It's been a long time since the first concept art for a mysterious project called Deus Ex Universe was revealed, teasing a follow-up to the studio's prequel Deus Ex: Human Revolution. While it may not have reached the heights of the first game, Human Revolution put the franchise back in a respectable place and introduced a unique new aesthetic based largely in tones of black and gold. It was sleek, stylish, and a promising fresh start.
While the long wait for another Deus Ex game might be frustrating, it's certainly preferable to Eidos-Montreal churning out a new sequel every year and falling into franchise fatigue. Most Deus Ex fans have been waiting patiently under the assumption that Eidos-Montreal has been developing something special, and today the studio offered a small glimpse into what that something is.
In a blog post on the studio's official site, the company officially announced the Dawn Engine, a game engine "designed exclusively for PCs and the new generation of consoles." The Dawn Engine is based on a heavily modified version of IO Interactive's Glacier 2 Engine (which was used in Hitman: Absolution), and along with the announcement Eidos-Montreal also posted a screenshot to demonstrate "the level of detail and artistic fidelity" that the Dawn Engine can handle.
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Eidos-Montreal confusingly states that the screenshot is for display purposes only, "despite any hints you may pick up from this image." The sentence is either poorly worded and meant to say that the image doesn't contain any real hints, or is cleverly worded and designed to get people looking closely at the screenshot for hints. Either way, the screenshot definitely fits with the Deus Ex: Human Revolution color scheme.
The post also offers a little more insight into Deus Ex Universe. Despite speculation, this is not actually a Deus Ex MMO but is instead an umbrella term for upcoming projects in the Deus Ex franchise. It sounds like that franchise may expand beyond games to include more novels and other types of media. There's also a Deus Ex movie in the works, but there hasn't been any news on that front for months.
"Deus Ex Universe is the name we are giving to the fictional world and the rich lore we are creating for it, which will of course include core games, as well as any other projects that will help bring the world of Deus Ex to life. We won’t go into too much detail for now, but what we envision is for our projects to have meaningful ties to one another, in order for them to strengthen and deepen your experience within this Universe."
Eidos-Montreal seems to be serious about this project, because the post concludes with an invitation for people to apply for the new job positions that have opened up at the studio as it continues developing Deus Ex Universe. If any of our readers live in Montreal and have the skills required to be a Director of Animation or a Director of Technical Animation, you can apply over at Eidos-Montreal's jobs page.
What are your hopes for the future of the franchise? Was Human Revolution the start of a return to form for the RPG franchise, or do you have concerns about the future?