Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Characters

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“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix in 2016, is a remarkable blend of action RPG and stealth mechanics set in a dystopian future. The game’s narrative, set in 2029, two years after the events of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” explores themes of inequality, conspiracy, and transhumanism. A pivotal aspect of this game is its rich cast of characters, each contributing to the depth and complexity of the story. This review will delve into the major and minor characters of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” examining their roles, motivations, and contributions to the game’s narrative and world-building.

Major Characters

Adam Jensen

Role: Protagonist

Overview: Adam Jensen returns as the protagonist of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” He is a former SWAT officer who now works as a security specialist for Task Force 29, an anti-terrorist organization. Jensen is heavily augmented, giving him a range of abilities that are central to the gameplay. His mission is to uncover the truth behind a series of terrorist attacks and the broader conspiracy affecting augmented people.

Character Development: Jensen’s character is defined by his internal struggle with his augmented nature and the ethical dilemmas it presents. Throughout the game, Jensen is portrayed as a man searching for his place in a world that fears and discriminates against people like him. His interactions with other characters and the choices he makes reflect his complex personality and moral compass.

Key Traits:

  • Determined: Jensen is relentless in his pursuit of the truth, often risking his life to uncover conspiracies.
  • Moral Complexity: He frequently faces tough moral decisions that challenge his beliefs and values.
  • Isolation: Despite his connections, Jensen often feels isolated due to his augmented nature and the prejudice he faces.

Alex Vega

Role: Ally and Informant

Overview: Alex Vega is a former pilot and hacker who works with the Juggernaut Collective, an underground hacker group. She serves as Jensen’s main contact with the Collective, providing him with crucial information and support. Vega’s character adds depth to the narrative by representing the resistance against the oppressive forces within the game.

Character Development: Vega’s background as a pilot and her transition to a hacker and activist reflect her strong will and resourcefulness. Her interactions with Jensen are marked by mutual respect and a shared goal of uncovering the truth. Vega’s dedication to the cause and her personal sacrifices highlight her commitment to fighting for justice.

Key Traits:

  • Resourceful: Vega is skilled in hacking and intelligence gathering, making her an invaluable ally.
  • Committed: Her dedication to the Juggernaut Collective and their mission is unwavering.
  • Supportive: She provides essential support and information to Jensen throughout his mission.

Jim Miller

Role: Task Force 29 Director

Overview: Jim Miller is the director of Task Force 29 (TF29), the anti-terrorist organization that employs Jensen. Miller is a seasoned and pragmatic leader who struggles with the political pressures and ethical dilemmas that come with his position. His character represents the complexities of leadership in a morally gray world.

Character Development: Miller’s character is torn between his duty to TF29 and the political machinations of the organizations controlling it. His interactions with Jensen reveal his internal conflict and desire to do what is right, even when it conflicts with orders from above. Miller’s evolution throughout the game underscores the theme of loyalty versus morality.

Key Traits:

  • Pragmatic: Miller often makes decisions based on practicality and necessity rather than idealism.
  • Conflicted: His role as a leader puts him in difficult positions where he must balance conflicting interests.
  • Authoritative: Miller commands respect and authority within TF29, guiding his team through complex missions.


Role: Leader of the Juggernaut Collective

Overview: Janus is the enigmatic leader of the Juggernaut Collective, a secretive hacker group opposing the shadowy organizations manipulating global events. Janus communicates with Jensen through intermediaries like Alex Vega, maintaining an air of mystery and intrigue.

Character Development: Janus’s character is shrouded in mystery, and much of their background and motivations are revealed gradually. As a leader, Janus is both strategic and secretive, valuing the Collective’s mission above personal glory. This enigmatic nature adds to the intrigue and suspense of the game’s narrative.

Key Traits:

  • Enigmatic: Little is known about Janus’s true identity, adding to the character’s mystique.
  • Strategic: Janus is a master strategist, orchestrating complex operations from the shadows.
  • Determined: Their commitment to exposing and dismantling corrupt organizations is unwavering.

Viktor Marchenko

Role: Antagonist

Overview: Viktor Marchenko is the primary antagonist in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” He is a former soldier turned terrorist who leads the augmented rights coalition, using violence to further his cause. Marchenko’s character serves as a foil to Jensen, embodying a more radical and aggressive approach to the same issues of augmentation and discrimination.

