System Rift – a DLC for Deus Ex – Mankind Divided. Play Adam Jensen and meet Frank Pritchard who needs some help with a job. Nothing big, or is it? [Beware there will be spoilers!]
The first DLC for the new Deus Ex game is available now! It took a bit longer for the European (and Australian) PS4 shop to have it, but now we can finally play it as well!
First some basics: System Rift costs 11,99€ and you can download it through the store. Time wise it takes place somewhat during Mankind Divided in Prague and I would recommend playing the main game first.
“Re-unite with Frank Pritchard, Adam’s friend and former colleague at Sarif Industries, and assist him in hunting down information on the mysterious Santeau Group. Desperate to get more information, Pritchard targets one of the most secure data banks ever created – the Palisade Blade. In agreeing to help, Adam may also be able to uncover hints as to who the Illuminati really are.”
Have a look at the trailer:
So what happens in the DLC? (Warning, this will be detailed!)
It starts with Adam watching a game on his big screen, giving us some fan service as he’s lovely and shirtless. Suddenly Francis appears on his screen, asking for a favour, hinting at his assistance in the book ‘Black Lights’, so it doesn’t hurt to have read that as well, but it’s not mandatory.
He wants you to go to Zatopek bar and find a contact of his who wasn’t responding to him anymore. Without really knowing what actually is going on, Adam takes the train and then heads out to find the bar. You can’t really explore Prague here, which is a bit of a shame, though.
Once you found it and found your way in, you are told that your contact is downstairs. Walk down and find the man who is unwilling to continue his work with Francis. He hands you a Palisade-passport, but also tells you that it’s actually totally worthless now as it is flagged as missing and won’t get you anywhere. During this talk, Adam, starts to get that the ‘vetting’ job Frank was talking about, was a creative truth and in fact is a heist of the best secured bank system in the world.
He also mentions Simona Saridakis who was obviously killed by the bank’s devences.
Once you leave Francis contacts you again and asks you to go to a café where he can talk to you. Once you enter the area a Francis holograph appears and Adam asks the vital question – what exactly has Francis Pritchard gotten himself into?
He then tells you about a freelance job and that his client wants to know more about the Santeau Group, who built the Utulek Complex and now plan to build a new Aug complex in Oman. His clients considers a partnership with the Santeau Group, but before he does, he wants to know two things: “Is Rabi’ah feasible, and is the ‘mysterious group’” Adam’s trying to stop also involved? (Rabi’ah is the name of the planned Aug city in Oman and the mysterious group no doubt are the Illuminati) And to answer these questions Francis needs to access some files which are stored inside the Palisade Blade. (and it’s so sure that David Sarif is his client! Which becomes clearer if you’ve played Mankind Divided before, and called Sarif as he tells you that he plans to work with Santeau.)
That’s also why he contacted Slaw – to get him a pass-port with which he had planned to access the files.
After Adam tells him that the pass-port won’t work like this, Francis tells him that it can be hacked and reprogrammed. He could do it, but another hacker is much closer to Adam’s location and Frank asks him to go to that hacker, named ShadowChild.
He calls in another favour by reminding Adam how much he had helped him and telling him that probably all date stored in the Palisade Blade is out of jurisdiction – the perfect place for the Illuminati. He asks Adam to go to ShadowChild and bring her the pass-port, mentioning that he doesn’t have to continue after that.
“You won’t regret this.”
“I already do.”
The talk ends with Francis reminding Adam that this could be the perfect chance to find out more about the Illuminati.
Adam leaves the café and then heads on, going to ShadowChild’s apartment. There you need to find the entrance to her secret room and voilà you are face to face with her. Fortunately Francis told her that you were coming, otherwise this could have ended badly.
This triggers another scene where Adam talks with the hacker, who first tells you to wait outside as she configures the pass-port. She joins you on the balcony a bit later, thinking that you and Francis are going to make a run for the Blades and infiltrate the bank. She tells you that she calls herself a ‘Ripper’, not just a simple hacker and she asks you that she can help with this task. Adam asks why she is so eager to do this.
“Because information is power, Mr. Jensen. Governments, mega-corporations, and the ultra-rich know this better than anyone. Before the blades were built, people could force them to be transparent. Get a court order, file injunctions… and when all else failed, hire Rippers like me to hack a server and release their secrets anonymously on the Internet.”
“Ripper? That’s what we’re calling hackers these days?”
“A very skilled, very specialised kind of hacker. Regardless – fear of getting found out kept many a would-be power-monger in check. Not anymore.”
But now that fear is gone, as their data is protected on the Palisade serves, who are guarded by Masaaki Oshiro.
There’s a nice little detail in that conversation which tells you that Francis is indeed a good hacker and knows what he’s doing. He hid a code on the pass-port, but this one will only work once inserted into a server chamber inside the bank. ShadowChild once again offers help, but Adam for now still hasn’t decided if he’s going further with this or not.
Again, Simona Saridakis is mentioned and she tells you to dig a bit and you will surely find out more.
“The Palisade Bank will stop at nothing to protect its secrets. And until someone gets inside and uncovers the truth, they’ll continue to get away with it.”
Adam ends the talk, but she hands him a figure to put it on Leona Rosolova’s desk, just in case he decided to help Francis after all.
She tells Adam to be careful inside the bank.
As soon as the scene is over, Adam calls Francis, telling him that she did reprogram the pass-port.
“And I guess I’m doing this.”
