First look at ‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’ gameplay footage

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Today, we had the privilege of taking an exclusive look at gameplay footage of Square Enix’s forthcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Here is a breakdown of what we saw.

Introductory trailer to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex gameplay footage 2With our laptops dimmed and our smartphones set aside for fear of getting caught taking pictures, we started with the cinematic backstory of Mankind Divided.

The narrative begins with a view of a train speeding along tracks amid buildings with broken windows, graffiti-marked walls, and debris littering the edges of sidewalk abutments. After the train stops at a station, we see “super-augmented anti-terrorist agent” Adam Jensen step out and immediately run into a secondary agent who offers a mix of advice and admonishment. As they begin walking toward a terminal, they enter a near futuristic world of fully armed police officers, hovering surveillance drones and checkpoints at every turn. As the two walk deeper into the terminal, their discussion is suddenly upended by a massive explosion at the hands of an unknown terrorist group. 

The cinematic trailer gave us a compelling glimpse into a world full of augmented reality gone wrong, and was expectedly impressive as most trailers go. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah…but what about the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay?

deus ex 3The gameplay footage Square Enix graced us with involved Adam Jensen tracking down Talos Rucker, “a humanitarian aid doctor and the leader of the Augmented Rights Coalition.” After an Osprey drops off Jensen, we were instantly enthralled by the detail that portrayed the interior structure of Rucker’s compound. A typical composite of narrow industrial hallways littered with crates, wires, pipes and ducts, the gameplay footage was full of obstacles and enemy combatants that were impeccably rendered. 

It’s obvious the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided developers strove to create a highly detailed world within the context of a clean interface that’s easy to navigate. The layout is fairly typical–with health bars and maps in the upper left and right corners respectively and augmented abilities and weapons panes in the bottom left and right corners respectively. Despite all these hovering icons, nothing felt cluttered and your main field of view is mostly free of distraction. 

Here is a short list of what we saw:

  • Firing rates and bullet types can be accessed and changed on the fly
  • A mix of old and new augmentations:
    • Cloaking
    • Blade augmentation that can be used either like a thrusting sword or as a projectile (bad ass)
    • Icarus dash (a new feature that allows you to target a distant destination to which you’re then transporting instantly)
    • Icarus strike and fall
    • Upgraded hacking screen

Noteworthy features

A common complaint among players of Human Revolution was putting all your eggs in one area-of-specialty basket at the expense of being effective against certain bosses and enemies later in the game. Well, the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided developers listened, and they’ve assured us that regardless of which of the four pillars of abilities you choose to enhance (either combat, hacking, stealth or social), all bosses and enemies can be beaten with either one of the four. Other notable features include being able to access and leave areas from multiple points, giving players a variety of entrance and escape options. Also mentioned was a greater emphasis on dynamic combat. We definitely saw this in action today, and the battles were certainly intense if that’s the route you choose to take. And as is the trend in most RPG games, every decision you make will come with specific consequences. Enhancing this feature is a new social strategy that you can adjust according to three different approaches to preferred interaction: “Patronize”, “Justify”, and “Turning the Tables”. We saw one in action and we were impressed by the depth of dialogue that played out.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is scheduled for release sometime in 2016 and will be playable on PC, Xbox One and PS4

About Author

Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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