Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, sequel to 2011’s incredible Human Revolution, is finally here, and cybernetically-enhanced super-agent Adam Jensen is back stealthing, stealing, hacking and blasting his way through another conspiracy perpetrated by shadowy old people who employ bigger, younger people to blow stuff up for them. As tensions rise between Augmented and Natural human beings, you’ll often be forced to make tough choices, or find yourself up to your neck in bad guys. This little collection of beginner’s tips will help you guide Jensen through the mother of all bad weekends.
1. HAVE A PLAN
While it’s possible, and perfectly acceptable, to generalise your augmentations and play however you like, there’s an achievement / trophy for beating the game without killing anyone. If you don’t care about that stuff then go nuts, but if you want to reach the end without a single mortality (and that includes the final boss), then pick skills that facilitate stealth and non-lethal attacks. Most skills, including the Typhoon augment, have a pacifist setting, but make sure you’ve equipped the right ammo.
2. HELP THE HELP
Very early on you’ll receive a quest to help your augmentation specialist, Vaclav, with a sensitive matter involving a local crime boss. Follow this quest even if you ignore all others, because if you do, Vaclav will use the item you retrieve to solve Jensen’s overclocking problem, which is invaluable in the late game. Overclocking allows you to unlock some really cool experimental augments like remote hacking and Titan armour, but without Vaclav’s upgrade you’ll have to permanently sacrifice another augment to use them.
Even if you’re going down the nuts-on-the-table lethal path, hacking is hugely useful. From safes hiding Praxis Kits and Weapon attachments to data nodes in laptops holding passwords, credits and Easter eggs, almost everything is worth hacking. Later you can override security cameras, turrets and robots to make getting around easier. There’s more balance this time between lethal and non-lethal rewards, but Mankind Divided is still kinder to those players who hack successfully first time and make it through areas unseen.
4. DON’T SPEND IT ALL AT ONCE
Although it’s a tough proposition, you can probably make it through the whole game without spending a single Praxis Point. Jensen’s augs are there to give you the edge rather than as compulsory purchases, so you’ll rarely need to impulsively spend points as you earn them. Instead, wait until you need certain augments. You won’t often need the breather augment, for example, but there are a few places where equipping it can reveal secrets. Don’t unlock it until you need it, and you won’t walk around with a useless augment for the whole game prior.
Turrets, cameras and drones are a pain in the arse, as are security robots and heavily armoured police officers. Add laser tripwires and augmented enemies into the mix and it’s even worth carrying EMP rounds for that shotgun you like blowing people to bits with. There are numerous occasions where it’s just easier to disable a security measure and sneak by an obstacle, and a silenced pistol with an EMP functionality will be your best friend. Thankfully these rounds are plentiful, and careful, economic use of them means you’ll rarely run out.
6. BREAK & ENTER
Jensen may be an ex-cop and all-round hero by default, but he’s not adverse to a bit of light cat burglary from time to time, and it’s amazing what you’ll find stashed in the apartments of normal folk. There are places all over the game world you can break into, and they usually hide useful things like biocells, painkillers, bullets and booze. Don’t be shy about raiding locked storage bays either; you can find weapon upgrades, Praxis Kits and ammunition. Oddly, no one seems to mind cybernetic Interpol agent with a Satan beard rifling through their stuff. You can even head down into the basement of most stores and pick them clean, too.
Exploration and creativity are key in Mankind Divided. You’ll rarely find yourself without options, and in the later game Jensen’s considerable skill-set makes the world a playground. Mines, gas, invisibility, the strength to break down walls, a blade-launcher and the excellent Typhoon weapon make him an unstoppable badass. Improvisation offers up some very cool opportunities – one of my favourite moments was taking out a room of guards quietly and quickly using a tranquillizer rifle, my cloaking Aug and some smoke grenades. It got messy, of course, but I managed it without a single kill or raised alarm. Explore for alternate routes, find passwords and use the environment to your advantage.
8. ABUSE THE DO-OVER
I know “save-scumming” is frowned upon, but Mankind Divided presents several occasions where you’ll need to pick a fork in the road. There are also moments where you’ll wonder if picking that level 5 safe is worth your last batch of software or your only remaining multitool, or if it’s going to ruin your game if you shoot some annoying douchebag in the face. The ability to save anywhere outside of combat stops Mankind Divided ever becoming too hard, but it’s incredibly useful nonetheless and, let’s be honest, you don’t have to use it. Also, the fairly generous autosave isn’t always much of a guarantee against a room full of augmented soldiers.