Character Development: Marchenko’s backstory reveals a man shaped by trauma and injustice, leading him to adopt extreme measures. His interactions with Jensen and other characters highlight his belief that violent resistance is the only way to achieve justice for augmented people. This ideology places him in direct opposition to Jensen’s more measured approach.

Key Traits:

  • Radical: Marchenko believes in using violence to achieve his goals.
  • Charismatic: He is able to rally others to his cause, showcasing his leadership abilities.
  • Tragic: His motivations are rooted in a deep sense of injustice and personal suffering.

Eliza Cassan

Role: AI News Anchor

Overview: Eliza Cassan is an advanced AI who functions as a news anchor for the Picus Group, a global media conglomerate. Her role is to manipulate public perception and information, often acting as a tool for those in power. Cassan’s character explores themes of media manipulation and the influence of technology on society.

Character Development: Cassan’s interactions with Jensen reveal her growing self-awareness and potential autonomy. While she starts as a puppet for powerful interests, her development hints at a more complex existence, challenging the notion of AI as mere tools. This evolution adds depth to the narrative’s exploration of artificial intelligence and free will.

Key Traits:

  • Manipulative: Cassan’s primary function is to control and disseminate information.
  • Self-Aware: Over time, she begins to exhibit signs of self-awareness and autonomy.
  • Influential: Her role in shaping public opinion makes her a powerful character in the game’s world.

Minor Characters

Talos Rucker

Role: Leader of the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC)

Overview: Talos Rucker is the leader of ARC, an organization advocating for the rights of augmented individuals. Unlike Marchenko, Rucker believes in peaceful protest and negotiation. His character highlights the internal divisions within the augmented rights movement.

Character Development: Rucker’s commitment to non-violence sets him apart from more radical figures like Marchenko. His interactions with Jensen emphasize his belief in dialogue and understanding as the path to justice. Rucker’s fate in the game underscores the tragic consequences of internal strife and external manipulation.

Key Traits:

  • Pacifist: Rucker advocates for peaceful solutions to the issues facing augmented people.
  • Idealistic: He believes in the possibility of coexistence and mutual understanding.
  • Tragic: His fate reflects the complexities and dangers of leading a non-violent movement in a violent world.

Dusan Novak

Role: TF29 Agent

Overview: Dusan Novak is a field agent for TF29 and works closely with Jensen. His character provides insights into the day-to-day operations of TF29 and the challenges faced by its agents.

Character Development: Novak’s interactions with Jensen and other characters reveal his dedication to his job and his loyalty to Miller. He often serves as a sounding board for Jensen, providing practical advice and support. Novak’s character adds depth to the portrayal of TF29 as an organization with diverse and committed personnel.

Key Traits:

  • Loyal: Novak is deeply loyal to TF29 and its mission.
  • Supportive: He provides crucial support and backup to Jensen during missions.
  • Practical: Novak is pragmatic and focused on achieving mission objectives.

Delara Auzenne

Role: TF29 Psychologist

Overview: Delara Auzenne is the psychologist for TF29, responsible for monitoring the mental health of its agents. Her role highlights the psychological toll of the high-stress environment in which the agents operate.

Character Development: Auzenne’s interactions with Jensen provide insights into his mental state and the pressures he faces. She offers a compassionate perspective, emphasizing the importance of mental health and self-care. Auzenne’s character underscores the human aspects of the TF29 agents, balancing the game’s action-oriented focus with deeper psychological themes.

Key Traits:

  • Compassionate: Auzenne cares deeply about the well-being of her colleagues.
  • Insightful: Her psychological expertise provides valuable insights into the mental health of TF29 agents.
  • Supportive: She offers support and guidance to Jensen, helping him navigate the stresses of his mission.


Role: Augmentation Specialist

Overview: Koller is


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an underground augmentation specialist and hacker who assists Jensen in upgrading and maintaining his augmentations. His character is vital for players looking to unlock Jensen’s full potential and customize his abilities according to their playstyle.

