If Cyberpunk 2077 Let You Down, Try Deus Ex Mankind Divided

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jagerxbomb

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I got Mankind Divided when it came out, but was never able to get into it. I don't even know why. Fast forward 8 months, and I'm tired of Destiny 2, scrolling through Steam. "Yeah, fuck it, I'll play some Deus Ex." I made it past the first hour for the first time in 5 years and now I'm in it. It gives me the Cyberpunk feeling but with way less bullshit.

There is still some bullshit, though.

I dunno. I guess this is how backlogs go.

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tartyron

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#2  Edited By tartyron

@jagerxbomb: I did exactly that back in January, and yes, it’s great, though I will say the scaled back scope and some simplistic messaging hurt it (one city, clearly dropped plot threads and unused ideas, the repeating news reports by worst performance Eliza Cassan), it still had so much more heart and much more closely mirrored the cyberpunk setting I want, without the idiotocrasy level parody 2077 threw in my face.

Human Revolution is the better of the series but Mankind Divided is a solid entry and I really hope there is at least one more Deus Ex game in the future.

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Humanity

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#3  Edited By Humanity  Online

Mankind Divided is going to let you down in a much more depressing way than Cyberpunk ever could. Cyberpunk was a new thing from a studio that hasn't done anything like it before and all the red flags were there. Personally I enjoyed my time with it but I wasn't expecting the world and more. Mankind Divided was the follow up to the incredibly successful Human Revolution and yet it seems to have a worse story, more bugs and is straight up unfinished by the time the credits roll. For me it was a much bigger disappointment despite still being a solid game because I actually was expecting a lot more.

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BisonHero

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#4  Edited By BisonHero

@humanity: Yeah, fair. Underwhelming sequel (when you’ve seen them do better) stings a little more than underwhelming debut (when they’re taking a shot at something new to them). I’ve had this game in my Steam library for years, I think. I should really crack into it.

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infantpipoc

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#5  Edited By infantpipoc

I don't think it would work for me. There are only two games in this world annoyed me enough to require Steam refunds in their first hours. The first one was Deus Ex Mankind Divided back in 2016, the second one was Cyberpunk 2077 last December. Given the crazy world we live in, it's hard for me to play and enjoy Cyberpunk games made by people who seemingly still consider Neuromancer by William Gibson as cutting edge.

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BrunoTheThird

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It's so cool in concept and starts out as an interesting sequel in a wonderful location, but, it quickly becomes frustrating and the undercooked ideas and story started to slap me repeatedly in the disappointment gland before long. Also, the way it ends... One of the few times I've shouted, "That was the game!?" expecting 10-15 hours more to wrap things up.

It is functional with some occasionally decent writing and fun combat/stealth scenarios, though.

I will eventually try Cyberpunk out of curiosity at some point, but it may be patched to a degree where the story is the only questionable thing by the time I get round to it.

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BisonHero

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#7  Edited By BisonHero

@infantpipoc: Those games aren’t really achieving (or going for) the Neuromancer level of cyberpunk even. They’re doing the Snow-Crash-as-directed-by-Michael-Bay version of cyberpunk, where everything is just super excessive weaponry and mercs and badassery and tits.

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Efesell

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I remember Mankind Divided letting me down way more than Cyberpunk.

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infantpipoc

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@infantpipoc: Those games aren’t really achieving (or going for) the Neuromancer level of cyberpunk even. They’re doing the Snow-Crash-as-directed-by-Michael-Bay version of cyberpunk, where everything is just super excessive weaponry and mercs and badassery and tits.

Fair enough. Guess Neuromancer has merits for its chilling imagery of Technical Singularity, while Snow Crash is sort of the Ready Player One of its time. Haven't read either in a decade, maybe a good time to revisit those.

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jagerxbomb

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@tartyron: Man, Human Revolution was so good, and Mankind Divided was so... disappointing? I've run out of games to play.

