Eidos Montreal made a conscious effort to avoid the distracting polarity of good and evil paths in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
“The goal was to give you more grey choices, to let people truly choose what they wanted to choose,” lead game designer Frank Lapikas told EDGE.
“If you give players light and dark, they are usually drawn to the light – not because there’s something they want but because they feel the need to play a good person. By having more grey choices, we felt players would be more drawn to the story.”
One option players aren’t offered is a non-combative path out of boss confrontations – notoriously raising ire with early players.
“It’s a narrative decision, essentially. The whole game is story-driven so if we gave all these opportunities to get through the bosses it created some headaches for us to get the narrative to work, so we had to make that decision,” Lapikas reiterated.
One of the more compelling choices Human Revolution offers is built into its mechanics; although players will probably need to invest in a variety of different augmentations, throughout the game there are on-the-spot choices about exploration and approach to be made.
“The whole game was designed so that you had multiple choices at any one time. Even if you decide to go combat, through your choice of weapons and augs, there’s always a way for you to get out of dodge,” the designer explained.
“You are never truly cornered without any means to get through the obstacle in front of you. That’s true for hacking, that’s true for stealth and social too.”
Eidos departed from the original Deus Ex game’s formula by letting the player start with a number of abilities – shooting straight and causing decent damage from the get-go, for example.
“At the basic level, there’s a way to go through the whole game without upgrading yourself. But by buying these powers you going to unlock new ways to go through combat or navigate the level,” Lapikas said.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is out now in the US and Australia, and releases today in the UK, for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.