Wot I Think: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Adam Jensen has blades sheathed inside his wrists, skin that lets him turn invisible, and robotic thigh muscles that enable him to walk in an almost permanent crouch. It’s surprising that his real superpower then is the ability to turn on a visual overlay which reveals the locations of vents in the environment.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is the sequel to Human Revolution, set two years after the events of that game caused the world’s augs – humans who have had machines implanted in their bodies and brains – to momentarily lapse into a violent mania. Now distrust of augs has caused mass panic and various secretive groups are working to either heal society’s divisions, incite further panic, or oppress the augmented further. It’s your job as Jensen to pick your way through those secretive groups – via a lot of crouching through vents.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Although it’s set in a cyberpunk future dripping with conspiracies, Deus Ex is much more simply a game about making your own path through an urban environment. You’re given a city, in this case Prague, which acts as a hub for your missions. Depending on how you choose to play, those missions might involve fighting a lot of goons – police, mobsters, cultists – and if that’s your goal then the game will support you with powerful, customisable and creative weapons and a natty cover system. But where a lot of games have a stealth option that can feel as if you’re missing out on parts of the game – Blinking across entire levels of Dishonored, for example – here it’s the combat that leaves you feeling as if you’re missing out.

Walk through any street or building in the game and turn on that overlay. The walls will become transparent and parts of it will glow with opportunity. You could continue down the path you’re on and through the door in front of you, but there’s almost always other options. A wall to your left which Jensen can punch his way through; a second door, to your right, this one locked unless you can hack its access panel or discover the keycode; a vent, hidden behind some boxes, which takes you up into the rafters above your target. Choose to explore and you’ll be rewarded with extra story and with shortcuts to your target, but also with the great sense of satisfaction that comes from fully revealing a space and bending it to your needs.

On one particular mission, I had to retrieve some technology from a Russian gangster who had it locked up inside his casino. I bundled in through the front door to talk to him, but it went badly; I didn’t have the social augs installed that might have given me hints as to his temperament, and when I said the wrong thing his henchmen chased me out the door with bullets. I could have fought back, but I had a better idea: there was a back door, locked with an access panel. The problem was that I hadn’t leveled my hacking ability enough yet, either.

This too can be overcome, using a Multi-Tool to hack the panel without needing to steer through the usual mini-game – which is mostly unchanged from Human Revolution. The problem was that I needed 120 ‘crafting parts’ in order to create one myself, or to find a vendor from whom I could buy one. So off I went, breaking and entering all across Prague in search of the goods I needed.

An hour later I returned, having broken into my boss’s apartment and those of half the people living in Prague, revealed more parts of a global conspiracy, and more importantly armed with the crafting parts I needed. Crafting is straightforward: a single resource that can be collected and turned into useful items at the push of a button, letting you replenish your supply of grenades and mines and more without relying on scavenging or finding a shop. I crafted the Multi-Tool I’d worked for, let myself in the back door of the casino and snuck around, knocking people out as necessary. Eventually I alerted an enemy to my presence and, determined not to load a save or abandon my no-killing policy, committed to knocking every enemy in the building out with my tranquilizer darts and robot fists. Eventually, flitting between floors via vents and routes I created for myself with punching, I had rendered everyone silent.

As I cracked a safe and retrieved the item I was there to find, I noticed another vent I hadn’t yet opened. I clambered inside, crawled round a few turns, and dropped down… into the area back outside the front door. I could have entered this way all along, if only I had noticed it, and retrieved the item without using the front door, the back door, or needing to confront a single person.

This was just a side mission, but this swiss cheese world of air ducts, elevator shafts, and maintenance tunnels created space for me to conceive of and execute my own plan. It compelled me to engage more with the story, uncovered via hacked emails, collected pocket secretaries and environment detail, as well as with Jensen’s abilities, which are as before unlocked and leveled up using ‘Praxis kits’. It made me think of myself as a kind of robot John McClane.

Soon enough you’ll approach every mission the same way, and with a front door directly ahead you’ll turn, find some dumpsters you can stack on top of one another, and clamber atop towards a more satisfying, self-sought adventure.

Your new abilities help in the pursuit of that adventure. Upgraded appropriately, Jensen’s wrist-chisels can now be launched to skewer or distract enemies; he can now dash short distances in an instant; he can activate a shiny shield mesh, and a few others. Initially activating one of these new abilities requires permanently locking off another, which adds some much needed consequences and limitations to the levelling system, but it’s sadly shortlived.

Otherwise, the template for Mankind Divided is almost exactly the same as Human Revolution: breaking into apartments, hacking computers, snooping through emails, exploring sewers, finding weapons in storage units, navigating high-stakes dialogue trees… Almost everything Mankind Divided does, Human Revolution did first.

Here the old formula is given a boost by a new engine which allows for larger spaces. Where Human Revolution’s Detroit was really just two streets, a couple of backalleys, and a few locations cordoned off behind long elevator rides, Prague is four large hubs connected by level loads disguised as subway rides. Any one of those four hubs feels larger than all of Detroit, in part because they’re contiguous spaces. For example, when breaking into apartments to look for crafting parts, I stumbled through an open door to realise I was in Adam Jensen’s flat. I hadn’t realised I was in his building because I’d never seen the front door before – the first time I was there, I exited via a window. That wasn’t always possible in Human Revolution and the feeling of freedom is consequently greater here.

Mankind Divided is also regularly gorgeous. Human Revolution already had the best ceilings in gaming and Mankind Divided expands its architectural vocabulary with more dramatic lighting, striking wall art, and a fabulous array of stairwells. Prague proves a great canvas for a cyberpunk makeover, as new buildings smother the old and old buildings are twisted towards strange new purposes. There are other, smaller locations to visit too, including Golem City, which was built to house augmented workers and which looks like an awesome piece of science fiction concept art. The game’s themes are always best expressed through its locations.

Those themes of social oppression, individual freedom, and corporate greed, as expressed so haphazardly in marketing via phrases such as “mechanical apartheid” and “aug lives matter”, are less jarring in the game itself. They exist mainly as motivation for the various organisations you’re investigating, while Jensen’s own motivations are unclear and your ability to choose sides as the player is limited. To its credit, you do however make choices throughout the game rather than solely in its closing moments, and there’s at least the impression of branching based on some of your successes or failures.

At the very least, the story is not offensive, and its shaky metaphors for real world injustices mostly stay out of the way. Its biggest crime is simply that it feels like well-worn fare, both for Deus Ex and for near-future science fiction in general.

This is true of much of the game. I loved Human Revolution and am thrilled to finally have more of it, but it’s still a knock against Mankind Divided that it never surprises. Last time out, people were anxious that Square Enix might meddle with the series at a time when there weren’t many (or any) games like Deus Ex around. Now I would have appreciated a little more meddling. There’s nothing here which messes with your expectations of the world, either, in the way Human Revolution did when dragging your feet at the start caused a hostage situation to go bad before you’d even arrived.

Deus Ex is a series about circumventing (pun intended) obstacles with exploration and ingenuity, and it’s always been at its best in moments where you try something and think, “Wow, I didn’t think it’d let me do that!” That no longer happens, as you already know exactly what the game will allow and notice. Mankind Divided also does nothing to solve old problems such as failing to acknowledge when you’ve been to a location long before the story requires you to.

Yet it has a structure that works at pulling you through the game. I was simultaneously bored by the big-picture machinations of the umpteen shadow organisations vying for global power, and unable to stop playing because there was always another story objective or side mission on the verge of completion. That’s partly because Jensen’s role as an on-the-ground investigator gives him access to the smaller, more interesting stories of this world, but also just the magnetic draw of a quest marker. This is a big game, and one that can easily take you 40+ hours to complete if you’re committed to digging at its corners.

