The Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Alpha At E3

By Madeline Ricchiuto

DXMD-still-logoSquare Enix debuted the latest Deus Ex title at E3 which was still in alpha build, which meant that it crashed. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, for those unaware, is an action RPG which allows you to play one of four ways – combat, stealth, hacking, or social. This installment takes place in the year 2029, which is two years after the previous title Human Revolution. The humans have split into two factions, where the augmented humans are under watch by the government and its counter-terrorism units thanks to the events of Human Rev; so feel free to insert your own social commentary here.

Mankind Divided was described as "Deus Ex meets District 9" which doesn't tell you much, actually. Adam Jensen is an agent working for Interpol's counter-terrorism unit Taskforce 29 this time around, although he has his own agenda. Naturally. He essentially believes that Interpol is being controlled by the illuminati, because that's a storyline we're still kicking around in 2015.

dxmd_2015_06_12_e3_screen_online_001The good news is that takedowns are back and don't blow your cover if you use one while in cover. So you can actually use takedowns with a stealth playthrough. As a lot of games are doing these days, you're offered multiple ways to deal with your missions, but each one of those is specifically suited to a certain kind of play style. So if you're a stealth player, waltzing in  through the front door is clearly not an option for you. Which kind of renders the whole "multiple paths" thing completely moot.

dxmd_2015_06_12_e3_screen_online_004Several of Jensen's augmentations were shown during the demo:

Tesla – deliver an electric shock to four people or less for a non-lethal takedown

Icarus Dash – a quick run which can be used either to ram enemies, to jump a long distance, or move vertically

Nano Blade – a blade augment which can also be used for deadly projectiles or as remote explosives to take out enemies hiding behind cover

Icarus Strike – which turns a fall into an attack on enemies below you

Titan shield – gives you temporary invulnerability, which is ideal for combat players

dxmd_2015_06_12_e3_screen_online_005The updated the hacking looks a lot like the hacking from Watch_Dogs, which wasn't exactly a fun part of that game. So maybe not the best idea, although Mankind Divided appears to have a simpler system. The updated combat was intended to feel more visceral, but essentially puts you in an arcade shooter where you just pop in and out of cover.

As a social player, you can talk your way through boss fights, and your dialogue changes depending on the actions you have taken in the game up to that point. However, you only get three options to choose from: "justify," "turn tables," and "patronize." I don't think patronize would ever work, but that's just me.

Visually Deus Ex: Mankind Divided wasn't much to look at. There are far more visually stunning games at the show from even indie developers. The characters in particular just look plastic, almost lazy in design.

To be fair, the game is still in alpha but you expect a bit more from an E3 demo.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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