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Deus Ex: Human Revolution

How Deus Ex is redefining the FPS experience

Eidos Montreal is bringing back the critically acclaimed PC franchise Deus Ex. Its game is on the road to becoming more than just another first-person shooter, it could redesign and redefine the entire FPS experience.

PSM3 sat down with Jean François Dugas, the director of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and discussed what his title could mean for the genre.

So, what defines Deus Ex?

Choice and consequence, cyberpunk and augmentation. There's more than that, but that's keeping it short!

You've retained so much of the original game for Deus Ex 3. Was it so ahead of its time that those things still work today?

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I think it was ahead of its time in certain aspects. Players like to figure things out by themselves and they like to experiment; I think that's kind of timeless. They want to feel smart about their experience and they want to feel, 'Oh, I thought about it and it worked' and that's what made it so powerful: that's also what we're trying to capture again.

The first Deus Ex was one of the first games that really brought that type of choice to gamers, and I think that's something that all gamers want.

Was there anything about the original game that obviously had to change?

Not really. We didn't want to reproduce the game exactly as it was back then, but rather recreate the aspects in a fresh and new way. We just went in and went back to the first two games, saw what was working well and analysed what would keep the essence of Deus Ex alive but at the same time fit a modern, global audience.

Does that mean hardcore PC gamers can call it 'consolified'?

Absolutely not. I think PC is a great platform, but I think consoles are a great platform, too. Back in the '90s, games on the two platforms were very different, but I think these days it's all about bringing things together - movies, TV, music - they're all converging in the same places for everyone to access. I see it as convergence, and it's the same for games.

We didn't think, 'Oh, it's coming to console; it has to be easy'. We can have a very deep experience, but it's important that if you want to just jump in to it, you can jump in to it. It's not about removing complexity or cutting possibilities: it's about the way the complexity is introduced.

Deus Ex has been around for so long; why has nobody done a good job of imitating it until now?

Because... God... making a game like that is a great challenge. It's fantastic and exciting but it's a lot of work and you need a very dedicated team. You need so many systems and all of those systems need to talk together. You often have to produce maps before the systems are functional, so you'll have routes play-testers can't explore because they can't move boxes or something. And then you'll have to balance the augmentations so that every player gets to experiment and nobody ever gets stuck. You have to iterate and iterate and iterate. It's a challenge. It's a big challenge!

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