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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review



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Our Score:



  • Stealth still excellent
  • Looks lovely on PC
  • Amazing amount of choice in exploration


  • Terrible plot
  • Unsatisfactory conclusion
  • Combat still a mess

Available on PS4, Xbox One and PC (version tested)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided had the potential to be one of 2016’s greats, to stand out from an already packed crowd and be amazing. After playing the opening chapter at preview I was frothing at the mouth with anticipation, excited by all the themes it presented and the plot it could deliver. However, despite moments of brilliance, Mankind Divided fails to live up to its opening promise.

In my preview, I talked about how well Mankind Divided presented its key themes within the opening chapter. The mechanical apartheid – where augmented humans have become a subclass of civilisation, bringing a society already tense after ‘The Incident’ to the brink of civil war – seeps into every interaction. It’s tantalising. My opening hours are spent exploring every side mission I can find.

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With supplementary stories as detailed and enjoyable as the main campaign, my opening run through Prague and Golem was exhilarating. I’m discovering how well thought out and structured the entire hub world is, working my way from story to story, playing detective and making incredibly grey moral choices. My only complaint is that Prague is, at times, too immersive for its own good.

Related: Deus Ex: mankind Divided Beginner's guide

Side missions are only discovered by speaking to people, ones with tasks to give differentiated by actually having a name – the rest are defined as “citizen” or by another synonym. However, unless you run up to every person, taking names, side missions can fall by the wayside despite every intention to see them all.

Each side mission in the game is numbered: SM01, SM02 and so on. When they jump from SM03 to SM07, I’m left with a disappointment, wondering how I missed missions 4-6. I wish quest-givers were more obvious to find, as I’m having fun in everything I do.

It helps that each person you speak to delivers dialogue in such a passionate fashion that you want to engage in their stories. Coupled with Deus Ex’s constantly-grey morality, knowing that you hold in your hands these people’s futures, interactions, especially ones where you use Adam’s social tools to try and get a read on their emotions, are incredibly engaging.

Unfortunately, beyond the first chapter, what started as a slow and considered development of an intriguing story becomes a clumsy and hurried sprint to an unnatural finish.

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After you head out of Prague, and into the other locations in Mankind Divided, everything feels hurried. Characters are introduced then fall by the wayside, only to return at the crux of the story as a crucial figure with very little justification. Others make bizarre moral choices which feel completely unjustified, primarily because their morals and motivations aren’t adequately explored.

The story continues to build in a clumsy fashion right up until the end, which is so abrupt that I hurled a barrage of swears at the screen. The game essentially ends halfway through the second act. Imagine The Dark Knight (spoilers) rolling its credits after Batman rescues Harvey Dent from The Joker – that’s basically where Mankind Divided decides to bring down the curtain. Also, Eidos answers the leftover questions in the cheapest way possible: via a boring news video clip in a closing cutscene. It’s shockingly bad.

Related: Titanfall 2 preview

Mankind Divided is also surprisingly short. I was expecting the whole experience to last well over 40 hours, but was done in under 20, including doing every side mission I could find.

It’s a shame the story is such a disappointment, because when Mankind Divided shines, it’s incredible. The game is truly at its best when neck-deep in espionage, with Jensen infiltrating his way into the heart of enemy territory.

At one point I had to sneak into a large industrial estate. The myriad ways I could manoeuvre around the building – all dictated by which augs I had chosen to pimp Adam with – was astounding.

Hacking wall terminals, crawling through vents and stealthily (and non-lethally) taking out enemies along the way to my target is Deus Ex at its best. It’s something which was great in Human Revolution and continues to be great here.

