Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex's mix of shooting and stealth continues to flourish under Eidos Montreal, though the story isn't a match for the setting.


Key events

It's easy to understand why brutalism has been such a potent source of architectural inspiration for games. The raw forms - solid, legible and with clear lineation - are the perfect material for level designers to craft their worlds with. Simultaneously, these same structures are able to ignite imaginations and gesture outwards, their dramatic shapes and monumental dimensions shocking and attention-seizing.

Square Enix speaks out on the future of Deus Ex

Still a "very important franchise" for the publisher.

Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda has spoken out on the future of Deus Ex - the first time the company has discussed the status of its long-running sci-fi series since reports emerged more than ten months ago that it had been placed on hiatus.

Pull up the design materials for the original Deus Ex today, and you may be struck by what Ion Storm never quite managed to achieve. In a Gamasutra postmortem from 2000, designer Warren Spector presents a vision for the game that is actually two visions in competition - a splicing of genres to support a range of well-defined playstyles, versus the concept of a simulation in which there are no fixed outcomes, no pre-existing, over-arching formulations, just abilities and variables, chiming together under the player's hand. A simulation so intricate and responsive, it perhaps never had a hope of being made with the technology of the era.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's second expansion, A Criminal Past, is due next month

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's second story DLC, A Criminal Past, is due 23rd February on all platforms, publisher Square Enix has announced.

Set prior to the events of Mankind Divided, A Criminal Past follows Jensen's first mission for TF29. The expansion transpires in an all-aug high-security prison, where ungrateful cyborg Adam Jensen has to pose as an inmate to track down an undercover agent.

A Criminal Past is included in Mankind Divided's Season Pass and will be the game's first add-on in five months since System Rift launched in September.

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Face-Off: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Eidos Montreal delivers its most beautiful and technically accomplished game to date. As with previous titles produced by the studio, the development team has opted to work with a new rendering engine once more, this time dubbed the Dawn Engine. Based on Io Interactive's Glacer 2 technology platform, the Dawn Engine enables artists to bring their vision of the Deus Ex universe to life with a remarkable level of detail. We've spent the last week playing the game on all three platforms in order to better understand how it stacks up on each and the results are certainly interesting.

Let's start with the basics first - Mankind Divided operates at a full 1080p on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One. Both versions make use of a temporal anti-aliasing solution, paired with a sharpening filter in an attempt to eliminate blur resulting from the temporal component. Texture filtering is also limited to 4x on both machines, providing adequate but not necessarily optimal results. Image quality is reasonably clean on both machines, though ultimately hampered by the overly aggressive sharpening filter.

The PC version includes the expected support for arbitrary resolutions along with the ability to dial in image quality to your liking with temporal anti-aliasing, multi-sampling and the option to disable sharpening. The game is highly configurable but we found it to be fairly demanding overall - if you're looking for a 4K experience, you're going to need a top-end GPU. Testing the game on the Titan X Pascal, we were unable to reach a completely stable 60fps. Lowering many of the settings resulted in minimal performance gains here suggesting that a 30fps cap will be necessary for most users wanting to reach this resolution - even GTX 1080 owners.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided tops UK chart but Human Revolution sales were "much stronger"

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided enters the UK chart at number one today, and rightfully so, but predecessor Human Revolution had a "much stronger" debut according to GfK Chart-Track. Then again, Human Revolution sold to a bigger audience in 2011, when PS3 and Xbox 360 had been out for several years.

Also, let's face it, Human Revolution was the first new Deus Ex game in years, whereas Mankind Divided was the similar-looking follow-up. The excitement was never the same.

Nevertheless, "Mankind Divided is a smart, handsome and weighty addition to the stealth-action genre," wrote Edwin in our Deus Ex: Mankind Divided review. "An oily, ornate hunk of cyber-noir adventuring whose elegance and flexibility shine through its mechanical flaws and occasionally hasty writing.

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Performance Analysis: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Digital FoundryPerformance Analysis: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Initial console and PC comparisons from Digital Foundry.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is now available and we've now spent a good few hours with all three versions of the game. Powered by the Dawn Engine - an upgraded engine based on IO Interactive's Glacier 2 technology platform - this new title takes on a new look with plenty of advanced graphics features on display. The question is, how is it running thus far across the three platforms and which version should you play? Let's take a closer look.

Right out of the gate, we're looking at native 1080p on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One. Both versions employ a high quality temporal anti-aliasing solution that helps clean up edges, but this is somewhat spoiled by an aggressive, non-defeatable sharpening effect that produces visible edge ringing across the image. The PC version allows users to disable these options independently, in addition to taking advantage of the more demanding MSAA, though its impact on memory consumption - and indeed performance - is high.

In judging the technical performance of a game like this, there are a few key elements to consider including map size, loading times, and frame-rate. In this case, the Dawn Engine is capable of much larger maps than the previous Deus Ex, with a huge number of fully explorable buildings that can be entered without any additional loading. It's the first time since the original Deus Ex that we've seen maps of this scale and, in many ways, Mankind Divided is able to exceed that. The maps are simply huge and richly detailed throughout the game.

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Watch - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launch day mega stream

VideoWatch - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launch day mega stream

4 hours of live Deus Ex gameplay, starting at 1pm.

