Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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Deus Ex, Mankind Divided Box Art.jpeg
"Sometimes, you just have to let go...and embrace what you've become."
Adam Jensen, Announcement Trailer

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an Cyberpunk-themed action role-playing video game—combining first-person shooter, stealth and role-playing elements—developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix as a sequel to the 2011 Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Set two years after Human Revolution in the year 2029, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen, with new technology and body augmentations. The fourth main entry in the Deus Ex series, the game was released on 23 August 2016.

Following the events of the previous game, animosity between augmented and non-augmented humans has reached the point wherein the very notion of augmentation is violently opposed by various elements of society. Now working for the Interpol-funded Task Force 29, Jensen is tasked with pursuing augmented terrorists. But he's also fighting his own war against the people responsible for the events of Human Revolution, in the process uncovering an ever deeper conspiracy.

While the gameplay itself is set to improve upon what's worked with Human Revolution, the developers have stated how they're seeking to make every possible game style doable, be it a Pacifist Run or full-on guns blazing.

Tropes used in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided include:

Adam: "What a shame."

  • Arc Words: "Can't kill progress."
  • Arm Cannon: Jensen can have his arms modified to mount the P.E.P.S. from Human Revolution.
  • Ascended Extra: The Juggernaut Collective plays a larger role this time around.
  • The Atoner: Adam Jensen's main motivation, in addition to going after those who wronged him in the previous game.
  • Bag of Spilling: Sort of. Jensen starts off with enhanced versions of his Human Revolution upgrades. After being hurt in the terror attack in Prague, however, he's forced to build up most of his abilities anew.
  • Big Bad: The game sets up Bob Page as a more direct antagonist, given that Jensen is gunning for the Illuminati. Viktor Marchenko, however, is a more straightforward example as Jensen spends the better part of the game dealing with him.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Especially evident in the Prague scenes, with police and cameras monitoring for anyone (i.e. augs) deemed a threat.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Parts of the game are set in and around Prague, complete with appropriate Czech.
  • Black Mesa Commute: Briefly after the opening mission, Adam and Alex walk around in-game at a train station while the player watches, generally so the player can get an idea of what to expect in Prague proper when it comes to being an aug.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Whenever Adam is checking the TV, Eliza Cassan may wink at him as she delivers her "reporting live" spiels. A Call Back to Human Revolution, given how Adam knows she's a holographic AI.
  • Can't Stop the Signal: The Juggernaut Collective, which is a global network of hackers, activists and anti-corruption agents.
  • Category Traitor: In the trailers, a terrorist aug leader (later revealed to be Viktor Marchenko) chastises Jensen about how he fighting his "brothers".
  • Color Motif: The gold/yellow/black palette from Human Revolution makes a return. This time, however, everything is noticeably darker, reflecting the end of the supposed golden age. It's mentioned as well that blue, a color associated with the original Deus Ex is also a prominent theme.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The E3 footage suggests that Jensen starts off with many of his abilities seen in Human Revolution.
    • Jensen's frequent forays into the seedier, darker sides of society also harken back to JC Denton's in the original Deus Ex.
    • Lucius DeBeers and a younger Morgan Everett finally make their appearance.
  • Corrupt Cop: Some of the police officers in Prague are shown to be little better than the terrorists and mobsters they're dealing with. Joseph Manderly also counts, being the Director of Task Force 29 and part of the Illuminati.
  • Crapsack World: Transhumans have been segregated into ghettos and are heavily discriminated against. Transhuman terrorist groups have sprouted up in response, and regularly carry out attacks that kill many innocents. Unlike the world of Human Revolution, society as we know it is no longer on the cusp of a golden age, but seems to be drifting into the decline that leads into the original Deus Ex game.
  • Crazy Prepared:
    • David Sarif evidently wanted Adam to be prepared for just about any eventuality. Which explains the augmented enhancements Adam never had in Human Revolution.
