I’m not here to tell you that the Deus Ex prequels, Human Revolution and Mankind Divided, are masterpieces. The latter certainly had it’s issues while the former was considered to be an amazingly stitched prequel to a forgotten yet breathing franchise.
The two games are highly underrated in my opinion. You either never heard of them or you never took the time to give it chance because it went under the AAA radar. If you’ve never played them, I’m not going to explain it to you because the games had a very complex story, especially Human Revolution.
I never really cared for video game soundtracks. There were a few that I liked but those were bits and pieces of a complete OST.
I can safely say that I have more soundtracks based of these two games than music from any other artists on my phone.
If you’re a fan of video game soundtracks, I highly recommend you to pick up these two games and give it a shot because they really made me appreciate the time and effort composers put in to give more life to the theme or environment the game is trying to establish.
Human Revolution : A core style throughout
Human Revolution’s soundtrack is completely different from it’s sequel, Mankind Divided.
Michael McCann provides an excellent score that maintains it’s core style, chords and tune throughout each and every soundtrack. Imagine you have a tune in your head or a specific beat. He takes this tune or this beat and he incorporates this to all of the soundtracks so that each track essentially has the same theme while managing to sound completely new and different.
I found this to be amazing because if you think about it, there are some artist who use the same style in their music to make themselves look unique but overtime, this becomes very redundant.
McCann manages to give us a very melodic and ambient score while repeatedly using the same chords and tunes to make each track identical in terms of it’s theme or style but very different in terms of the way it sounds.
This is the best way I can explain it to you. You have to listen to the whole album in order to get the idea that I’m trying to replicate with words here.
This style was something that I never heard of in any other games or maybe I haven’t played enough video games to realize this. The soundtrack made me feel as if I was in the same game and it never really shifted it’s tone to make me feel as if it was a very different game at a latter stage.
Because the soundtrack maintained it’s core style, it made me excited as to what I could expect next because in my mind, I kept thinking that using the same substance in the soundtrack would eventually die out but it didn’t. The composer really made it work and he kept surprising you as to what he could do by reusing the musics tune and it’s melodic chords.
This really worked well with the theme of the game as well because Human Revolution had this yellowish filter on top of it that made everything look more retro and futuristic. So to have a soundtrack that compliment the styles that its aiming to nail really works out.
Mankind Divided : A progressive style
While Mankind Divided borrows the idea of using the same samples throughout it’s soundtrack like its predecessor, the sequel really focuses on a more progressive approach to it’s music.
Like some games, in each level of Mankind Divided, there are multiple stages that could occur.
The first stage would be where everything was calm, meaning the enemy didn’t know about your presence throughout the level.
The second stage involved the enemy being suspicious of you because of some action you triggered.
The third stage was when the enemy became hostile, where they would go batsh*t crazy and attack you on sight.
Composer Sascha Dikiciyan, along with the returning Michael McCann, provides a soundtrack for each of these stages. Each level has a track and this track becomes more aggressive as you progress through the stages but it never shifts away from its core style (the chords, beats, tune and feeling).
This was an absolute journey. In the first stage, the music is very ambient, with the use of melodic tunes and notes while being very simple and calm. In the second, the music can be a rush, where a slight beat is slowly introduced along with the same notes and the same tune. In the third, the music becomes very aggressive and it puts in all the elements together by introducing more melody and volume while still maintaining it’s signature style and beat.
The music really has an impact on the player. It tells the player about the shifting state of the game and through this, the player knows what to expect.
You can finish the entire game in stealth mode and you’ll only here the first part of a greater musical soundtrack. You can go without having to hear any of the soundtracks the second and third stage provides so if you really love the sound of the game, then you really have to explore each and every stage to hear the hidden goodies.
Mankind Divided has visually stunning locations and some of these locations can be depressing because of the theme the game is trying to establish. So to have a soundtrack that compliments each level’s surroundings and mood really adds more life to the game. The important aspect, as a player, is to feel what the game is trying to throw at you and the game really perfects this with a very beautiful soundtrack that has many levels to it, literally.
I really wish the sequel wasn’t rushed by Square Enix because a lot issues were present in the game because of this decision, including an unreleased and half-complete soundtrack that we never got the chance to fully experience. If there is a petition to release it, I will definitely sign it. A lot of great pieces are missing in the soundtrack but are present in-game.
You can find a full soundtrack that was directly ripped off from the actual game files on YouTube. That was a welcome surprise because it had a lot that the official album didn’t offer.
I still continue to search for more of the in-game soundtrack and every time I’m surprised by the variety of it because you can find the same track but each track will sound very different because it’s a different version of it that was never released by the composers or the company.
However, Human Revolution does offer a complete OST and I’m glad that was released.
At the end of the day, these two games might not be perfect but they do have a unique identity to them because of it’s fantastic soundtrack and the way each and every track is incorporated into the overall game. The composers did a fantastic job and I love how they approached the entire OST.
Both of these games are astoundingly cheap on Steam so if you ever decide to take the journey, stick around and you’ll be surprised what these two games have to offer.
Keep on wiggling
This is Jiggly,