Mankind Divided is a new version of one of my favourite games of all time and free from the execution problems that hampered that last iteration. The levels are bigger and prettier. There are no dumb boss fights. It gives you slightly more agency over its story. The new abilities are nice, even if they don’t dramatically alter the flow of the game. There still aren’t that many games like Deus Ex around and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an excellent game like Deus Ex.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out on August 23rd for Windows via Steam and Humble for £40/$60/€50.

Editor’s Note: We weren’t allowed to publish our own screenshots ahead of the game’s release, which means those accompanying this review are press shots provided by the publisher. We’ll have a gallery up with the game’s release next Tuesday so you can see what the game actually looks like.

From this site

180 Comments

  1. ZIGS says:

    “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an excellent game like Deus Ex”

    That’s all I needed to read

    • 321 says:

      yeah, but its not. The article author, like most gaming press doesnt understand at all why Deus Ex 1 is the greatness that it is. They dont understand the nuances and details. They;re just scratching the surface – oh, i can go through a vent – oh, i can also stealth it. The recent article about the original game from John Walker is also a piece of cringe worthy shit where he doesnt understand anything at all and obsesses over singular aspects that dont mean anything.

      Human Revolution is profoundly inferior to the original in every way that doesnt involve tech advancements, like animation, npc behaviour, textures. But the press would have you believe its some sort of the same game as the original.

      • Scripten says:

        Careful, you’re going to cut yourself on all that edge.

      • Walsh says:

        Seriously, clearly you are the only one who can appreciate its greatness for real reasons.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          Game journalists are often profoundly bad at understanding games, and *why* they’re good. I don’t think this is a particularly controversial statement.

          Games like Deus Ex and Thief work because 1) their complex web of interactive systems, and 2) their naturalistic level design. DX:HR fucked up both of these key aspects pretty badly.

          • Scripten says:

            Nah. Thief was solid, but Deus Ex is a clunker. The level design was great, but the mechanics were very sub-par, and the AI was horrible. I love the game and agree that it’s one of the best ever made, but HR was a more fluid experience. It suffered from poor level design in comparison, but that doesn’t excuse the original’s absolute shite combat and stealth AI.

          • Cropduster says:

            66% of Thief 1 was fullon gash to be fair.

          • BriaerosAU says:

            What complex web of interactions were you seeing?

          • AncientSpark says:

            I do think it’s a controversial statement, because “Game journalists are often profoundly bad at understanding games, and *why* they’re good” is a completely empty statement and it’s also misleading.

            First off, design is a notoriously unstandardized field, making the phrase “good design” one of the most pointless statements to ever exist. Not even most designers can tell you why a game is good or not; design is largely a playtesting based field where you try something and hope something sticks. Heck, many of the popular games are full of terrible design choices that come and bite them in the back (see every MOBA or MMO ever), so is good design even the same thing as fun design or desirable design?

            Second of all, even if you can claim that reporters are bad at understanding why games are good, it’s from the view that almost all players identify problems in games, but not how to solve them in viable ways. In other words, they’re usually bad at understanding why a game is good because they’re gamers, not because they’re reporters. It’s a known circumstance that designers talk about all the time.

            I mean, of course, there are stinkers running around, like not being even able to identify basic parts of the game that the reporter is playing, but generalizations about the subject are pretty dumb, especially when you’re responding to a first impressions, which is ultimately a short-form compared to many other “review” types (compare to podcasts or longer videos or in-depth analyses).

      • Craig Pearson says:

        This is the cringiest cringe that ever cringed.

      • Dunbine says:

        “They dont understand the nuances and details […] and obsesses over singular aspects that dont mean anything.

        Hmm.

      • Hartford688 says:

        Oh sensei, please do enlighten us with the nuances and details that truly make the game great…you explain how lesser beings miss the point, so we seek enlightenment from you. So far you just tell us how other mortals miss the point, yet you have not shared the inner wisdom you have with us.

        We kneel at your feet awaiting education.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        Nobody understands it like you. You alone are the one person who truly gets Deus Ex, and the rest of us are doom to lead sad little lives unable to appreciate the majesty of the game in the way that you, 321, can.

        • 321 says:

          Of course you guys will joke, but you only have to look at Scripten’s reponse to TillEulenspiegel. That post is wrong from the first letter all the way to the last. Thats what i’m talking about. These are deep, nuanced games, with a million moving parts and interwoven systems that are almost unique in the gaming medium. They’re not “oh, i moved ten metres that way, and the AI is poor, the stealth is junk = 7/10 game”.

          • Scripten says:

            Are you seriously going to claim that Deus Ex had good AI or combat mechanics? It was a fun game, one of my favorites, but you are woefully ignorant if you think that the mechanics were elegant in any sense. The skills system, too, was poorly designed. Sure, you *could* put points into swimming and unlock a new path or whatnot, but that’s even more contrived than the air vent passages from HR.

            You can’t just whine that the game has “a million interlocking systems” without putting up any examples. Most of those systems you are likely thinking of were nothing but flags for scripts put in by the foresight of the developers. Again, well designed story and levels, but the mechanics are not tightly interlocked or even particularly good. If you want a game with tight systems and good stealth, MGSV is a perfect example. I’m constantly surprised by the depth of the simulation aspects in that game.

          • Booker says:

            Almost every game ever made has a million moving parts and interwoven systems. It’s the most ordinary thing in all of gaming.

      • aircool says:

        My favourite nuance was trashing your bosses office whilst he briefed you.

        Then locking co-workers in that office up the stairs.

      • Flatley says:

        Why do people like you feel the need to act so miserably about such unimportant things?

      • Ultra Superior says:

        As someone who played the original Deus Ex 12 times through, I understand exactly what 321 means and I know that he is completely right.

        Eidos Montreal does a great job creating a stealth cyberpunk game but they suck at re-creating what truly made the original great.

        • Scripten says:

          Can you explain to the rest of us plebeians what exactly those things are?

          • Ultra Superior says:

            – Greatness in scope and ambition
            – Greatness in detail
            – Contrast
            – Rhytm
            – Silence
            – Multiple layers & angles of Mystery
            – Expectation of & Respect for player’s intellect
            – Multitudes of interwoven systems
            – Freedom to abuse said systems any way you like
            – Such depth of systems & contents that most of it ends up undiscovered by most players.

            This list is by far not exhaustive. Feel free to add more. I am fully aware that Scripten won’t understand what any of the aforementioned things on the list mean.

          • Scripten says:

            Half of those points, “Ultra Superior”, are either buzzwords or repeats. Moreover, you still don’t get to just say “HURR DURR SYSTEMS AND MYSTERY” and expect to make a point.

            Yes, Deus Ex had systems. It had a shitty combat system, mediocre stealth system, poorly implemented RPG skill system, and a hell of a lot of scripting. Enemies would get stuck on the level geometry or otherwise run around in circles. It was good for its time, but stop pretending that so much of it is due to MAGIC and not to a competent writing teams using invisible triggers and event flags to tell a story. Just because your rose-tinted glasses don’t let you see that your BEST GAEM EVAR is actually a flawed masterpiece doesn’t mean that your opinion is remotely valid.

            The writing, level design, and atmosphere were incredible. Deus Ex *is* a good game. But you’re sitting here with your hands over your eyes bleating on about how only you can understand how DEEP it is, as if no one else could possibly understand it unless they are bloviating right next to you.

            Oh, and the intellectual posturing is childish. Grow up.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            No rose tinted glasses, I have DX perma-installed and play it start to finish nigh yearly.

