My review of the stellar cyberpunk stealth adventure game Deus Ex: Divided Mankind was based on a retail version, meaning it received a “day-one” patch and contained all of the game’s content… with one exception. The microtransaction system had not yet gone live.
At that time, this store was limited to DX:MD‘Breach’ mode, which combines arcade-style challenges with a ‘card-unlock’ system to make your character stronger. This system works similarly to games like Hearthstone, in that you earn new cards and perks through normal play, but since their rewards are random, you may feel compelled to shell out money for more random card unlocks. Since you can only equip a limited number of perks at a time, and normal gameplay unlocks a ton of content, you don’t really need to pay for this system to get the full gaming experience.
It’s not ideal, but I judged this kind of microtransaction system to be all in all acceptable for what was essentially a free bonus mode on top of an already huge campaign in the retail package. However, it seems that Eidos Montreal had other ideas.
Boo and hiss
As it turns out, the game’s publishers and developers have thrown a pay-money system into the game campaign mode that makes DX:MD one of the rare modern $60-for-a-quest games where you can pay extra cash to spice yourself up. You have two options in this regard: buy more in-game “credits”, which you use in the game stores to buy more weapons, ammo and items, or buy “Praxis Kits”, which you spend on hero Adam Jensen’s cyborg . skill upgrades. Each time you level up, you get one Praxis kit, and most upgrades require you to spend one to two kits.
Boo and hiss, Eidos Montreal. Boo and sisssss.
In terms of credits, well, you’d be crazy to pay real money for the ones in the game. They are everywhere. They are plentiful. Thousands of credits just lying around, and the stuff they pay for is also very easy to steal from dead bodies or inside of desks and lockers. There is a lot of poverty in it DX:MD‘s version of futuristic Prague, but really, these people just need to install Quicken or something. Bad money and property management everywhere.
Praxis Kits, on the other hand, are scattered perfect in the campaign. The fact that side quests get you these kits at a nice clip makes them all the juicier to complete – which in turn sucks players into a lot of nicely developed mission and plot content they might otherwise miss if they power leveled and went straight through the main mission path. Paying for these kits would break one of the things Eidos Montreal did really well in this adventure.
In fact, Eidos Montreal admitted to trying to put out the flames that inspired these microtransactions, with one of the game’s community managers taking to Reddit to tell fans that “the game was 100 percent balanced, independent of the microtransactions made in the store.” were available.” Based on my time with the game, I fully believe that claim – and I wouldn’t be surprised if developers and marketers disagreed on adding the paid stuff.
Single use DLC?
In gameplay terms, you can at least ignore the paid boosts; whether you respect Eidos Montreal less for introducing them as an option in the first place is another matter. Worse, however, is that some of the content in the game’s DLC pack, which is granted through a season pass, pre-order, or individual purchase, can only be used once. This means that if you claim items, cash, or other perks from the game’s redemption system, they can no longer be applied to a new mission, which is bad news if you start the game from scratch with a new save file or system .
The same Eidos Montreal community manager posted on Reddit about this, saying that certain types of items would not be affected by this one-time system, including weapons and augmentations (i.e. the boosts you would buy with Praxis Kits). However, those that do are restricted due to “first-party restrictions,” according to the community manager. No one knows for sure what that vague reference to Sony and Microsoft means, but the limitation also applies to the build of the game on Windows PC.
To clarify the distinction, let’s say you pay $5 for the ‘Tactical Pack’. This will get you a Tranquilizer Rifle with a custom skin in the game and a specific “augmentation” (which you would otherwise unlock with Praxis Kits), along with a bunch of higher level ammo. The first two things can easily be regenerated in future playthroughs. The ammunition disappears into the ether.
If players really want to keep those one-time DLC items for future playthroughs, they’re currently stuck with a shoddy workaround: sticking to a save file in the game’s tutorial mission where the DLC items are claimed and stored in their inventory. Or, of course, if they’re playing on PC, they can look for a free “trainer” download that helps players work their way to boosts in XP, Praxis Kits, and other items; Ars has already found a few in the wild, but we choose not to link to them (mainly because they disrupt the game’s solid content flow).
Paying for “chipset” boosts in Breach Mode can also leave users stranded if their save files are erased for any reason. While testing the pre-release version of the game, I had unlocked Breach map packs by progressing through the campaign mode, but after a patch, the system told me I could no longer claim those packs, as Eidos Montreal’s servers tracked my progress. checked and believing that I had already redeemed boosts that I did not have. Eidos Montreal had to manually update my progress during the judging period to fix this bug. Average users may not get such special treatment if their Breach boosts, earned or paid, suddenly disappear.