|Platforms||PC, PS4, XBO|
|Release Date||August 23, 2016|
In the five years since the release of the last game, I’ve yet to play anything that has come close to capturing the unique feel and gameplay of Deus Ex. Some combination of the city hubs, setting and the flexibility of your approach is entirely unique to the series. Mankind Divided takes the core elements of Human Revolution and fixes that game’s Godawful boss fights, leaving the winning formula more or less untouched.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s biggest triumph is delivering on the promise of its predecessor. Human Revolution promised that you’d be able to approach the entire game however you wanted, but failed to deliver by screwing over any players not equipped for combat. Mankind Divided ditches that entirely, truly becoming a game you can approach from a variety of different ways for the entirety of its running time.
Everything else is more or less how you remember it. The game still switches between first-person and third-person views when you move out of and into cover, through masterfully designed levels that are robust enough to accommodate your play style, whether that be stealth, hacking, combat or some combination of the three.
The city of Prague, where you’ll be spending the vast majority of your time in Mankind Divided, is a fantastic playground. The city itself is bursting with secrets and packed with lore and environmental storytelling. Even casual exploration will put you into the path of some incredibly well written characters, whose individual story arcs are affecting and play into the Mechanical Apartheid themes of the game.
The only thing that holds Mankind Divided from rocketing its way further up the list is the game’s central narrative. Rather than tell a satisfying story, Mankind Divided feels like it ends before the final act. Just as it seems like the game is gearing you up to take on the final bad guys and charge headlong into the last part of an epic story, the credits begin to roll. It’s a shame for such an accomplished game, but thanks to the exceptional gameplay, not a deal breaker.
Check out Gary’s review of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided here.
The List So Far:
12) Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
13) Watch Dogs 2
14) The Flame in the Flood
15) Forza Horizon 3
16) The Banner Saga 2
17) Planet Coaster
18) Gears of War 4
19) Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
20) Batman: The Telltale Series