Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - System Rift DLCOverview -
If there is one thing for sure about the world of 'Deus Ex' and more recently, of 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,' it's that whomever the man is behind the curtain, there is likely another beyond that and again beyond that. There is as ever, really only penultimate truths.
Fortunately for Adam Jensen, each turn of the screw only makes him slightly more grizzled and inexplicably in a world of mechanical apartheid, his augments become powerful as his JT29/rogue operator status soars to new heights.
Thus, the 'System Rift' story DLC, which reunites Jensen with an old frienemy in Francis Pritchard comes in boasting of answers. This time out, the answers in question concern the Santeau Group, but what looms larger in the heart of 'Mankind Divided's darkly futuristic Prague is the Palisade Blade, to which Jensen and co. are drawn to like flies.
Naturally, the visuals are in step with the main game. This being DLC, there's not much in store that I hadn't seen before, but the game's art style and world really lends itself to reuse. The facility to which I keep referring is at once unspectacular and compelling. It's an infiltration and a heist, and this target beats the crummy apartment, sewers, factory and other industrial settings. Basically, the theme of hidden wealth has overridden my need for visual splendor.
The other reason I'm bumping up the score slightly from the main game is because I got to play 'System Rift' in with HDR enabled. That likely sounds like a ringing endorsement, but if anything the HDR mode has got me thinking that normal game has some issues with its global light level. I think I now played through the story in error in terms of brightness. (This may be due to some standards issue in the ship build.) In contrast, the HDR mode gets along much better with my display. Even so, it's been fun testing it out, and I look forward to what the near future holds in that area.
Turning the HDR mode on does ruin some of the load screens, specifically the character portraits:
Using HDR can also effect several smaller touches that had me wondering about the game's filters:
Without HDR, 35% Brightness:
Without HDR, 100% Brightness:
No severe faults here, and the voice cast wasn't as limited as some DLC episodes I've played. At least three key characters put in plenty of dialog, which helps the production value. Nevertheless, I can think of two figures that would have rounded out the cast had they contributed more. The opening credits are fun, especially at this October time of year.
'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - System Rift' made for a happy surprise and happy return to one of my favorite 2016 games. There is story and gameplay worth having here, but nothing radical like a full-powered Jensen or even new weapons or abilities. Somehow though, 'System Rift' does deliver on content that links the main game with 'Breach.' I'd be happy if the other big DLC, 'A Criminal Past,' can deliver as effectively.
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