Michael McCann, Sascha Dikiciyan and Ed Harrison
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


3.5
great

Review

by Simon STAFF
December 9th, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Three different flavours, when I just wanted one.

Like the game itself, Michael McCann’s score to Mankind Divided has a lot of potential to be something amazing, but for many silly mistakes ultimately falls short of being anywhere near the same calibre as its predecessor. It’s hard to tell at this point if Montreal got lucky with Human Revolution, as we’re only two games in to the cycle, but the dip in quality from that to Mankind Divided is quite significant: weak story; zero character development; and a rather bland and style-less colour pallet from the very striking black and gold world made previous are just a few of the major flaws found with the sequel. The fact that the story was a half-baked plot with little consequence is a terrible thing to see, given everything Human Revolution built up, but the final coffin nail was brought down on Eidos stripping the game of major story lines and missions, crippling a game that wouldn’t have come close to its predecessor to begin with, but in its current state made matters that much worse. Human Revolution was a creative and artistic masterpiece that flowed and connected on every level, and its soundtrack is something that really magnified the Cyberpunk world that was given to players.

How do you top a score that was both off the scale with emotion and beauty -- as well as being one that defines and paints the games world perfectly? It must have been a daunting task, and one that leaves me to speculate as the reason why composers Sascha Dikiciyan and Ed Harrison were brought into the project. But irony can be a bitch at times, and the blunt truth is that this idea not only damages what Michael does so well, but leaves an LP that doesn’t come a country mile near its big brother; suffering from incoherency, a tonal imbalance and a lack of character, Mankind Divided OST struggles to suck you into its world. This I feel is down to the three composers having three different ideas for the LP. Quite frankly Sascha Dikiciyan’s contributions to the score are pretty dull, and lack the energy needed to keep the listener engaged, sure he has some stand out moments on his tracks like the booming kick in to “Prague” or the “Main Theme”, but for the most part there isn’t much to grab onto. This is also a worrying prospect as 14 of the 29 tracks here are composed by Sascha Dikiciyan. That’s right, Michael McCann only contributes 11 tracks to his score, while the remainder of the 4 songs goes to Ed Harris. The biggest disappointment is that Michael’s tracks are fantastic; “Sewers”, “TF29” and “Palisade Bank” (especially “TF29”) are beautiful songs that have the classic epic build up he used on Human Revolution, with swells that masterfully finish off on a satisfying crescendo. In the end it just left me screaming for more compositions from him, and one that leaves an empty, unfulfilled hole by the time the album closes.

The problem stems from the mindset of these three composers: Michael McCann’s compositions, even though they have synth and whatnot, take on a much more organic style; the swells and orchestral touches really bring a unique and interesting sound throughout. Ed Harris’ tracks are by and large the weakest offerings on here, simply because he relies more on a contemporary electronic sound, and one that, to me, diminishes and disengages you from a sound that suits the game so well at this point; while Sascha Dikiciyan’s tracks lay on the lines of the middle man, combining the two styles together. It’s most definitely a pro that Ed only has 4 tracks on here, because had he been dominant, it could have left a completely different feeling to the one people enjoyed so much with the score previous. But it also has to be said that Sascha’s passive attitude towards the two styles makes his songs forgettable as well. In the end, what you’re left with is a harsh contrast in styles; a clash of the titans situation is evident here, and one that leaves the LP suffering in the process. Michael’s songs are for the most part exceptional, but the other two composers end up making the rest of the score a forgettable and wasted mess. Mankind Divided OST, like the game, lacks focus, originality and consistency. It has some solid moments throughout -- even some of Sascha’s tracks have decent ideas in them -- but Ed Harris’ style is too out there to help the album along, and the results are a little bumpy to say the least.

Great.



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user ratings (5)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
smaugman
December 9th 2016


5032 Comments


lel, i just started this game 2 hours ago

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2016


15629 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's solid, dude. I loved the gameplay and side-missions, just don't expect anything to be as good as HR.

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence

smaugman
December 9th 2016


5032 Comments


ive read that the main story is nowhere as good and kinda ends abruptly. the optimization is smooth tho, graphics good too

Sinternet
December 9th 2016


20264 Comments


ed harrison is the best

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

MO
December 9th 2016


22711 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

playing it now, it's like HR 2.0, a natural step forward



not a huge fan of this 15 song official soundtrack, but there's a lot of the material mixed into 1+ hour ambient mixes which are fantastic

MO
December 9th 2016


22711 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

bummed to hear the game kinda falls apart at the end, but still stoked to play it

smaugman
December 9th 2016


5032 Comments


i think it's a pretty cheap move to have microtransactions in a single player game tho, let alone a game you pay 60 dollars for

MO
December 9th 2016


22711 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

couldn't agree more. unfortunately this new trend of cutting up games and releasing an uncomplete game is the growing trend and won't stop anytime time soon

smaugman
December 9th 2016


5032 Comments


depends on the studio. i have great respect for CD projekt red, and i think they'll never/rarily release game unfinished

Sinternet
December 9th 2016


20264 Comments


DAE CD PROJEKT RED BEST COMPANY EVER???

Greem
December 9th 2016


739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

mccann > harrison >> dikiciyan

smaugman
December 9th 2016


5032 Comments


correct listing of musicians after album name yes



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