My review of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (3/10)

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    @Prone Squanderer

    The story of his firing is kind of interesting. Apparently, the guy was a Jared Leto-esque prankster in RL.

    https://www.neowin.net/news/david-sarifs-voice-actor-self-destructs-blaming-illuminati

    The Illuminati is one of those groups people love to bring up when they’re talking about conspiracy theories. There are real-world secret societies, like the Bilderberg Group and the Freemasons, but the Illuminati seems to be one of the ones which captures a lot of attention. Thanks to the efforts of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise, the Knight’s Templar has also become a popular group for all these theories to be based around. The Illuminati can be blamed for everything and anything, which is what makes them so appealing. Terrorist attacks, political decisions which turned out to be disasters, entire wars, a divorce; the Illuminati is behind all of it.



    Stephen Shellen would agree with this, though you may not recognize him by this name. Shellen provided the voice acting for David Sarif in the 2011 title Deus Ex: Human Revolution. David Sarif was the head of Sarif Industries, a world leader in human augmentation in the game’s near-future timeline.

    The game dealt with the concept of the Illuminati, who are portrayed as a secret society dedicated to the ‘perfection of individuals’. Their main goal is to dominate civilization in any and every manner they can. The game’s story comes with a detailed backstory, including the argument that John F. Kennedy was installed as President through the Illuminati, and that his assassin (normally given as Lee Harvey Oswald), was an Illuminati conspirator.

    Shellen believes the Illuminati are coming for him, and his time is limited before he dies for real. He uploaded a YouTube video showing the extent of his concern. According to him, the Illuminati are spying on him at present, and he is due to die on July 30th 2012. In other words, today. It’s hard to tell whether he is actually in character as David Sarif, and the whole thing is a big advertising ploy, or if he genuinely believes he’s going to be bumped off by a secret society.

    In the past, he has mentioned the Illuminati during interviews and the like. He’s even complained that they orchestrated his fall from grace and his wife’s divorce. He sounds insane in this sense, but at the moment it’s possible it is acting, and Eidos are planning an additional Deus Ex title. According to some people, another piece of downloadable content was planned for Human Revolution, but information on this DLC was pulled again. Perhaps the company decided to work on another game, or they’re genuinely concerned for the mental health of Shellen.

    All the same, Shellen’s apparent madness is concerning, if nothing else. He’s blaming something you’d never expect for spying on him. Fruit flies. Yes, really. Flies are working with the Illuminati. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

    There was a large discussion on the /v/ board of 4chan, though this discussion has since been removed for whatever reason. There is an archive though it does not seem as complete as the main thread. Various arguments and theories came out of the woodwork then, none of which painted a happy picture. For whatever reason discussion also mentioned some link with the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, by James Holmes.

    For some reason, Shellen’s Wikipedia page was edited on the 28th to add his date of death – given as the 30th. There was also evidence of what would kill him as well, so we’re going to sit and wait on this one since it seems very odd. His Wikipedia page was edited repeatedly throughout the day, with various different changes made.

    Among other things, these changes included adding the words “Icarus has found you” (a reference to the original Deus Ex, and an Illuminati-built AI that acted against the player), changing his years active from ‘1982-2012’, then ‘1982-[REDACTED]’, and adding an additional entry to his filmography, crediting him as ‘Deceased Man’. It seems pointless but at the same time, it would make a fantastic promotion for an additional game if it was to be announced. It seems very outlandish, but it's intriguing to watch how a voice actor can self-destruct via technology, in a slightly depressing way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  2. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Didn't know that.

    I would have liked to have known more about Pritchard's fate as well as Malik. I'd like to think canon was Adam was able to save her.

    I do like that they've kept Bob Page's voice actor from the first game though. Shame he's still barely in the game.
     
  3. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    Malik canonically survived but they take forever to show that, don't know what that's about. She would have made a much better contact than Alex Vega.
     
  4. Prone Squanderer

    Prone Squanderer A bit of a Sillius Soddus.

    Jan 3, 2016
    Just looked it up, a little reference but I would have preferred maybe a small Infolink chat or just something else.
     
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  5. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I am curious, what is actually the conection between Mankind Divided and Deus Ex 1? Is there even anything that leads to it?
     
  6. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    It er... Actually, I am not even sure. I've done some reading up but aside from some characters, nothing too direct comes up.

    EDIT:
    Oh wait, there are a few call forwards, mostly minor stuff and some references to 1:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/CallForward/DeusExMankindDivided
     
  7. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    The Callbacks are everywhere or Callforwards, I suppose. It's really becoming the crazy world of Deus Ex.

