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October 05, 2016

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Full Review


Divided opinions.



Release Date: August 2016

Developer: Eidos Montreal


Publisher: Eidos


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows


Genre: RPG



Content Verdict: 28 (Caution Advised)


Quality Verdict: 7.1




Content Guide:







--Themes of prostitution feature significantly in the game, with players able to visit brothels featuring strippers, revealing partial nudity and with suggestive dancing. A few strippers are shown dancing around clients, as they flirt and leer after them. Prostitutes are shown, dressed in skimpy lingerie and thongs, flirting with the player character and propositioning him periodically. No actual sex is shown. (7)

-The area leading up the red light district features holograms of strippers clad in bras and thongs dancing suggestively around poles, pictures of women in lingerie exposing a lot of skin, a photo of a topless woman with her hands just covering her breasts, a projection of a woman licking her lips repeatedly, and a projection of a woman's legs features on the entrance of a nearby area, stylised to show the player as walking between her legs. 

--Multiple women are shown wearing suggestive outfits, exposing cleavage, legs, abdomens, and so forth. (5)

--The player character, a man with a well defined physique, is seen near the start of the game. (4)
  





Frequent strong language. Uses of F**k, S**t, B**ch, D**k, and related swear words.

Jesus' name is used in vain several times during the game.






General Violence:

Mankind Divided follows the Deus Ex formula of hard-hitting, graphic yet easily avoidable violence. While certain scenes cannot be prevented, the bulk of the violence can be toned down by choosing to play as a pacifist.

--Players can perform takedowns on enemies, using augmented body parts as weapons: (7)

-Lethal: The player stabs, slices and pierces enemies, impaling them in the neck, chest, back, legs, and abdomen, with blood spraying out and accompanying sound effects.

-Non-Lethal: The player punches victims in the face, with saliva spraying out and cries of pain, slamming them into walls, making them pass out, and strangling them from behind until they fall unconscious.

--Explosives: Projectiles, grenades and bombs are used against all manner of citizens, with explosions causing them to be knocked across the environment, killing them instantly. (No dismemberment occurs.) (7)

--Weapons: Players wield a variety of weapons, from shotguns to pistols, against various foes. Blood sprays when victims are shot, splashing heard when bullets tear through flesh, blood splattering across the environment and staining clothing, and gory bullet holes are visible on the bodies of enemies. (7)

--Several crime scenes are shown, with corpses covered in blood, with facial wounds and blood pools beneath them. A certain serial killer preys on augmented people, tearing out implants and limbs, with bloody stumps and torn bodies shown, large splashes of blood on the surrounding environment. (7)

--Pulse gun: The player fires a pulse, slamming enemies back, crashing into the environment, knocking them unconscious. (5)
 
Storyline Violence:

These scenes are unavoidable for the most part. I've chosen to list the most pertinent pieces of content, allowing the reader to pick apart the game for themselves, yet still leaving certain details out as to not exceed one's reading time.

--An augmented man (a person with robotic limbs and modifications) convulses, spitting out blood, choking violently, with a terrified look on his face, before falling over and dying. (7)

--A man's neck is snapped, with a crack heard, and several other men are stabbed with knives, with brief sprays of blood. This happens quickly. (6)

--A massive explosion occurs at a public place; afterwards, the entire place is covered in smoke and wreckage. A crying child tries to pulls his mother from underneath a piece of fallen concrete. A man lifts the piece of rubble from her and tries to rescue her, but she dies from her injuries. (6)
 





--A woman leads a religious cult worshiping a "machine god", and introduces herself as the high priestess of the cult. (4)

--A woman has a carving of a cat on her post surrounded by candles in some kind of remembrance to the death of the animal. (3)






--Alcohol can be consumed by the player in order to restore "health points", causing the screen to become blurry. Several characters consume alcohol during the game, to the point of becoming drunk. Alcoholism is mentioned a couple of times during the game. (6)

--Players can sell a fictional drug, designed to help augmented people deal with their bodies trying to reject their augmentations, on the black market for potentially nefarious purposes. (6)

--Several scenes of smoking by civilians, soldiers, police and other plot-centric characters. The player can pick up cigarettes and smoke them (not shown), for a few aiming related benefits. (5)

--An entrance to a certain part of the city in the game has a display depicting a row of pills flowing into a woman's mouth, in order to indicate that pharmaceutical drugs are sold there. (4)
 






Deus Ex has always been a morally ambiguous series, and Mankind Divided is no different. Players have the option of brutalising several foes and civilians alike, the latter not being subject to any punishment so long as the player doesn't get caught.

On the plus side, players are able to spare lives, rescue innocent citizens, help victims of crimes, and fight for the truth during the storyline.



Themes: Terrorism, segregation, transhumanism, vigilante justice, acceptance, persistence, serial killers, mind control, personality transplant, fate vs free will, choice vs predestination.



Conclusion:



What surprised me about the game is that, in spite of the suggestive content and language, it was actually very mild when it came to violent content. Sure, one could kill in a myriad of ways, but Mankind Divided had a particular restraint in its depiction of violence, which is also why I decided to put the sexual content and language ahead of it. 

Speaking of which, suggestive content is pretty strong, with revealing clothing, kinky dialogue, skimpy attire, strippers, and so on. This is all limited to one area, however, which the player is only briefly required to visit late in the story.

Language is likewise strong and frequent, with F-words and S-bombs littering the dialogue. Jesus' name is unfortunately abused quite a few times.

Spiritual content is rather mild, with only a few references to cults in the storyline. Alcohol and smoking are featured prominently, with several characters lighting up and having a swig.

In spite of the strong sexual content and language, the content is nowhere near strong enough for a "Mature Gamers Only" rating. The language and serial killer side quest are literally the only things preventing me from giving this a "Teenage Gamers" rating, surprising as it may be.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been given a rating of Caution Advised.

Total Content Score: 28 out of 50

Final Rating:
For Suggestive Themes, Strong Language, and Some Violence
 




Mankind Divided: (7.1)


+Fantastic Gameplay


+Player Choice and Variety


+Side Quests Galore


-Lackluster Main Story


-That Cliffhanger


QuickReview: Attempting to bridge the gap between Human Revolution and Deus Ex 1, Mankind Divided depicts a world segregating against augmented beings after a terrifying incident leaving 50 million dead, and countless more injured and traumatised.


Offering players a wide variety of gameplay options, Mankind Divided more than equals it's predecessor in the gameplay department. Player choice abounds, exploration is widely encouraged and side quests are deep and meaningful.


Where it falls short, however, is the story. Mankind Divided ends right in the middle of the tale, leaving more than a few plot threads hanging. The Illuminati threat isn't developed in any meaningful way, and nothing substantial happens in the story at all besides the bombing at the beginning and the boss fight at the end.


It is for this reason which I recommend waiting for the price to fall a bit before buying, maybe with a season pass discounted in the purchase as well. The game doesn't feel complete, despite the amount of content.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been given a score of 7.1 by KVR Gaming.


Outro:

Thanks guys. Hope you enjoyed the review. Let me know what you think in the comments below about the game and the review.

I'll see you guys Friday with a brand new article. See you then! 


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