Did we really doubt Adam would say no when Francis is asking ‘please’ that often and when he’s told that there is so much injustice hidden in there? 😉
You then head out and walk into the bank. There are a lot of options to do this, but we are sneaky bastards and so we talked to the guy in front who helped us get further inside. The rest is a lot of hiding, knocking out guards, being careful, saving and loading again until you reach the server chambers. You can then place the figure onto the desk which looks awfully close to a Garret figure from the Thief games!
Be sure to hack as many computers as possible, as it will tell you the server’s location and make some things easier!
Once you found the server, shove in the pass-port and wait. Unfortunately Francis is detected and the pass-port more or less fried. ShadowChild tells you that Francis’ avatar is trapped inside and you have to go and rescue him with her help. Adam walks forward and then enters through the NSN chair. The next part of the game is basically like Breach.
Adam’s avatar walks around and it is a bit of a jump and run part, solving riddles to advance. ShadowChild is not fully able to fight the server’s AI defences and so Adam decided that she lets in other hackers to attack the system. That way the AI will focus on another area and they can free Francis. (I still wonder why Francis’ avatar was purple though? Why not Nuclear green?)
The next part was really cool. Adam leaves the chair and exits the room. Only to discover that he hasn’t left yet, and he can simply go from room to room and always ends up in the same. Get into the chair again and you leave this area, which I would have loved to be a bit longer.
Now Adam has to escape the bank with ShadowChild’s help. The entire area is on high alarm now so it’s basically: run, boy run.
Use the hatch the hacker opened for you and jump into the, probably ice-cold, water beneath you!
The scene then switches to your flat, where ShadowChild is already waiting for you.
“We meet again, Mr. Jensen.”
“I see you made yourself at home.”
“You let yourself into my place, I let myself into yours… You know, you can tell a lot about a person by how clean they keep their home when they are not expecting visitors. I wonder what the police will think of mine. “
“You’re sure they traced you, then.”
“It’s only a matter of time. What we accomplished tonight – punching through the Palisade’s defences! The Breach is going to help us expose everyone’s dirty little secrets! “
“’The Breach’? You mean you didn’t close the hole you made?”
“Why would I? Besides, it’s not possible. Word of what we did is spreading through the Darknet like wildfire. Rippers will be attacking the Palisade’s servers day and night to get at the truth. This is a good thing, Mr. Jensen. It’s what we wanted.”
You can now rebuke, support or advise her, whatever’s your preference.
After she leaves, telling you that ShadowChild’s time in Europe is over, Adam gets a conference call by Francis.
“Well, it looks like you and I made it our cleanly, Jensen. The authorities haven’t identified us.”
“ShadowChild might not be so lucky. She’s leaving town.”
“Between you and me, I think she wanted things to trace back to her. There were other options. This was supposed to be a small investigation into Santeau. Instead, thanks to her, we’re responsible for the Woodstock of hacking!”
“She helped get you out. Regardless, are you forgetting what we found out in there?”
“That Oshiro and Talwar have been accessing their client’s confidential files, and illegally making millions based on insider information? Talk about privacy infringement.”
“It’s worse than that, Pritchard. The recording I heard mentioned Saridakis’ death. I think she found out what they were doing and they killed her for it. Did you find anything on Stanton Dowd?”
“Only that there isn’t much to go on. From what I can see, he’s just an old-money trillionaire who’s more skilled at breaking even than he is at making a profit. “
“Oshiro seemed concerned about the people Dowd represents. There has to be more. “
“If you want me to, I’ll keep digging but I suspect it will be a waste of time. In the meantime, your hunch about Saridakis may be right, but again, we don’t exactly have solid evidence. The insider trading scheme is an interesting lead for someone to pursue, but it’s… complicated.”
“Because we got the lead by breaking in and essentially committing the same crime.”
“Exactly. So what do you want me to do?”
Now you can choose to either tell him to release everything you got on the Darknet and tell the world what’s going on, or to destroy the evidence as it could come back to bite you.
The choice is yours.
“What about you and your ‘client’? Did you find anything incriminating in Santeau’s files?”
“I’m still analysing them. So far, their plans for Rabi’ah look legitimate. The timetable seems very aggressive, though.”
“It has to be. If the Human Restoration Act passes, a lot of Augmented people will have no choice but to move there. “
“That could be good or bad, depending. I just… I hope it doesn’t come to that, Jensen. For any of us.”
Then there’s a short cut.
“Well… as enjoyable as this little escapade of yours has been, I need to uh – “
“To get back to that moody loner thing you do so well. I understand completely. Besides, I have a report to file with my client. You know, Jensen, this may be the last time we ever work together. Assuming, of course, you don’t get yourself half-killed saving the world again and call on me to get you—“
“Take care of yourself.”
And with that the scene fades to black.
The DLC was a lot of fun to play and I especially enjoyed the interactions between Francis and Adam. They seem really lively and well made. Motion-capturing really paid off here. The voice actors also do a fantastic job and breathe in life to these characters.
The characters are interesting and I would have loved to see more. Much more.
There are a lot of hints in this DLC, such as Sarif being Frank’s client, and the little figurine, which I really loved. The major downside was its duration, however. It was far too short. Especially for the money paid. For this give me a DLC which takes at least 4 hours! But I saw walkthroughs on YouTube taking about a 1 ½ hours. That’s not long.
The soundtrack was good and added to the atmosphere.
And I simply loved Frank and Adam interacting! I was so sad when I heard that Francis Pritchard won’t be in Mankind Divided, and I still am. At least we get this DLC now, and hope that in future we might get even more, as Adam Jensen’s story doesn’t appear to be over yet.