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Junipers Pruned

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Could Be Neat Ian's avatar
Adam Jenson is no JC Denton
At long last we have some more details about Deus Ex 3, and it’s not that they've renamed it D3us 3x or something dumb as with Thi4f. The real title is Deus Ex: Human Revolution which is certainly different to what I was expecting. As this game is a prequel rather than a reboot or a remake, neither Deus Ex 3 nor simply 'Deus Ex' would have worked very well. It must be a challenge going back to a series after this long. Do you try and focus on invoking nostalgia from the existing fans, or try and introduce it to todays audience? The original audience while still around is probably relatively tiny compared to the number of people who currently play games and have no idea what a Deus Ex is. From what they've said about the game so far it does look like they're trying someting new rather copying everything including the Matrix influenced aesthetic of the original.

Other stuff about the game from GDC include a trailer in which main character Adam Jensen seems really bummed out about having metal arms. He is also having weird dreams where he is a 16th century renaissance Icarus for some probably allegorical reasons. This Kotaku article talks about how they’ve drizzled renaissance architecture and fashion all over the game, but had to tone it down at one point as all the puffy clothing were starting to look more ridiculous than cool.

Here’s the trailer anyway:

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Ian's avatar

Being a long time fan of tonnes of old now ignored games franchises, it's always tempting to want a 100% accurate, faithful and true to the original sequel when one gets announced (See Fallout 3). I've recently come to terms with the fact that a lot of old games just wouldn't work in today's market. It's like wishing for a new Science Fiction show with the pacing of Star Trek: The Next Generation. At the time making a show laregly about talking to silly looking aliens on a giant screen and having lengthy staff meetings discussing the pros and cons of nonsense technology seemed fine, but you just couldn't do that today. Fallout 3 did manage to capture enough of what made Fallout cool to work as a sequel, obviously no-one was going to make a full big budget boxed product involving walking around on hexes and turn based combat any more.

With this Deus Ex and Thief 4, I am just happy that a somewhat competent development studio seems to be working on them, and will likely capture some percentage of what made the original games good. Ion Storm's second attempt at a Deux Ex game was a horrible failure. Every single aspect of the game was quantifiably worse than the original, and the engine was borderline broken. A good example of this was that while Liberty Island had been a single area in the original 2000 game, it was split into two parts as the engine couldn't handle it in the 2003 sequel. I read a lengthy interview about a problematic development process where they didn't notice their lighting engine was unsuitable for large areas too late in development to do anything about it. They coped by reducing the size of all the environments until they the engine worked, leaving them roughly the size of cramped studio apartments.

While the Invisible War team were patching up the holes in their leaking oil tanker of game, Eidos Montreal are worrying about the puffiness of their characters pantaloons. By a bizarre leap of logic, I assume this means development is going fine, and they actually seem to have a decent and somewhat original ideas for this game. Let's hope they get their puffy clothes engine perfected for use in Thief 4, a game where it'll be taxed to its very limits.

Tags: deus-ex, deus-ex-human-revolution, eidos