            Bark, little mutt. I know that you see only buzz words and repeats in the examples I gave you. If you were able to comprehend their implications, if you saw how present they are in DX and how missing they are from its recent impostors, you wouldn’t be espousing the short-sighted nonsense.

            I am not saying that only I understand DX’s greatness… many understand it better than me. I say that YOU, clearly don’t understand it, as you have made clear in your other posts.

            However it is not beneath me to offer you a helping hand. You may ask for one point from my list that you’d like clarified and I’ll do my best to try to explain it to you.

          • Scripten says:

            Do you always act like such an insufferably pretentious twit? Get bent.

          • Nogo says:

            “Bark little mutt”…?

            lol, are you for real?

          • shde2e says:

            *Engaging Skeletor voice*

            FNAAA!

            Kneel before my might and wisdom! Be in awe for my bulging brain-muscle, my unparallelled insight and knowledge! For I understand the true genius of this game! Now ask me what i mean, so that I can insult your intelligence once more!

            FNAFNAFNAAAAAA

          • santouryuu says:

            i have no idea if this is serious.silence?rhythm?

        • Klayz0r says:

          As someone who, although an old hand at gaming, found the original Deus Ex insufferably presumptuous and ultimately boring af (I tried to finish it three times, always got bored to sleep around Hong Kong), I will gladly take DX:HR and the new Deus Ex over the unimaginable greatness of the original.

          • hjarg says:

            So agreeing with you there. Played original Deus Ex in the time it was released. Yea, good game, but not the best game ever made in heaven and handed down to us mortals.
            And i do like DX:HR more then the original. But, then again, it’s just silly little me. And i can live with people preaching the greatness of Deus Ex.

        • datreus says:

          My neckbeard grew 2 inches from reading that, what a masterful parody of basement-dwelling angst!

      • captainparty says:

        Imagine writing all this, reading it back and thinking, “yeah, this is cool, let’s post that”. Imagine.

      • Andset says:

        Well said my man.

      • Crooze says:

        Impressive how you can write that much ripping into him for not citing any nuances, yet fail to even mention one example youself.

      • Booker says:

        It’s really funny that you yourself can’t even name one of these nuances and details. :D

      • LapsedPacifist says:

        Lemme just run that through the Edge2Human™ translation software…

        …STOP HAVING FUN! YOU AREN’T ENJOYING IT IN THE APPROVED MANNER!

        Sounds about right.

      • Sabbatai says:

        You just shat all over this review, claiming that the author didn’t “get” what made Deus Ex so good. No one in journalism can articulate what made Deus Ex so amazing according to you.

        Yet… other than repeating a few times that it was great and implying that you do “get it”… you offered the rest of us nothing at all.

        So, why was it so great? The level design was somewhat unique at the time but I dare say it wasn’t exactly mind blowing. The AI was terrible. The dialogue was almost as good as a bad episode of the X-Files.

        The story was pretty neat though.

        That was really its saving grace. The story.

        I’m not trying to outdo anyone here. I just think if you’re going to insult someone who does this for a living by saying they don’t even understand what Deus Ex “is” but leave out your own explanation of it… that’s both disrespectful and worthless.

      • Shinard says:

        You might have some good points – I honestly don’t know, because I don’t think you ever mentioned one – but top tip. If you say that no one can understand a game as “the greatness that it is” or that a review was “a cringeworthy piece of shit” then people are either going to a) mock you or b) sigh and ignore you.

        If instead you said something like “I know it’s a bit controversial, but I didn’t think HR actually lived up to the original. I think the level design/AI/cool shades/whatever were better in Deus Ex because…” then you might actually start an interesting conversation. Though that said, if your mission was just to get people to notice you – mission accomplished! I hope you’re happy.

      • santouryuu says:

        as someone who just recently played the original,i think what you say is wrong and i agree mostly agreed with what john said.i think deus ex was a pretty good game for it’s time,but the way people talk about it and contrast it with HR is bewildering.there were quite a lot of things i liked more in HR than in the original game.that’s not to say the original was any less of an experience,but some saying that HR is nowhere near like the original is just weird.
        IMO it’s mostly a case of nostalgia and people just admiring it because of their previous experience,or it could be they’d feel the same if they played both the games even now.
        regardless,of course my opinion is completely wrong and i’m just stupidly refusing to see the light you have shown

        • 321 says:

          It wasnt a good game “for its time”, its one of the greatest achievements in gaming. With the likes of System Shock or Thief 1/2. Masterful design does not have age, especially when nothing else after you comes close.

          The whole game, the original is built like a simulation, with rules, and laws. Which reacts to everything you do. And you have the complete freedom for anything, in a vividly simulated world, with a vast array of tools to express that freedom. MGS 5 for example has only part of this, you have freedom and refined mechanics, but you only apply them in a small, barren, sterile and boring world.

          Let me lay out some flaws from HR/MD. The 3rd person cover view that is basically a cheat, and poor stealth that only takes into account the enemies line of sight. The original game uses sound, shadow and environmental changes for the AI to react to you. The locational damage in six points, that affect your moving when injuring legs or aiming when injuring arms is replaced with mundane health regen. When in the original you had to search medical help organically, in the world, a hospital, talk to doctor, use the medbot. You had to explore the gameworld, find augmentation canisters, choose what you will win and what you’ll lose from them, then find the robot to install them, then activate the necessary power when needed. Whereas in the modern games you just pop up a menu and slide them into what slot you want, then have most of them be contextual powers because the gameplay was forced on a fucking controllers that is so limited and only had the dpad for selection.

          And there are countless examples when entire gameplay facets were removed or retarded, because the gameplay had to be designed for the fucking console controllers or simply because the audience of today cant handle a bit more depth.

          John Walker is unfortunately just an idiot like all idiots who think they’re actually smart. Just one flavour of his moronic and wrong analisys of Deus Ex. In part four, he ends up with Paul at the apartment. He proceeds to say how when he first played it with a friend how they both had so different experiences. He now wanted to save Paul and proceeds to do things differently. Failing to highlight just how awesome this simple fact is and how much freedom he has in this simple act. He then saves Paul, but leaves him at the hotel door and goes the other way. He finds out Paul died being attacked by soldiers from outside the hotel. He concludes Deus Ex is sometimes stupid this way. When in fact the dept of the simulation is such that he only did half the job, he saved Paul from the men in the hotel, PAul thanked him, but the game actually continued the simulation instead of some script or teleportation into nowhere for Paul. The simulation continued so the soldiers outside just reacted to how the game was evolving. This particular scene instead of being lauded for how impressive it is, he somehow accused scripts for it and the game is dumb. John Walker is just a stupid person thinking he was “analising” something. A stupid person that missed every point of a game that was made for smart people.

          Did you know that the simulation goes so far in the game that if you fall from a far enough height on an npc he will die? Not because the developers scripted this, but of how the game reacts to its own rules and laws. That in Hong Kong you can manipulate npc’s into attacking you, draw them in the area where the police bot is, try do draw their fire so it hits the bot, who then starts to activate and fire on your attackers, which in turn forget about you and start attacking the bot. Completely unscripted – this is emergent gameplay. I’m sure you also know about the infamous mine ladder. You can place mines on buildings and then stand on then, use them as ladders. Not because anyone made it like this, because the game aknowledges the mines as having enough surface area that you can stand on them. So you can climb every building in the game like this, where you were never supposed to ever reach, and its still a fully simulated area, its never some texture or level limit.

