Though it’s only been out a month or so, the cyberpunk shooting adventure game Deus Ex Mankind Divided (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC) is already getting a story-driven expansion. But while Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift (also Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC) isn’t a radical departure from the main game, it is a short but challenging one-off mission that has all of the elements, and all of the engagement, of the main game.
For those who haven’t played the Deus Ex Mankind Divided yet, you can click here to read my review for a longer assessment, but here’s a quick recap. An adventure game with first-person shooter combat, this not only has all the tenets of modern role-playing games — looting, upgradable skills, side quests, and so on — but you also have the option of shooting your enemies with lethal or non-lethal weapons, knocking them out or into the next life with a well-placed smack, or sneaking past them. All of which is set in a future in which cyborgs and other cyberpunk tropes are the norm.
Or, to put it in pop culture terms, Deus Ex Mankind Divided is basically like if someone made a good Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex game by injecting the combat of Call Of Duty: Black Ops 3 into a Mass Effect game.
As for Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift, this add-on is set in the same world and timeframe as the main game. But unlike the expansions for Fallout 4 and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, it isn’t technically an expansion of the main game. Not only is this mini adventure found in the “Jensen’s Stories” part of the menu, but you also don’t play it as the same version of Adam Jensen that you were whenever you last played the main story.
Instead, Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift sends you into battle with just the standard compliment of equipment and skills, though you do have 13 additional skill points so you can customize your character as you see fit. It’s also set in a much smaller section of the city, and while there are areas off the beaten path to explore, it’s unconnected to the one in the main game. Oh, and all the stores are closed.
As for the what you do, Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift has you infiltrating The Blade, a highly secure corporate information archive. Not surprisingly, this results in you getting into a bunch of shootouts, being sneaky, hacking terminals…y’know, everything you did in the main game. Well, except all the shopping.
Oh, and also the living. That’s because Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift is slightly harder than the regular game. In part, this is dictated by the story, by the high security of The Blade. But it’s also because you don’t have all of the equipment or the augmentations you had before, in the main game. Though this, admittedly, only becomes a problem towards the end, when you’re an area filled with drones, auto turrets, and walking mini tanks. It’s here, during this climactic battle, that Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift slips the line from challenging to frustrating.
Sadly, this is not the only problem with Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift. It also has all of the issues that plagued the main game: The somewhat atypical and counter-intuitive button layouts, the awkward platforming, the bad lip sync in the cutscenes, the slow load times when you die…. And if those things ruined Deus Ex Mankind Divided for you, well, then you’re not going to want to play this add-on.
Though if they didn’t, I’d still wait a while before playing Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift. In part because, for better or worse, this is essentially a miniature version of the main game. But it’s also because this add-on is rather short. It took me just an afternoon to complete, and not the whole afternoon, either. Which is why I suggest you wait until all of the story add-ons are released and play them back-to-back like an ad-hoc sequel. Deus Ex Mankind Still Divided, if you will.
And that’s basically Deus Ex Mankind Divided System Rift in a nutshell. It’s kind of like a having a single slice of leftover pizza hours after you enjoy a pizza dinner. Sure, it’s tasty, almost as tasty as when it was delivered. But you’ll probably enjoy it even more if wait and eat it later with the rest of the leftover slices.