I know it’s not really called Deus Ex 4 in any shape or form, but ‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided‘ [official site] is long and headlines boxes are short. You get the point though: here’s the best part of half an hour of Adam Jensen asking for it in Square’s upcoming stealth-or-death sequel. On show: new augmentations, purportedly improved combat, ‘social boss fight system’, a gun which fires swords from your wrist and a new, grumpy pilot who keeps talking about coffee.
Also, it’s very pretty, but my graphics card is frightened. Video and my own notes on it below, anyway.
I’ve taken some notes below in case you can’t or won’t watch the hole thing. Be warned there’s a potential spoiler (regarding possible outcomes of one NPC encounter) at 18m25s, but the video will warn you when that’s about to happen and offer the option to skip it. Somewhat listless commentary is provided by DXMD’s Executive Audio Director, Steve Szczepkowski.
- So many people!
- ‘Seasoned Adam’ – sounds like a salad dressing.
- Colour scheme is more grey than gold now, everything’s grubby rather than gleaming.
- Lots of Half-Life 2 cues – pushy robo-guards, trains, drones, oppression.
- A reference to why Adam’s back in the field, having to save the world again. “I already tried two years ago. Didn’t work out so well.”
- The world is really hugely detailed. It’s a bit like Watchdogs, but less boring.
- There’s some slightly clunky voice acting, but then that’s long been DX tradition.
- new pilot, Elias Chikane, doesn’t seem to like Jensen much. I suspect they’ll bond. Or betray each other. Or both.
- ‘You can finish the game without killing anyone if you choose’
- Different ammo types, e.g use emp bullets on cameras
- A new powr – Icarus Dash, short-range teleport like Dishonored’s Blink
- Still third-person during cover, which will drive some people spare.
- The Tesla gun arm knocks out up to 4 enemies at once. Almost seems like cheating. Does this mean faster stealth?
- Same pop-up messages, e.g. merciful soul, explorer, although this is alpha so anything might change.
- The environments really do look cavernous and detailed. DXHR seems very flat by comparison.
- Remote hacking, including opening up new paths from a distance. Suspect there’ll be a lot of this – lower a convenient walkway or ladder.
- Nano blade – he fires swords from his wrist. HE FIRES SWORDS FROM HIS WRIST.
- Nano blade can also be used as an explosive or distraction.
- Adam himself is much more nano in his powers now, less simply mechanical
- The Hacking mini-game, now called ‘hacking 2.0’, still looks a bit annoying.
- Man-size vents aplenty. Some traditions don’t die.
- “In dxhr we knew that our combat pillar wasn’t quite as good as our stealth one.” Hopes to be a better shooter now.
- One way they’re doing this is to be more like Crysis, e.g. the Titan shield aug, which turns him into a tank for a while.
- There’s a nice flow, e.g. firing Nano blade when your clip’s empty.
- Also some show-offy stuff, like shooting people through a massive pillar of TVs
- ‘Social boss fight system’ is just a hideous phrase, isn’t it? I bet they’ve trademarked it and everything.
- The boss has very sad eyes, like BJ Blazkowicz
- There’s some very nice use of facial anim to give you clues on how the chat-off is going. Guy clearly bristling with annoyance and anxiety when you say the wrong thing.
- There’s good hair, but going on Tomb Raider and Witcher 3 I bet we’ll all have to turn that setting off to make it run well
- Focus mode: a slo-mo power. More Crysisy stuff
- Fighting other augs, apparently as a fairly routine encounter – they jump from great heights without damage thanks to their robo-legs, but die like anyone
- And oh look, another not-Gunther.
And as a bonus, here’s an engine teach features demo, showing off all the graphical options you’ll need to turn off unless you’re a rich shmuck with a $1000 graphics card.