The sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Masculinity Divided continues to test the relations between augmented humans and your average Joe.
In the two years since HR this social issue has become so severe that some augmented humans are segregated from the rest of civilisation, living in ghettos and having to fight for their rights through terrorist groups.
Morals Debunked also introduces a new feature of Adam’s cybernetic arm; the Gun Arm. This allows Adam to fire his infamous nanoblades in a variety of ways (for example, silently killing enemies or exploding to loudly dispatch several at once). New augmentations have also appeared, adding more variety in the form of remote hacking (rather self-explanatory) and the Icarus Dash (a kind of rapid dodge which can also send Adam vertically) to name but two.
It IS however a shame that Mankind Divided does exactly what it says on the tin, deliberately dividing its consumers.
Augment your Pre-Order.
I honestly can’t BELIEVE that anyone could be
Wait. Breathe. Calm thoughts. Puppies. Nuclear Throne. Kojima free of Konami.
There we go.
For the sake of not being unduly negative, let’s take a look at the process before making a judgement.
Augment your Pre-Order is the pre-order process currently in place for Mankind Divided, and it operates thusly. Instead of offering set rewards all at once for pre-ordering the newest Deus Ex, a choice from several rewards is being offered to allow the consumer to ‘customise [their] Deus Ex experience from the very beginning’. At each tier of reward a grand total of one option can be selected and received, meaning that no standard edition will unlock all content.
But that’s not all folks!
As more pre-orders are placed, more reward tiers are unlocked. Tier 1 is a choice of the Enforcer, Infiltrator or Classic packs, including a skin and a few tailored upgrades for Adam. Tier 2 is the choice of a digital artbook or an OST sampler. Tier 3 is a new mission (thankfully everyone gets this – everyone who pre-orders, that is). Tier 4 is the choice of a digital comic book or a novella. Tier 5 is the grand prize of releasing the game 4 days early! It remains to be seen if this early release date is open to those who buy on the day (probably not), but better rope your friends into the same boat anyway!
Chose the wrong Tier 1 reward? No worries! The pre-order video previously linked does call the Tier 1 pack rewards ‘DLC’, so if you choose wrong you can simply buy the other packs as Day 1 DLC! Also, as Polygon have so artfully demonstrated, the only way to unlock all rewards from the pre-order campaign (as in, all rewards from all tiers) is to purchase the Collector’s Edition for a mere extra $90. Don’t worry though, the edition also contains an artbook, Adam Jensen statue and steel book! Oh, and special packaging. Talk about value.
NOW we can get onto opinions. Please comment with your own thoughts, but allow me to provide my own;
Do not touch this game with a ten-foot barge-pole before launch.
Do not pay into this corrosive and anti-consumer pre-order behaviour.
Putting your money down for a game that will almost certainly have enough physical copies to cope with demand on release and which is available as a digital download is not only a recipe to get burned by potential launch problems, it also gives the okay to (in this case) carve up content which will be on the disc at launch and generate a pseudo-Kickstarter campaign for an already finished product.
Release date is the 23rd February 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and Windows. I for one will make the smart choice, and wait until then.