Deus Ex: Mankind Divided And This Mess We’re In

A new live-action trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] tells a little story of how the futureworld goes from the “Huzzah hooray, cyborgs are the future!” optimism in Human Revolution to “Cyborgs want to eat my baby, please lock them away” panic. I think I just enjoyed a live-action trailer…? Not only because of swish cybertech and dark megacities either. What times we live in!

Anywhooples, for those who can’t or won’t watch that now, here’s the brief political summary from Squeenix:

“In 2027, mechanically-augmented people all over the world suffered from extreme psychotic delusions, lost control of themselves, and started attacking people. Millions died. Hundreds of thousands more were injured and maimed. In the wake of this global catastrophe, society has become divided by hatred, prejudice, and fear, with many countries now enacting harsh laws. The most notable of these laws is the highly controversial ‘Human Restoration Act’, aimed at isolating ‘Augs’ and keeping them away from ‘Naturals’.”

As for Adam Jensen’s role in this and the gamier side of Mankind Divided, this recent trailer explains it all.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is coming on August 23rd. Billy Idol is still not confirmed.

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  1. Anthile says:

    I would call it hamfisted but I don’t think arms that resemble ham would make for very practical augmentations.
    I mean, I’m still excited for the game but that’s a bit much pathos.

    • C0llic says:

      It was a bit heavy-handed, but I’m still quite impressed. Very well done for what is essentially just a teaser trailer for a video game.

  2. Danopian says:

    Got kind of dusty in here all of a sudden.

  3. Aerothorn says:

    I do worry that its use of “apartheid” outside its specific historical context will continue the trend of using it to broadly describe any segregation or oppression of people :(

    • something says:

      Yeah, that was ill judged.

      • Hawkseraph says:

        No, sorry, that’s dumb. Apartheid literally means a state of division, and this is 100% what they are going for here. Swap out augs for black people and you’re there. How is it not appriopriate?

        • Aerothorn says:

          The trailer is in English, not in Afrikaans, so what the word “literally means” in that language doesn’t really matter; what matters is what it means to an English-speaking Anglosphere audience (which the ad is targeted towards).

          • Asurmen says:

            Er, English borrows words from other languages, keeping the original meaning.

          • silentdan says:

            The word comes from Dutch. Afrikaans and English both imported it. It means “segregation.”

          • ooshp says:

            It is qualified by the word “mechanical” before it. I see no problem here.

    • thetruegentleman says:

      What other word could they use that has both the same meaning and the same context? “This is favoritism!” “This is bigotry!” “This is discrimination!”…none of these sound like something someone being threatened with being shipped to a concentration camp would actually say.

      • Aerothorn says:

        Systemic oppression? Segregation? Genocide (if the idea is that the concentration camps will kill these folks)?

        Much better minds than my own have written about the political issues here, but aphartheid is a very powerful word, and that power comes from a very specific history and context. When you use it to describe other things you’re basically appropiating its emotional power as an argument about the badness of the thing you are talking about, rather than making a best attempt to describe the thing as-is.

        It’s not as big of a deal when it’s a video game, of course – as I said, I would just hate to see this become a normalized practice writ large.

        • Dr. Raven Darktalon Blood says:

          So every time a new different group of people is oppressed we need to come up with a new word ?
          I don’t think that’s a good idea.

          Having said that, augpression !

          • Villephox says:

            I’m 100% for “augpression.”

            As for the rest of your statement, you’re missing the mark a bit. It isn’t about needing a new word for each group. After all, some Palestinians are using “apartheid” to describe the wall Israel has constructed. You can argue that they should or shouldn’t, but they’re still real people. This is a fictional setting using a word that is associated with real, terrible oppression.

        • Villephox says:

          Very well said. There is a huge difference between the literal meaning of a word and what it means in context. This is especially true in a fictional setting because this isn’t the victims using the word, it’s the creators. It is definitely “appropiating its emotional power.” It doesn’t matter how tragic their fictional situation is since it is ultimately just fiction. Some words or phrases just shouldn’t be used -no matter their literal meaning- out of respect.

          • sebmojo says:

            Culture is appropriation.

          • Buggery says:

            Pretty much this. Apartheid is still a very sensitive and very gross issue with a lot of fallout and remains very much in the minds of those it has affected.

            I’m all for videogames trying to be valid artistic expressions but this is very much a case of trying to piggyback connotations and context that really, really shouldn’t be appropriated by something that is in the realms of young adult fiction. It’s a cheap go at trying to add substance and seriousness to a plot in a AAA product that really doesn’t deserve that kind of respect.

            Someone mentioned that the Palestinians use apartheid to express their oppression by the Israelis. That’s a very real case of very real oppression and the appropriation is highly relevant. Using the word to describe how you don’t let Smurfs live alongside Gargamel would be pretty inappropriate.

          • Lamb Chop says:

            It seems like these arguments tend to hang on the fact that the story here is less legitimate than, say, if it were adapted by a Neal Stephenson novel. I imagine most of you would probably also agree that videogames are art. The question is, what makes this piece different…is it the commercialization, the quality of the story? Do critical works need to do it well or just earnestly? What happens when the writers are earnest and competent but the medium puts other demands on the story? Just some things to think about.

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            Ninja Dodo says:

            > to describe how you don’t let Smurfs live alongside Gargamel

            Really? That’s the comparison you’re going with?

