Revolution a lot, and I’m loving Mankind Divided.
Well I said “as much as Deus Ex.” The Vampire and Obsidian influences have peaked my interest ;D
So I just played the bank level in Prague (it’s not really a mission so much as an area that connects to a few quests and a bunch of interesting side stuff). It is, no joke, the best area I’ve played in a game since Life of the Party in Thief 2.
It has tons of nooks and crannies, it is genuinely challenging to navigate, there are connections to other areas that will send you snooping around for hours, and it’s all packed into a large, gorgeous, believable space. God-tier stuff.
I’m only a few hours in, so not far enough to know whether the criticisms of its story are justified.
The mechanics seem to be still there from DX:HR, but while I can’t swear to this it feels like movement is a bit sluggish by comparison. I’m averaging around 50 FPS, so it’s not a graphics issue. Just a little like wading through treacle.
One thing I definitely see is more hand-holding. There’s a remarkable amount of tutorializing and UI cueing provided in this release. I’m not sure whether I think that’s great for bringing in new players or if I feel a little bit insulted, not to mention overwhelmed, by all the flashy-shinies popping up overlayed on the world of the game.
Finally, for the gearheads I note that, after an hour or so of tweaking options and running the in-game benchmark (which is a nice feature I also appreciated in F.E.A.R.), the single most enormous impact on frame rate comes from notching MSAA up to 4x. I observed a loss of around 15 FPS on average by going from 2x MSAA to 4x. Curiously, Temporal Anti-Aliasing delivers far fewer “jaggies” than 2x MSAA despite no difference in frame rate between them that I could see, but that was for a benchmark scene that was in continuous motion.
I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ve enhanced the “dialogue boss battles.”
It builds on what HR was, so don’t expect them to reinvent the wheel, but it’s better in a lot of the ways that are important to me. The hub areas are really huge and packed with stuff to find. These areas are so much bigger than Detroit or Hong Kong were, and they’re denser, too. There’s little things to explore everywhere.
There are always multiple solutions, although unlike the finer moments in the originals, they never seem like emergent gameplay, just that the designers laid out a few choices for you. It’s still interesting to explore alternate routes that favor different approaches. Unlike HR there’s more of a sense of consequence, as well. Playing lethal or non-lethal can actually impact your interactions with characters later on, so that gives these choices more weight.
I don’t know that it moves the needle closer to the original Deus Ex, but it builds on HR in new ways that make it more fun to explore.
Yeah, I actually like it better than Human Revolution. I get the complaint a lot of people have about it not feeling as “big” as the past games (in terms of the scale of the story and locations; it’s definitely a longer game than at least HR if you count side quests) but I actually appreciate the “one city block” approach they took to Prague. That hub has more detail, thought, and quests in it than any other hub from the series. It’s a very impressive space.
Here’s a question I’m seeing popping up:
When you play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, does it feel to you like a full new game in the Deus Ex universe?
Or does it feel more like a really massive DLC package, something like Blood & Wine for The Witcher 3?
Well, it’s a little different than past Deus Ex games, because this is the first direct sequel we’ve had in the series. You’re still Adam Jensen, and you’re still running around doing Adam Jenseny things.
But it’s no more an expansion pack for Human Revolution than Thief 2 was an expansion pack for Thief 1.
Soo… more of the same?
It’s a refinement with a ton of new content, but same main character and basic gameplay.
The main structural difference is that they traded some breadth for depth with the world, which I thought would bother me, but I actually enjoyed it. Prague was a really good hub.
Fun video with complete with breakout musical moment in the middle.
I enjoyed it, but the moment I realized there are only a couple of actual missions and most of the game is traversing the Prague hub and side missions, it turned a bit dull. Although the side missions were not bad. I really wished the game had a more focused approach to tell a great main story (main focus on main missions) and spent less resources on side missions and breach game and whatnot.
A big (giant in fact) plus is the ability to climb. How much the inability to climb in HR sucked, but the mechanics are weak otherwise. You expect some common sense like sprinting and making an augmented leap would allow you to jump further, but poor mechanics dictate otherwise and make you stop and jump normally. And much more. Very frustrating.
The level design is fantastic. Especially Golem City’s ARC district was fantastic. I spent an hour just climbing around the vertical area. If only the entire game was like that.
I love HR, played it several times, but MD is okay, I doubt I’ll revisit it though. The mechanics and RPG system is frustrating.
I finally played Human Revolution (about halfway through), and I’ll be moving onto Mankind Divided next. I agree with what most people are saying–the pathways seem predefined, rather than emergent. Overall, I like the game, and while I’d like MD to push the needle closer to the original Deus Ex, I am feeling very satisfied with the work they put in. One nagging problem–the load zones are tiny. If you run past a room, into the next room, guards will suddenly “forget” about you. I’m also with others on the boss fights–I’m glad MD allows a nonviolent playthrough. Lastly, what put me off from playing HR so long was the intro: very scripted, and jerks player control unnecessarily during certain cutscenes or events–an extreme “no-no” in my book. Lastly, the handholding was a bit much. I’m sure there were other criticisms, but overall I’d give the game a solid 4.5/5 stars.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with your take on HR, Dawnrazor. It’s a great game that could have been GOAT-tier with just a few small changes. Still possibly my favorite game of last gen.
I still haven’t finished Mankind Divided. I’m right at the end, but I went full completionist and just devoured it for so many hours that I burned out on it a bit. But overall I’m still really happy with it.
Mankind Divided is a solid leap forward. It’s very much a sequel to HR, but the mechanics have been refined a great deal, the game is more “open,” and while it still guides you to the main mission points, it rewards “offroading” quite a bit more with a lot to discover, including story-based side missions that are completely missable. It does a lot more to reward experimentation, including a much greater sense of consequence for your choices, many of which are not clear right/wrong.
I understand from talking to others that the game contains boss battles, but I beat the game only ever encountering one boss (and I dealt with him non-lethally). So that says a lot about how different playthroughs can be.
I liked HR, but I don’t feel it’s aged very well, especially mechanically. MD is a pretty big improvement. It was one of the best games this year.
Mankind Divided is a solid leap forward.
Your jokes are augmented.
For me, this game was great, but I love me a game with morality in it
It did what so few games do, which is to make me think about myself, my morality, and my actions.
Quick straw poll:
For those of you who have played it: which train carriages did you use on the subway system? Why? Did you try other carriages?