Video Game Review: System Link DLC
And just when you were getting ready to binge watch Even Fuller House.
While the concept of downloadable content will always annoy a certain subset of gamers, there’s no doubt that some titles have done a better job of adding value than others. That brings us to one of our favourite add-ons, Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s The Missing Link, which cleverly filled a gap within the main story and felt interesting without being essential to the game’s arc.
Now, Eidos Montreal is back with System Link, the first post-launch installment of Mankind Divided’s “Jensen’s Stories,” a series of self-contained missions. Does System Link continue the series’ recent tradition of delivering compelling DLC? Time to find out.
System Rift’s story serves as something of a bridge between the past two games as well as Mankind Divided’s Breach Mode. Here, Jensen is recruited by Sarif Industries’ former head of cyber security Francis Pritchard, who calls in a marker for a favour he did for Jensen.
Pritchard wants Jensen’s help in “vetting” a company for a client, and naturally the only way to do that is to break into a highly fortified secure server site and download some information. To do that you’ll need to collect a security passport from a disgruntled employee, have it reprogrammed by ShadowChild (from Breach Mode) and infiltrate the Palisade Blades.
Although everything takes place in Prague, the district is new, as is the Blades installation where you’ll spend much of the three or so hours needed to complete the DLC. As you’d suspect, you’re stripped down to some basic augs and then gifted a healthy number of Praxis kits to load out Jensen as you see fit. You’ll earn a few as well, but you’ll be definitely limited in your advancement.
Gameplay is typical Deus Ex, offering multiple ways to accomplish your goals and sprinkling in plenty of extras along the path for achievements and/or story development. Hacking felt less viable than normal, though, with “Level 1” terminals that routinely contain Level 3 and 4 (even 5) nodes that made successfully unlocking them very difficult.
Even with that limitation, the action still feels well balanced. We enjoyed sneaking through vents but then also taking out all the guards. Ascending the Blades’ six floors and subsequent server area with heat-sensitive panels that defeat cloaking was quite enjoyable.
There are some shortcomings as well, starting with the fact that System Rift doesn’t tie into the main story in any meaningful way. The new district is light on content outside of the Blades, too, offering very few opportunities to explore.
Unfortunately, System Rift isn’t nearly the equal of The Missing Link, offering less content and a storyline that’s almost entirely tangential to Mankind Divided. At the end of the day, however, it’s more Deus Ex, and that’s always a good thing.