PAX AUS 2015 – What We Learned From The Deus Ex Panel
With the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided just around the corner, there was a lot of hype surrounding the panel presentation for the game at this year’s PAX Australia – and for excited fans, it didn’t disappoint. We got to see some exclusive footage of the game in action and witness some fascinating discussions between Mankind Divided executive narrative director Mary Demarle, and the creator of the original games, Warren Spector.
After showing off the recent cinematic trailer for the game, Mary jumped right into the thick of things and showed us a rough cut of some gameplay for Mankind Divided. According to Demarle, the sequence came from late in the game and it saw Jensen infiltrate a theatre. The level design emphasized a lot more verticality than what we saw in the last game but it was still very interested in providing that thrilling open-endedness that the series is known for.
The footage jumped between stealth and combat encounters to show off some of the new toys that Mankind Divided will throw into the mix – as well as some of the smart changes Eidos Montreal are making based on the critical response to Human Revolution. Jensen can now launch his nano blade out of his arm to instantly take out guards without switching weapons – allowing you to salvage stealth playthroughs on the brink of failure. Similar changes have also been made to takedowns -which no longer break stealth out of cover.
Eidos Montreal are also pushing to make combat more enjoyable this time around for players who aren’t interested in taking the quiet route. To that end they’ve made some changes to the Icarus Dash that allow you to approach combat in new ways. Importantly, Demarle noted that the dash – as well as all the other new augmentations – will have non-lethal variants. In addition, they’re also adding the ability to change and customize ammo types on the fly – which range from armor piercing to specialized EMP bullets.
The panel’s discussion between Spector and Demarle was fascinating to behold. The former talked about his transition to experiencing Deus Ex as a fan, while the latter talked about what they hoped to achieve with Mankind Divided’s narrative. According to Demarle, the crux of the story centers on the idea that “you can’t change the world with the touch of a button”. Apparently, the decision to continue Adam Jensen’s story was not made lightly and that the continuation of his story will see his character tread new ground. The new game will see Jensen return older and more jaded – albeit more-accepting of what he’s become. She also let slip the fascinating tidbit that the ending of the first game is considered canon no matter which option your Jensen chose as a result of a the rife misinformation about The Panchaea Incident.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided doesn’t look like it’s just going to be more Deus Ex – rather, it seems interested in learning from the previous game’s mistakes and really building on what Human Revolution brought to the table.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Trailer
Look forward to the game when it releases on February 23rd 2016 for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4.