By design, Deus Ex Mankind Divided was built to take advantage of the new Dawn Engine. That meant greater flexibility in approach, more verticality, and plenty of crawling through ventilation shafts. In addition, protagonist Adam Jensen has new augments, weapons, and an all-new multiplayer mode to go along with his single player shenanigans. Prima has unsurprisingly created a hint guide, but there is a lot more on display here than just a simple walkthrough.
Kicking off the hardbound collectible is a forward with Executive Game Director, Jean-François Dugas. The next few pages are dedicated to quick overviews and character art for the major players, including familiar players like Adam Jensen, Eliza Cassan, and David Sarif, as well as newcomers like Alex Vega and Jim Miller. All of these characters are given a little bit of backstory, as well some high-resolution artwork. In addition, there are also sections devoted to the various organizations you’ll encounter as well as places you’ll visit.
In between each section, and easily one of my favorite features, are two-page art spreads. Sometimes it’s just a concept for an alleyway, other times it shows off a Blade Runner-esque set of shops being doused with a downpour of rain. All in all, these spreads were a nice supplement that didn’t feel like filler.
As the Deus Ex series is all about options, there is no “right way” to tackle and event. Accordingly, the book spends a great deal of time going over various combat approaches, as well as how to use improvements like the inventory wheel, Biocells, and recommendations tailored to a specific play style. These recommendations even have suggestions on what augmentations might suit that particular approach.
Hacking methodologies have changed since Human Revolution, so the book spends several pages on the augmentations you can equip, their effects, and software you might use to tip the odds in your favor for more difficult hacks.
I was surprised to see 19 pages devoted to the new multiplayer mode, Breach. If this multiplayer foray is your cup of tea, there is a full page and a half modifier list that gives an idea of the rarity of various drops, as well as descriptions and effect of any you might find. It’s a surprisingly comprehensive section for a component I didn’t think needed too much detail.
Unlike many guides, it isn’t until page 132 that the focus shifts to the single player experience. From here, the guide does a great job of defining the mission overall, but not pushing the player into either play style. The guide gives solid advice on the types of augments that might benefit a stealth approach or an all-out assault. It also defines side missions, the decisions you might face, and the potential outcomes for those choices.
I was surprised to find that door and safe codes in Deus Ex Mankind Divided are not randomized. In fact, they are all listed in this book, as are the Pocket Secretary triangle codes that you might otherwise have to find in the environment.
If you pre-ordered the game, you also have access to additional content entitled Jensen’s Stories. I didn’t expect to see it covered here, but lo and behold, this optional bonus content is covered here in its entirety.
The last section of this guide is the highlight of the whole guide. Beyond the very thorough walkthrough, there are also four full bios, a multi-page behind-the-scenes Q&A, and an eight-page teaser for another Deus Ex product — The Art of Deus Ex Universe. After the final turn of this 288 page hardback book is the last add-in — a nearly 8.5×11” concept art lithograph. I’m not sure if they are randomized, but mine was a fairly uninspired ground level view of what looks to be the aug ghetto. I wasn’t impressed by it, but I thought it was a nice touch.
The best part about buying guides from Prima Games is that they all come with books in an eGuide format. Their online guides are indexed, searchable, and contain every bit of content available in the physical version. This one was no exception, giving me a handy electronic version for reference when I needed a reference in a pinch.