Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex, Mankind Divided Box Art.jpeg
Developer(s) Eidos Montréal[a]
Director(s) Jean-François Dugas
  • Marc-Andre Dufort
  • Olivier Proulx
  • Patrick Fortier
  • Richard Knight
  • David Gallardo
  • Sébastien Michel
  • Martin Dubeau
  • Michael Lanoie
  • Jason Dozois
  • Steven Gallagher
Series Deus Ex
Engine Dawn Engine
Genre(s) Action role-playing, first-person shooter, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montréal and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One in August 2016. Feral Interactive released the game for Linux on November 3, 2016[1], and for macOS on December 12, 2017.[2] It is the sixth game in the Deus Ex series, and a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided received positive reviews from critics. Particular praise was aimed at the art direction, environmental design, the diverse options in gameplay and decision-making, characters and the narrative. Major points of criticism were the short length of the game in comparison to its predecessor as well as the ending of the game, which left multiple plot-points either unresolved or ambiguous. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was nominated for the title of Best Role Playing Game at The Game Awards 2016.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is played through a first-person perspective, with a third-person cover system, and combines elements of a first-person shooter, with a role-playing upgrade system and dialogue trees. The game allows the player to tackle situations using combat, hacking, stealth, and social interactions. Features include gun customization, remote hacking, the Icarus dash (short-range silent teleportation), TESLA arcs (up to four non-lethal projectiles), the Titan shield (invincible shell), a radar with map layouts, and a changed energy system (energy is no longer a series of batteries but one bar that slowly refills). Similar to the Director's Cut of Human Revolution, killing is not the only way to win a boss battle, making it possible to complete the game without killing anyone. The XP system has been changed so that the stealth approach doesn't have an XP advantage.[3][4]



Mankind Divided is set in the year 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution and the "Aug Incident" - an event in which mechanically augmented humans became uncontrollable and lethally violent. Unbeknownst to the public, the affected augmented received implanted technology designed to control them by the shadowy Illuminati, which is abused by a rogue member of the group to discredit augmentations completely.[5][6] The Illuminati successfully conceal the truth behind rumors and disinformation, while the augmented are now outcasts from normal humans in an era of "mechanical apartheid".[6]

The player character is Adam Jensen, an augmented former private security officer now working with a special Interpol unit, Task Force 29, to capture a terrorist group of augmented humans.[7] Jensen also secretly works for the Juggernaut Collective, a hacker group helping him to confront the Illuminati.[6]


In Dubai, Jensen and Task Force 29 (TF29) infiltrate an abandoned resort to catch a weapon smuggler. The operation goes awry when a group of gold-masked, augmented mercenaries attempt to steal the weapon shipment. Jensen neutralizes the mercenaries, but suspects that there is an ulterior motive for TF29 being sent on the mission.

Jensen returns to Prague and meets with his Juggernaut contact, Alex Vega, who tasks him with planting a listening device in TF29's communication systems to determine the scope of the Illuminati's involvement. They are then caught in the blast of a terrorist bombing. Jensen and Vega survive, but Jensen suffers damage to his augmentations. After receiving repairs, Jensen discovers that his body contains numerous powerful and experimental augmentations of which he was unaware. Confirming with his former boss David Sarif that the augmentations were not part of Jensen's original installations, Jensen contemplates that he was comatose for several months following the destruction of Panchaea.

Jensen goes to TF29's headquarters and spies on a meeting between TF29 commander Jim Miller and his superiors, discovering that the United Nations leadership intends to blame the Dubai and Prague attacks, and other incidents on the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC) and its leader Talos Rucker. Miller tasks Jensen with infiltrating Golem City, a ghetto for the augmented, and recovering Rucker. Upon confronting Rucker, he claims that ARC has no interest in killing innocent civilians, and suspects that a traitor in ARC is leading the attacks. Rucker suddenly dies in front of Jensen, forcing him to flee the ghetto. Following Rucker's death, his militant and Illuminati-aligned lieutenant Viktor Marchenko assumes command of ARC.

