It would be a bit of an understatement to say that that the storyline, technology, and gameplay mechanics of Deus Ex: Human Revolution are a bit complicated. Games that take place in a technologically advanced future are nothing new, nor are cybernetic enhancements turning protagonists into lethal weapons. With questions surrounding the game, especially after the recently released gameplay trailer, a developer from Eidos Montreal has released answers to some of the most asked questions.
The trailer not only featured a look at some of the physics-defying weaponry that players will be able to wield as Adam Jensen, but a look at the superhuman feats he is able to perform. Guns that can fire through solid objects have been around since Red Faction, and invisibility cloaking is a common conceit in modern videogames, so they need no explanation. But some of the other actions featured in the video demand explanation.
In order to answer some of the fan questions surrounding the storyline, upgrading system, glowing golden auras and much more, game director Jean-Francois Dugas has come to the resuce with a host of answers, provided by CVG.
Given how much fans valued the original Deus Ex for its commitment to player choice, they want to know just how the same freedom will be implemented in Human Revolution:
"Some choices will be presented in ways that the outcome will be more obvious but, a lot of choices will be more or less hidden in the challenges you face and in the narrative. Depending on how you react, later outcomes will vary. We didn't want to make a game where all the choices are telegraphed because it makes the choice more often than not based on how you want to boost your character as opposed as being immersed in the fantasy of the game. It's definitely more subtle than a lot of games."
Rumors have been circulating around the use of the term 'Icarus' in Square Enix's marketing for the game, and it would seem that the reasoning is less mystic than some had assumed. The name is given to the system that allows the player to survive falls from great heights, calling on some pretty sophisticated technology.
The Icarus system appears as a simple golden glow in the gameplay trailer, but the science of the device is far more complicated:
"The Icarus Landing System is a discreet augmentation surgically implanted in the user's lower back, slightly above the coccyx at the base of the vertebral column. The device has an accelerative descent sensor built in; in freefall, the unit will automatically activate the patented High-Fall Safeguard System, an EMF decelerator generating a fixed-focus electromagnetic lensing field, projected downward along the plane of the drop. This field pushes against the Earth's magnetosphere and slows the user's descent to a manageable velocity, allowing him to fall from almost any height (within reason) to a relatively soft landing."
For those unfamiliar with Deus Ex, one of the distinguishing features of the series is the prevalence of technology and hacking. Hacking min-games have had a patchy history in recent years, ranging from mind-numbingly simple (Mass Effect) to mind-numbingly simple but more entertaining (Mass Effect 2). How will those players who wish to play the role of the hacker fare in Human Revolution?
"Every hacking session is different. Based on your level of hacking augmentations, the chances that the Sub-Routine will detect you will vary. And each time, you need to adapt to what happens. Also, there are some rewards (credits, virus programs, etc.) that can be accessed but always while managing the Sub-Routine system trying to catch you. So, it becomes a game of adaptation and how much risks are you willing to take to get additional rewards."
For questions geared towards the specifics of inventory and health regeneration, take a look at the full interview. From the answers given, it would seem that the developers have put the necessary time and thought into even the most mundane aspects of the game, which will no doubt come as good news to those fans who were sold by the first trailer alone.
To find out how well the work of the developers has turned out, a few more months will have to be suffered through augmentation-less. In the meantime, feel free to have a look at what we thought of Human Revolution at E3.
You'll get your chance to test out Icarus when Deus Ex: Human Revolution is released on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and OnLive March 8, 2011.