@humanity I'm already setting affinity on CPU cores just to get it to run. I get it, but I've run out of things to play, and it's always just sitting there in my Steam library.

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spacemanspiff00

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The strangest thing about Mankind Divided to me was the fact that one of the biggest story reveals happens in the middle of the end credits, which I imagine most people skip. There is even a trophy for seeing it, but damn, what a thing to squirrel away in a spot a lot of folks are going to pass over.

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AV_Gamer

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Like others have said, the thing about Mankind Divided is that, while its technically a better game than Cyberpunk 2077 when it comes to it not having those annoying bugs and stuff, its a bad sequel to Human Revolution. Its shorter. Its story is not as engaging, and it ends abruptly. Cyberpunk 2077 does have a decent story from what I played of it before giving up because of the bugs becoming too annoying for me to overlook.

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Efesell

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#13  Edited By Efesell

@av_gamer: I don't even think it's a better game on that front.. my time with Divided was riddled with performance issues. That's actually the principle reason I stopped playing in the first place.

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bybeach

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#14  Edited By bybeach

@jagerxbomb I saw your post yesterday, and I actually went to Steam to see if I had the two games, Mankind divided and Human revolution crossed up in my reckoning. Because if it was Human Revolution, I would have seen the angle.

You did make me want to play Human Revolution again..

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jagerxbomb

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@bybeach: The performance issues are now surfacing, and I'm feeling a Human Revolution run as well

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jagerxbomb

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The waypoints in this fucking game are so fucking broken

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Justin258

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Mankind Divided is a better game if you're not there for the main story. It feels like they wanted to make one thing and Square Enix just said "nah, let's stretch this out into two or three games!" and the result was an underperforming mess.

Still, when I played MD, I remember having tons of fun exploring Prague and getting into all sorts of nooks and crannies and sidequests and other such trouble. I do think the game is worth playing, just go into it knowing there's no real resolution to anything and a lot of the writing here is bad.

@bybeach: The performance issues are now surfacing, and I'm feeling a Human Revolution run as well

Turn off... I think it's MSAA? Mankind Divided uses a kind of brute-force anti-aliasing that brought even the most high end PCs of the time to their knees and it's still fairly expensive today. Turn that off entirely, inject AA using Nvidia's or AMD's driver software, and then see if performance is any better.

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AV_Gamer

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@efesell: For me, the main issue was the game being very resource heavy and running sluggish on anything above medium settings, despite having a PC at the time that could run most games, even seemingly more demanding ones at high to ultra settings at 1080p.

The waypoints in this fucking game are so fucking broken

Yeah, the level design in the game was also pretty bad, especially compared to Human Evolution. It also seemed to move at a very slow pace. That's the main issue I had with Mankind Divided, it was just so slow in everything it did.

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FacelessVixen

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As someone who likes Bethesda RPGs...

No Caption Provided

I mean, I liked what I played of Mankind Divided because I placed Human Revolution on a pedestal among its era of releases. But my older 1060 build wasn't giving me the level of performance that I wanted. Hearing over the years about how the end of this story segment sets up for a new game of which may or may not happen due to the series being shelved at the moment. Other games, including Cyberpunk, releasing since my 2080 Ti build in 2019. Me strongly prefering character creation in RPGs these days. And what relative little feature related complaints that I have with Cyberpunk being made up for with mods.

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El_Blarfo

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#21  Edited By El_Blarfo
@tartyron said:

@jagerxbomb: I did exactly that back in January, and yes, it’s great, though I will say the scaled back scope and some simplistic messaging hurt it (one city, clearly dropped plot threads and unused ideas, the repeating news reports by worst performance Eliza Cassan), it still had so much more heart and much more closely mirrored the cyberpunk setting I want, without the idiotocrasy level parody 2077 threw in my face.

Human Revolution is the better of the series but Mankind Divided is a solid entry and I really hope there is at least one more Deus Ex game in the future.

Agree with all of this. It's got some weird departures from human revolution in terms of quest and world design and it suffers from middle-chapter-itis but it's actually pretty fun!

