Taking on the responsibility of modernizing a franchise as etched into video game legend as Deus Ex was no easy task, but in Human Revolution, Square Enix Montreal absolutely did it justice. Effectively a reboot of the series, Human Revolution earned critical acclaim for pushing the franchise in a new direction while simultaneously capturing the essence of the original. Four years on, last year’s sequel, Mankind Divided, looked set to add further polish to the role-playing systems, gameplay and fascinating cyberpunk narrative that had sat so well with its fanbase.
Unfortunately, Mankind Divided fell short of expectations both critically and commercially. Although reception to its refined gameplay mechanics was mostly positive, Mankind Divided’s story largely felt stifled and incomplete — a sentiment compounded by its abrupt ending. These frustrations were further aggravated by the inclusion of a slightly nonsensical minigame, which was later released as a microtransaction-heavy standalone minigame.
Rumors circled that publishing decisions from Square Enix had caused a mismanagement of resources and the reduced overall scope of the game (Deus Ex was originally set to become one of the publisher’s hallmark franchise). What we know for certain is that, following underwhelming sales, the Montreal team has been reallocated to other projects and the franchise has been indefinitely put on ice.