|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Pub: Square Enix|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Square-Enix invited us into their VIP theater this E3 2015 to check out Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It's two years after the events of Human Revolution, and humanity has seen better days. Augmented humans are forced into ghettos and camps. Considering that there is a malevolent force out there, hacking them and making them go berserk, it’s not the worst plan in the world, but it’s not a very happy time for any of the Augs either. Enter Adam Jensen, our hero from Human Revolution, who is now working for a special task force set up by Interpol. The catch? Jensen is playing both sides. He believes the task force is actually connected to the Illuminati and it’s up to him to get to the bottom of it.
Once again Deus Ex is based off of four pillars of gameplay: combat, stealth, social, and hacking. Each pillar informs the next one. So, for example, if you are extremely poor at negotiating with a crime boss, you may find yourself in combat. Similarly, if you shot the crime boss’s thugs up recklessly as you made your way through his hideout, he is likely going to be much less willing to talk to you.
The representatives said that the dev team is doing the best job that they can at evening up the different portions of the game. When asked if you could play the entire game without killing anyone, I was once again told that you could, except the first time I saw Deus Ex: Human Revolution at E3, I was told the same story, and in the final product you were still forced to shoot basically every boss to death, so we will have to see.
Much of the demo focused on showing off Jensen’s many new augments, and how they can be used to get through many different levels using many different paths. The first augment we were shown was the cloaking augment, an old favorite, which can still be used to sneak around, and also can be activated quicker in order to allow Jensen to give his enemies the slip.
The second augment we were shown was the new Tesla Gun Arm augment. Jensen will get a variety of new gun arm augments which can be hidden within his robotic arm so as to not arise suspicion. The Tesla Gun creates a huge static discharge when fired, so if Jensen is anywhere out in the open, he will be seen. However, when it fires, it launches several homing electric darts which, when they stick into enemies, tase them unconscious, non-lethally taking them out. It essentially lets you trade stealth now for stealth later.
The next augment we were shown was the Icarus Dash. This speed augment lets Jensen dash at super sonic speeds for short distances. This can allow him to do things like clear gaps he couldn’t normally, or jump to higher platforms that he otherwise couldn’t reach. When the augment is active, icons showing areas you can Icarus Dash to show up on your HUD. However, you can also use it manually to get places even the developers didn’t think of. This will be a must have augment for speedrunners.
The Smart Vision augment returns, and you can upgrade it multiple times to reveal yet more information about your enemy. This is incredibly useful for painting targets that are behind corners or in cover, allowing you to approach them from whatever angle you want.
At this point in the demo, we were shown Jensen’s new expanded list of takedowns. The reps made sure to mention that takedowns can now be done in cover, not breaking your stealth or making you stand up out in the open. This allows you to take down enemies even in crowded areas where you would otherwise be noticed.
We were next shown the Remote Hack augmentation. This allows Jensen to hack simple devices from a distance. This is very useful to, say, take control of turrets or lock doors while you are still sneaking around. Note that the remote hack augment doesn’t go into the full hacking mini-game. Instead, it’s simply a timing mini-game that you play using a display on Jensen’s wrist. Jensen will have a lot of new hacking augments, but none were shown in this demo. However, we were shown new booby traps in hacking systems and other hacking obstacles which will make hacking devices a bit more complicated.
The next augment we were shown was another gun arm augment called the Nanoblade Gun Arm. This outfits Jensen’s arm with a fast launching, vibrating, metal blade. Hitting with the Nanoblade is a one hit kill, however you need to take a while to aim it first. It’s also completely silent, making it a great stealth ninja weapon, although it does leave behind a corpse.
Finally we were shown the Titan Shield augment, which is the augment you keep seeing in promotional materials. This covers Jensen in a shield of black carbon nano-armor that makes him look like a low res Star Fox villain. When Jensen enters this mode he essentially becomes a walking tank. Bullets simply bounce off him and he is free to shoot up everyone he sees.
Unfortunately it’s hard to really form an opinion about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, because we were only really shown one part of the game, the augments, and even then it was mostly combat augments. The dev team is making some pretty hefty promises, and I’m not sure if they are going to be delivered on. Still, we were told more information would be coming in the next few months. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is slated for release in early 2016.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 25, 2015