Definitely hope there's a third one eventually, but I seem to recall lackluster sales and reviews, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

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LapsarianGiraff

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#22  Edited By LapsarianGiraff

Gonna chime in and say, yup, Mankind Divided is leagues better than Cyberpunk. The story in it is terrible, and it's a disappointing followup to Human Revolution, but the gameplay, the setting, the atmosphere, even the visuals just work for me so much better.

Also if the one thing in favor of Cyberpunk is its story... well, we all know how I feel about the story in Cyberpunk at this point, ha. I will take a disappointing Deus Ex over a horrific Frankenstein of DX/GTA/Witcher any day.

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jagerxbomb

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I finished it last night, and I have no idea what was going on with the story. I ended up having to set processor affinity to keep it from crashing, but it ran perfectly fine after that.

I had a really good time with it.

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Junkerman

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Just going to throw this out there that the Original Deus Ex is really damn good.

I dont think anyone will take me seriously if I come out guns blazing and say it 'still holds up' but after you get a few missions under your belt and become 'calibrated' to the level of graphical fidelity and such. The actual atmosphere and story that the game tells is worthy of the praise it received when it came out. I couldn't imagine playing it for the first time back then; it would have been mind blowing.

Human Revolution is also a great game.

Ill give Mankind another try here one of these days, I cant put my finger on why I fell off it. I'm here recommending a twenty year old game over it though so it must be missing something!

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tartyron

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#25  Edited By tartyron

@junkerman: why wouldn’t anyone take that seriously? It’s a known science fact that OG Deus Ex is evergreen. There was a meme, likely 20 years old now, that anytime Deus Ex was mentioned online, everyone that sees it will reinstall it.

And as someone that played it in 2001, a little late but still unspoiled, and can confirm that yes, it blew my young mind. These days the conspiracy stuff might not be as fun to see, but back then it was just fantastic.

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Justin258

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@junkerman: The thing that doesn't hold up about Deus Ex - for me at least - isn't the graphics. It's the way aiming works. I get that it's an RPG, not a shooter, and they were trying to imitate something in real life or whatever, but having to track a target while the reticle gets smaller and smaller to get an accurate shot always sucked. That's not why anyone plays Deus Ex, sure, but that's why I quit last time I tried it.

...but now that I'm talking about it I kinda want to try it again.

Anyway, I'll second that Human Revolution is still very much worth playing if anyone is looking for a cyberpunk RPG fix that functions and runs well and has some kind of focus.

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spacebutler

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With the game industry's obsession with remakes in the last 5 years, I'm shocked that Eidos Montréal hasn't tried to remake the original Deus Ex. Heck, even playing through a remastered Invisible War with a engine that isn't total trash could be fun.

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infantpipoc

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With the game industry's obsession with remakes in the last 5 years, I'm shocked that Eidos Montréal hasn't tried to remake the original Deus Ex. Heck, even playing through a remastered Invisible War with a engine that isn't total trash could be fun.

If Warren Spencer himself cannot get that System Shock remake off the ground yet, immerse sim remake is quite a lost cause so far.

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archer88

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With the game industry's obsession with remakes in the last 5 years, I'm shocked that Eidos Montréal hasn't tried to remake the original Deus Ex. Heck, even playing through a remastered Invisible War with a engine that isn't total trash could be fun.

That would require Square Enix to give a fuck about the Deus Ex franchise, which they don't. A lot of the issues surrounding Mankind Divided were caused, in some part, by SE messing with the development. "Augment Your Preorder", Microtransactions for consumables in a single player game, and splitting off part of the team to focus on Breach mode were all reportedly SE decisions. I have seen some speculation that SE also pushed for a break in the narrative so that Jensen's story could be a trilogy of games, but I've never seen actual developer comments that substantiate that.

Regardless, I am a huge defender of Mankind Divided and would recommended that anyone who is willing to give it a shot keep a couple of things in mind.

