I’ve already given my genuine thoughts on Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which you can find here:
So, as a result, I’m not going to rehash what I’ve already said. Hence why I called this a “follow-up” review. I don’t think I could word it any better than I already have so this review will really only touch on the new experiences I’ve had since that initial impression piece to now. So if you want your typical review, clink the above link.
Now, a revelation I had after writing that initial piece is that I was, in fact, more than halfway through the game. We’re talking main story mission 9 or 10, out of somewhere between 13 and 17 I believe. You lose count when you start doing a ton of side quests, but I do know that the main quest never exceeded 20 missions. And therein lies my new main gripe with his game. I hate short stories when I can tell that they should be longer. Mankind Divided suffers from what I’m going to refer to as “Halo 5 syndrome.” The story of Mankind Divided, while fleshed out and great on its own, feels entirely too much like a prologue or a pilot episode of a much longer episodic series.
The story was hyped up as this grand conspiracy where Adam Jensen would track down the 1% of the 1% that comprise the primary members of the Illuminati. Yet, the story of the game itself focuses more on a train station bombing and the aftermath of that and it ties to the Illuminati And it takes the entire main story to get a conclusion to that singular plot thread, and it doesn’t even really lead to any significant revelation, it doesn’t even end on a cliffhanger. It wraps up its little story with the promise that it isn’t over yet(obviously.). I’m dead serious when I say that, if I spent money on the microtransactions to boost myself, skipped all the side quets, and just played the main story, my playtime would be significantly less, it’s that short. I logged 23 hours total into Mankind Divided prior to beating it, but I can assure you that the main story is not even half that playtime. Close, but not quite. And so as an RPG it has let me down. I expect long stories, especially for something with a plot as intricate as this. I expected about 25 hours at least for the main story alone. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that the next Deus Ex will be announced sooner rather than later. It might even be an expansion for Mankind Divided and that is how they’ll build the story. Piece by piece.
I hope you can tell how upset I am by the lack of payoff and short story. You cannot, CANNOT, pad out a game with side content to make up for the lack of a longer story. I hate it when developers artificially inflate the numbers. What have they been working on all this time, for a singleplayer game, that caused them to not have put more time into the story? Where did the last five years go? If this were strictly an FPS or Third-Person Shooter, OK then I could see the campaign not being as long as good RPG, but this IS an RPG, and thus I expect a longer story like Final Fantasy XV which, according to the director, average 40 to 50 hours for the main story alone, and 200 hours when you add on the side content(For clarity, its actually only been in active development for 4 years, not 10.). Human Revolution was longer than this.
Anyway, rant over. And despite all of that, Mankind Divided is still an astounding game. The world is alive, the characters are believable, the music is phenomenal, the level design and gameplay are perfected, and the story, what there is of it, is still good. I will not let my personal opinions sway my recommendation, and my recommendation has not changed: You need to play this game for yourself to understand just how good it really is. Now I just hope they release the next part of the story before I’m old and grey.