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‘Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Breach’ Hands-On Impressions

I recently spent some time playing the all-new Breach mode that will be included for free with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided when it is released on August 23. Take a look at the newly-released reveal trailer for the standalone mode below.

What Is Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — Breach?

The premise of Breach is typical Deus Ex cyberpunk fare: you are a Ripper, a hacker that uses a special interface to simulate the inside of a server as a virtual environment. You are tasked with obtaining and selling highly classified corporate data by infiltrating some of the world’s most secure servers. You then use the funds acquired from missions to upgrade your skills and arsenal with a set of virtual augmentations and weapons.

Missions play out in small maps consisting of only a few rooms, and are designed to only take a few minutes each. Your goal is to locate several server databases hidden throughout each level and activate them in order to complete the mission objective. You will need to use some light puzzle solving to make your way through each level and reveal the hidden servers in order to download the data. Along the way, you will also encounter enemy security countermeasures guarding the data. In typical Deus Ex fashion, you can usually choose to avoid detection and go around these enemies, or take them head on using your arsenal of virtual augmentations and weapons.

Deus-Ex-Mankind-Divided-Breach
Players have access to virtual augmentations to give them a leg up on the enemies guarding the data in each level.

Once you grab enough data, the server will initiate a lockdown, and you will need to return to the spawn point before a timer runs out. Completing a mission nets you XP, credits, and booster packs, which allow you to upgrade your avatar to face even tougher challenges.

Streamlined Design and Art Style

As previously mentioned, missions in Breach are short and sweet. If you were to think of Breach as an arcade mode of sorts, you wouldn’t be too far off. In fact, the mode even has a scoring system and leaderboards not unlike arcade games. More on that later. This mode is meant to be condensed, streamlined version of the Deus Ex experience that you can hop into and instantly take control of and start having a good time, with minimal exposition or needing to sit through cutscenes.

To complement the streamlined gameplay, Breach features a simplistic, stylized art style and environments. Your avatar and enemies resemble early low polygon figures from the early days of 3D gaming, such as those from the original Virtua Fighter. The mode itself closely resembles the “Desmond’s Journey” first-person mode from Assassin’s Creed Revelations, or even a bit of the original Portal with its sterile white environments and fluorescent lighting.

Deus-Ex-Mankind-Divided-Breach

The streamlined nature of Breach shouldn’t be misconstrued to mean stripped down. As with traditional Deus Ex games, you have access to a variety of augmentation powers to help you traverse environments or get the drop on enemies, as well as a ton of customization options to equip the perfect loadout before each mission. Don’t let the trailer above fool you into thinking the game is geared toward combat. Just as in the core Deus Ex experience, you can opt for stealth to sneak around enemies or silently take them down so you don’t alert others to your presence in the server

Multiplayer… Sort of

Breach mode is meant to address one of the things missing from Deus Ex: Human Revolution: a robust multiplayer mode. However, just adding a deathmatch mode utilizing the core game’s art and powers wouldn’t necessarily make for a fun multiplayer experience. Imagine trying to balance all of those augmentations! Instead, Breach is an asynchronous multiplayer mode where players are scored on their performance for each level, and can compare scores with other players on a leaderboard. Things like killstreaks or downloading data from every server in a level will trigger score multipliers to boost your final score, which you can then challenge your friends to beat.

Live Support

As stated by the developers, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Breach is a live game mode, meaning they have plans to introduce new challenges, missions, and features by rolling out updates on a regular basis after the game’s initial launch. The mode’s simplified art style and design enables them to build maps much faster than in the core game experience. This should keep replayability high, and give regulars something to come back to each week.

Monetization

Of course, one of the reasons to keep bringing players back to your game is so that you can monetize them over a long period of time. Missions reward you with currency, which can be used to buy booster packs of five cards, each of which can unlock gear, upgrades, skills, and other items to help keep you alive and boost your score in the next match. These booster packs can also be purchased directly with real money.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — Breach is one of the most compelling features of the upcoming game, and since it is included for free with the main game, it is something all Deus Ex fans can look forward to trying later this year.


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Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen is Executive Editor, Games at Fandom. He's been working in the entertainment industry for longer than he cares to admit, at companies like 20th Century Fox, Activision, and Ubisoft. He's been playing video games since he could pick up a controller, and is Fandom's resident professional wrestling expert.

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