You’ll be hard pressed to find a more quintessential sequel than Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The sequel to 2011’s Human Revolution looks set to improve upon its predecessor at every turn. It offers improved combat, improved stealth, improved hacking and improved diplomacy – the four pillars that developers Eidos Montreal have developed the Deus Ex games on.

The core goal with Mankind Divided was to give players as much flexibility as possible with these four base tools. Every improvement and new feature added to the game has been with this goal in mind. New augmentations, new skills, new mechanics will all add something to one of the four pillars, giving players the flexibility to approach the game however they want.

“We really wanted to give more flexibility to the player and balance a little bit more the experience. Making combat more interesting and much better than ever before. Because for us what is important is to give the players the sense that they can play the way they want. They can build the character the way they want and have their own fantasy in that world, and we give more and more tools to do that.”

You can get through Mankind Divided without killing anyone. Heck, you can get through Mankind Divided without ever firing a shot. You can decide to adopt one of these four approaches and the game has been designed in such a way that it will mould itself around your play style. It wants you to succeed no matter how you decide to make your way through it.

Eidos Montreal have been pushing for a while that the narrative of the game will focus on apartheid and segregation. After the events at the climax of the previous game, augmented citizens are amongst the most feared people on the planet.

Governments are separating them from “normal” people, and there’s a great deal of tension and fear directed towards anyone with body modifications. Protagonist Adam Jensen, however, finds himself caught between both factions, owing to the extent of his own augmentations.

“Even though there are other augmented people in the city, Adam is definitely one of the shiniest, craziest [augmented people]. Where does he come from? He’s got all these crazy augmentations, so he’s definitely been frowned upon because of that. But then when he goes in the ghetto it’s the same thing.

When he goes in the ghetto he’s a stranger in a strange land for the same reasons almost. Those people are augmented but some of the government institutions are blocking the goods that go in the ghetto. Some need the neuropozyne drug to avoid rejecting augmentations and Adam doesn’t need it. So there’s a shortage and when goes in that ghetto people are suffering, and when they see this shiny guy in armour he doesn’t belong there.”

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided impresses me more and more every time I see it and every time I hear someone talking about it. It looks like it takes its predecessor and improves on it in every single way. The game will launch on August 23, 2016 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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