Eidos Montreal’s near-future thriller presents a visually impressive dystopian playground, but a wonky narrative and some shoddy touches tarnish its potential
Since its debut 16 years ago, Deus Ex’s primary weapon has been choice: where to go, how to get there, who to speak to and how to speak to them are all up to you in a series where almost every scenario has multiple outcomes. After releasing 2011’s Human Revolution – a lavishly depicted near-future thriller – to widespread critical acclaim, developer Eidos Montreal’s follow up, Mankind Divided, picks up the exact same threads that its predecessor left tantalisingly unanswered five years ago.
This is a tall order and its makers clearly recognise it, front-ending the game’s campaign with an almost laughably long 12-minute recap to bring you up to speed on everything Deus Ex. Protagonist Adam Jensen returns – still half-Lagerfeld, half-Motorola Razr – working as a special agent at Interpol two years after the events of Human Revolution. Like many, he’s coming to terms with the devastating aftereffects of The Incident – a cyber-attack that deliberately caused the bio-technologically “augmented” population to turn violent against their will, leaving millions dead. It was a global catalyst, accelerating the divisions between the human and augmented populations, but as thematically charged a setup as this is, Adam and his world can’t help but feel outdated.