Book review: The Art of Deus Ex Universe

The Art of Deus Ex Universe (Jonathan Jacques-Belletete and Martin Dubeau with Paul Davies. Titan books)

As a teenager, I loved sketching characters like Judge Dredd, Boba Fett and stormtroopers (not together in the  same scene, obviously). I particularly loved drawing Judge Dredd. I guess it was his hard-edge face with what seemed like a permanent scowl that was the attraction.

I always started with the helmet before I added in the respirator and the nose piece – and then it was pretty much just a solid chin with that scowl. Judge Dredd was such an interesting character to draw and it was only natural that my love of drawing pop culture characters (and studying art at high school)  would lead to me being intrigued by the design processes of video games.

I’m incredibly fascinated by how game makers start with a spark, an idea, and flesh it out into a full realised character as we see in a finished video game.

As someone who loves the design concepts and processes that go into video games, and a longtime fan of the Deus Ex series, The Art of Deus Ex is a fascinating 210-page book that delves deeply into the thought processes of the artists, designers and conceptual artists as to  how they settled on the final designs of characters and locations used in Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Deus Ex Human Revolution.

I bought the book from Amazon for about $NZ50 (including delivery) after playing through Deus Ex Mankind Divided, a game that had such a visually impressive art style that just had to have an art book that detailed the design process. I loved the game but I think I love the art book even more than the game.

The game opens with a section on Adam Jensen, the lead character in Mankind Divided and Human Revolution and a character that I actually liked despite many thinking he was a douchebag and it’s interesting that reaching the final visual look was a two-year process, says the book.

In it, Jacques-Belletete says Jensen had to represent “what it meant to have your body augmented way beyond its natural and biological capabilities”. The book shows how Jensen’s character evolved and changed over the design process, eventually settling on the cyberpunk look we see in the final game.

For gamers who want to see the process from ideas to finished project, a book like The Art of Deus Ex Universe is well worth the money. I just love seeing the sketches and concept art of the vision for what they want the game to look like. It’s fascinating seeing the transformations of characters from rough sketches to fleshed out as they look in-game.

The book covers everything from cybernetic implants and augmentations and characters like Frank Pritchard, Jaron Namir (from Human Revolution) and Elias Chikane to locations like Detroit, Prague, Sarif Industries and Hengsha. Fans of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided will be in heaven, as I was.

The Art of Deus Ex Universe is stunning from start to finish chokka block with highly detailled images – hopefully the images accompanying this post will do it justice – for gamers who love the process behind the games they play to pore over.

I’ve got several video game art books and I have to say that this one takes pride of place in my collection.

 

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided: That’s me sorted for a few weeks, then

To celebrate my copy of Deus Ex Mankind Divided (which I pre-ordered ages ago) arriving today,  I thought I’d post the launch trailer to SquareEnix’s latest games in the series.

20160824_182655I really enjoyed DX: Human Revolution once the boss battles had been patched to be more aligned with how you wanted to play so I’m really looking forward to spending some quality time with Mankind Divided and my PS4.

I’ve also posted a picture of my copy, ready for me to play (I also note you can see my socks in the image. Hopefully, they match!)

Here’s the blurb from SquareEnix on what’s the game’s about:

“In 2029, after the Aug incident that resulted in the deaths of millions, mankind stands divided. The oppression of the mechanically augmented has created a climate of fear and resentment, resulting in an escalation of crime and acts of terror. Amid all the chaos, Adam Jensen goes after the Illuminati, the men and women responsible for tearing the world apart. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.”

 

Here’s the trailer:

 

Anyone else picking this game up?

 

Deus Ex Mankind Divided new game play demo

I told myself I wasn’t going to watch anymore game play footage of Deus Ex Mankind Divided until the game’s out later this year,  but, really, I’m only kidding myself: I held off for about six hours then watched it this weekend.

This latest footage shows the city hub area set in Prague, starting in Adam Jensen’s apartment after a terrorist attack that has screwed his augmentations up. Jensen needs to get to Vaclav Koller, an underground augmentation specialist, so that he can have a look at them and help him get back into shape.