1. Explore Prague. A lot. While the hub world that Eidos Montreal created is kind of small, it is dense, packed with details. Cyberpunk 2077 is a great example of "mile wide, inch deep", and MD's Prague is the exact opposite. There are a lot of little environmental stories being told in this world and details that really make it feel lived in, and in my opinion, enriches the experience. Additionally, you will come across emails, messages, and side quests that will flesh out and improve the overall narrative.

2. Do the Side Quests. I would even prioritize them. While the main story is pretty by the numbers, the stories found in side quests really stand out. An underground cult led by a former stage magician, a serial killer targeting augmented people, unexplained changes to Adam's body, tracking down an outside element that is spying on TF29, a glitching billboard asking for your help. The ideas presented in these missions are not only more interesting than the main narrative, they also offer explanations and hints at what is (probably) really going on with Adam and his overall narrative. Similarly, the two main DLCs, System Rift and A Criminal Past, are amazing, especially the latter.

3. Experiment with the augmentations. I think it is pretty easy to get locked into approaching every situation the same way, especially with stealth, because remote hacking, takedowns and tranq darts/tasers are a really powerful combination. But there are a lot of viable combinations and approaches worth exploring. Also, while the narrative will warn you not to use the experimental augs without deactivating one of your core augs, just use them anyway. Unless you push your system you don't experience any glitches outside of HUD/visual disturbances, which are trivial really.

I love Deus Ex, and Mankind Divided is not the best in the series, but it is well crafted and worth playing.

And turn off MSAA, it's fucked for some reason.

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Junkerman

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#30  Edited By Junkerman

@justin258: Yeah thats a good point on the aiming, it is total trash.

I'm a weirdo who plays the whole game with the riot-prod. Until I get the sword anyway!

Using the minicrossbow from stealth against non-moving targets isn't as noticeable but yeah you're right playing it with more of a shooting lean, especially in the early game must be rough.

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MerxWorx01

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I don't see anyone mentioning it here but for me personally I simply did not enjoy playing the Jensen character. He simply came off as disaffected and unlikable.

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ZombiePie

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If you want a less flawed but still narratively compelling cyberpunk experience than either of the Deus Ex reboot games... maybe I could interest you in Prey (2017)?

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nasher27

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I played Mankind Divided back at release, I thought it was pretty good but all it really did was make me want a game like Cyberpunk (much larger scale, actually open world). After playing Cyberpunk (and having a decent time with the game unlike most) I think the games are pretty comparable in terms of quality. I wouldn't say the combat in either game is superior, I wouldn't say the story in either game is superior (looking past the horribly abrupt ending of MD). You come away from both games mildly disappointed and wishing they had done more.

That being said, I personally prefer Cyberpunk because of the scale of the world. The Prague map in Deus Ex didn't feel organic at all, there just were way too many cyberpunk genre tropes packed into a 4 square block area. It felt like a microcosm of a larger world because of budget constraints, not because of artistic choice. I walked away from Mankind Divided just wanting that style of game in an actual open world, which Cyberpunk gave me. For that reason I prefer it, but like I said I think the quality of both games is pretty similar otherwise.

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RobertForster

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Personally, I think Human Revolution is astoundingly overrated. I beat it back in 2011 and thought the narrative lacked all subtlety. It was a huge letdown coming from the OG Deus Ex or even Invisible War. In fact HR is my least favorite Deus Ex game by a mile. I much preferred and liked Mankind Divided. MD at least had an interesting, deep Hub area with Prague and fantastic side missions. Imo, it goes OG Deus Ex >>>>>> Invisible War >>> Mankind Divided > Cyberpunk 2077 > Human Revolution.

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Onemanarmyy

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@merxworx01: Yeah i'm with you. I like Human Revolution, but Jensen is a wet blanket of a character to me. I also always felt like there was a severe lack of background audio in a lot of the longer conversations, that made the whole conversation sound lifeless instead of engaging.