            I think “Lamb Chop” is right. The argument you’re actually making here is that games are not allowed to tackle difficult subjects while other media suffer no such arbitrary restriction… and if THAT’S your opening premise there’s not much point in having a discussion.

    • Jade Raven says:

      Nah, it’s fine as long as you don’t capitalise it. Kind of like a holocaust or an apocalypse.

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      Ninja Dodo says:

      Words describe concepts. Apartheid is a word, not a name. Through both its literal meaning and historical context it describes a specific kind of systematic oppression and segregation. It’s a word with baggage certainly, but that is why it is a powerful word and when *that* is the specific idea that you are trying convey it is an appropriate word to use, just as it is (in my opinion) appropriate to use to describe modern real life occurrences of similar things.

      Judging by that trailer the kind of society they’re aiming to depict here seems to evoke exactly that kind of imagery and while they clearly need to tread carefully when using such loaded terms there’s no reason for this or other such themes to be off-limits by definition.

      I mean, are you going to argue fiction (and specifically games fiction) is not allowed to use the concept of slavery? .. because that is an extremely sensitive historical topic which in its various incarnations has had ramifications throughout history until today and in some places continues to exist even now.

  4. something says:

    I thought that was rather well done for what, presumably was a much smaller budget than it really needed. Sure it wasn’t subtle, but the central relationship was played far more convincingly than most video game relationships.

    • lglethal says:


      If that was the trailer for a movie then I would be putting that on my “must-see” list. Good acting, a definite “screen chemistry” between the two leading actors and a story of conflict. I didnt find it ham-fisted or overblown at all, after all it is just a trailer, and trailers are always overblown. I would expect the movie to be slower, less overt and tell an actual story.

      Damn I want that Movie now. Squeenix get off your a$$es and make it happen!!!! ;)

      • Ragnar says:

        Agreed, I would be excited for this movie. Much more so than for WarCraft or Assassin’s Creed.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Topperfalkon says:

    They could make a film out of this.

    It might even be quite good.

    Just sayin’

    • Rosti says:

      Are, in fact, asking for this?


      Less flippantly, I’d be interested in such an adaptation. Any world with such a rich and developed set of ceilings deserves wider exploitation.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Yeah, I’d like a movie where Adam Jensen in one scene runs out of ammo and throws a big metal crate and then says “Crate meeting you” or “Steel yourself”.

        Uhh, no, that probably wouldn’t work, so I’ll just have to settle for roleplaying Adam Jensen in-game as a crate killing, fridge flinging badass.

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    chabuhi says:

    I’m scared that that might be better than anything we see in the actual game. (And I expect I’ll enjoy the game a great deal.)

  7. YohnTheViking says:

    I’m just hoping that unlike Human Revolution the central conflict of augmented vs. non-augmented is something you the player actually get involved in. Human Revolution made you skirt a lot of it, but never had you actively involved in the greater social conflict.

    • aepervius says:

      While true for the primary mission, I do remember a sub quest or two involving terrorism in the sewer and hostages at a convention center… ?

    • carewolf says:

      Of course you will be involved, after the last of a linear series of missions, you will be given the choice of three different buttons that affect this particular issue in different ways in the end cut-scene (and is ignored in the next sequel).

      Just like every other Deus Ex game so far.

  8. SlimShanks says:

    Oh that was pretty cool. Deus Ex continues to be awesome.

  9. thedosbox says:

    I am disappointed that NOBODY in the comments said they never asked for this.

    Oh so disappointed.

  10. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Never show me that again.

  11. hpoonis says:

    Sorry, but I fail to understand how a replacement, electro-mechanical arm could influence anyone into beating their spouse with it. It stretches the bounds of belief beyond that of reasonable.

    The implication here is that any replacement part will affect the cognitive functions of the recipient.

    Sounds like absolute bollox to me.

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      Harlander says:

      I could see something wired up to your brainstem causing psychological weirdness if it kept on sending dicky inputs, conceivably. That’d lead to the sort of situation where you might accidentally start clobbering on someone with your super-strong robot arm.

      • hpoonis says:

        and yet their regular non-bionic legs and backbone would still retain their non-augmented features and remain capable of walking elsewhere.

        Or, are we to believe that some hackers have disrupted the signals? If so, why would one require their bionic/cybernetic stuff to be on the ‘net anyway/available to be remotely accessed? Currently, people (parents) are stupid, whiny cretins who will gleefully buy a ‘net-enabled kiddie monitor then complain bitterly when some pervy hacker is watching their child sleep/pee/knock one off. To stretch that into allowing possible control of one or more of your tech limbs seems beyond reasonable as a tv/movie/game premise.

    • Poison_Berrie says:

      Spoilers follow for those who haven’t played DX:HR

      The game had people being forced/tricked into installing a chip that’s connected to the brain. The idea being that this chip allowed the Illuminati to switch off augmented people they were bothered with.
      One of their members, in an attempt to sabotage the plan, did something to it that just made people go haywire.

      Point being that people with that chip at least had something that connected to their brain and their augmentations.

  12. BubuIIC says:

    Deus Ex – Human Revolution had a live-action trailer in a similar style, which I quite enjoyed: link to

  13. April March says:

    Subtle like a rampaging rhino. An augmented rampaging rhino.