          The game doesnt have bad AI. Its a very advanced and ambitious for its time AI, that has to react in a large space to a vast ammount of stimulus. Its actually fucking impressive, but most retards say its bad because the enemies have low cone of vision that you can abuse and may give a wrong impression. Just one aspect to which i was reffering when i said most people dont get it, and continue to repeat untrue shit like sheep. The gunplay is also not bad, one thing this is not a shooter, but uses role playing like progression for the guns, you need to aim, to learn how to use weapons, to pick up weapons with better characteristics, to use upgrades. Another aspect where sheep continue to repeat the same shit, that its bad because it doesnt work like Quake 3. I already said how stealth is far more rich than in HR/MD, but again sheep say its somehow bad, probably because of the same cone of vision thing.

          Did you know in the second mission, in the park, you can actually leave and not save the hostages? Not do anything at all? You start the mission and you get an objective. In every other game you would have to do it. But here, you can use the masterful level design to evade everything, navigate carefully next to the hostages and take the train. And the game reacts to this, the simulation continues. It never breaks, it never gives you barriers, you never have a fail state in the game, no mather what you do. This is one the greatest achievements in the game.

          So i went and offered more arguments against my better judgement since the posters level is so low, that they keep repeating how the gunplay is bad and stealth is poor. Therefore confirming what i already said, how little most people understand about this game and how shallow they do it

          • Geebs says:

            All of the stuff you’re impressed by is scripted, and friendly fire in FPs games dates at least as far back as Marathon / Doom. Neither DX nor Thief has any depth as a simulation.

            The one thing I will grant you is that the level design in HR had a bit of Invisible War going on, probably because it needed to run on machines with 512 Mb of RAM. Mankind Divided is designed for consoles which are basically reasonably-specked PCs with gamepads. The maps sound like they’ll a lot bigger, which I expect will bring back a lot of the original DX feel.

          • Ashabel says:

            I am willing to bet a hundred dollars that if you tried to tell all that to Warren Spector and Harvey Smith in person, they would laugh in your face for about ten minutes, then retreat to the nearest bar to get drunk off their gourd once they realized you’re actually serious.

          • mbourgon says:

            @321 okay, good points made, albeit without tact. Fair enough. Are there any other games you’ve found that have what the original offered, where it’s more a simulation and emergent gameplay is prevalent? Not snarling, actually curious.

          • santouryuu says:

            just to let you know i’m gonna shorten a lot of you points for easy readability.

            “The whole game, the original is built like a simulation, with rules, and laws. Which reacts to everything you do. And you have the complete freedom for anything, in a vividly simulated world”
            i agree that the original has more freedom and feels more malleable,but don’t act like HR doesn’t have any freedom or is not malleable

            “and poor stealth that only takes into account the enemies line of sight. The original game uses sound, shadow and environmental changes for the AI to react to you.”
            i call BS.in both HR and the original, sound and environment is used to detect you,only difference is that in HR the AI has more intelligence than lab chimpanzees.

            “The locational damage in six points,organic , a hospital, talk to doctor, use the medbot.
            i agree that the damage system in the original was quite inventive,but i can’t comprehend how a medbot is more organic than some nano-medicine or whatever.and the doctor actually doesn’t do anything himself,you only use medbots for healing

            ” then find the robot to install them, then activate the necessary power when needed.
            so making upgrades arduous is better?i guess that’s subjective and yeah maybe the skill tree was more diverse earlier

            “John Walker is unfortunately just an idiot like all idiots.”
            i think you haven’t even read what he wrote properly,and completely fail to grasp the point he was trying to make

            “Did you know that the simulation goes so far in the game that if you fall from a far enough height on an npc he will die? that in Hong Kong you can manipulate npc’s into attacking you”
            and HR doesn’t have these stuff?it’s been some time since i played,but i’m pretty sure the answer is yes.some parts like bots might not be there,but i think the overall concept exists

            “where you were never supposed to ever reach, and its still a fully simulated”
            yes,you can reach everywhere,and all you’ll find are bland,empty placeholder areas which are really inconsequential

            “The game doesnt have bad AI. Its a very advanced and ambitious for its time”
            For it’s time,yes but objectively it was pretty bad

            PS:i’m not saying that Deus Ex is completely,100% better than HR;im just saying Deus Ex had it’s flaws,and simply ignoring them and instead flaming HR is weird
            It is true that some people may prefer the original to HR,and yeah,even i liked some aspects of the original more,but saying HR was nothing like the original is wrong IMO.yes it has quite some differences,it IS a different game
            regardless of your high&mighty attitude,i respect other’s opinions and ultimately that’s what this debate consists of:”opinions”.a piece of media being good or not is ultimately subjective

        • GWOP says:

          I loved the bit of simulation where you couldn’t kill your boss (regardless of how much you shot him) until you reached a certain point in the story.

          Also, calling people ‘retards’ is a great way of carrying out a conversation.

          You have so much respect for the simulation of a social space, but no idea on how to navigate a real one.

      • geldonyetich says:

        Honestly, 321 is right. The original Deus Ex had a kind of freedom, enchanting storyflow, and unique charm that Human Revolution didn’t.

        Which is why you have to stand back and respect the Human Revolution team had their own vision of the game.

        It’s like objecting to a book’s plot because you don’t like a writer’s style. The original Deus Ex did things a way that only Ion Storm at a specific period of time was capable of. That time is never coming back. It’s time to move forward.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          You are essentially correct, except that they chose to use the name and reputation of Deus Ex to sell their little cyberpunk game. If they had just been honest with themselves, they would have called it something else and not forever been in the long, long shadow of the original.

      • BrickedKeyboard says:

        Care to elaborate what specifically was in Deus Ex 1 that is not in HR? About the only thing I know of was that there was a touch more branchiness. You could have killed certain characters sooner and you could avoid killing anyone. You can spare people in HR, though. You spend most of your time sneaking around, just like in Deus Ex 1. You don’t want the alarm to sound. You use gas grenades to avoid kills. You hack computers, except in Deus 1 the hacking didn’t have a minigame and needed just 1 skill point.

        In both games, the pistol is the best gun. Every door has a vent. Every computer has a slip of paper with the passcode somewhere so you can avoid having to hack. Both games had a mission where you had to perform a task to free your airplane from something. Both games had a difficult combat mission to save your pilot. Both had big reveals of really out there locations, like the underwater base in Deus Ex or the dual pancake city in HR.

        Frankly, the only mechanic I know of that wasn’t copied was being able to reload your bioenergy at commonly available robotic stations, which meant you were free to use your abilities a lot more in Deus Ex 1. There was also location based damage.

        I played the first game all the way through twice, and I found HR to be the same game except it was drastically higher resolution and had drastically more detailed high tech environments.

      • Nanodenton says:

        Deus Ex had plenty of issues that we gladly neglected because of the level design.

        Issues:

        Optimization. This was a huge problem back in the day.

        Boredom in last levels: one of the last levels (most probably one of the first to be design) was such BORING FILLING.

        Of course, there are genialities like the kill switch, and plenty of original level design that makes Deus Ex such a experience and better game than MGS and others. It is a slow story plenty of details.

        Anyway let’s just enjoy it. And I must say I enjoyed Deus Ex HR a lot.

        And remember Not even Warren Spector got right a sequel to Deus Ex.

  2. oafish-oaf says:

    Is Jensen still a miserable bastard? As a miserable bastard oaf myself, he still puts me right to shame.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Yeah. And he still has a voice like a buzzing phone down the back of a couch. I love him, though there’s precious little character development in this game, when compared to DXHR.

      • Sound says:

        I couldn’t get into HR largely for this reason, in retrospect. Basically, I wasn’t invested in, nor interested in the person, Adam Jensen. Mostly he seemed like an empty shell that allowed me to shank people or sneak around people. With an annoying voice. He had no story. Rather, his voiced shell proceeded through levels for me to experience. Combine this with absurd omni-competence, and I simply could not immerse in the primary character, and thus could not immerse in the story either. The entry point to the story was just a bearded nothing with the voice of a blender.

