Top 50 Challenge 2016 – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

by Daniel Tack on Nov 25, 2016 at 06:00 AM

It has been a great year for games, and now the top 50 challenges begin. While I was curious about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, it was doomed to stay forever in my backlog with this year's unending stream of quality titles rolling out one after another. So when Javy decided to throw me into the mix, I was more than happy to dig in, and see if my thoughts would echo Andrew Reiner's review. For games like this, that can take more than a day of play to finish, so sometimes we have to make judgments without the entire tale.

In this case, I'm comfortable with that. So, I loved the first Deus Ex title, PC aficionado that I am, but haven't delved into any of the more "modern" adaptations of the franchise. The opportunity presented me with a mixed bag of impressions (again, this is not a review, just some thoughts after some hours of play). The dialogue was unbelievably hackneyed and did a lot to dissuade me from enjoying the rest of the title. Don't get me wrong; I love games that have little to no writing, dialogue, or story - but I feel strongly that if you're going to include those things, make them at least a little interesting and/or believable. I felt dumber every time the plot tried to go anywhere or when anyone opened their mouth to do anything but shout about finding me. Any attempt at setting up a narrative or casual conversation felt forced and silly, detracting quite a bit from the rest of the experience.

However, I did find things in the other pieces of the puzzle that I did enjoy. After strapping in to so many shooters this year that have only one solution to any given problem that involves killing or destroying enemies, it was refreshing to get a chance to manipulate the environment and use non-lethal solutions to overcome situations. Granted, I'm real tired of hacking door minigames, but Jensen's toolkit for scouting out solutions that don't just empty a chamber into the problem was refreshing. When I did fall back on traditional weaponry for a takedown, things felt pretty solid, but I enjoyed non-lethal activity much more.

My Vote 

I liked exploring. I liked doing things that weren't slaughtering foes. I hated listening to almost everyone. For me, Deus Ex. Mankind Divided is an experience divided within my own mind at this point. I'm interested in seeing what other members of the staff think now that I have some time under my belt. This has been an incredible year for games, and right now I could see Deus Ex: Mankind Divided going either way to make the revered Top 50. To its credit, I am interested in playing more to help determine my final thoughts for when it comes time to hash things out in our giant end-of-the-year game discussion. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided doesn't have my vote, but I'm not writing it off yet either.