Deus Ex: Mankind Divided continues the story of Adam Jensen, the cybernetically enhanced hero of Human Revolution, but it won't rest on the laurels of that critically-acclaimed return to form for the franchise. At a recent event with Square Enix, ComicBook.com talked with game designer Antoine Tisdale about the sequel, due out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 23, 2016.
"First and foremost, I think it's important to look back, see what went right, what went wrong, and build from this," Tisdale told us. That means taking fan and critical feedback into consideration. However, they're always looking at, "building it into what we want it to be as a franchise for later. If someone loves, for example, an augmentation, we want to see how the player can use that for more, for new experiences."
The franchise focuses on letting players do things their own way. "We're trying to make a combat game, we're trying to make a stealth game, we're trying to make a social game. Sure, you can play it only one way, but we want players to mix and match these experiences," Tisdale explained. That means they're basically making three games in one for every mission. "You can talk your way into someplace else, then you get discovered and go into combat, and it's so overwhelming that you go into stealth," he gave as an example. It's a "multi-path, multi-solution" game for every mission, and they encourage players to explore.
Jensen won't suddenly be underpowered if you played the last game, but the story will explain how he can still have a building point. "He's less naive than he was, and he knows more about what goes on behind closed doors," Tisdale teased.
As for those signature augmentations, they can now be chained together to really change the gameplay. Tisdale's favorite chain was one they showed us in our behind-closed-doors demo. You use a dash that lets you go across long distances when you're crawling around the eaves of a room. Then you strike down with a powerful ground smash, and use Typhoon, which shoots out nanobots that distract enemies. After that, a quick cloak lets you "slowly walk away" while your group of enemies freaks out. "Drop a grenade in there, and you can actually take out about eight enemies with one well-timed combo." Tisdale's glee at the proposition makes us anxious to try it.