        • Scripten says:

          I can’t imagine you would have liked the original either, in that case. JC Denton is blandness incarnate.

          • Sound says:

            He was bland, yes. But on the other hand, JC Denton existed in an earlier gaming age, where we hadn’t come to expect quite so much out of our games, both in technical features and in story craft. The bar had not been pressed so far as it is today. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect better storycraft from games now, nor do I think it’s unreasonable to forgive the first Deus Ex for being so scarce with it’s characterization.

        • Booker says:

          Adam Jensen has more of a story than 99% of all game protagonists. Usually the protagonist is only the hand holding the gun and that’s it. :D

          • Sound says:

            It makes more sense to compare like with like. The Deus Ex series has always been very narratively driven. Games that are not narratively driven don’t warrant comparison. Among other games that are driven by a narrative with characters, many of them do much better with a distinct characterization for the lead. Moreso as each year passes. In that regard, Human Revolution was lagging behind the pack.

        • shde2e says:

          I never cared for mister J either. Mostly played it for the gameplay, and out of a vague curiosity to see where the story would go.

          • Sound says:

            Thing is, I wanted to see where things went too. I wanted to experience more of a post-cyberpunk world. I wanted to know how things would shake out, and the gameplay… wasn’t bad. So while I think the weak main character was a big problem, I don’t think that was the whole problem for me. I wonder what else made me lose interest…

        • Scurra says:

          On the other hand, the little sidescene with the old lady with dementia only works because Jensen has been such a blank slate up to that point. He doesn’t magically become any more “real” after that, but that particular thread (that seeds through to DE) is well played.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I didn’t expect Jensen to suddenly develop Geralt-like depth in this game (not that it’s a particularly high bar either), so I guess this doesn’t bother me. Heck, Shepard from Mass Effect isn’t exactly a deep character either.

        I treated Jensen in the last game as basically a mobile tool box to get through some interesting situations and game settings. Sounds like it’s the same this time around, and that’s okay.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        Sometimes superficial badassery is enough I think, at least if it’s mostly a fridge throwing avatar for the player to fill out rather than an outright badly written character.

        Like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and the main characters’ badasstic simplicity.
        Blondie/The Man With No Name/Good has 0 development and is just a brighter nuance of Angel Eyes/Bad.
        Tuco/Ugly, the wildcard is the only one who has some character time at all.

    • dongsweep says:

      How dare you call him a miserable bastard. You simply needed to bring him out of his shell: link to youtube.com

    • theblazeuk says:

      I never asked for this.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    Sounds good to me. As someone who deeply enjoyed even the pale imitation of Human Revolution that was The Fall a game that’s simply Human-Revolution-but-with-more-stuff and a bigger more interconnected city hub sounds like exactly what I want.

  4. Sakkura says:

    Are the sneak routes less contrived than in Human Revolutions? To me, the “multiple approaches” in Human Revolutions always felt much more forced and formulaic than in the original Deus Ex.

    And then of course the boss fights ruined the whole idea, good to hear those are gone.

  5. tomaac says:

    Anything on PC port quality? Any technical issues? Framerate? Options? From Blizzard to No man’s sky, how bad is it technically?

    • Yachmenev says:

      Comes with Denuvo, if that counts as a technical issue.

      • tomaac says:

        It’s already on Steamworks. One more DRM will not change much, but still kind of retarded to add another.

      • Emeraude says:

        Given how much HR benefited from positive word of mouth due to piracy (that leaked demo certainly did it a world of good), it’s amusing to see its follow up doubling down on DRM solutions.

        It’s already on Steamworks.

        Always weirds me how some people accept one, but refuse the other, given they’re basically one and the same.

        • Yachmenev says:

          So because you accept one server depency, against a company you trust, you should accept any number of server depencies against any kind of company?

          • Emeraude says:

            Well, yes, given it’s the trusting that is weird in the first place.

        • Premium User Badge

          Oakreef says:

          Denuvo isn’t actually DRM in and of itself. It’s an anti-tamper technology – stops you modifying the executable. It doesn’t act as hard DRM it’s there to stop you being able to turn off whatever other DRM the game is packed with (steamworks in this case).

          • Emeraude says:

            I know. And it’s a perfectly insignificant distinction here.

            Some people accept one mandatory server identification but not the other. When there’s the installation of yet another client, I can understand the convenience argument. But here it’s just weird to me.

          • Yachmenev says:

            The problem here is despite buying a product from a retailer (Steam), you’re expected to be comfortable giving another party, an almost unknown one, authority over whether or not you can access your purchased single player games, forever and ever.

          • Emeraude says:

            That point hold more weight if buyers didn’t end forced tied to the third platform that is Steam when buying their games from elsewhere – say retail.

        • CartonofMilk says:

          Its not weird, it’s just people who pretend they buy games normally. But really they’re upset at Denuvo because they can’t pirate the games that use it. I mean i should know, i pirate almost everything, or did before denuvo. But i’m not upset at denuvo. It had to happen some time.

          Also yeah people need to stop calling it a DRM, it’s not.

          • Emeraude says:

            If you want to go all out on the hair splitting, it’s a DRM solution that cannot work unless it comes coupled with another DRM solution.

        • anHorse says:

          You’re being intentionally dense

          Steamworks only requires that I use steam, it has no other impact on the game
          Meanwhile Denuvo makes modding impossible and it has led to people having a torrid time trying to launch the game for the very first time (see total warhammer)

          Denuvo is demonstrably worse for the consumer than just steamworks, the only DRM form it wins out against in a head to head is always online.

          • Emeraude says:

            I”ll quote others up there: Denuvo does nothing without Steamworks (or Origin, or uPlay or whatever).

            Here’s the thing, people already accepted the possibility of everything Denuvo happens to do when they accepted to use Steam. Because it’s the platform set up that enables it all.

            In the long run, there’s no such thing as a trustworthy company. Only a company kept in check. People trusted Valve, and Valve empowered companies over end-users, washing its hands of the whole thing, because it does not have to care.

            So coming crying about Denuvo locking things up after willfully giving away the keys to Valve and its copycats does strike me as odd.

            Intentionally myopic, if you will.

    • Zanchito says:

      /r/deusex says it’s a good port.

      • parallax1 says:

        It’s an excellent port according to Arstechnica. But of course you need something more than a potato-PC to run it a highest settings.

  6. The Sombrero Kid says:

    “Its biggest crime is simply that it feels like well-worn fare.”

    No one buys a deus ex game wanting anything else, it knows what it is and that’s a good thing.

    I’ve never understood people who seem to think we’re drowning in good cyberpunk or sci fi noir. it’s literally a twice a decade setting. Maybe it’s just my personal taste but I would like it if we had 10x as many noir games, of any description.

    • Emeraude says:

      I guess the issue is if you happened to want more DX and are given more HR.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Precisely, and unfortunately this review fails to tell us which we’re getting.

        • Smoof says:

          Actually it does.

          It tells you you’re getting more DX:HR, not original Deus Ex. So, there you have it.

          • Raoul Duke says:

            Perhaps you can quote the part where it’s compared and contrasted to the original for me, I obviously missed it.

      • Beefenstein says:

        True, but it is a sequel to HR and, at this point, the ‘next DX’ will probably be an indie title. That’s just the way mainstream gaming has gone. DX was a beautiful aberration and, because of that rather than in spite of it, it will always inspire creators.

        • Emeraude says:

          I had little hope that this would end up being more DX than HR, but I think there’s still a chance that it lands closer to DX than HR did.

          I have a hard time working whether it did or not from reviews now.

          I’m going to assume no. Will have to wait and see if I ever get to play it later for confirmation.