Deus Ex: Mankind divided is out today; to mark the occasion, I'm activating my Extreme Live-Stream™ augmentation to bring you four hours of uninterrupted shooty-stealth gameplay.

Starting at 1pm, I'll be focusing on Mankind Divided's campaign, so expect spoilers aplenty (and a few lengthy cutscenes). If you fancy tuning in and helping me spend a praxis point or two, press play on the video below and wait for that counter to reach zero.

One final thing - and I'm pretty sure this is going to rub people up the wrong way - but I actually quite liked Deus Ex: Invisible War. Does this make me a terrible person? I mean, what's so bad about it really? It's got conspiracy theories, augmentations and a shedload of vents to crawl through. What's not to love?

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Here's exactly when Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launches

Here's exactly when Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launches

It's already out on consoles in the UK.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided publisher Square Enix posted the exact unlock times for its latest cyberpunk sneak-'em-up.

If you're playing on PS4 or Xbox in the UK / Europe, it's already out. Enjoy!

North Americans on Xbox One will have to wait until 9pm PST / midnight EST, while PS4 players have an additional three hour wait until midnight PST / 3am EST.

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Deus Ex Mankind Divided review

Adam Jensen - my own, custom-upgraded version of Adam Jensen, at least - is a man who can launch exploding katanas from his wrists, sweat bulletproof gel and disarm laser tripwires with a Jedi Masterly wave of the hand. In the course of 35 hours of play and a couple dozen Praxis point upgrades, I have used the character's cyborg arsenal to obliterate cops in exosuits, sweet-talk rabid cult leaders, glide unseen through gangster safehouses and shoot EMP grenades out of the air in slow motion. But Jensen's most dependable ability, and the augmentation that perhaps sums up the slightly elusive sophistication of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is also one of the most boring on paper. I speak of smart vision, a retinal aug that boils the game's environments down to their interactive components and hazards, laying the geography bare as a textureless and translucent VR construct.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided

Publisher: Square Enix

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's six-minute trailer explains it all

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's six-minute trailer explains it all

$140 Collector's Edition revealed, contains nine-inch Adam Jensen figurine.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has received a "101 trailer" in which cyborg security expert Adam Jensen gruffly explains the ins and outs of Eidos Montreal's upcoming sci-fi stealth adventure.

Set in 2029, we follow Jensen as he fights terrorism in a world where augmented people are persecuted. Naturally he'll uncover a conspiracy because that's just what happens when you have cool cyborg arms in an Eidos game.

The new trailer provides an overview of what's been added since 2011's Deus Ex: Human Revolution. You can now customise your weapons, shoot "explosive nanoblades", and erect an exoskeleton-like shield.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution's black and gold palette, obsession with triangles and exceptional trenchcoat made it visually distinctive, but its style has evolved into something meaner and more uncanny for follow-up Mankind Divided. Executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête shows us how in the video below.

"The future is the same, but different." It's a phrase I've heard oft repeated and yet never attributed. Whatever its origin, it suits Eidos Montréal's vision for Mankind Divided very well indeed. Not only do the team want to continue to serve us their very particular flavour or cyberpunk cynicism, showing a world where technology has created as many problems as it has solved, they also don't want to alienate players who so enjoyed Human Revolution. "You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time," is producer Olivier Proulx's philosophy.

In many ways, producing video for the internet is a lot like soothsaying. We spend a lot of time reading the tea leaves (or fish guts, depending on your preference) to try and divine what videos will do well. Is the subject matter engaging? Have we tagged the video properly? Is this a game people want to see more of?

FeatureClearing confusion about boss battles in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

"Some of the communication about that has been muddled a little bit."

There's been some confusion: you cannot talk through all boss encounters in the new Deus Ex, Mankind Divided. There are debates with key figures, such as the one shown in the 25-minute E3 gameplay video, but they're a separate thing. Boss encounters require some form of action. Boss encounters and 'debates' are two distinct types of gameplay.

25 minutes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay

25 minutes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gameplay

We definitely asked for this.

Square Enix has released a video of action role-playing game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, showing off a solid chunk of gameplay (warning, there's a potential spoiler scene from 18.25 to 22.20).

The video, below, is of the game's E3 2015 demo, and, as developer Eidos Montreal points out, is alpha code, with Adam Jensen's energy, life and ammo set to infinite.

It opens with an extended cut-scene, but soon switches to gameplay. We see Jensen infiltrate a heavily-guarded base on his way to interrogate a target.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gets a debut trailer

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gets a debut trailer

Don't pretend like you didn't ask for it.

Yesterday Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was revealed via the new Game Informer cover and now publisher Square Enix has released a debut trailer advertising its next entry in the fan-favourite sci-fi saga about man's rocky relationship with technology.

In development for PS4, Xbox One and PC, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is set in 2029, two years after the last entry, Human Revolution. That game's third act contained a scene in which those with cybernetic enhancements all went temporarily berserk at the hands of a conspiracy, which has since led to mass distrust against folks with augmented parts. This includes our hero, Adam Jensen, who is now working for an Interpol task force bent on stopping terrorists who would use their augmentations for nefarious purposes. It all sounds rather X-Men, only with cybernetic enhancements instead of genetic mutations, which are a little different as the former is usually voluntary. There are exceptions though.

The PC version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will feature DirectX 12 support as well as AMD's TressFX, so it should look pretty spiffy. Here's the cinematic announcement trailer:

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