The Rebirth of Deus Ex

GamePro has published a piece entitled "The Rebirth of Deus Ex", which comes across as something of a franchise retrospective while also providing an article-style interview with Deus Ex: Human Revolution art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletete.
The best cyberpunk stories convey a foreboding and oppressive mood, which is something Deus Ex does particularly well. The futuristic nanotechnology speaks of potential and progress, but the conflicting sense of unrest hints at the fragility of civilization. This undercurrent of societal strife provides the narrative with its sense of momentum; for all its sophistication and glamour, the futuristic society of Deus Ex is a runaway train speeding toward collapse. As agent JC Denton, it is your job to keep things from coming apart or, depending on how you choose to play it, give it the final push that would send it tumbling past the precipice.

Creating a memorable world is something the members of Eidos Montreal, the team tasked with reestablishing the Deus Ex brand, is focusing on. As diehard fans of the series, they recognize the importance of establishing a credible setting, one that not only recaptures the spirit of the original game but pushes things in an exciting new direction. Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, the team's art director, presented his vision at a panel at this year's Game Developers Conference and then spoke with us at length in an exclusive interview. His two main sources of inspiration for the next chapter in the Deus Ex saga, Human Revolution, may seem surprising at first, but as you will soon see, he definitely has a method to the madness.


"I wanted to find a fable or myth that worked with the main theme of Human Revolution," Jacques-Belletête explains. "[I was] researching Greek mythology and the story of Icarus, and I said to myself, 'Man, this is it. This is transhumanism.'"

Icarus, along with his father, Daedalus, used technology-although wax and feathers aren't exactly cutting-edge materials, they still count-to augment their bodies; in doing so, they gained the ability to fly, something their physical bodies were incapable of. Or, as Jacques-Belletête says, "To me, that's cybernetics."