      • The Sombrero Kid says:

        It hadn’t occurred to me that getting more DX was even an option. I think if we are lucky we might get it from Otherside or Arkane but I don’t think it’s in Eidos Montreal’s culture. I’m OK with that, the ImmSim has rarely been healthier than it is now.

        • Emeraude says:

          Well, there’s (was?) still hope that map size increase could result in overall better level design.

          Agreed on the culture thing. That’s what kept me worried about the game.

        • CMaster says:

          Oh Arkane.

          Dishonoured was such a strange experience. It’s still one of my favourite games of the last few years, because it’s got fantastic level design (from a gameplay point of view), paired up with great level design (from an aesthetic, storytelling point of view).

          It’s got a fairly rich set of verbs, tools to make stealth about quick cunning as much as patience. It’s brilliant in so many ways.

          But then it jumps for power fantasy, meaning the game was deeply easy, and I wasn’t having to try different approaches against the fantastic level design, I was just picking one I thought I liked and going with it, because the game is a massive enabler. And despite the fascinating story of the world (and the Whales); the actual story of the game runs on assumed empathy (we should care about the empress who we met for all of 30 seconds?!) and cutscene stupidity. Also, the heart is a neat idea, that falls apart if you actually pay attention to it at all.

    • Premium User Badge

      oWn4g3 says:

      I totally agree with you. We do not only need more games but also more well made movies around that setting.

    • Unclepauly says:

      Yeah but if you play the original for the 1st time even today, it doesn’t feel like well worn fare.

      • CMaster says:

        The gameplay doesn’t especially, although while the micro-freedom still stands out (ie ways to solve puzzles, ways the world reacts to you), the “macro” freedom feels very limited and weak compared to today’s open-world games.

        The storyline, of conspiracies and wheels within wheels, of mad rich old men grasping for power and immortality does very much so. I mean, it wasn’t new or original in the first place, but since then things like Lost and The Da Vinci Code have gone mainstream.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      I definitely want more scifi, noir, scifi noir, and cyberpunk games. But this isn’t just that, it’s very specifically the same activities as DXHR. That’s great, like I say in the review, but it’s not unreasonable for someone to expect five years to have brought some changes. Especially when there’s still clear issues with the formula.

      It’s also, to those wondering, therefore more closely related to DXHR than it is DX.

      • Emeraude says:

        Thanks for taking the time to make that precision.

        Oh, well. Not unexpected, still a bit disappointing.

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    Does it still have horrible third person camera bits? Magical sticky cover? One button instant kill lame action take downs? And is Jensen still a boring, vacuous douche with bad facial hair?

    What about the original game – does it start to link up, or continue to ignore it?

    • CMaster says:

      DX:HR, while clearly not really being a true prequel to DX, did acknowledge and try to lead in to it somewhat.

      I presume that this one will mess with the timeline enough to ensure that it doesn’t make any sense to pretend they are in the same continuity at all.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Yes but all those things are great.

    • Neutrino says:

      Good questions. That’s exactly what I want to know.

    • theblazeuk says:

      Ah if only we had a character with the depth and nuance of JC Denton instead.

      I actually for one enjoyed Adam Jensen.

      • Scripten says:

        About time someone bloody well said it. If anything, Paul Denton was the most interesting of the two. JC said some neat things, but he never came across as human, really. Jensen isn’t a great character, but he’s a character at least.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          Yes, we imagine for example if these alleged prequels actually dealt with Paul and his activities leading up to the revelations in DX1, and not some twat working for some other twat at some company.

      • Karyogon says:

        Except that having the main character as a RPG-style player-insert character was one of those things that made DX interesting, and it’s actually one of the things DXHR successfully inherited from the original, if only somewhat.

        I’ll still take Denton over Jensen though.

      • Raoul Duke says:

        Hmm. A genetically engineered, nano augmented naif grown in a tank and raised to be an obedient weapon who is gradually forced to confront the true nature of his world and the truth about his own existence versus a dull witted security guard who spends his evenings grooming his facial hair to match a photograph of Craig David and is more interested in emo discussions with his extremely dull ex girlfriend than uncovering the shadowy powers controlling his life and world.

    • April March says:

      You take that back about Jensen’s marvellous goatee!

  8. CMaster says:

    So, is the level design (with the new engine) like Dishonoured (and the better bits of DX1), with fantastically constructed places to probe and explore; or is it like DX:HR, and clearly a case of “pick front or back door, pick stealth route or loud route”?

    Does it still have that fucking stupid energy system for augs, which meant I spent the whole game on the minimum (but self-recovering) energy level, and spent half my time waiting for it to recover before performing another takedown?

    • CMaster says:

      To make it clear, I still thought DX:HR was a pretty great game, but I don’t know if this sequel actually changes any of the things I liked (or didn’t like) from the former from this review.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      There’s now an energy pool, instead of the old pips. Using takedowns, cloak, etc. uses up the pool, which partially regenerates. To be honest it’s broadly the same as before, though perhaps a little more generous.

  9. michelangelo says:

    “More of the same” was how I was reading whole campain. Except its mysterious twitter glitch messages and unclear stream interrogation reveal. Marketing after that made me not really care. I still don’t. And I still don’t like decision about bring Adam Jensen back. He died. I’ve seen it. Fuck marketing calculation that is worry about customers not being able to recognize (and buy) DeusEx product without its mascot.

    When I was thinking about DeusEx future after finishing beloved Human Revoluion—I absolutely wanted different point of view, new character, setting—something, anything. Personal story, with conspiracy lurking somewhere silently on the background, rather then being over mentioned and through it becoming empty phrase. To play character from opposite side of barricade ideally. The Fall touched that (sadly in form of worst execution possible, for absolute lack of ambitions).

    So, does Adam’s character at least develop over the game? Does he change somehow as a person?

    • CMaster says:

      Yeah, using Jensen again always struck me as really weird.

      His story was played out in DX:HR. Yes, “I never asked for this” became a meme, but I never got the impression that players loved, or even especially cared for more of him.

      • Premium User Badge

        Graham Smith says:

        I like Jensen, but no, there’s no character development this time. There’s nothing much personal about the story for him. There are some returning characters from the last game but otherwise his motivation is kinda unclear and the game suffers from it.

      • Smoof says:

        Jensen, JC Denton, Corvo, etc serve the same purpose as Neo in The Matrix; a bland, everyman protagonist that allows the player/watcher to put themselves into the role of that character.

        They’re not meant to be interesting or dynamic; that’s what all the other characters around them are for.

        • CMaster says:

          Yeah but that kind of underscores my point.
          Why Jensen again?
          The world is apparently full of bad-ass augs. Ones that would come without existing storyline baggage. Ones that could have a character arc of their own, even if that was the arc of the player. Instead, we get more Jensen, which is fine, but seems unnecessarily constraining.

          • Smoof says:

            It just strikes me as utterly unimportant, is all. If the character is irrelevant and the producers are more concerned with making the world a character and the NPC’s more characterful, why bother with the protagonist? He worked before and his storyline is irrelevant, his only role is to act as an agent within the context of the world, so why spend much time on him?

            Certainly, it’s got to be an easy way to keep costs down and focus more on what matters: the world and the external characters.

          • Zenicetus says:

            It’s a question of where do you want limited programmer and art resources spent — on character development for the protagonist, or the “external” characters that drive the story?

            There aren’t many games that do both. Witcher 3 is an exception. Also the Mass Effect series, although Shepard is basically a bland protagonist with any apparent depth due to interaction with the crew.

            DXHR (and presumably this game) are doing what Dishonoured did, bypassing anything that establishes a deeper protagonist to spend programmer and art resources on the external story elements.

            If we want a cyberpunk game with deeper character development for the protagonist, we might get that with the upcoming Cyperpunk 2077 game from DCPR.