    • The Illuminati, DeBeers and Page in particular, have various contingency plans in place to ensure that they still have the upper hand. And Adam is strongly implied to be key to their success, albeit unwittingly.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Downplayed compared to the previous game, given how Adam Jensen's getting more than used to his augmented lease on life.
    • And it even becomes a gameplay mechanic, as some of his augmentations grant great power with some very potentially nasty side effects, granting him Power At a Price, unless he completes a certain sidequest that helps remove these limitations.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Averted. The gameplay is stated to be such that just about everything seen in the trailers released so far is perfectly doable.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: While canonically Panchaea was destroyed, it's unclear if Jensen was the one responsible, so the Eliza ending isn't necessarily canon either, and the game notes that Panchaea would have been crushed by the pressure of the ocean once Hyron was deactivated, which happens in all endings. Further, three of the endings in Human Revolution amounted to sending out stories about what caused the Aug Incident, while Mankind Divided mentions that there were many, many theories and rumors that sprang up surrounding that incident, which neatly subsumes all three of those endings. It's implied that Darrow and Taggart died in Panchaea's destruction, with Darrow's wish for mechanical augmentation being viewed as a threat to humanity being realized and the U.N. creating the Taggart Act, which severely regulated and restricted augmentation manufacturing. Sarif survived, but was severely injured and was hospital-bound for months. Almost every augmentation manufacturer has gone out of business due to the Taggart Act; with the exception of the Illuminati-backed Tai Yong Medical, who went on to release a "prevention" chip in 2028 and progressively bought the assets of all their rivals, including Sarif Industries. An Easter Egg obtained by examining Jensen's cereal in his apartment reveals that Malik canonically survived.
  • Cycle of Revenge: This is beginning to happen as aug and non-augmented factions retaliate against each other.
  • Darker and Edgier: Befitting the setting, the game is decidedly darker and more ominous than even Human Revolution.
  • Dark Reprise: The music used in the Announcement Trailer is a darker and more ominous version of the theme of Human Revolution.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The state of affairs in 2029 can be described as "Mechanical Apartheid". While the Juggernaut Collective is basically a more focused and organized version of Anonymous hacktivists.
  • Double Agent: Adam Jensen is actually working for the hacktivist Juggernaut Collective, which managed to get him into Task Force 29 with the intent of going after the Illuminati.
    • And there is another one: Delara Auzenne, aka an Illuminati plant in Task Force 29, overtly their psychiatrist, covertly monitoring Adam Jensen in the hopes of following him to Janus.
  • Downloadable Content: For the most part, entirely optional, such as the ability to buy additional Praxis Kits ingame for real money, which is not really needed. More annoyingly, some of the DLC content is literally a one time deal, meaning it only works once on one save and can never be accessed again if used once.
    • Some of it is "durable", like some weapons and added outfits, which means they will be transferable across playthrougths on the same save file, but some is basically gone once used up, mainly surplus supplies of ammo and some items.
  • Dubai: The game's opening mission and tutorial is set here, with Adam pursuing a Task Force 29 mission involving an illegal arms deal gone wrong.
  • Evil Old Folks: Lucius DeBeers in 2029 is old enough to have been the Illuminati's leader when John F. Kennedy was assassinated. By his orders, no less.
  • Face Heel Turn: The trailers suggest that Sarif Industries might have been co-opted by the Illuminati. In the game itself, however, it's mentioned that the company closed down after what happened in Panchaea, its assets seized by Tai Yong Medical.
  • Fantastic Slur: "Hanzer" from the first game returns, but has entered much more common use. Several other slurs for augmented people take on even more dehumanizing connotations, like "clank" and "wrench". Among the augmented themselves "shiny" is a derisive term for those with new or well-maintained augmentations, carrying an implication of naivete, being too pampered, or an unwillingness to get their hands dirty.
  • Foreshadowing/Call Forward: Task Force 29 is basically a predecessor to UNATCO in the original Deus Ex.
  • From Bad to Worse: The live-action Mechanical Apartheid trailer shows the increasingly severe and tragic consequences of animosity against augs in the wake of the Panchaea incident.
