I has been quite a while since I played a traditional AAA title, and even longer since I played a first person shooter, but this time I really longed for it. I wanted to shoot AI bots in the head and feel good about it. I had forgotten that's not what Deus Ex is about.
When you first start it up you get the choice of watching a recap, and of course I want that. It has been quite a while since I finished Human Revolution so I watched the recap - oh my that's some horseshit! I don't think I found the story of Deus Ex Human Revolution that bad when I played it, but distilled down to 10 minutes of narration it really stinks. So, Mankind Divided got off to a bad start.
You go on a mission to Dubai, this is the tutorial mission, and it is the basis of the whole story. The game is centered about what goes wrong in Dubai, and I'm not really sure what that is. The story and the world is too complicated. There are politics that is supposed to go over the head of the player, and then there are politics you're supposed to snap up, and I don't get either. So I'm playing the whole game on a premise I don't understand. This is bad.
The mechanics is all about sneaking around avoiding getting seen. This mechanic works very well. Dodging from cover to cover have never been this easy. However it is also quite easy getting seen, and often from angles that you couldn't anticipate. This makes some missions quite tedious when you replay the same sneaking part over and over, to avoid getting seen.
Once you're seen you will be swarmed with enemies so quickly that you can just give up and reload last save immediately. There is no point of trying to fight them, especially not if it's they're heavily armored.
As a "sneak and kill from the shadows" -game this is pretty neat. As a first person shooter it is less so. Thankfully almost all situations can be handled stealthily, and almost all situations can be tackled in several different ways.
This game is hard. I'm playing on the easiest difficulty and I die over and over again from being seen and overrun by enemies. Maybe it's just me being bad at it. In order not to get frustrated I save once every minute with rolling save files, because I don't want to get stuck in a corner that I can't shoot myself out of.
So the game teaches you to sneak and being seen is equal to death. Then you come to the end boss which is a typical FPS boss that you need to shoot 1000 times in the head before he dies. I'm not sure how I actually managed in the end but I threw all my grenades at him, knocking him unconscious and apparently that was it.
The end of the game was really weird. I fought myself through hordes of enemies and went into an elevator. That was the end of the game, and I still don't understand why or what I was doing. The game gives you an outro of news recordings of events you've been part of shaping. But it feels more like a setup for Deus Ex 3 than an actual ending.
All and all, this game was ok. I had fun playing it. I didn't do all the optional stuff, but I enjoyed the main story. My absolute favorite thing was the rain effect on Adam Jensen's clothes.