The first details on Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex 3 have been revealed, in the pages of PC Zone's landmark 200th issue.
It's out in the shops on Thursday, but PC Zone subscribers are reporting that copies of PCZ number 200 have hit doormats this morning. The cover game? Deus Ex 3 - the long-awaited return of the world's favourite nano-augmented RPG-shooter.
In essence, it looks and sounds fantastic. The art direction is a beautiful meld of the renaissance and cyberpunk (tying into the game's Leonardo Da Vinci motif) and is going for a lot more stylised look than the sort of game that comes from the Unreal Engine cookie-cutter.
It sounds like Eidos Montreal isn't leaving anything to chance; a "powerful, layered" plot is promised for the third game - which has been confirmed as a prequel set in 2027- and the dev has even drafted in the consultative talents of original writer Sheldon Pacotti, while also gaining the blessing of both Harvey Smith and Warren Spector on the project.
You're cast as average joe Adam Jensen, who works as a private security officer at a technology lab specialising in biomechanical augmentations, a forerunner to the sort of nanotechnology shown in the original Deus Ex. One day the path of his life is unexpectedly altered as a team of black ops commandos break into his company's HQ, and using a security plan from Jensen's own hand, a mass slaughter ensues and the conspiracy begins.
"Deus Ex 3's vision of the future sees holographic screens flicker atop ferries moving back and forth in front of the Shanghai skyline, now split into two layers with the rich on the top and the poor in perpetual twilight below," says PCZ.
Eidos Montreal says it's more than aware of fan reaction to controversial second game, Invisible War, and promises mistakes, such as limiting ammo types to just one, won't be repeated.
This said, they are doing their utmost to please newcomers as well as existing fans. Perhaps controversially this time around combat won't be influenced by stats, but will rely purely on your personal marksmanship skills. Instead stats will influence "a vast array of fully upgradeable and customisable weapons", and you'll be able to tailor your arsenal to your play style with mag upgrades, scopes and other add-ons.
What's more, stealth will now rely on a cover system rather than shadows, and damage will be dealt with by a very Call of Duty-style auto-heal. There's probably going to be some debate over those two.
Augmentations have been bumped up and sound fantastic. 20 have been promised for the final game, ranging from 'bungee jump' tentacles that shoot from your back and anchor to a wall when you jump off a building, and the ability to punch through walls to grab enemies in neighbouring rooms.
Deus Ex 3 certainly sounds very, very promising - if a little controversial for die-hard PC fans. And just wait until you see the shots...
For more info and the first screenshots see the full ten-page preview in the 200th issue of PC Zone, out October 9 (and in subscribers' hands now). Happy 200th issue, by the way.
UPDATE: A slight clarification for those fearing that DX3 is straying from its roleplay roots - Eidos Montreal have confirmed, as is detailed in PC Zone issue 200, that you'll still garner experience points as you progress through the game. You'll then either choose to plug them into your self through your augmentations or your weaponry. Apologies for any confusion.