While the main story mode within Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is where you’ll be spending most of your time in the game, for those wanting the game’s mechanics within a more arcade-like experience there’s Breach Mode. This mode will have you moving through a virtual world (called the Neural Subnet) to capture Data Towers, eliminate enemies or collect data fragments, though there will be obstacles in your way preventing you from easily completing your mission objective.
Honestly, the best preparation for this mode is to complete the main Deus Ex: Mankind Divided campaign first, as the mechanics are very similar when all is said and done. Every challenge that you’ll come across within Breach Mode will be something similar to one you encountered in the main game, so having that experience under your belt will make Breach Mode easier once you finally get to it. You’ll have enemies, turrets and security systems to deal with along the way, which can all be dealt with exactly as they were in the main game.
The Data Towers themselves are black and covered in purple glowing dots, so they’re hard to miss once you come across them. However, you will regularly find Server Blocks that are littered throughout the NSN that you’ll need to deal with in order to clear a path to them, which you’ll need to use the remote hack in order to do. This will bring up a quick mini-game where you need to line up the perpetually-moving yellow line with the thicker yellow area in the firewall, clicking just as the line passes through it to complete it. Some remote hacking attempts will have more than one of these you need to deal with and the yellow line’s speed may be faster, but they’re usually not too hard to complete. Again, this is something you’ll already be a pro at if you played the main game.
However, you want to make sure that you are very mindful of alarms within the NSN, as if you’re spotted by a camera or trip a security line then all of the hackable obstacles will reset. You’ll also more than likely find some enemies coming at you or turrets aiming your way, so take things slowly just as you would in the main game to avoid having to deal with too many enemy encounters.
Once your objective is complete you have a decision to make, as a timer will appear that will require you get back to the entrance point before it runs out. However, it will typically trigger before you’ve completed all of the objectives, and if you want to get the highest score then you’ll want to complete them all first. However, if you were having trouble then it’s best to just make a mad dash to the exit to avoid failing the mission entirely.
Sometimes you will also have to take on a Prime Defense Unit to complete a mission, which is a fancy term for a boss fight. Dealing with these guys will require a little more patience than regular enemies, as you’ll want to use cover as much as possible to avoid taking big damage. Just make sure you keep your health up to avoid a quick death from a sudden attack while utilizing your best weapons to come out on top.
You’ll also want to make sure that you watch out for the resistances and weaknesses enemies will have against the weapons you use against them. When taking on enemies make a note of what happens when you shoot them. If you get a number highlighted in red it means they are resistant to the weapon and are only taking half damage, a regular white damage reading means they are weak to the weapon, and if the weapon does no damage then they are immune to the weapon entirely. Be sure to pack several different weapons when going into a mission to make sure that you aren’t stuck with weapons that will be ineffective against the mission’s enemies.
As you progress through Breach Mode you’ll receive Booster Packs, which will get you new weapons and items to use within the mode. These will be items that you encountered in the main game, so knowing how to utilize them should not be a problem as long as you’ve played through the campaign. Everything from pistols to HypoStim Injectors will pop up that you’ll have to manage within a limited inventory space, though considering the quick nature of these levels it’s never as big of a problem as it can be in the early stages of the main game.
Breach Mode is definitely a cool little diversion from the main game if you’re looking for a quick play session, so it’s worth getting good at so you can get the most out of it. It really took a relatively brief scenario from the campaign and just ran with it, making a pretty solid arcade mode in the process. It’s not a dramatic shift from the campaign other than in the visual department, however, so getting the hang of it really isn’t much of a task apart from a couple of tweaks.