At TF29, Jensen infiltrates the communication network and learns that TF29 director Joseph Manderley is working with VersaLife CEO Bob Page. They discuss the use of a biological weapon, "Orchid", to murder Rucker, confirming their involvement. Jensen forwards the information to the Juggernaut leader, Janus. They learn that information about Orchid is stored in a secure vault in the nearby Palisade bank. At the same time, Jensen investigates the Prague attack and traces the bomb components to Allison Stanek, a former soldier turned religious fanatic. Jensen then learns that VersaLife is removing all of their data from Palisade and Stanek plans to commit ritual suicide with her followers to "ascend" to a purely electronic existence. Jensen must choose whether to steal the Orchid data or save Stanek so she can be questioned. Either mission leads Jensen to Marchenko's headquarters in the Swiss Alps.

Traveling there, he is attacked by Marchenko, injected with Orchid, and left to die. Jensen survives, obtains an Orchid sample, and overhears Marchenko discussing his return to Prague to smuggle cargo out of the city. Jensen escapes the facility and returns to Prague to find the city under martial law as the augmented population riots over Rucker's death. He gives the Orchid sample to Vega for analysis. Miller orders Jensen to spy on the local Dvali crime family that may be smuggling Marchenko's cargo. Jensen learns that Marchenko intends to attack a convention in London hosted by influential CEO Nathaniel Brown, who is lobbying against the Human Restoration Act, an Illuminati-backed law that would permanently segregate augmented and non-augmented people. Vega informs Jensen that Orchid is a poison that causes the targets immune system to attack their own organs. Jensen theorizes that the unique genetic trait that prevents his immune system rejecting his augmentations also immunizes him against Orchid.

Upon arriving in London, Jensen and Miller meet with Brown, who refuses to cancel the event, citing that he is meeting with pro-Aug members of the United Nations Security Council. Jensen discovers that Marchenko's men have infiltrated the event's security forces and are planning to poison Brown and his guests with Orchid. Miller is attacked by Marchenko and dosed with Orchid; if Jensen stole the VersaLife data from Palisade, he can administer the antidote and save Miller. Marchenko contacts Jensen, demanding that he meet with him in the exhibition hall or he will detonate bombs planted in nearby residential towers.

If Jensen fails to save Brown, his death at the hands of ARC galvanizes support for the Human Restoration Act, while saving Brown empowers him to block the Act. After confronting Marchenko, Jensen can kill or apprehend him. In the aftermath, ARC is officially labeled a terrorist organization. Jensen and Vega agree to continue to try and expose the Illuminati, but Jensen asserts that he must first finally meet Janus in person. The Illuminati meets to discuss Marchenko's attack, and agree to keep a closer eye on Jensen. It is revealed that TF29's psychologist is an informant for the Illuminati leader, Lucius DeBeers, and that they are using Jensen to expose Janus.


In October 2013, video game developer Eidos Montréal announced that the Deus Ex series would be expanding into a mobile game and print media franchise. Additionally, the team behind their 2011 Deus Ex: Human Revolution was already at work on a new release for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[8] In March 2014, publisher Square Enix applied for a trademark on Mankind Divided's title.[4] In December 2014, Eidos Montréal revealed the Dawn Engine, a new game engine for use in Mankind Divided. Its technology is based on IO Interactive's proprietary Glacier 2 game engine, which was used in Hitman: Absolution (2012).[9]

The game's announcement was leaked a day in advance of its official unveiling in early April 2015.[4] The reveal was the culminating moment of a three-day Square Enix promotional event[4] called "Can't Kill Progress" that featured a live Twitch stream of a man pacing, sleeping, and meditating in a nondescript room.[10] Viewers were allowed to change the camera angle and vote on how the man should act during his interrogation.[10]

The game was originally slated for a February 2016 release, but Square Enix announced in November 2015 that the game had been rescheduled for August 2016, saying, "[A]s we are now playing through the game in full, we can see that it will require more time in post-production for tuning, iterations, and refinement to meet our high standards."[11]

