Eidos details how side quests work in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Chris Stead 18 August 2016


The highly anticipated Deus Ex: Mankind Divided lands on PS4, XBO and PC on August 23, and there will be hours of side quest to enjoy.

During a recent press trip out to Australia, we got a chance to catch up with Olivier Proulx, producer at Eidos Montreal, who is currently finalising the release of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. A sequel to the 2011 franchise reboot Deus Ex: Human Revolution, it continues the iconic series dive into player-driver gameplay and choice-driven narratives. For Proulx, side quests are a huge part of the Deus Ex DNA and in this excerpt taken from our interview, he reveals just how they will work in the game.

There’s obviously been a fair bit of effort put into creating this world, I wonder if you could talk through some of the small details which most gamers may miss, but you think are essential to help making a believable world.

I think one staple of a Deus Ex game is all the emails you can read. We talk a lot about the environmental storytelling in the team. When you enter a room, the room should tell you a story. By looking at how everything is laid out, you can get a sense of who's living here and their whole story. I don't think a lot of games do that. We have a lot of custom-made environments, and it's really done by hand. Then you can go deeper by accessing their emails and learning even more about the characters.Sometimes what's interesting is that people explore different areas of the game, especially in the city hub. Some players find emails about certain characters, others don’t, and then you get to meet that character a bit later. So you may have developed a bit of a perspective of that person before actually meeting them. That level of detail is pretty unique to a Deus Ex experience. Exploring and finding those nice little details will give you XP and loot, too, but for us the narrative payoff is something all its own.

On that, you mentioned previously that sidequests will be stories within themselves that offer a payoff. What could you tell me about how the sidequests operate and what kind of payoffs exactly are you talking about?

If you play through the main game, we have this big story with big power players that focuses on what society will do with the augmented population. It's a story that affects millions of people involving a big conspiracy - as you push through the story you sort of feel the epic nature of it. I think with the side missions, it's really more about the personal stories of how it affects just normal citizens. For example, in one side mission you meet some people who are trying to get papers so they don't get pushed into the ghetto and others who are trying to exploit that situation for their own personal gain.As you push through that little storyline, you meet new characters and you have to make choices that will affect the outcome of their question, "are we going to stay in Prague or move to somewhere safer?” Side missions are more personal stories. You will explore drug addiction problems, and even some things about Adam’s past. We just give you a different angle and a more personal take on the game’s themes, which I think players can really connect with. And it really compliments what we’re doing with the main storyline.

And are side missions something you come across rarely, or are there quite a few of them?

There are quite a few side missions. Some of them are pretty easy to find, like right next to the main missions. This way most players get to experience a few side missions. But some are pretty well-hidden. You might find one in a sewer; you might find a hidden apartment with an email that triggers a side mission. We have also got point-of-interest segments in the game where you have to investigate areas or landmarks to trigger a side mission. We try to balance this exploration, so some are easier to find than others. Some side missions will last for around one to two hours, too.

Our Take?

There’s set to be a heck of a lot of gaming on offer in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – I guess that is what five years in development gets you! I really like the idea that you can get rewarded with unique story tangents if you go exploring the world; not enough games give your arduous checking of all corners and objects a juicy recompense.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is available for preorder on PS4, Xbox One and PC at $59.99 AUD

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