    • The Dubai mission with Task Force 29 starts off more or less like a routine crackdown operation on an illegal arms deal, which quickly goes horribly wrong. Not to mention an impending sandstorm making matters even more complicated.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Jensen's actions are stated as having a much more visible and dynamic impact on his surroundings this time around, whether directly or as an unintended consequence.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Aug Incident proved a little too successful in turning people against augmentations, which meant the Illuminati have had to spend all of the game trying to mitigate the unforeseen consequences to get their own plans back on track. Their plan to make Adam Jensen a Manchurian Agent to lead them to Janus was also quite effective, but it led to Bob Page and Joseph Manderly's connections to the Illuminati being discovered, giving Janus and the Juggernaut Collective some faces and names to put to the Illuminati's membership.
  • Government Conspiracy: Adam privately suspects that Task Force 29 is really a front for the Illuminati's plans.
    • He's partially correct as it turns out, as while it does have Illuminati moles and it's director is an Illuminati stooge, most of its operatives are competent and honest cops.
  • Grey and Gray Morality:
    • As befitting a Deus Ex game, it's not always clear what the "right" choice is, if there is any. This is especially highlighted by Adam's conflicting duties to both Task Force 29 and the Juggernaut Collective.
    • The "mechanical apartheid" on display is also shown to be filled with grey areas, especially with terrorists and radicals on both sides finding some reason to lash out at each other.
  • Harder Than Hard: Finishing the game on "Give me Deus Ex" unlocks the "I never asked for this" difficulty, which renders death final and deletes your saves should you get killed at any point.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Depending on your actions, Adam may or may not cross the line into becoming little different from the people he's gunning after.
  • History Repeats: New forms of segregation and racism have emerged, with augmented humans even persecuted apartheid-style.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Nathaniel Brown, a wealthy businessman who seems sincere with his desire to create self-sustaining communities for Augs. On the other hand, the Illuminati considers him a wild card.
    • David Sarif may have lost his former company, but he's still using what's left of his personal fortune to help out his fellow augmented in a new enterprise to help build aug-sustaining communities.
  • How We Got Here: The 101 trailer has Jensen narrating about what led up to the events of Mankind Divided.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Adam's nanoblades return from the previous game, which also double as projectile weapons this time around.
  • Implacable Man: Adam Jensen, thanks to his augmentations. One upgrade in particular allows him to effectively become a walking, nigh bulletproof tank for a limited time.
  • Industrial Ghetto:
    • Útulek Station a.k.a. Golem City is a futuristic take on this trope. It's also the main headquarters of the Augmented Rights Coalition.
    • Dubai is also shaping up to be this, given how it's shown as grimy and long past its heyday.
    • The poorer sections of Prague, where many augs who haven't been sent to Útulek Station live, wouldn't look too out of place in a modern thriller set in Eastern Europe.
  • Interpol Special Agent: Task Force 29 is a significantly more powerful version of this trope. Eventually, such task forces would lead to UNATCO in Deus Ex.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: There are also various ways for Adam to fail, even in the "social boss battles", though it doesn't always lead to an automatic game over.
  • Just Before the End: Despite the "Mechanical Apartheid", the world has yet to slide into the malaise of the original Deus Ex. But it's made evident that it's heading there.
  • Manchurian Agent: Adam himself, though he's aware of some aspects of it. The Illuminati recovered him from Panchea post-Human Revolution and modified his memories as well as loading him up with even more augmentations, in the hopes that while he tried to hunt them down, he'd lead them to Janus. Adam is aware someone messed with his body and memories, but he doesn't know (for sure) it was the Illuminati, though he strongly suspects it, only we the players know this due to a mid ending credits cutscene with the Illuminati confirming it.
  • Medium Blending: Similarly to Human Revolution, some cutscenes incorporate live-action elements, such as the opening intro.
  • My Greatest Failure: Adam seems to view his failure to change the course of events significantly in Human Revolution as this. More specifically, Hugh Darrow's Zombie Apocalypse signal in Panchaea.

