Deus Ex: Story Divided

Hey I had no idea Squeenix adapted Telltale’s episodic format! Can’t wait for episode 2 to come out! :P But seriously: Just finished it – took me 46 hours (according to Steam) and the ending credits were like 20 minutes of that. :D I loved it. The only thing that annoyed me, is that the story isn’t nearly done. The last mission doesn’t feel like the final one and more like a point at which everything seriously starts to kick off. It’s designed in a way, other games handle their middle.

Usually this is a “feature” which I strongly dislike in a game, the reason I love this latest Deus Ex anyway, is because they still did pretty much everything else very right and I loved every second of playing it. The world building is tremendous (even better than in Deus Ex: Human Revolution) and even the side quests are usually very good. They all have something memorable to offer. Maybe that’s even the reason the main story came short, because they build such a massive hub (Prague – the city consists of five separate maps), that they had to stop somewhere, to finally have a shippable game. At some point each dev has to polish their product into something that can be released at a realistic date and it’s often done by cutting.

I could be wrong, but Mankind Divided might be the first game I ever played that didn’t have any noticeable clones. In fact I dare to claim, that there is no other game, which has such a diverse cast of characters. Even in games which care about that, we usually see NPCs with clothing only in different colors, which are otherwise the same nonetheless. You know what I’m talking about. Eidos Montreal however, went completely nuts here. The characters have different faces, hair cuts, clothing, they wear glasses, have dirty faces, are having various augments installed… It’s so incredible. I’m not usually one to look for such stuff, this is how much effort was made here, that even I had to notice this.

Seriously, which game has even minor side characters change their clothing?

Another thing that I had never seen like this in a game before was, when Jensen met a contact in a club and agreed to see the same person a little later, this person was then wearing different clothes! Completely crazy! Usually there’s only one model per character (unless it’s the main character or some other special case) and it’s used for the whole game, but here a minor side character got this treatment. I’ll never forget this, the amount of work put into this single aspect of the game must be insane!

Thief 2014

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 2016

I should mention though, that they did reuse some assets from other games like Thief.

I guess this could be interpreted as a reference, like the one for Hitman. Before I forget it, the facial expressions and animations are usually also super awesome. They are so good, they often appear seamless, it’s like not noticing a special effect in a movie because it’s done so well you don’t recognize it as an effect.

So coming back to the story and its abrupt end, I’m forced to keep wondering if they will just drop it, make a sequel, or publish “appropriate” DLC for this game. There is a season pass for this game, which I obviously didn’t buy (especially not since it’s almost the same price as the ), but even so it is very doubtful that the 2 (shorter?) missions in it are supposed to give closure to this 40 hour game. But even if they did, it would only leave a very bad taste, that you couldn’t experience the story fully without paying extra.

The game is so glorious, that I don’t even have to think about playing it again. It’s only a matter of when.

Oh and because I read on Steam other people have bugs/technical issues with this game, I really didn’t except for the glitches I will describe in a moment. I’m not writing this to say that I’m one of these crazy assholes who think that a game can’t have issues just because they didn’t run into any.
I played it for 46 hours, in that time it crashed once to desktop, once the textures glitched out into some dark mess and in one hacking minigame, I just couldn’t click on any nodes. Nothing would happen. It was so broken, that I had to use a multitool to get into this specific computer.
The only bug (?) that really annoyed me in this game, was that reloading a save was only possible by pressing space at the end. Sadly space is also the key for all kinds of stuff in the game. And – get this – Deus Ex executes the button for reloading a savegame in game, as if you had pressed it twice. That got me into all kinds of trouble, because space would sometimes make Jensen jump in front of enemies or something equally crazy. At some point I would just force myself to put Jensen somewhere “safe”, so that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I had to reload a quicksave (or any save). I seriously hope they will fix that.
A last ugly thing I noticed, is that they got this disturbing relic still active (I already hated that with a passion in Human Revolution and Mankind Divided inherited it), of the game pulling the last equipped item after hacking a computer for instance. In case someone doesn’t know what I’m talking about, every time the player ends hacking a computer with clicking on the exit button (instead of using the escape key for example), Jensen will draw the last equipped item, usually a weapon, without the player wanting him to do that. It’s less fatal than the aforementioned savegame issue, but as annoying.
Since they haven’t fixed this for a solid 5 years now, maybe Eidos Montreal thinks it’s a feature? One last thing that I wish would work differently, is some shop owners repeat their intial greeting phrases after every mission. Usually I love ranting about Dragon Age Inquisition (because I hate games that betray their potential more than anything :P), but for once this game has something which is a good idea, namely every shop allows to either talk to the owner, or just open the shop. Having to endure these long winded talks when I just want to sell some stuff cluttering my inventory, I’m constantly missing this feature.

PS: I appropriately praised all the awesome stuff in this game right? Because it deserves praise, how they designed everything so there are always numerous ways of doing something. Many games struggle with getting one way to barely work out. When playing this game, it’s always obvious why it took them 5 years to make it. Unless devs are willing to put this much time and effort into a game, such incredible blockbusters like Deus Ex would be impossible to even remotely pull off. I’m so happy that there are still some who are willing and able to do just that.

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