It’s made in Montreal and it could be one of the biggest video games of the year.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to the wildly popular Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the latest from the legendary cyberpunk influenced Deus Ex series that launched in 2000, is a role-playing game that is centered around a futurustic “mechanical Apartheid” that grew out of the innocent use of mechanical augmentation by humans.
The year is 2027. One one side are those half-humans who are suffering from a mass extermination campaign and are championed by the game’s protagonist, Adam Jensen. Jensen, who speaks in a choked and constrained mutter that calls to mind Will Arnett’s Lego Batman, received advanced augmentation after being subjected to experimental genetic therapy as a child. As an adult, he’s basically a mechanical Swiss Army Knife of badassery, with various knives, guns and mysterious electrical charges at his disposal.
On the other side? A shadowy group of secretive and conspiratorial opportunists aimed at controlling the entirety of Earth’s population. You know…the bad guys.
“I don’t care that they only speak in whispers, says Jensen of his would-be overlords. “I won’t let them have the last word.”
The trailer for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was posted to YouTube two days ago (you can watch it below) and already has more than fifty-thousand views. That’s good news for the Montreal studio, Eidos Montreal and its parent company, Japanese video game developer Square Enix Holdings, which also produces RPG’s such as Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
Square Enix has a lot invested in the Deus Ex franchise. The first installment was a surprise hit, posting sales of more than two-million in its first few months after release, enough to more than double the Japanese company’s profit in the summer of 2011, something it dryly referred to as a ““favorable result”.
The game’s producer, Jean-François Dugas, says there is a lot more at stake with this sequel.
“For the first game, we were lucky to be a little bit naive,” he says. “This time around, since we know what it takes, what you need is courage. It’s just courage. Because the task is enormous.”
Executive art director Jonathan Jacques Belletête says this is a much more ambitious undertaking.
“It really is what we did in Human Revolution, but plus plus,” he said.
The very earliest reviews of the game suggest Square Enix might have another big hit coming out of its Montreal studio.
“The attention to detail in the game is staggering,” says The Verge’s Andrew Webster. “Mankind Divided is launching on a newer generation of hardware than its predecessor, and is powered by a new game engine, called the Dawn Engine. So while it features a similar style as Human Revolution — though with a more muted color palette to go along with the darker themes — it feels richer and more detailed.”
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be released on August 23.
Below: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Trailer