Like Deus Ex: Human Revolution before it, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place in a futuristic cyberpunk world, in which the population is split into two camps. On one side are the augmented humans, i.e. people who have enhanced their natural abilities with mechanical implants, and those who support them. On the other, human rights activists argue that transhumans represent a threat to the natural order. As Adam Jensen, players are stuck in the middle: Jensen is a transhuman himself, yet he hunts down “Aug” terrorists in order to protect a world that hates and fears him.
If this all sounds far-fetched, think again. According to the developers at Eidos Montreal, Deus Ex’s nightmarish setting is completely realistic – if the real world isn’t there quite yet, it’s certainly well on its way.
That’s the gist of a new video posted by Game Informer, continuing its week-long coverage of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. In a series of interviews, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s creative leads admit that their game is science fiction, but argue that it’s still realistic. In fact, the Eidos Montreal team has gone out of their way to create a feature that, if not inevitable, is certainly plausible. As executive narrative director Mary DeMarle puts it, Deus Ex’s dark future is the result of “anticipation, not creation.”
Executive game director Jean-François Dugas agrees. When Eidos Montreal first started working on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dugas says, “it was super important to look at where the world was… then [look] at what’s coming our way.” By comparing the past, the present, and the future, the Eidos Montreal team tried to extrapolate where the science of human augmentation was headed, and then worked those ideas into the story.
They had help, of course. Similar to how Sledgehammer Games enlisted a Department of Defense “scenario planner” to help develop Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Eidos Montreal hired a biotech expert to make sure that all of the game’s augmentations had “realistic scientific foundations.” As it turns out, Eidos Montreal’s predictions were pretty good; Dugas was pleasantly surprised by how feasible many of the team’s ideas turned out to be.
In fact, according to DeMarle, many of Eidos Montreal’s predictions are already coming true. When developing Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the team speculated that someday “there would be an athlete who was augmented,” who would petition to be allowed to compete with non-augmented contestants. Just two years later, that happened: Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee with prosthetic legs, represented South Africa in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
For Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Eidos Montreal is trying to once again predict the future, although executive art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletête admits that it isn’t easy. Game designers, he says, “have to do fashion design, have to do urbanism, have to do architecture – we have to do those things, but we’re not those things.” As such, Eidos Montreal is looking to cutting-edge designers like Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen for hints as to where things are headed. After all, there’s room for some creativity; it’s just important that Deus Ex’s world is based in fact, and not “invented from zero.”
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Source: Game Informer