A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action/RPG game and the direct sequel to the 2011 game Deus Ex: Human Evolution. As the protagonist, Adam Jensen, players can sneak around, hack computers, and talk their way out of conflicts, essentially completing the game with a zero body count. Alternatively, they can go in guns blazing, killing foes with bloody abandon, utilizing a high-tech arsenal that includes everything from handguns to high explosives and even blades that shoot out and pin enemy bodies against the wall. Over the course of the story, players will be exposed to various references to drinking, smoking, drug use, profanity, and occasionally risqué content.
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What's it about?
DEUS EX: MANKIND DIVIDED takes place two years after the events of the previous title in the franchise, with the world still suffering from the fallout of the infamous "Aug Incident," a mysterious event that caused those with mechanical augments to become uncontrollably violent. Since that time, humans have fostered a deep distrust of anyone with augments, going so far as to separate them from pure humans in a sort of "mechanical apartheid." When Adam Jensen is called in to investigate what appears to be a pro-augmented terrorist bombing, what he discovers is a plot that runs much deeper than a single attack. Now it's up to Jensen to use all his skills, both as an augment and as a trained investigator, to uncover the puppet masters behind this grand conspiracy and cut their strings once and for all.
Is it any good?
This massive adventure is an incredibly deep, surprisingly flexible adventure where the player's choices dictate the story, the action, and, eventually, how the world changes. The world of Deus Ex is a cyberpunk dystopia, a place where advancements in human augmentation that were meant to help people achieve their full potential have instead led to distrust and isolation. This is the world Adam Jensen -- and the player -- lives in. But Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is less about Jensen's story than the player's. You're thrust into a world where one group of people is separated from the rest for reasons that could be seen as justified and simultaneously inexcusable. While the plot has a fairly distinct beginning and end, it's the way you perceive and react to the world around you that makes the story more personal. The downside to this is Adam Jensen doesn't get much character development, feeling much more generic than he did in Human Revolution.
The personal options go well beyond the game's plot. You're given a ridiculous amount of freedom in how you can accomplish objectives and overcome obstacles. While you can always go in guns blazing, it's actually a lot more interesting to figure out alternative ways to bypass violence. Instead of charging into a guarded warehouse and letting the lead fly, why not hack a nearby terminal, open a high window, and dash over those guards' heads, leaving them none the wiser to your presence? In fact, the game even encourages it by offering up more XP for keeping your guns holstered. Whichever path you choose, though, there's no shortage of upgrades and abilities. If there's one minor drawback to this, it's that depending on exactly how you've customized your personal Adam Jensen, you almost feel a little overpowered by the time you hit the endgame. Thankfully, the various gameplay styles and the inclusion of the unique, arcade-ish Breach VR missions will give players plenty of reasons to keep coming back to the future.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media in games such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. When given a choice, are people more inclined to choose a more violent or pacifistic option, and why?
Talk about science and technology. How have advancements in robotics helped to advance medical care? Are artificial limbs and enhancements the wave of the future?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: August 23, 2016
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Adventures, Robots, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.