    * The Spanish Flu virus is coming back
    * Bob Page is present in the game along with Lucius Debeers, Stanton Dowd, and Elizbaeth DuClair
    * Bob Page has cybernetics like his FEMA Flunky did in the original game
    * Versalife is mentioned everywhere as well as suspiciously NOT working on a Spanish Flu vaccine (indeed, it's implied he's doing a Gray Death predecessor)
    * Samisdat, the underground newspaper, moves to France and rebrands itself Silhouette.
    * Task Force 29 uses the UNATCO theme as its handle.
    * The Kill Switch moved into cyborgs like Marchenko are homages to the ones used for Gunther and Anna. The achievement is called "Laputan Machine."
    * The United States' economy has collapsed with the West Coast and several other groups preparing to withdraw
    * Your boss, Miller, used to fight the militia from the first game.
    * The Harvesters are losing ground to Tracer Tong's Triad.

    There's even a Deus Ex 2 tie-in about how they're constructing the Antarctic Base which Jenson eventually uses. I'm kind of annoyed by that because I was hoping that'd be decanonized.
     
  8. BigGuyCIA

    BigGuyCIA Yer fond of me Lobster!

    Oct 26, 2016
    MKD was alright. They sacrificed the gold/black filter for a more "grounded" reality which makes sense when you think about it [the golden age is over] but makes the game bland and generic. It's half of what Human Revolution was, story wise, but content wise it's packed since they had one hub to build up around.

    The franchise is getting drawn and quartered by corporate at Square Enix trying to figure out how they can sell the main story to gamer's in chunks. It's gruesome, and it showed with MKD. Terrible ending to what was supposed to be a story-rich experience.

    Certainly not a 3/10 game, but not a stellar one at that.
     
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  9. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I'm one of those guys who depends on Assassins Creed to provide me with at least one of the games I play a year. I'd be entirely cool if they could develop something similar with Deus Ex and make yearly games where you're doing cyberpunk adventures in the near future. It's really not a great franchise to do that in given how they're not low-key games like, say Cyberpunk 2077 is set to be, but I'd be cool with that if they wanted to do it.

    Still, for that, you need very strong characters to ground the story as well as solid gameplay.

    I admit, I'm disappointed the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided movie never got off the ground.

    I moved my review from complete crap to underwhelming but my disappointment was great.
     
  10. GroundZero

    GroundZero Tearing up the asphalt

    7
    Dec 31, 2016
    Is it me or Alex Vega is one of the most Street Fighter-ish name ever? Also, are the franchise close to tying in with the first game? I would like to go full "NANOMACHINES, SON!"

    If I remember correctly, once Jensen joined the Juggernaut Collective (actually took me a while before realizing he works for them), he went and joined TF29 to see if they could get closer to finding out the Illuminati's plans. All these leads to a string of web-like conspiracies and smokes and mirrors.
     
  11. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    Is there any reason NOT to hire David Hayter to do the voice of a second Deus Ex protagonist?

    It's kind of weird because I think Jensen would probably enjoy working at Task Force 29. They seem mostly on the up and up except for the fact the Illuminati are using them as catspaws. But, really, they're using everyone at catpaws.

    If I were to rewrite this game, and believe me, I want to rewrite this game, I'd have a Double Agent-esque series of choices where you'd have to choose between advancing the Juggernaut Collective's goals while also helping Task Force 29 until you make a final choice between them.
     
  12. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    Well, understandably if something has already a great legacy behind it the expectation will be much higher. I tend to give completely new franchises, stories and concepts a bit more leeway compared to already established work.
     
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  13. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I admit, expectations were high for Mankind Divided. As much as I loved the original Deus Ex and consider it a major influence on my writing (Esoterrorism started as Deus Ex with magic instead of technology, I freely admit), I actually felt Human Revolutions was the superior game. Not just because it actually functioned and had graphics you could see but it had a stronger human element.

    They aren't screwing up the lore and actually seem to be advancing the timeline to the original game despite most of the new gamers never playing it. Still, I just can't help but feel I was given an unfinished product with a lot of really confusing disconnects from the original game--which is important for a game that I felt had an incredibly strong story.

    Not just for video games but in general.
     
  14. GroundZero

    GroundZero Tearing up the asphalt

    7
    Dec 31, 2016
    Imagine seeing two gravelly voiced and passive protagonist meeting each other, one of the most awkward staring competition and will probably induced some sort of voice fetish.

    I thought so too but then, Jensen has been always in the middle of every conspiracies, plus the fact he's the only surviving experiment meant for a perfect and unrestricted augmentations. He got hit hard in HR. I can see him trying really hard to break down the Illuminati.

    Honestly, I thought this was the whole deal of the game the first time I played it, but was left hanging right after the abrupt ending. I had to read up on the novel to get make a good bridge for the story. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending a little time learning the story but you'd think they at least make a good follow-up/recap for MD and not just from the first one., especially for someone who don't use the media often.
     