Adam: "I won't let it happen again."

  • New Game Plus: You can play again based off an old save file, and certain things carry over from save to save, meaning a player can start a second playthrougth armed to the teeth as an augmented god.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted as revealed by the 101 trailer. The "Aug Incident" a.k.a. what Hugh Darrow unleashed from Panchaea in Human Revolution resulted in the deaths of 50 million people around the world and hundreds of thousands injured, further contributing to the "Mechanical Apartheid".
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore/The Unmasqued World: For Adam, at least. And not just because of his augmentations either. As he's since become aware of the Illuminati's plans.
  • Not In This For Your Revolution: At least initially, Adam's much more concerned with taking down the Illuminati than getting dragged into the simmering powder keg between augs and non-augs. Unable to save a child's mother from the smouldering ruins of the just-bombed station in Prague, however, makes matters more personal.
  • "Previously On...": The game includes a long, optional intro involving Adam recounting the events of Human Revolution.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Some of Adam Jensen's erstwhile co-workers in Task Force 29 seem to be this, being just professional lawmen just trying to do their duty and not in the loop on the Illuminati's plans.
    • Some of the police in Prague are simply doing their jobs in upholding the "Mechanical Apartheid" policies, while others are just finding some excuse to either beat up some unwitting aug or shove said aug to Útulek Station.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jim Miller, branch director of Task Force 29 and Jensen's superior, is very much this. And he's not happy about the orders he's unknowingly getting from the Illuminati, especially from his own boss, Joseph Manderley.
    • Duncan MacCready is a Noble Bigot with a Badge who is not the nicest guy in the world, especially concerning the augmented, but he is willing to put the job before his prejudice when push comes to shove.
  • Shout Out: The Dubai mission in the intro looks straight out of Spec Ops: The Line (complete with a massive sandstorm) and involves tracking down an ex-Belltower arms dealer named Shepard.
  • Skippable Boss: Compared to Human Revolution, the game makes skipping boss fights, thus true "zero-death" Pacifist Runs entirely possible.
  • Start My Own: It's revealed that following the collapse of Sarif Industries, David Sarif has been supporting initiatives meant to set up self-sustaining communities "by augs, for augs".
  • Strawman News Media: Picus News and Eliza Cassan from Human Revolution make a return.
  • Super Prototype: Adam Jensen, unwittingly. It's revealed that Sarif's high-grade augmentations hid a number of experimental upgrades that even Adam never guessed. Which also explains why he is even more powerful than in Human Revolution.
    • Flawed Prototype: The drawback, however, is that said new upgrades and augmentations are almost as much of a risk to Adam as to his enemies, meaning that he could ever have one of them activated at any given time.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Adam's augmented arms now have guns and various assorted devices integrated into them.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The "social boss battles" make a return. This time, however, it applies to every single "boss" in the game. Making it possible to completely avoid fights and battles altogether.
  • Technical Pacifist: In addition to building on Adam's pragmatic streak seen in Human Revolution, Mankind Divided is stated to make aggressive and visceral Pacifist Runs without stealth completely possible.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Jensen, who's shown to have gotten a few upgrades for his augmentations. Not to mention has gotten more in tune with his enhanced capabilities.
  • Tranquil Fury: Adam's general demeanor leans towards this.
  • Transhuman Treachery: There are a number of augmented terrorists who seek to exact vengeance on non-augmented society.
  • United Nations Is a Super Power: The UN is even more powerful than in Human Revolution such that proto-UNATCO bodies like Task Force 29 are being implemented.
  • Unusual Ammo: The game makes it possible to use various ammo types of weapons, from armor-piercing rounds to nonlethal alternate fire for Pacifist Runs.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Jensen is tired of being one.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Viktor Marchenko, in contrast to some of ARC's leadership, is willing to go to extreme, violent lengths to defend Aug rights.
  • What the Hell Hero: The ARC leader in the gameplay trailer would chastise Adam if he goes around killing the augs around Golem City.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The leading figures of the Augmented Rights Coalition, an international NGO fighting for the fair treatment of augmented humans. Unfortunately, some of its members don't share the pacifistic and conciliatory sentiments formally endorsed by the ARC and end up resorting to terrorism.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: It's mentioned that Mankind Divided would be even more of this than its predecessor. This is especially true of the main hub, Prague, given how large, dense and filled with side-quests the city is.
  • Wretched Hive:
    • Útulek Station a.k.a. Golem City which is a massive, decrepit refuge for augmented humans on the outskirts of Prague that was originally meant to house the local Czech working classes prior to the events of 2027.
    • Parts of Prague proper aren't much better, albeit as more "conventional" depressed and poor areas akin to Detroit.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Being an aug himself, Jensen seems to get this treatment from his "peers" in general at Task Force 29; it's also implied that he's one of the only handful of (if not the only) aug in Task Force 29 to begin with. Especially given how he tends to be looked at with scorn by non-augmented people.