It looks the like the game is using the same or a similar engine to Deus Ex Human Revolution so I was a little underwhelmed graphically but it’s not out for two months so plenty of time to go until it’s released.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided is out on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 3 on August 23.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided new trailer

Umm, I’ll just leave this here, shall I? I watched it a few times, I must admit. I’m hyped for this game. HYPED!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out on PC, Xbox One and PS 4 on August 23 and you’ll be able to buy just the game itself (that’ll do me nicely) or two boxed versions. The Day-One edition which features an extra in-game mission (this sort of thing pisses me, to be honest: Why not give the level to everyone who paid for the game??),  Covert agent packs which contains a compilation of in-game items, including various weapons, re-skins, and upgrades, a digital copy of the original soundtrack (this would be most excellent as it is being done by the most excellent Michael McCann) and digital copies of a mini artbook, novella and comic book.

Then there’s the collectors edition (I bought the Batman Arkham Knight Collectors edition and after that, I’ve decided I’ll never buy a collectors edition again. I just don’t think they’re generally worth the money you pay) which comes with all the Day-One edition content, a 9-inch Adam Jensen figurine, a black and gold prism-shaped box, a 48-page art book and a steelbook.

Friday Media Blast: Adam Jensen 2.0 trailer

I’m quietly excited about Deus Ex Mankind Divided, the next installment in the franchise from Eidos. I don’t want to get too hyped just in case, you know, it doesn’t live up to the hype.

In today’s Media Blast we’ve got the latest trailer fresh of the video editing room from DX Mankind Divided that focuses on lead character Adam Jensen and his augments, namely the Titan shield and his new gun-arm augmentations, the Tesla, the Nanoblade and the PEPS.

It all looks pretty good to me. The game is out next year some time.

Gamescom gets a blast from Deus Ex Mankind Divided

For no other particular reason than to celebrate Gamescom 2015, BandaiNamco has released some rather spiffy hi-res images from its next game in the Deus Ex series, Mankind Divided – and they look bloody marvellous!

Click on each image to see if full size.

I’m not sure what the symbolism is with the upside down tree and the cube but there’s some grafitti on it that reads: “A wrench is a tool, not a human being”. I’m really not sure what that means but it’s clearly a reference to some sort of oppression, maybe?   Adam Jensen look more gaunt than usual. Perhaps the stress of what he’s been doing is finally getting to him and he’s not eating properly. Or getting enough sleep. Or drinking enough water. Or maybe he’s just thinner.

Anyway, the game is out on Xbox One, PC and PlayStation early next year sometime. In the meantime, drool oveDXMD_2015_08_05_GC_concept_028_1438762713r these. Don’t forget to wipe your chin when you’re done. DXMD_2015_08_05_GC_concept_029_1438762706 DXMD_2015_08_05_GC_screen_ONLINE_020_1438762644DXMD_2015_08_05_GC_screen_ONLINE_023_1438762648DXMD_2015_08_05_GC_screen_ONLINE_021_1438762645DXMD_2015_08_05_GC_screen_ONLINE_022_1438762647

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided trailer blast

It’s no secret that I’m hyped for SquareEnix’s Deus Ex Mankind Divided.

So, while trawling the net tonight, I came across two more Mankind Divided trailers: One showcasing the Dawn Engine that will be used in the game and the technology behind it, and the other which shows the work that went into the Mankind Divided announcement trailer (anyone else think that the dude speaking in the video has a hairstyle and beard that looks sort of like Adam Jensen’s?)

Both are impressive and have hyped me even further.

Enjoy.

Deus Ex Mankind Divided? SquareEnix, take my money now

The hype has well and truly started: The next game in the Deus Ex series has been announced by SquareEnix.

It’s name is Mankind Divided. And it’s bringing back Adam Jensen, the likeable augmented main character from Deus Ex Human Revolution. I couldn’t be more pleased.

It’s been confirmed for PC, PS4 and Xbox One (not last-gen support which is no surprise) but no release date has been given. It apparently takes place two years after Human Revolution in a society where augmented citizens are starting to push back against their non-augmented oppressors. Apparently, Jensen is part of an Interpol-like organisation that is tasked with tracking down augmented terrorists.

Yes, this is a cinematic trailer but, my God, it looks so damn good (much stabbing, many bloods) and has me hyped for the next game in the series. Hopefully, developer Eidos Montreal have learnt its lesson from Human Revolution and won’t outsource the boss battles like it did originally in Human Revolution, which had to be fixed with the Director’s Cut release.

Fingers crossed, Michael McCann is doing Mankind Divided’s soundtrack, too: His work on Human Revolution is next to brilliant. Update: I just watched the credits at the end of the trailer and McCann is doing the soundtrack on Mankind Divided. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Are you excited? I know I am.

All aboard the Hype Train! Toot! Toot!