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  15. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I'm just saying with Stephen Russel voicing Corvo, we're in uncharted territory of talent poaching. We can get Michael Masden as the villain for extra points. I'm entirely on the voice talent side of the recent controversy and hopes it gets resolved soon as I'd love to see some of my old favorites back in mainstream games.

    I admit, I'm kind of annoyed Bob Page only shows up for cameos. I think he's a great potential character for a villain in Deus Ex 3 even if we can't kill him.

    I wonder if we'll have a finale in the future where Old Jensen meets JC Denton over the grave of David Sarif.
     
  16. GroundZero

    GroundZero Tearing up the asphalt

    7
    Dec 31, 2016
    Oh for sure, I mean, if losing your vocal chords doesn't justify fair pay then....


    MD is definitely the calm before the storm. We'll probably be targeting towards Versalife (Hong Kong probably) and hopefully have Eliza help us put down Picus.

    Nah, it'll definitely be over the grave of Pritchard's underrated movie.
     
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  17. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    Viktor Marchenko is a villain that's very frustrating because I'm fairly sure 99% of what he says is complete bullshit. After all, we know he's an agent of the Illuminati sent to make the entirety of the ARC organization look bad and that he has a Kill Switch which makes him obey them so he's probably not doing it willingly. I wish we'd gotten a chance to know what he's really up to and motivated by.
     
  18. Supreme Shah Ismail

    Supreme Shah Ismail Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    422
    Sep 17, 2016
    I liked MKD enough so it made my list for games of the year list. But I agree its a pretty bad sequel. In general im not a super fan of the deus ex games, I like them a lot and I will buy the games (I have played original, HR and MKD) but im not one of those people who worships the original like some masterpiece (imo its not) or considers it the GREEEAAATEST PC GAME OF AAAAALLLLLL TIIIIIIMMMMMEEEE. Hell I liked HR more than the first one. (If you guys want me to elaborate why I think that im more than happy to)

    To be fair it polishes and improves upon HR revolutions gameplay. Its still very enjoyable as a Deus ex game and still in my opinion an immersive sim a sub genre I adore. Its pretty (I dont miss that piss filter one bit), plays well, while far less hub areas/levels than HR all are intricately designed and incredibly good levels/hubs, improves/polishes/adds to gameplay from before (but more or less plays the same) and a few other things. Also the boss battle(not plural) has a non lethal approach now.

    As for issues...For starters square enix's various corporate shenanigans is apparent. From mobile app, to breach to fucking micro transactions in deus ex. The game doesn't feel unfinished in the sense no mans sky does in gameplay but its story lacks a proper intro and a proper end. It feels cut for DLC/sequels. (as of right now idk if the dlc is actually gonna tie loose ends or not) Also an issue that has persisted in both HR and now MKD is the game while touches on a lot of issues (racism, class, terrorism) its never about any of them and never discusses anything about them. If you want to see a fantastic critique of that watch errant signals videos on it. In other words its themes (Or lack thereof) are incoherent or nonexistent.

    Finally I have to agree with someone above. It doesn't have the same tone as the first game. This goes for HR as well. For some reason the original feels more grounded in reality than the newer ones. It felt far less cyber punk than this one. I dont mean that as an insult but I always felt the original was more future spy thriller with conspiracies vs cyber punk dystopia.
     
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  19. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Carbon Dated and Proud

    Sep 17, 2016
    I'd love to hear more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  20. Supreme Shah Ismail

    Supreme Shah Ismail Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    422
    Sep 17, 2016
    I think its a good game no doubt. It has important contributions to make in the FPS genre as well. But I feel its parts don't necessarily make a cohesive whole. The shooting is pretty bad and the stealth is janky as it comes. Where as in HR/MD stealth and shooting are both nice and fluid. The augmentations are arguably the best aspect of the character development (this is why im glad the did away with skills and had multiple augs with various functions and builds are based off which augs you get) as they unlike skills considerably have a large affect on how you play and changes how you play (ex. the strength boost) Im sorry but I dont feel the skill system is very good either. Why is poison resistance and swimming skills? I feel it has a fairly lax system where as a more demanding system like fallout or system shock 2 would have been preferred.

    What the game really has going for it is choice in gameplay/story. Huge intricate levels/great exploration help a lot too. Its influences are apparent with thief, half life and system shock. Its nice to see a blend of the three games come together however as I stated above it doesn't necessarily mean it does it ALL WELL. I mean its nice that I have the option to shoot or stealth through areas but it doesnt help that neither of those options are fun or polished.

    I feel being able to do many things at a basic level (hacking, shooting, stealth, etc) and having various augs to further enhance those aspects and other augs that drastically change the way you move/play through the game is a much better system than b4.
     
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