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Switching in-and-out of Adam’s cloaked mode to move from cover-to-cover, jumping through windows and crawling inches away from agents who, should they spot me, will bring the entirety of my run through this enormous complex to an abrupt and explosive halt. There is a tangible tension to every movement I make, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

However, Deus Ex’s combat continues to lag behind in terms of quality for a number of reasons. Firstly movement can at times be clunky and uncoordinated. Moving Adam around the world feels like you’re controlling something that is ‘almost’ human. Failing to grab onto ledges, random jumps which fail, and having to crouch before jumping into small crevices in order to stop him leaping right and giving enemies an eyeful. It’s all very messy.

Once the fireworks begin, you’ll feel like it’s 2011 all over again, as Mankind Divided’s shooting sections are also plagued by the same issues as its predecessor. While there have been some improvements, it simply can’t offer a shooting experience on par with its stealth. You’ll find yourself the victim of frustrating deaths as enemies overwhelm you, kamikaze-running toward your position. The aggressive AI simply brings to light the fact that Jensen lacks the speed and fluidity to either take out his opponents or flee from them and take minimal damage on the way.

Related: Xbox One S review

Also, they’re laser-accurate. Popping out from cover to get some shots off will almost certainly result in a significant amount of damage being taken. Unless you have the Titan aug or unlocked other defensive ones, it’s grossly unfair. If you’ve been building a particular, non-violent type of Jensen up to this point, you’re toast when the game thrusts conflict upon you.

While the cover mechanic is great, with the simple press of a button allowing Adam to seamlessly move from point to point, much like in Ubisoft’s The Division, it still isn’t enough to keep you out of trouble.

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Breach, the game’s additional mode which sees you take the role of a hacker infiltrating a VR subnet to obtain information, is a fine addition to the main game, if entirely throwaway. Again it’s at its best when allowing you to work stealthily, but when forced to engage in conflict, Deus Ex’s deep-rooted mechanical flaws become glaring. Also, the fact that you’re working against the clock means the clunky movement becomes a real problem. Trying to shave seconds off your time is difficult when your avatar refuses to jump and grab onto a ledge.

Buy Now: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at Amazon.co.uk (£41) | Amazon.com ($59)


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided could – and should – have been amazing. All the ingredients were there: an intriguing premise, engaging and mature narrative themes, solid gameplay foundations and a beautiful look. However, the rushed plot, nonsensical conclusion, under-developed characters and continued shortcomings in combat mean this is a title which fails to live up to its potential.

It maintains all of the gameplay qualities and faults of Human Revolution, but the flaws are masked by an initially intriguing storyline. However, when the plot falls to pieces, then comes to an end at a bizarre moment, all of those faults become glaring.

I was really hoping that this would be the title I’d spend most of the year playing, a game that could outshine many of the incredible games to come. Unfortunately, in the rush to get it to stores, many of Mankind Divided’s diamonds remain firmly entrenched in the rough.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC minimum requirements

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 3.1 GHz/AMD FX 4130

GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 660/ AMD Radeon HD 7870


OS: Windows 7 64-Bit

Direct X 11

HDD: 45 GB

Deus EX: Mankind Divided PC Recommended requirements

CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 4-Core 3.2 GHz/AMD FX 8350

GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 4GB/ AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB


OS: Windows 10 64-Bit

Direct X 12

HDD: 55 GB

Overall Score



August 19, 2016, 10:27 pm

Why is the minimum spec for HDD 45GB but the recommended spec is 30GB? That's got to be wrong, right?


August 20, 2016, 2:13 am

The only negative review out there, typical click bait, this game is amazing


August 20, 2016, 11:17 am

so the main gameplay con was that the combat was messy? It's a fckn stealth game dude!


August 20, 2016, 2:29 pm

Lmao I like how all your no-named review sites are trying to vote a game low just so people will click on your shit


August 20, 2016, 2:29 pm

Lmao I like how all you no-named review sites are trying to vote a game low just so people will click on your sht


August 20, 2016, 5:24 pm

Is it really under 20 hours to do everything?

That's truly disappointing. I'll wait until next summer and pick this up
for half the price.


August 20, 2016, 7:41 pm

Hey, remember it's only one person's opinion and shouldn't be taken as the definitive review.

