The release date for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is fast approaching for home consoles and PC, and one of the most important elements of the game has finally been detailed: player decisions. Eidos revealed just what sort of impact they'll have on the game.
Speaking with IGN, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided producer Olivier Proulx from Eidos Montreal explained that choices and player agency in the upcoming game are very important and handled in ways that have unique results sprinkled throughout the play experience.
Sometimes it has a big impact, like life or death, or sometimes it's just in the little details, like you might not realize right away, but a character might comment on how you perform, or you'll read an email that's customized to what you did in the game. It's very cool, it's empowering as a player to have agency
Many times the choices in games where moral dilemmas are present end up with arbitrary "good" or "bad" decisions. Fans of Mass Effect know exactly what I'm talking about. There was always the "good" way of handling a situation and then the "bad" way, usually the latter of which resulted in violence. Oftentimes, it felt like in games like Mass Effect, you were being punished for making those decisions because they frequently had less than favorable results or had you missing out on some key loot or character development. It was the same way with a lot of the choices present in BioWare's Star Wars games.
For Deus Ex: Mankind Divided they wanted to remove the barrier of moral ratings. There will still be moral consequences, but they will apply to whatever decision you make, for better or for worse. You won't be gauged on being good or bad, just the decisions you make overall that will shape and mold your gameplay experience.
As a matter of fact, Eidos had mentioned before that this very system also applies to the game's endings. You're no longer going to have obvious, arbitrary good, bad or neutral endings to choose from when you get to the finale. Instead, the ending will be a culmination of the choices you made throughout Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. It's rare that games have it setup the way Eidos is doing it, but recently titles like CD Projekt Red's The Witcher have been moving toward this top-down pyramid approach to decision making in order to have multiple decisions branching out into multiple endings.
The interview on IGN is fascinating for anyone interested in the upcoming cyberpunk action-RPG, and they cover things like the game's new art direction and color tones, as well as some of the ways they've been changing the way NPCs will interact and react to the player.
They've also completely rewired the boss fights so that players who want a completely non-lethal playthrough can attempt to do so. They didn't go into depth about how that would all work out, but it seems cool nonetheless.
You can look for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to launch with its upgraded player decision impact for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC starting August 23rd.