Mankind Divided‘s Breach Mode Is Designed To Divide You From Your Money

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is finally out, but it seems we can’t ever have a major release – even a fantastic one – without some controversy overshadowing things. The grim news this time? Eidos Montreal’s otherwise fantastic release has become yet another “AAA” game to go the fee-to-pay route.

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Yesterday, news broke that Mankind Divided featured a lot of microtransactions. Despite totally covering this once before, I’d forgotten about them by the time I played the game, mostly because they’re confined to Breach, an additional gameplay mode that is dull as hell and didn’t interest me in the slightest.

Breach is an extrapolation of the story campaign’s most boring sequence – a series of stark, mostly monochrome “virtual reality” maps in which cyberpunk hackers run around downloading data before escaping the level with their earnings. It’s a rubbish mode, quite frankly, and not worth your time.

It’s certainly not worth your money.

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It is something I definitely should not have dismissed so readily, however, given the fact that Breach is every free-to-play trope shoved into a $60 product.

Even Breach’s tutorial is set up like a free-to-play game, giving you “free” booster packs and PRAXIS kits that you’re forced to used immediately, more concerned with explaining how purchasable cards and items work than how to play the game itself. I’ve tried many free-to-play games on mobile, and they almost always start this way.

Deus Ex even does the classic “dual currencies” thing. You have regular credits, which are earned liberally during play as the worthless bullshit money, and you have chips – the premium currency that actually gets shit done.

The whole thing’s structured like a two-bit mobile game rather than a worthwhile online component to a major premium release.

Fortunately, these microtransactions don’t infect the main reason anybody is buying a Deus Ex game. The single-player mode isn’t hawking anything at you, at least it wasn’t during my 30+ hours of playtime, and hasn’t sold out its dignity like Dead Space 3 did when it shoehorned a whole new economy into the experience.

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Still, Square Enix’s indomitable avarice is on display once again, and it’s a really bad look. It’s insulting to see fourteen additional purchase options the moment you’ve just spent $60 on a game – especially when most of those options are designed to be bought multiples of times.

Starting small, you can buy 1,000 credits for $0.99 and work your way up the price chain until you’re dishing out $29.99 – basically half the the cost of the game itself – for a chipset pack.

One weird note – unless my eyes deceive me, the microtransactions are more expensive on Xbox One. The 500 chip pack flogs XBO users for $39.95 as opposed to $29.99.

The same is true for a lot of the prices. 1,000 credits is $0.99 on PS4, but $1.40 on Xbox One. It can’t be tax considering the huge markup.

I’m assuming that’s a pricing error on the part of the Xbox One version, though it’s been unchanged since yesterday. After checking and double checking, these look to be the exact same packs at significantly different prices.

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This is the way of things, naturally. The eighth console generation started strong on the microtransaction front, showcasing an industry determined to naturalize fee-to-pay elements and bore us with their inclusion enough to where nobody cares to protest.

The saturation has indeed worked, too. Each new game that utilizes microtransactions causes less and less of a stir. Game journalists half-heartedly report on them at best, outright blast anybody complaining about them on social media at worst. The Reddit thread on this issue is full of people aggressively apathetic about it – not just uncaring, but combatively critical of those who do care.

The language around microtransactions has changed – executives creepily call more substantial DLC “macrotransactions” as if to imply fee-to-pay has always been around. They’re being spun as favors, something provided to “make fans happy” and “customize” the way we play. The banality of bullshit is in play – enough games have pulled these stunts now that it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t being pulled.

We’ve always been at war with Eurasia, after all.

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The good news, of course, is that only Breach has been negatively affected, and Breach is negativity incarnate to begin with. Hell, I can’t even play Breach right now. As of this morning, it keeps crashing during startup and I’m not particularly sad about it.

Sadly, however, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is yet another superb game I’ll no longer be considering for awards when GOTY season rolls around. Due to my long-standing policy of not awarding fee-to-pay games of any stripe, it’s instantly disqualified from any additional honorifics, though I do not regret the score I gave it – that was based on the excellent single-player material.

You may ask why I wouldn’t consider Mankind Divided for awards when I don’t regret the score, and I have a very simple answer for you – because fuck microtransactions in $60 game, whatever form they take.

Fuck them hard. Fuck them to the Moon. Fuck them with a big shiny augmented penis.

Something something I didn’t ask for this something something memes.

Martina Veselá
Guest
Martina Veselá

Everything Square Enix touches turns to shit. They started with Tomb Raider, now they’re working on Deus Ex. Give them time, they’ll fuck up the rest of their IPs. If only someone else obtained Eidos’s franchises, anyone.

Student of Alchemy
Guest
Student of Alchemy

So, will this be keeping DE:MD off Jim’s Best of the Year list?

kljs
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kljs

Jim, this one really is optional. If you don’t play Breach, you are not affected by it..

Anton
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Anton

The sad thing is, it’s only gonna get worse. Once Square sees that no one is playing Breach, the next DE game will have microtransactions in the campaign.

And why do people keep defending this shit?

