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YMMV / Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Did Viktor Marchenko believe any of his Pro-Augment rhetoric or was he just a Smug Snake Hypocrite? Was he actually doing any of his actions willingly or just The Pawn for the Illuminati?
    • Does Miller suspect his superiors to be involved with the Illuminati or is he completely unaware of their existence?
    • Are Samizdat complete jokes as media representatives or is the world just that weird?
    • Just how much responsibility does Daria bear for the Harvester murders?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Marchenko is just a slightly stronger Elite Mook in a room filled with traps and drones. Defeating him in a firefight isn't too much of an ordeal, and defeating him stealthily is just a matter of hitting him with a stungun or EMP blast when he doesn't have his TITAN armor up and using a takedown on him. Of course, he can kill Jensen just as easily; sustained fire from his weapon can can kill Jensen in just three seconds, even on the easiest setting with maxed-out Rhino armor.
  • Broken Base: Some players aren't fond of the idea of playing as Adam Jensen again, pointing out how the previous Deus Ex games always used a new protagonist in each new game. Others are fine with it, being fans of the character or welcoming the new change. And others remembered how well changing the protagonist worked out for Deus Ex: Invisible War.
  • Contested Sequel: While gameplay has been significantly improved along with a tighter focus on stealth and exploration and the graphics have greatly improved, the story is widely considered to be worse than the first game due to it obviously being the second game in a trilogy (and thus ending unsatisfyingly) and the game has had a lot of issues with its rather notable microtransaction service, which has been widely criticized. It's also shorter than Human Revolution.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Aria Argento is a surprisingly well-liked character despite the fact she only does the gun tutorial and has some commentary on social issues. The fact she's a cute Augmented Nice Girl who really wants to help the world made her quite popular with players sick of NPCs with hidden agendas.
  • Epileptic Trees: There are subtle hints that the Adam Jensen of this game is a clone of the one we played as in Human Revolution. The one thing we know for sure is that there's a frozen corpse with Adam's facial features hidden inside a crate in a vault, but everything other than that is still speculation backed up by a surprising amount of evidence.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Game-Breaker: See the franchise page.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Golem City is in Prague as well as a ghetto, referring to when the golem was the protector of Prague's Jewish ghetto.
    • An eBook name-drops a couple other Aug ghettos, including the Rust Belt. In real life, this phrase refers to a number of cities in the northeastern United States (particularly around the Great Lakes) that went into economic decline coinciding with the decline of heavy industry. Among these cities is Detroit, the primary hub city of Human Revolution - and given the presence of Sarif Industries in the area, it's likely Detroit is the site of the Rust Belt ghetto.
  • Good Bad Bugs: If Adam is drunk when he uses Miller's NSN, he'll not only remain so through the hacking segment, he'll be permanently drunk even after leaving the chair. (Fortunately, the drunken screen shaking effect can be removed by drinking some more alcohol) If you want a real challenge, you can play the latter half of the game complely drunk. Cutscenes are particulary hilarious, as everyone's faces will twist randomly every moment.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An in-universe example: when Adam meets Rucker in his office at Utulek Station, the latter says that Adam is being used by the Illuminati, and that the real enemies are hidden in the shadows. In The Stinger, it's revealed that Adam is being used (unknowingly) by Lucius Debeers and Dr. Auzenne in order to contact Janus, thus leading the Illuminati right to their biggest enemy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When Koller (the Back-Alley Doctor who maintains Jensen's augs) discovers that he has a bunch of never-before seen implants hidden in his body, he declares, "The shit I found hidden inside you, spliced into your system like that, looks to me like it's from Mars, man!" In the crossover fanfic Mass Effect: Human Revolution, Jensen's genetic modifications, which enable him to bond flawlessly with implants, are suggested to be of Prothean origin.
    • Five of the new augs Jensen gets in Mankind Divided are Focus Enhancement, Icarus Dash, Remote Hacking, Micro Assembler and TITAN Shield. In the fic, Jensen gains the ability to slow down time during fistfights, Biotic Charge (called Zero Shift in-universe), Breach, and he makes extensive use of an Omni-Tool (one of his hobbies is fabricating new limbs for himself). One of the antagonists uses black nano-armor in a flashback.
    • Later in the fic, Jensen and his allies have to look for a floppy disk reading machine because some vital information left behind by someone else had been recorded on a floppy disk. In one of the side-missions for Mankind Divided, Jensen recovered a floppy disk containing important data and that requires him to search for a reader machine among the shops in Prague to read the aforementioned data. Coincidence? Or possibly a reference to the crossover fanfiction? With that in mind, it should be noted that the author of that fanfic was a former Eidos employee (or contractor) who was involved with the development of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Who's to say that maybe some of his old colleagues may be reading his writings...
    • One of the easter eggs in the game is a game box for Knuckles & Knuckles & Knuckles. Flash forward to Sonic Mania which has an "& Knuckles" mode which actually allows you to have 3 Knuckleses on screen at one point in the game.
    • Elias Toufexis was meant to play Jason Brody in Far Cry 3 before being replaced by the current actor. Here, Elias's character goes against someone voiced by James A. Woods, who played the protagonist of Far Cry 4.
  • Narm: This line from the announcement trailer, especially considering it's a Foregone Conclusion that attempts to go along with it will fail:
    Jensen: Their darkness must end.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: The game takes what made Human Revolution so great and improves the gameplay on practically every way; stealth is easier and thus a more viable option for progressing, moving around is easier thanks to the ability to grab ledges, there are more augmentations, weapon customization is now a thing and the much hated combat boss fights are gone, save for the Final Boss who can be taken out via other means as well. However, the story has been criticized for it's short length and that the cliffhanger ending feels more like it's meant to be the halfway point of the game instead of an ending.