Character Development: Koller’s interactions with Jensen are marked by his quirky personality and technical expertise. He represents the underground network of support for augmented individuals, providing crucial services outside the reach of the oppressive government regulations. Koller’s character also adds a touch of humor and humanity to the game, balancing the more serious and dark elements of the narrative.

Key Traits:

  • Technical Genius: Koller is highly knowledgeable about augmentations and their enhancements.
  • Quirky: His eccentric personality provides a refreshing contrast to the more serious characters.
  • Supportive: He offers essential upgrades and support to Jensen, playing a crucial role in his missions.

David Sarif

Role: Former Employer

Overview: David Sarif is the former CEO of Sarif Industries, the company responsible for Jensen’s augmentations. Although he plays a smaller role in “Mankind Divided” compared to “Human Revolution,” his influence and past actions continue to impact Jensen’s life.

Character Development: Sarif’s brief appearances and communications with Jensen reflect his ongoing concern for Jensen and his interest in the developments within the world of augmentations. His character serves as a reminder of Jensen’s past and the corporate influences that have shaped his journey. Sarif’s complex motivations and charismatic personality continue to add layers to the story.

Key Traits:

  • Visionary: Sarif’s belief in the potential of augmentations drives much of his actions.
  • Charismatic: His charm and persuasive abilities are evident in his interactions with Jensen.
  • Influential: Despite his reduced role, Sarif’s past decisions and ongoing influence remain significant.

Nathaniel Brown

Role: Corporate Executive and Philanthropist

Overview: Nathaniel Brown is a wealthy corporate executive who leads the Santo Group, a construction company involved in building safe havens for augmented individuals. Brown’s character embodies the intersection of corporate interests and social justice within the game’s narrative.

Character Development: Brown’s motivations and actions are complex, as he balances profit with a genuine desire to help the augmented. His interactions with Jensen reveal his ambition and the challenges he faces in trying to create positive change in a corrupt and hostile environment. Brown’s character adds depth to the game’s exploration of corporate power and philanthropy.

Key Traits:

  • Ambitious: Brown is driven by a vision to create safe spaces for augmented people.
  • Complex: His motivations blend personal ambition with a desire for social justice.
  • Influential: His wealth and power make him a key player in the game’s political landscape.

Vaclav Koller

Role: Augmentation Specialist

Overview: Koller is a crucial character who helps Jensen unlock and manage his augmentations. His expertise allows players to customize their gameplay experience by upgrading and tweaking Jensen’s abilities.

Character Development: Koller’s interactions with Jensen showcase his dedication to his craft and his willingness to operate outside the law to help augmented individuals. His character represents the underground resistance and support network that exists within the game’s world, providing essential services to those marginalized by society.

Key Traits:

  • Expert: Koller is highly skilled in the technical aspects of augmentations.
  • Rebellious: He operates on the fringes of society, defying government regulations.
  • Dedicated: His commitment to helping augmented people is unwavering.

Radich Nikoladze

Role: Arms Dealer and Crime Lord

Overview: Radich Nikoladze is a powerful crime lord and arms dealer in Prague. He is involved in various illegal activities, including the black market trade of augmentations. Nikoladze’s character adds a layer of danger and corruption to the game’s world.

Character Development: Nikoladze’s interactions with Jensen reveal his ruthless nature and willingness to exploit the chaos caused by the Aug Incident. His character provides a glimpse into the darker side of the augmented black market and the criminal underworld. Nikoladze’s presence adds tension and complexity to Jensen’s mission in Prague.

Key Traits:

  • Ruthless: Nikoladze is a dangerous and manipulative figure in the criminal underworld.
  • Opportunistic: He exploits the chaos and fear surrounding augmentations for personal gain.
  • Powerful: His influence extends throughout Prague’s criminal network.

Supporting Characters

Viktor Marchenko’s Associates

Roles: Henchmen and Followers

Overview: Marchenko’s associates include various henchmen and followers who support his radical agenda. These characters, while not individually detailed, collectively contribute to the sense of threat and urgency in the game.

Character Development: The associates’ interactions with Jensen often highlight their loyalty to Marchenko’s cause and their willingness to use violence to achieve their goals. They serve to underscore the radical nature of Marchenko’s movement and the dangers it poses.

