In preparation for E3 next week, Eidos Montreal streamed its presentation for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided a few days ahead of time. The video included a first look at the city of Prague in the sci-fi world’s future, where an event called The Mechanical Apartheid causes governments and authorities to treat cybernetically augmented individuals as second-class citizens.
Prague’s aesthetics, vertical design, and characters (that include corrupt police officials) were shown, along with gameplay footage of navigating the city using augmentation abilities and hacking. The gameplay presentation concluded with a combat demonstration that took place in a ruined bookstore, which juxtaposed the lethal approach with a non-lethal one—appealing to the player’s sense of choice and emphasizing the open world gameplay.
Although the gameplay video was the main highlight of the presentation, Eidos Montreal announced plans to take the Deus Ex Universe to a whole new level by bringing elements from the game into the real world and presenting viewers with the future of Mankind Divided.
Expanding The Deus Ex Universe
As Jean-François Dugas, executive game director of Deus Ex franchise, explains in the introduction, part of the goal is to “bridge the gap between fiction and reality.” The studio wants the style of Deus Ex to become part of the real world. To that end, there is a prequel graphic novel titled Deus Ex Universe: Children’s Crusade that tells the story of how the main protagonist, Adam Jensen became involved with a division of Interpol called Task Force 29. Additionally, the plain prose novel Deus Ex: Black Light fills in the events that occur after the previous game, Human Revolution.
The Deus Ex Universe also has a real-world fashion line, so that fans can dress like the sci-fi characters from the game. Then fans can explore the real world using an app that scans different transmedia products to unlock exclusive behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the game developers.
Deus Ex Re-imagined
Today saw the official announcement of Deus Ex GO—a mobile game that’s set to release later this summer. Using the stylized graphics and strategic gameplay established by the hit games Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO, the newest addition distills the Deus Ex experience down to its primary roots of using cybernetic augmentation, combat and hacking so that players can navigate through challenging puzzles.
Fans will be able to take the Deus Ex GO experience even further with an editor that lets them construct their own challenges and thereby extend the life of the game by establishing a community of puzzle makers.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — Breach Announcement
Eidos Montreal producer, Fleur Marty, referred to an April Fools’ Day video the studio produced earlier this year, where the executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête announced that he was sick of the black and gold look of Deus Ex. Instead, they would pursue a new art direction using almost all pink and white. As it turns out, there was a lot more truth to the video than anyone suspected. The video was actually a preview of what the new challenge mode, Breach would look like.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — Breach is a challenge mode that will launch alongside the main Mankind Divided campaign. Players take the role of Rippers (hackers) who use virtual reality environments to infiltrate data servers and uncover information. Of course, the information is protected by aggressive defensive measures, so players will have to outfit themselves with augmentation abilities and customized weaponry to complete challenges and compete against each other for greater rewards.
The mode was announced with a commercial for the fictional data security company, Palisade Property Bank, which is hijacked by a mysterious figure who is calling for all other Rippers to take action and uncover the truth. Breach is similar in many ways to the main game, except with an arcade twist, and has its own art, story arc and characters.
Deus Ex Gets Real
The Deus Ex developers always strive for a sense of realism and believability when creating the science fiction world. However, they might have done their jobs a little too well with some of the Human Revolution promotional trailers that featured fashionable cybernetic prosthetic limbs. The studio was contacted with inquiries about where these prosthetics could be purchased, and they had to inform them that they didn’t exist in real life. At least, they didn’t until now.
In the ultimate move to bring the Deus Ex Universe into the real world, the game developer has partnered with Open Bionics to change the prosthetics industry with “affordable, functional and beautiful prosthetic devices.”
André Vu, the executive brand director for the Deus Ex Universe, outlined the inspiration for what might be the first video game-inspired prosthetic device line. Joel Gibard, CEO of Open Bionics, explained the process of turning Adam Jensen’s bionic arm into a real world piece of technology, and the video demonstrates a very impressive semi-functional prototype. The design files will be open-source, so that anyone with a 3D printer can download them and make themselves a robotic arm.
Fans with two arms can also enjoy use of the robotic limb, thanks to a third partnership—this one with Razer and its Stargazer camera, which uses Intel RealSense depth-sensing motion tracking technology. As Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan explains, the Stargazer captures in real-time, enabling “one-to-one mirroring between the user’s hand and the bionic hand.”
With that, Deus Ex gives fans a look at how the franchise is shaping both fiction and reality.