Stephen Mc Devitt
Guest
Stephen Mc Devitt

Garden Warfare 2, Overwatch, now Deus Ex? It doesn’t sound there’s many games this year that’ll be in Jim’s top best list aside Pony Island and Reigns.

Tobasco da Gama
Guest

This definitely seems to be the new thing. Rise of the Tomb Raider did something similar by showering you in currency and cards for some kind of challenge mode thing I never played. Cards are, of course, also purchasable with real money. It’s weird to have something in-game so obviously calculated to provoke apathy. They know that most people are coming to these games for the story modes and, more importantly, that most reviewers will only review the story modes, so shoving microtransactions into these optional modes will mostly inspire shrugging, even from the majority diehard fee-to-pay haters. I’ll confess… Read more »

Saint Link
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Saint Link

But apparently this Breach mode is very good, I hope there’s no paywall unless you’re really bad at it.

Allan Weallans
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Allan Weallans

The weird thing is, if they’d released Mankind Divided without Breach, and released Breach as a separate free-to-play game (even with its microtransactions) to market Mankind Divided, no-one would be complaining. That’s not a defence of Square Enix here; it’s wondering why the hell they didn’t do just that.

Viking Mana
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Viking Mana

I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that we’re ever going to be rid of this kind of thing. I’m starting to get to the point where I’m almost willing to just accept that every triple-A game these days comes with a shitty multiplayer component that’s out to strip the most hardcore fans of their hard-earned money. I mean, this particular case isn’t really relevant to me because I haven’t played and Deus Ex games as of yet, and I usually don’t do multiplayer games, but I don’t find this half as egregious and fucking disgusting as when Blizzard… Read more »

Net Blanka
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Net Blanka

Dragon Quest VII GOTY…NO Discussion.

BAH!
Guest
BAH!

THERE we go! I was wondering why there was no mention in the review. Well, I won’t complain about a whole article on how, yet again, bullshit microtransactions are bullshit.

And the best part is that they can’t even be “justified” this time around. They’re not “supporting free future content” or “helping fund the servers”. This is Fee-to-Pay at its absolute most basic and greediest. Fuck that noise.

And with that in mind, I’ll *definitely* wait for the super ultra deluxe edition that will no doubt be released at the end of the year.

Andraste
Guest
Andraste

There’s no incentive for companies to act ethically off their own backs. Their one and only conern is profit and a good reputation. Consumers have to demand honesty and integrity, and vote with their wallets to back that up. It’s like cage eggs in Australia. The big grocery stores were happy to sell a morally corrupt product, until there was a huge outcry from the population, and they saw most people were moving away from cage eggs to organic and free range eggs. Then they stopped selling cage eggs entirely in their stores in response. If consumers don’t demand integrity… Read more »

Лев Гринберг
Guest

I know that Jim is morally obligated to always be against microtransactions in a paid product, but this time I really don’t see a problem. You get your game. It’s worth every penny. You pay $60 and you get all the content that’s worth it. But also on tope of this you get another game – one that is designed as free-2-play and one that is not really forcing you to do anything with it. You can say it is forced upon you, yes, but let’s be real: none of those $60 you’ve payed for Mankind Divided were spent by… Read more »

john grinwis
Guest
john grinwis

someone should augment the foot in publishers asses thinking they can get away with this backwards garbage i cant wait for the triple a bubble to burst so these greedy pricks can be taken down a peg

tho im glad they had the self control to only put it in the stupid side game at least

goodbyejojo
Guest
goodbyejojo

Square gonna square, i swear to God, they are gonna pull this same sh!t in FFXV, just you wait.

galactix100
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galactix100

I’ve noticed games in general seem to be more expensive on the xbox store. Fallout 4, Black Ops 3, Overwatch, The Division, GTA 5 and others all still cost £50 or more even though at launch the physical copies cost £40. I’m assuming it’s just Microsoft being greedy.

Mah Boiiii
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Mah Boiiii

It’s always frustrating to see these pop up in games. Doubly so when in excellent games like this one.

Anon the mouse
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Anon the mouse

GOTY contender looks narrower every year, is it No Man’s Sky and ABZU this year?

chriskobos
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chriskobos

An amazing 1984 reference, right there.

FieldMedic
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FieldMedic

“We’ve always been at war with Eurasia, after all.” – Bravo Jim, this is a great reference 🙂

Mark Patten
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Mark Patten

I get the very harrowing feeling that Jim’s game of the year contenders will be regulated to all of maybe 3 games released this year with just how ubiquitous these “macrotransactions” are getting.

irfanf (IrfanF)
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irfanf (IrfanF)

Moon Moon

PowerSerg
Guest

Any hope of this game eventually hitting my home is pretty much removed without some massive sale.

Dariush
Guest
Dariush

People don’t have to work hard for money in many cases, that’s why is so easy for some people to spend money this easily on such futile things as microtransactions. Lucky them.

DeviDranity
Guest
DeviDranity

“Something something I didn’t ask for this something something memes.”

Quality writing as usual

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