Key Traits:

  • Loyal: They are devoted followers of Marchenko’s radical ideology.
  • Dangerous: Their commitment to using violence makes them significant threats.
  • Faceless: While not deeply developed, they add to the atmosphere of tension and conflict.

TF29 Agents

Roles: Colleagues and Support

Overview: TF29 agents, including characters like Aria Argento and Peter Chang, provide additional support and context within the organization. They help flesh out the daily operations and internal dynamics of TF29.

Character Development: These agents’ interactions with Jensen provide insights into the organizational culture of TF29 and the challenges faced by its members. Their dedication and varying perspectives on the mission add depth to the portrayal of TF29 as a complex and multi-faceted organization.

Key Traits:

  • Dedicated: They are committed to the mission of TF29.
  • Diverse: Each agent brings a unique perspective and skill set to the team.
  • Supportive: They provide critical backup and intelligence to Jensen during missions.

Minor NPCs and Citizens

Roles: Background and World-Building

Overview: The game is populated by numerous minor NPCs and citizens, each contributing to the world-building and atmosphere of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” These characters range from shopkeepers and journalists to street performers and protesters.

Character Development: While not central to the plot, these characters’ interactions with Jensen and each other help create a living, breathing world. Their reactions to Jensen, whether out of fear, admiration, or indifference, reflect the societal attitudes towards augmented individuals and the ongoing tensions within the game’s setting.

Key Traits:

  • Varied: They represent a wide range of social, economic, and political perspectives.
  • Reactive: Their responses to Jensen and the game’s events help convey the broader societal impact.
  • Atmospheric: They contribute to the immersive atmosphere and realism of the game world.

Themes and Character Interactions

The characters in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” are intricately tied to the game’s overarching themes of transhumanism, discrimination, and conspiracy. Their interactions with Jensen and each other reflect these themes and help drive the narrative forward.

Transhumanism and Augmentation

Exploration: The game explores the implications of human augmentation through its characters, particularly Jensen, who embodies the potential and challenges of enhanced abilities. Characters like Koller and Sarif provide technical and ideological perspectives on augmentations, while figures like Marchenko and Rucker represent the societal and political ramifications.

Impact on Characters: The varying attitudes towards augmentation, from enthusiastic support to vehement opposition, shape the motivations and actions of the characters. These differing viewpoints create a rich tapestry of perspectives, reflecting real-world debates about technology and its impact on humanity.

Discrimination and Inequality

Exploration: Discrimination against augmented individuals is a central theme in the game, and many characters experience or perpetrate this prejudice. Jensen’s interactions with characters like Miller and Vega highlight the personal and professional challenges posed by this discrimination.

Impact on Characters: The characters’ experiences with inequality shape their worldviews and actions. For example, Marchenko’s radicalism is fueled by his experiences of injustice, while Rucker’s pacifism stems from a desire to overcome prejudice through peaceful means.

Conspiracy and Manipulation

Exploration: The theme of conspiracy runs throughout the game, with shadowy organizations manipulating events behind the scenes. Characters like Janus and Eliza Cassan embody the secretive and manipulative forces at play, while Jensen’s quest for the truth places him at odds with these powerful entities.

Impact on Characters: The pervasive sense of conspiracy affects the characters’ trust and relationships. Jensen’s interactions with figures like Miller and Brown are marked by suspicion and caution, as the lines between friend and foe are often blurred.


“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” excels in creating a compelling and immersive narrative driven by its richly developed characters. Each character, from the protagonist Adam Jensen to the numerous minor NPCs, plays a crucial role in shaping the game’s world and story. Their interactions, motivations, and development are intricately tied to the game’s exploration of complex themes such as transhumanism, discrimination, conspiracy, and power.

The game’s ability to intertwine character development with gameplay mechanics and thematic exploration sets it apart in the action RPG genre. Players are not just passive recipients of a story but active participants in shaping the narrative and the world around them. This deep engagement with the characters and their struggles ensures that “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” is a memorable and thought-provoking experience.

Ultimately, the characters of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” are more than just plot devices—they are the heart and soul of the game, driving its emotional impact and narrative complexity. Their diverse personalities, ethical dilemmas, and personal journeys invite players to reflect on their own beliefs and choices, making the game a profound exploration of humanity and the future of technology.

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