Some new information regarding the third entry in the Deus Ex series has recently surfaced. Eschewing the standard tradition of naming sequels, the game is now called Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I don't have to tell you how much I love the first game, so my interest is more than piqued. With regards to Deus Ex: Invisible War, many fans of the original would like to pretend that it doesn't exist. The Deus Ex: HR developers jokingly do the same, as mentioned in this article: "Going back to the original was very, very important. We all started playing [Deus Ex] thoroughly, and then somebody voluntarily played the second one, just to make sure".
I managed to enjoy Deus Ex: IW, but it was more out of a sense of nostalgia rather than on its own merits. In the first few levels, you're walking around in cities and interacting with a wide variety of NPCs who all give you conflicting goals on both a microlevel (collecting evidence on a corrupt senator or helping him out for cash) and a macrolevel (aligning yourself with one of the game's central factions against the others). This evoked a familiar sentiment, which was subsequently snuffed out as the game moved forward to generic bases and uninspired set pieces where the stunted combat mechanics became more apparent.
Regarding Deus Ex: HR, a new (CGI) trailer was recently shown at the GDC (available here). What I like about it is how they show that the biomechanical implants are unsightly and cumbersome. They significantly alter a person's appearance and are designed for combat, which makes certain everyday tasks difficult (as shown by the glass cracking), which was an aspect that Deus Ex focused on with the characters of Gunther Hermann and Anna Navarre (especially when explicitly contrasted with JC's augmentations).
I remember that during BioShock's development, it was stated that the player's humanity would suffer under repeated splicing, but in the game itself, this was quickly swept under the rug. The gruesome effects the plasmids had on the body (for instance, charred skin with Incinerate and a beehive for an arm with Insect Swarm) were temporary, and the question of "sacrificing one's humanity" was left by the wayside.
I mention this because it would be interesting if Deus Ex: HR introduced this aspect in full. I like how Deus Ex subtly illustrated the stigma laid upon those who chose biomechanical implements over social acceptance. And although the trailer shows a protagonist already rife with robotic limbs, there is nothing in the preview coverage to indicate that he starts out this way. Just because he is a "private security officer with a company that specialises in these augmentations", there's no need for him to have already dipped his pen in the company ink.
Basically, what if Deus Ex: HR were like this?
Welcome to Playthroughline, a personal blog focused on the implementation of stories in games. In addition to general musings about narrative design, you’ll also find a collection of scripts that basically do for videogames what The Editing Room does for movies.