The Deus Ex series is made up of games with complex narratives set in a flashy cyberpunk future. The newest entry, Mankind Divided, is set to release later this month. With the title so close now, you might be wondering what kind of catch up you’ll need to do in order to bring yourself up to speed for Adam Jensen’s newest adventure. Well, we can help clear things up a bit for you.
To start off, in no way do you need to play the original Deus Ex or its sequel, Invisible War, in order to understand Mankind Divided. The game is a direct sequel to Human Revolution however, picking up two years after the ending of its predecessor.
Human Revolution is the third game in the series, and was the first Deus Ex we’d seen since 2003’s Invisible War. It starred a brand new character named Adam Jensen, a security manager and a heavily augmented man. Now the catch is that Human Revolution is actually a prequel to the first two Deus Ex games taking place in the year 2027, whereas the original starts in 2o52.
Human Revolution of course shares many of the big overarching themes with the rest of the series, like discrimination against augmented people, and the concept of choice. There are some small story connections between the two titles as well, and a particular a scene after Human Revolution’s credits will tie into this next game, though not in a major, experience-altering way. By this same token, Mankind Divided will contain references to the original Deus Ex, but nothing integral to the story.
The general point is that you don’t have to worry if you haven’t played a Deus Ex game before. In a post on the PlayStation Blog last year, Jean-Francois Dugas, Mankind Divided’s executive director, commented on how they’re making the game accessible to newcomers.
“Our goal is to make the new game satisfying for those who played DXHR without alienating newcomers,” he said. “The way we’re building the story, the world state, etc., you should have a very good understanding of what happened without having played it.”
While Mankind Divided may do a decent job bringing you up to speed on the basic events of Human Revolution, if you want to understand the true scope of things and more about some the characters you interact with, you’ll want to play the first game. The events of Human Revolution defined much of the conflicts that are raging at the start of Mankind Divided. As the name suggests, prejudice and tension has mounted like never before between augmented and non-augmented humans.
Even if you don’t have the time for a full playthrough of Human Revolution, it might be worth looking up a synopsis and some character descriptions if you’re thinking about jumping into the new game. You certainly don’t have to so to enjoy Mankind Divided, but it may help give you more context. Then, after you’ve beaten Mankind Divided, you can think about jumping into Deus Ex, to see where the whole series began.