As a pre-order bonus for the Windows version of the game, an announcer pack featuring the voice of Jensen was released for the multiplayer online battle arena game, Dota 2.[12]

A Linux port was released by Feral Interactive on November 3, 2016.[13] A macOS port was released on December 12, 2017, delayed pending an update of Apple's Metal API. The initial release supports Macs with AMD graphics only. A free standalone version of the Breach game mode was released on PC in January 2017.[14]

Downloadable content[edit]

The first downloadable content, System Rift, was released on September 23 on all platforms. It is not integrated into the main game, but accessed via the "Jensen's Stories" option on the menu. It reunites Adam Jensen with his former Sarif colleague, Frank Pritchard.

The second downloadable content, or DLC, entitled A Criminal Past was released on February 23 the following year. It visits Jensen's first TF29 mission, set in a maximum security aug prison in Arizona known as the "Pent House". It can also be found in "Jensen's Stories".


Aggregate score
Metacritic(PC) 83/100[15]
(PS4) 84/100[16]
(XONE) 83/100[17]
Review scores
Game Informer7/10[20]
Game Revolution4/5 stars[21]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[23]
Giant Bomb4/5 stars[24]
PC Gamer (US)88/100[26]

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided received "favorable" reviews, according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[15][16][17] Critics praised the "more diverse options for completion" and "fantastic world building and side missions" while criticizing its short length, inclusion of microtransactions and lack of main story content when compared to the previous game.[28][29]


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was the best-selling retail game in the UK in its week of release, but its launch week sales failed to surpass that of its predecessor, Human Revolution.[30] It was the third best-selling game in the US in August 2016 according to NPD Group.[31]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2016 Canadian Video Game Awards 2016 Best Console Game Won [32]
Best Game Design Won
Best Narrative Won
Best Performance Won
Game of the Year Won
The Game Awards 2016 Best Role Playing Game Nominated [33]



The pre-order system of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided caused controversy because of its tiered reward levels, from tier 1 to tier 5.[34] The system gave the buyer the ability to "choose" what they got depending on what global tier the level of pre-orders were reached.[35] The pre-order system was compared to the way Kickstarter campaigns work; the more pre-orders, the more items the people who pre-ordered would get.[36] Due to negative reactions from fans and critics, the system was cancelled, and all pre-order content was available to those who pre-order the game or purchase a Day 1 edition.[37]

Mechanical Apartheid[edit]

The term "mechanical apartheid" was used in (and as the title of) one of the game's trailers. In it, it signified the discrimination shown by non-augmented people towards augmented people, and the segregation and detainment of said augmented people during the events of the game. This use of the term led to some complaints due to the racial origin and connotations of the term apartheid, and accusations of the game being racist or racially insensitive.[38] Eidos Montréal's Jonathan Jacques-Belletete justified the use of the term as appropriate for the game since the Deus Ex franchise is about human nature, which has historically repeated trends of segregation.[39] Mary DeMarle, the executive narrative director of the game, responded to the controversy by saying that they are trying to present the issues of the world without judging anyone for their actions.[40][41]

Gilles Matouba, a black game developer who worked on the game, called the criticisms "gross false assumptions " and "stupidity" on Reddit. He stated: "We actually wanted to offer to our audience something unique. Something that was close and very personal ... the experience of being torn between two worlds and two identities." He added: "Racism is a dark part of our human nature and we wanted to treat this subject. It was especially important for me to treat this."[42]

Aug Lives Matter[edit]

Usage of the term "Augs Lives Matter" in promotional artwork for the game again caused controversy, with some claiming it was a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement. Vu stated that the phrase was coined before the movement started and that it was an unfortunate coincidence.[43][44][45]


  1. ^ Ported to Microsoft Windows by Nixxes Software and Known Shippable, and to OS X and Linux by Feral Interactive.


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