  • Porting Disaster: A really mixed bag on this one: while the in-game options for the PC port are varied and massive almost to the point of absurdity, with every little possible thing being able to be turned on and off, the actual port itself is a jumbled mess of horrible code and terrible optimization, along with being a massive resource hog. Gamers have reported hourly crashes, FPS drops despite well exceeding the required hardware and more, along with long (and frequent) loading screens. This is especially jarring since the same company handled the PC porting of the previous game without any issues. Thankfully, by late 2017, the issues seem to have been smoothed over, if recent reviews and firsthand accounts are anything to go off.
    • Unfortunately, it still doesn't play well with SLI or Crossfire, often requiring it to be completely disabled.
  • Ship Tease: Adam gets hit on by multiple women throughout the game, but the only one he warms up to is Aria, who openly worries about him and to whom he's always kind and soft-spoken. Unfortunately, the nature of the story, and Adam still seeming to be hung up over Megan, makes it difficult to explore any potential relationship further within the confines of the game.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Despite ostensibly being the main villain, Viktor Marchenko is nothing more than a pawn for the Illuminati. Many players were interested in the idea of a man who was rebelling against them with violence as well as fighting for Augmented rights. The fact he's nothing more than a False Flag Operation pawn makes him a less interesting character.
    • Bob Page is such a compelling villain that many think he'd make a far better one than Lucius DeBeers despite canonically surviving until the events of Deus Ex. Having him appear as just an Early-Bird Cameo is less than satisfying. Similar feelings exist about Joseph Manderly since he's canonically in charge of Task Force 29. Some fans feel so strongly about this that they openly wish for the sequel to this game to establish and Alternate Continuity just so the player can confront (and kill) these characters as Adam.
    • Duncan MacCready is a Badass Normal no nonsense guy who has quite a few legitimate gripes against Augs, but is nonetheless a dedicated professional. While he only shows up in the beginning and end, there was potential to run more ops with him and develop Jensen’s relationship with him from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork to Vitriolic Best Buddies to Fire-Forged Friends. And show contrasting styles between an augmented and non augmented operative, between Jensen the policeman and MacCready the soldier.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Adam Jensen survives the events of Panchea's destruction, escapes from an Illuminati hospital, and then proceeds to join the Juggernaut Collective before being recruited by Interpol as a specialized anti-terrorist operative. This was detailed in the novel Deus Ex: Black Light but many think it's a better plot than the actual game.
    • Aria Argento has a rare condition which requires double the amount of Neuropozyne. This is used to explain why she doesn't take to the field. The game sets this plot point up as something that may be explored later, but ultimately it is just fluff and doesn't impact anything in the story.
    • The Church of the Machine God is only examined further superficially if you choose to save the bomb maker instead of the Orchid cure - and otherwise, you are only treated to a “dying declaration” of sorts if you chose the Heist instead. However, the premise could have been continued - a quasi religion appeals to disaffected Augs to assimilate in and become more machine than human. It could have explored The Singularity, common fears about it, offering itself as a contrast to the ARC, possibly it being another Illuminati scheme to enslave Augs etc.
    • The plot involving the true Eliza Cassan and her fusion with the Hyron Drones, her attempts to evade and resist the Illuminati while becoming more sentient and her getting closer to Adam had a great deal of story and character potential that could have been explored more thoroughly over the course of the game and be part of the main storyline, instead of being mostly relegated to an interesting side mission that ultimately amounts to very little.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Like in the third game, some of the augmentation vs non-augmentation tension was compared to actual systems of apartheid throughout history.
    • In the run-up to the game's release, certain commentators noted that violent actions done by members of marginalized communities have been considered, by some, to be the result of said people being treated like they were less than human and pushed towards the edge. One line from Adam sums it up well:
      Jensen: Treat people like animals long enough, they'll start acting like animals.
    • The game's advertising also uses the phrase "mechanical apartheid," which has actually gotten criticism from people that think that the two situations are not at all similar. It's mentioned by some aug advocates that a genocide is in progress, with augmented people first being separated, then having their rights taken away, then killed en masse. It can also apply with "Aug Lives Matter", an appropriation of the controversial Black Lives Matter movement, which has been heavily criticized. The latter usage is referred to at least once in a magazine. In a similar vein, Jensen can speak with a Prague police officer who regrets her profession chosen due to the political climate; "If I could do it again, I'd have been a fireman. No one looks into a fire and thinks, 'Shit, does this one really deserve it?'"
    • The game has also become divisive over this among fans with some believing the game has a valid political message and others thinking it's just a bunch of meaningless symbolism.
    • All the people treating the situation in the game as parallel to various form of historical apartheid miss one crucial point - as far as anyone is concerned, augmented people are extremely dangerous because they are prone to unexplained homicidal rage and equipped to act on it. Maybe a dozen people in the world (mostly the Illuminati and Jensen) know that the augs' actions were triggered on purpose without their knowledge or consent. There would be little support for nuclear energy if most power stations went through a Chernobyl-scale incident at the same time. But if you're looking for shaping the public perception by orchestrating events behind the scenes, this game is one of the finest examples.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: The announcement trailer goes out of its way to portray Jensen as a Messiah figure, with lighting and framing tricks giving the illusion that he has angel wings. It may also be a Call-Back to the trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which portrayed him as Icarus.