However, it's strange that, as you say, it's about the only negative review so far for this game. Maybe not click-bait but definitely odd :)

Sean Harris

August 20, 2016, 9:30 pm

"Unless you have the Titan aug or unlocked other defensive ones, it’s grossly unfair. If you’ve been building a particular, non-violent type of Jensen up to this point, you’re toast when the game thrusts conflict upon you."

So if you upgrade your character with stealth augmentations, you won't be very good in non-stealthy gunfights? Well, that's a surprise!!


August 21, 2016, 5:57 am

Sorry but I don't think your review can be 'trusted'.


August 21, 2016, 11:49 am

You're right, I don't think anything here can be 'trusted.'


August 21, 2016, 12:34 pm

You guys say No Man's Sky is better? Come on :)

Jo Kri

August 21, 2016, 1:51 pm

That's what I thought, they will fuck up story which is nr.1 importance for Deus Ex, it was never about the graphics,but they invest in graphics because they get more money out of dumb people who upgrade every year, but again like all the games that come out these days have shit plots like Fallout 4, DA Inquisition,Rise of the Tomb Raider, great gameplay, but they all were worse than their predecessors storywise. Soon we will get Deus Ex and be disappointed, then game like Mass Effect Andromeda will disappoint me yet again, but hey all these game creators let feminists and lgbtqfuks into their story writing and more and more rely on denuvo to cover up their shit games for money grab and usually release games later on pc, first on consoles,so no one can pirate or reveal that it's a money grab, No Man's Sky didn't have anti-piracy so no one bought it because they tried pirated version and shut it down after 15 minutes of playing.


August 21, 2016, 5:46 pm

He does have a point though. I had the same issue with HR. If you've managed to mostly avoid combat until late in the game, and then they suddenly expect you to excel in it, that's bad. You're not very familiar with the tools and abilities then.

Dummye Sooneed

August 21, 2016, 7:05 pm

thanks for making me day

Dummye Sooneed

August 21, 2016, 7:06 pm

that gibes moar revenue for views amrite?


August 21, 2016, 8:24 pm

Fucking heresy!


August 21, 2016, 9:59 pm

20 of killing stuff = 50 hours no kills for me :D


August 22, 2016, 12:05 am


Gian Pacayra

August 22, 2016, 4:09 am

This site is a fucking joke lmao see the HDD minimum requirements 30GB then the recommended is 45GB. IGN gave this game 9.2/10


August 22, 2016, 9:44 am

So much butthurt in the comments. The story is terrible..This isn't the first site that mentions it. An in a Deus Ex yes, story matters. The first game which most of the butthurts never played was incredible, not only because of the back then revolutionary gameplay but also because of the story. So yeah, entertaining but lackin 3/5. Justified. Come at me fanboys.


August 22, 2016, 1:30 pm

Or, as was seen in Human Revolution before they "fixed it", you were forced to play lethally despite having built your character for stealth.

Square has clearly learnt nothing from their mistakes.


August 22, 2016, 1:31 pm

This place should be renamed to "Not So" Trusted Reviews.


August 22, 2016, 1:35 pm

It's funny, the single most accurate review of this game, without the mindless rose-tinted glasses, is the one whose comment section a bunch of gormless "fanbois" rush to spew their inane vitriol on.

Many of the criticisms leveled at this game are precisely the same criticisms that were leveled at its predecessor and have clearly still not been addressed.

Why is it that so many vocal "gamers" are content with mediocre games? Sign of the times, perhaps, but a sign of some bizarre cognitive bias for certain.

Meir H

August 22, 2016, 10:55 pm

You seem like the type of guy who enjoys paying $60 for a game with unfinished story plus $30 for a DLC that will make it right. If you think this review is wrong, you can at least write a few paragraphs about what's wrong with it...


August 23, 2016, 7:31 am

Since when is IGN a credible reviewer?

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