Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s lead writer wanted to kill off Adam Jensen

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Adam Jensen

Adam Jensen, he of the super-powered jumping legs and obnoxious built-in sunglasses, was always going to come back in the wake of 2011’s excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution, right? Not necessarily, says that game’s lead writer.

Responding to a question about why Mankind Divided is the first title in the series to feature a returning hero, Mary DeMarle, executive narrative director, said: “When we started Mankind Divided we knew he was coming back, but when we finished Human Revolution we didn’t know he was coming back. I wanted him dead.”

Check out Jensen’s first outing in our list of the best PC FPS games.

“She wanted to kill him,” affirms Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, the executive art director on both games. “I thought she was crazy! My point of view was that it’s so hard to create an iconic character in this industry – it kind of happens by magic, and we achieved that, so I was like, ‘Mary, why would you kill that?!’”

Defending her point of view in a recent roundtable interview at the Eidos Montreal headquarters, DeMarle responded: “I’m a writer, and you learn you have to kill your babies!”

But that baby is healthy, and ready to reprise his role as world-saving bionic superman when Mankind Divided releases in February. Set two years after HR, there is a mechanical apartheid in the wake of the Aug Incident, and societal tensions are running high. It’s a state of affairs well reflected by the game’s protagonist, according to the devs.

“Adam fits really well with the theme of the game,” says producer Olivier Proulx. “To the naturals he’s an outcast because he’s augmented, but to the augmented population [he doesn’t fit in because] he’s so shiny, and he doesn’t need Neuropozyne to sustain his augmentations. He’s a great canvas for the player to explore the themes of the game, and see both sides of the debate. He lets the player project their own interpretation; he’s a great canvas for that.”

We’ve done a fair bit of exploring ourselves – check out our Mankind Divided hands-on impressions video, and take a look at how the team are evolving Deus Ex beyond ‘sneak or shoot’.

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