Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – E3 2015 Versus 2016 Build Comparison

A couple of days ago, Square Enix released a new trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and a lot of gamers claimed that its visuals were downgraded from its E3 2015 build. The good news is that both the E3 2015 demonstration and this latest gameplay trailer feature identical scenes, therefore we decided to compare them and find out whether the visuals have taken a hit.

First of all, let’s see the infamous GIF comparison that has been circulating the Internet lately (kudos to our reader Sabin Figaro for sharing it). As we can see, there are some noticeable lighting differences in this particular scene. Also, the satellite dishes have been changed, but this is most probably due to the game’s angular direction.

What’s really interesting here is that at the end of the E3 demo, we get another look at that same location and to our surprise, it looked exactly the same with the E3 2016 build.

The only explanation here is that EIDOS Montreal used a more advanced lighting system for its first cut-scene in that E3 2015 build, and a less advanced system during the second in-engine cut-scene. Either way, there is no real “downgrade-ation” here as the scene at the end of the E3 2015 demo looks similar to the one in the 2016 build.

Moving forward to other scenes, it’s pretty obvious that the game’s visuals have not been downgraded. Every scene from the 2016 gameplay trailer looks similar to its E3 2015 counterpart. Reflections, amount of light sources, TODs, shadows and pretty much everything remains the same, though we do have to note a stronger/bloomier lighting system that was used in Talos Rucker’s office/apartment. Due to the stronger bloom effects, ambient occlusion seems weaker in that scene. Whether this is something that can be fixed with NVIDIA’s HBAO+ tech remains to be seen.

Either way, we wouldn’t say that the game has been downgraded. It looks almost identical to its E3 2015 demo, minor some really subtle changes.

For this comparison, we used the high quality videos provided by Gamersyde.

The E3 2015 demo build is on the left, whereas the 2016 build is on the right.