The first story DLC for Square Enix and Eidos’ Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has arrived, and it brings with it some satisfying gameplay and a returning character from Human Revolution. System Rift reunites Adam Jensen and Frank Pritchard, though Jensen isn’t quite happy about it. Pritchard needs Jensen’s help to get into the Palisades Blade, a highly secure data bank to gain some info on the Santeau Group and their construction of a sanctuary city in Oman for augs. Jensen reluctantly agrees, since the request to pick up an access card in a bar seems simple enough. Naturally, things don’t stay simple, and a simple pick-up turns into a full-fledged heist. As in the main game, you can choose your style of play (stealth or all out assault, lethal or not, or any mix that’s needed). How well you fare over the 5-6 hours it will take to complete your mission will depend both on your skill and your choice of augments. Outfitting yourself like you were in the main game may not work as well for you here, so you need to choose wisely.
The beginning is easy enough to use stealth to move about, but once you enter the bank things become a bit trickier. Ammunition and supplies are a bit on the scarce side, and you’ll be up against armed guards, robot sentries, and turrets. Things get an added challenge when said turrets, robots, and drones get specialized heat sensing technology that can even see you when cloaked. Patience is the key, and taking in your surroundings is especially crucial if you want to be quieter about things. Missteps will bring quick deaths (along with, sadly, those long loading times), but as long as you save often you won’t get set back too far.
Gameplay is pretty smooth, and I experienced no technical issues playing the DLC on the PS4. Visually it matches the main game in detail, and the voice acting is pretty well done. There isn’t a whole lot that ties into the main game’s overarching story (though it does add some nice little details). It does feel like it ties in a bit more to the game’s Breach mode, and there are multiple endings (a post credits cut scene reflects your choices during the mission). If you enjoyed the main game, you will probably enjoy this. It was a solid enough experience that I felt I got my money’s worth out of it (I didn’t get the season pass), and it does offer some replayability. The characters are well done, as they are in the main game. Pritchard is just as arrogant as you remember from Human Revolution, and a new character, a hacker named Shadowchild, blends in well with the other two.
In all, System Rift is a solid DLC pack worthy of the main game. It may not add much to the main story in Mankind Divided, but it does offer a fun and challenging side mission that provides some nice little details. The gameplay is strong enough to carry this DLC, and multiple endings give incentive to go through more than once. Had this tied more strongly into Mankind Divided’s story it would be a no brainer for fans of the main game to pick this up. As it is, it is worth the $11.99 (USD) asking price, but it’s also something I wouldn’t say you need to rush to get. For those who do, there is satisfying gameplay, a decent side story, and brings back a familiar character along with introducing a well fleshed out new one. System Rift makes for a nice addition for those who want more time with Jensen, and the DLC is time well spent.
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