Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided First Impressions

Look at all the perty graphics.

1) Right after launching a new game, I am given the option of watching a twelve minute video that recaps what has happened since the previous game in the series. Did anyone pick this option? I'll admit, Deus Ex games have never had the most comprehensible plots, but I'd much rather get down to playing and figure out what's going on as I go, instead of listening to bad video game rambling.

2) After skipping the option for a twelve minute recap, I am treated to a pretty long cutscene. The original Deus Ex didn't feature lengthy cutscenes; I believe this is a Square Enix innovation, considering how the Japanese love their immersion-breaking mini-movies. Cutscenes should be used sparingly, developers, perhaps as a reward after a boss fight. They shouldn't make the player want to skip them.

3) Getting into the first mission, this seems pretty similar to Human Revolution. The graphics have received a nice upgrade, and the UI is a little more intuitive. Similarly, Jensen's augmentations feel more like superpowers. Digging the aug that lets you see through walls. Power management feels better as well--I can actually use cloak for more than a couple seconds, provided I don't move too much. Reminds me of Crysis (the original), which isn't a bad thing.

4) Still have third person takedowns, which wouldn't be a problem if the game didn't make me watch a cutscene of Jensen punching a guy in the face.

5) Haven't tried out the shooting--went stealthy with a stun gun and focused on sneaking up behind guys and knocking them out. Playing on the hardest difficulty, and Jensen bites the dust pretty quickly if he's shot at.

6) Speaking of Jensen, he's a little more insufferable this time, at least early on. All gravelly-voiced and serious. You get the impression that he thinks humor is a waste of time.

7) The whole augmented versus normal conflict feels forced. The game keeps telling me that augmented people are oppressed and I should feel sorry for them, but the end of the first game showed me that augmented people can be dangerous. Seems like only rich people would be able to get augs in the first place. Attempts to compare the plot to current events are kind of gross. Missing the whole conspiracy theory mess of the first Deus Ex game instead of this transhumanism stuff.

8) Still, fun so far. Gameplay is similar to previous games. You have a number of solutions to problems--combat, hacking, stealth. Art style has a broader palette compared to the yellow-gold theme of Human Revolution. Liking the more detailed environments. Will have a review up when I finish.

Don't scan me with your magic blue light, robot!

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