          • Zenicetus says:

            CDPR, dammit. Damn edit function lacking.

  10. SuperUnheardOf says:

    How does it handle the upgrades Jensen had at the end of DX:HR?

    I’m replaying it now and have almost fully upgraded. The in game fluff implies that the remaining upgrades will unlock as Jensen recovers and gets used to his augments.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      The prologue mission at the start of the game injures you, taking away your abilities and introducing the new DXMD abilities (dash, chiselshot, etc.) It’s a little more clever than that from a narrative perspective and it’s more generous than DXHR in giving you Praxis kits so you can tool up again with the most important augs pretty quickly.

      • SuperUnheardOf says:

        OK, thanks. I guess that makes sense from a gameplay point of view, but it seems a little tired to start from scratch again.

        • Zenicetus says:

          That’s always a problem with sequels and I’ve never seen it handled well. The Witcher series is a classic example. I started Witcher 3, and immediately got killed by a small group of Drowners. That’s just ridiculous, considering the amount of whoop-ass Geralt could unload by the end of Witcher 2. And considering there wasn’t the usual trickery involving amnesia or illness to explain why he was such a weakling after the events of the last game.

          So you learn to just ignore it, handwave it away, and get on with the story and skill building all over again.

          • kud13 says:

            Most annoying “gamey” thing about the Witcher series was having to re-learn to deflect arrows with the sword Every. Single. Game.

  11. RaunakS says:

    How is the music by the way? The Deus Ex:HR OST is still one of my most listened-to playlists and fit the mood on the streets very well.

    Also, is there any particular colour gradations? I kinda liked the gaudy yellow tint of HR.

  12. Premium User Badge

    AutonomyLost says:

    Why is there no mention of performance in this review? It needn’t be overly in-depth, but a mention of the settings used and on what type of configuration would go a long way for a lot of people.

    • mitthrawnuruodo says:

      I came here to check the same thing. There are a few benchmarks over the internet which showcase some very choppy performance. I guess RPS left that bit out to keep a positive note. They did the same with Total War – Rome 2.

  13. LiquidBronze says:

    No where that I have found does it say anything about the hud options, but I need to know… Can you disable the entire hud, or at least most of the god awful shit on it?

    • michelangelo says:

      And if so, will not player miss significant info that is actually necessary to play?

      I was surprised, how possible it was at Assassins Creed: Black Flag, Unity, or for example Bloodborne. Huge experience improvement, if you ask me.

      At the other hand, augmented reality makes huge sense in sci-fi game which Deus Ex is. And I believe that, as such thing, it should be well thought and grounded pillar of futuristic environment interactivity. Does it feel that way? Or its just another “ammo / health / map” gaming HUD/UI?

      • Zenicetus says:

        That’s a good point about the setting being appropriate for some HUD clutter. I don’t think I’ll mind it much in this game.

        It was very immersion-breaking in Far Cry Primal, where you’re this cave man seeing all sorts of sci-fi HUD imagery on the screen. That game improved tremendously with the HUD elements removed.

  14. gbrading says:

    More of Human Revolution but with less of the flaws sounds good to me; I loved Human Revolution. A bit disappointing the story sounds like it’s a bit tired and clichéd, but DX:HR’s story wasn’t especially memorable either.

    Regarding Adam Jensen, I don’t mind him. Deus Ex has always had gravelly-voiced protagonists who don’t display much emotion (ignoring Invisible War), and so I didn’t mind him coming back for the sequel.

    Regarding the port although the review doesn’t mention it I would presume it is reasonable; Nixxes are doing it and they have good history when it comes to PC ports. I’m excited to play this next week.

  15. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    Is the reward system still insanely biased towards pacifist stealth?

    I never understood why HR gave you these cool animations for stabbing guys and shooting explosives out of your chest while actively punishing you for using them in lieu of no-kill takedowns.

    • theblazeuk says:

      And for the most part, stealth (and so pacifist takedowns) are an easier way of tackling most enemies. Mind you nothing is as simple as shooting everyone in the head with a silenced pistol. Thank you for opening your mouth and telling me how much you enjoyed wasting people at Sarif – now you die.

    • SuperUnheardOf says:

      Punching someone out is pacifist? That explains all those Quaker boxers in the Olympics.

      • Emeraude says:

        You know, just made me realize, could be interesting to make a game in which the usual silent take-down strangling is analog instead of binary, and you can end up strangling someone to death if not careful.

        • April March says:

          That would be brilliant!

        • Qazi says:

          It is called Metal Gear Solid, though it goes for snapping the neck as the breaking point between merely choking a guard unconscious or going too far and killing them.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      Why, they give you the most experience because anonlethaltakedownisalwaysthemostsilenttakedown.

  16. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    Does David Sarif return? I really liked his character.

    • reticulate says:

      He does, but they recast the voice actor. The original went a little..weird and hasn’t worked in the field since.

  17. Danarchist says:

    Do they penalize the crap out of you this time for not going all secret squirrel? As the only person on earth that hated the Assassins Creed and Metal Gear games I just cannot get into the sneaking about crap. Loud and proud I say! If they can’t hear the explosions three blocks away I am having a slow day!
    In the last game if you just john rambo’d the whole thing you would lose out on chunks of story line etc.

    • rasko1nikov says:

      Have you played Alpha Protocol, my man? Similar kind of deal (MUCH better dialogue imo) to Deus Ex, but if you went gung-ho, the response from your superiors and other characters in the game was amazing. My second playthrough I was a murderous tank, leaving no witnesses (even choosing to kill off important characters I liked), and didn’t really get penalised. You could also be a total jackass in your conversations with other characters.

      Worth giving it a shot!

      • Danarchist says:

        Actually you just reminded me a friend had sent me that game on steam in May as a bday present and I haven’t played it yet :) might be a nice weekend heatwave time killer! (its going to be 41c this weekend…)

        • rasko1nikov says:

          Oh neat, yeah definitely give it a go. My advice, hang on past the rather slow tutorial, and you’ll really dig it! It’s kind of the shell of the next Deus Ex game I’d like to see used – fantastic dialogue choices, character relationhips, and the sense of affecting the story’s narrative – even with its flaws.

      • Hobbes says:

        Alpha protocol was hilarious, and a good example of a game where the devs damn well thought of nearly everything. Case in point is the lunatic agent “Heck” , play along with his lunacy and you unlock a way to cheese one of the boss fights involving and I kid you not, several kilos of cocaine and a bag of rat poison.

    • Zenicetus says:

      If you haven’t played Wolfenstein New Order, give it a try. It’s the best-balanced game I’ve played recently for taking either approach.

      I’m usually a sneaky type and only go full-on combat when I have to, but New Order was the most fun I’ve had when switching to combat. It’s a bit ridiculous with things like dual-wielding assault rifles, but still fun. And absolutely necessary in a few situations.

  18. Alas Away says:

    It’s interesting to me that one semi-broken, not-quite finished, disappointing game with a bucketload of hype comes out a week before a well realized albeit non-envelope-pushing game with a great name, and somehow this better game is much less of a story than the “broken one.” ( I DO realize some people enjoy No Man’s Sky, didn’t play it myself so I’m going with what reviews, even here on RPS, have called it. )

    I’m glad I didn’t shell out 60 euro’s for the former.

  19. Cheradanine Zakalwe says:

    Metal Gear Solid V is the actual successor to deus ex. It builds up the simulation and options better than any other game I’ve seen since. If only the story and characters weren’t such absolute tosh.

    • Emeraude says:

      I always say DX worked for me because of the way it mixed systemic, emergent gameplay with pre-scripted events at such a level of granularity that it managed to give a certain illusion of both agency and reactivity of the world to that agency that was far bigger than what was actually on offer – even if it was for a good part smoke & mirrors, really, it felt alive.

      MGS5 has one half of this right, but I don’t thing it succeeds – doesn’t even try really – on the other.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      I finally got around to playing MGSV this year and I totally agree. It’s the closest anyone’s come to an actual DX sequel. Hell, it even does mechanical augmentation in a more interesting way than Human Revolution did.

      Imagine the glory of a Deus Ex game using the Metal Gear engine but instead of Afghanistan you are heading out into a sprawling cyberpunk city, and instead of Diamond Dogs you command a unit of a proto-UNATCO, perhaps in a smaller scale than MGS and closer to Ghost in the Shell.

      CDPR and Cyberpunk 2077 is our best hope for something like this.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Ground Zeroes you can parallel to Liberty Island but I thought that Phantom Pain was more like a heavily expanded Project IGI than your Deus Ex suggestion.

  20. rasko1nikov says:

    With all the talk about how boring Jensen is (and he is, he absolutely is), I just wanna say how much I miss the original DX’s basic-ass face/skin changer. I wish they’d consider doing something like that again. If your character is gonna be dull as dishwater (and let’s face it, JC wasn’t exactly a great raconteur either), at least let me create a dude who looks a *bit* like me? I played through the original looking like Wesley Snipes and it was the best thing. Purely superficial, but increased my investment in the character.

    HR was fun, but it did just kind of lock you into the plucky adventures of some cyberpunk New Romantic loser; and these are long games; that sh*t takes its toll.

    Thoughts?

    • rasko1nikov says:

      (and yes, you’re basic take away from that should be that my 12yo self thought I looked like the full-grown, tax-dodging’ Wesley Snipes)

    • Premium User Badge

      alison says:

      Jensen sucks. JC Denton was a fucking boss. “My vision is augmented.” Need I say more.

    • Emeraude says:

      Well, there’s the aforementioned economical argument of having to produce several variation of the main character (all the worse now with that 3rd person view), which probably has some weight.

      I tend to see player characters as a third persons myself, so I’m not bothered, but I do think it’s nice that people for whom it matters get some customizations options in games in which it makes sense.

      And in DX it makes (made) sense. So, yeah, missed opportunity I think.

      • rasko1nikov says:

        Yeah man. Tbh, I wouldn’t say I ever fully identified with JC in first-person terms either (partly because he had a very particularly defined backstory), but being a black dude, it was cool that there was an option to just flick a switch and make him look like my dad had gone fucking wild. That stuff makes a difference, especially when you’re young.

  21. melnificent says:

    Hopefully I’ve done this quote thing right…

    Editor’s Note: We weren’t allowed to publish our own screenshots ahead of the game’s release, which means those accompanying this review are press shots provided by the publisher. We’ll have a gallery up with the game’s release next Tuesday so you can see what the game actually looks like.

    Embargo is only half up then. Is it really that important to be amongst the first that you agree to these bizarre restrictions?

    • Llewyn says:

      To ignore your question and answer a less dogmatic one: I suspect Graham thinks it’s more important to give his words – the things he’s actually here for – early enough for people to cancel pre-orders etc rather than hold them back for the sake of some screenshots.

      Your question, perhaps unintentionally, comes across as a sneering veiled insult to those you consider less principled than yourself.

      • thedosbox says:

        o ignore your question and answer a less dogmatic one: I suspect Graham thinks it’s more important to give his words – the things he’s actually here for – early enough for people to cancel pre-orders etc rather than hold them back for the sake of some screenshots

        Indeed. If I only wanted pretty visuals, I’d look at the trailers.

  22. engion3 says:

    After reading this I am pretty excited. I was going to pick it up on day one anyway but now I’m looking forward to it. :)

  23. neofit says:

    Do we finally get to meet Deus’ ex this time, or will they stretch it over 9 seasons as well?

  24. Premium User Badge

    Sinomatic says:

    How many times through did you play it Graham? It’s just that in all previous DX incarnations I found that a lot of my ‘oh wow’ moments came from replaying situations and discovering something I hadn’t before, either in the small context of finding a vent or a code etc that I hadn’t found before, or making a choice on a grander scale (either purposefully, or by accident).
    I’m not saying I disbelieve your assessment of the game (until we’re awash with DX-likes I’m actually fine with more DX:HR done a bit better and prettier and whatnot), I’m simply wondering how in-depth a playthrough you’ve been able to have with it. Either way, I’m looking forward to it.

  25. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    Is the whole game in Prague?

    One of the most important parts of Deus Ex to me is its China levels. In the first game, Hong Kong had some of the most memorable computer game music ever. And the pixelated food… Man, I never wanted to eat so bad in a computer game ever. In Human Revolution, the Shanghai level was also a masterpiece. Vertical, chaotic and so cyberpunk you could bake a silicon cake on it.

    TLDR, Deus Ex without China would be like Deus Ex without helicopters. Please tell me there are some jiaozi in my future.

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Prague is the only hub, sadly. There are other locations around the world but they’re large setpiece missions rather than hubs.

  26. kud13 says:

    Two important questions I have from this review:

    1) Just as teh post above- is the whole game set in one “location”? Did we abandon Deus Ex’ globe-trotting nature for a “tighter” story focused on one locale

    2) how much customizations is there with controls? Can I turn off the mini-map? (my most wanted feature in HR). Can I still stealth without going third person ( I ghosted all of HR on GMDX without going into 3rd person once, except ladders. I bound the “3rd person stealth” button to ` to make sure I don’t toggle it by accident)

  27. Spacewalk says:

    I just wanna know how deep the immersive sim elements go if there are any at all.

  28. soopytwist says:

    I wish reviewers for the PC would talk about performance and available settings. No one has yet – I have to wait for TotalBiscuits port report (if he does one) or look on the PC Gaming Wiki.

    The only thing that interests me as to whether this is going to be purchase is:

    1. Does it support SLI?
    2. Does it have a FoV slider?
    3. Can you disable mouse acceleration/smoothing?
    4. Does it have bloom and film grain that can be turned off?
    5. Is there an FPS cap of 30?
    6. Are all keys rebindable?
    7. Does it have an overly large HUD?
    8. Does it have hand-holding bullshit that can be turned off?
    9. Does it have quick save?
    10. Can it be modded?

    These are my 10 gaming commandments. Failure to comply on all of them does not a purchase make.

    • soopytwist says:

      When I say “comply” I mean the game must not have 5 and 7 and must have or allow the rest.

  29. Maade says:

    So, if I read right, this is like Human Revolution, but simplified? Just as Human Revolution was like Deus Ex, but simplified?

    I have never understood WHY developers think gamers want things streamlined. Hell, I started learning English when I was like 9 or 10 years old because of Resident Evil puzzles and Final Fantasy VII. With a English to Finnish dictionary and translating those bubbles of text word by word and trying to understand them. These days I mostly buy indie games because they are not afraid to be different.

    I mean, most games sold these days are much like movies. They want to entertain you, and will do everything they can to do that. If it means having big glowing this saying “No, go this way”, they will do it.

    I don’t really blame the developers for it, but what the hell has happened to the gamers gradually in the last 15 years? Doesn’t anyone appreciate finding stuff out yourself anymore? No wonder good scientists or engineers are hard to find these days…

    TL;DR: WTB n exorcist 2 banish stpd gamerz

    • fish99 says:

      It’s not that developers think gamers want their games simplifying, it’s about bringing them to a wider audience. For instance a lot of people can play Skyrim who would have found Morowind baffling or too complicated.

  30. Premium User Badge

    moms says:

    Yea! I get to go to future Prague, on Tuesday!!