Deus Ex Is 15, So Here’s Cartoon Denton & Jensen

The Deus Ex series, with its highest of highs and most middling of lows, is 15 years old. Old men, running the world. But not complicated pre-order schemes. They can’t run those, it appears. The anniversary is being used to promote upcoming fourth game Mankind Divided, due out in February (thus I will be a man divided between it and XCOM 2), and so we get this animated trailer which is mostly tease for the new title but does include various shots of characters from the first game. Who ever would have thought glimpses of Bob Page and Walton Simmons could make us feel so warm and fuzzy?

Oh my God! JC! A birthday! A birthday!

All present and correct: infinitely escalating music, gold, gold and more gold, Adam Jensen monologuing, not even remotely subtle Icaraus metaphors and jibber-jabber about understanding humanity. I like it: this is what we wanted. But given the blurb says “From JC Denton to Adam Jensen, we’re looking back at 15 years of Deus Ex with a unique animated trailer, recreating some of the most iconic scenes from the series”, it’s disappointing that the video’s essentially a Jensen-fest with just a few brief flashes of the Denton saga. Deus Ex 2 gets even shorter thrift, but we all know why that is.

February 23rd is the release date for Mankind Divided, but we’ll have a deeper and more meaningful look at it before then.


  1. alisonburgers says:

    I always wondered about the little grey aliens in DX1. Are they actually aliens or genetic experiments?

    • Daedalus29 says:

      Genetic experiments with aliens samples from the crash in Roswell. So, both.

      • LionsPhil says:

        There’s also mention of “bovine experiments” in relation to them:

        We’ve still trying to resurrect all the information from the old Dreamland data wells, but we have managed to extract a complete genetic sequence from the old bovine experiments that have given us two viable test subjects. They’ve been isolated in a radioactive field downstairs for observation if you want to work up your informal impressions prior to the meeting.


        From: LDeBeers//UpNet.873.484
        To: BPage//UpNet.658.9044
        Subject: RE: Bovine Manipulation

        >I’d like to investigate the possibility of
        >resurrecting the bovine manipulation
        >(MJID-9803HU8932), with an eye towards
        >recreating the “Gray” lifeform — while the
        >project was deemed a failure at the time, it
        >_was_ successful as a propaganda tactic in
        >diverting attention away from actual Dreamland
        >research. With recent advances in genetic
        >science, the Gray lifeform could be engineered
        >to protect MJ12 facilities while also serving as
        >a useful bit of meme indirection.
        An interesting idea, Bob, but I’m sure MJ12’s research allocations can be put to
        more substantial use pursuing our human augmentation projects; however, I’ll
        bring up the idea with Stanton and Morgan

        I don’t believe a concrete answer exists, though; the game’s hinting at a wider world of conspiracy and mystery without then ruining that by telling you the answers and showing how small it really is.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          “Old bovine experiments” could be a reference to the conspiracy theory that cows have allegedly been turned inside out by aliens.

  2. Marblecake says:

    Did anyone else pick up on the audio cue at the end of the trailer? That was a bit from the original DX main theme!! Yay! Goosebumps!

  3. Ashrand says:

    Get the hell out of here Denton!

  4. Daedalus29 says:

    I heard that the game will be full of obvious references from the first game. Not only via notes etc, but designs, musics and some situations will be directly linked to the first deus ex.

    Maybe the destruction of lady libery…

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      To be honest, I’d have liked to take that as a given — prequels and sequels, y’know, SHOULD obviously reference their parents, or else… why are the prequels or sequels at all? That was Human Revolution’s biggest mistake, to me, that it didn’t gel well enough with the other two (no DX logo on the menu? not even a remix of the DX theme tune?), so I will be very interested to see how (IF?) they manage to pull it into line.

      • karthink says:

        I believe the exact opposite. There’s only so many times you can uncover the same Illuminati conspiracy. There’s none of the surprise or impact of the reveal, and it puts the game in a terrible place where the player already knows exactly what’s going on but has to play dumb because Jensen has no idea.

        I’d have preferred Human Revolution take the themes and the play style of Deus Ex and run with it; break continuity and make their own thing.

        • karthink says:

          To add to that, the best bits of HR were the little side stories and missions, like Jensen helping in-over-their-heads employees, discovering his past, and clearing out gang-occupied apartments. The main plot was dull and confusing, and possibly hamstrung by having to eventually lead to the events of Deus Ex.

          • Turkey says:

            Yeah, I pretty much lost all interest in the game when I found out there wasn’t going to be any more hub areas after the second one.

            The fun always stops in video games when the overarching plot kicks in for real.

          • Turkey says:

            Woops. Replied to the wrong post.

        • Rao Dao Zao says:

          I think you actually believe the exact same thing as me! :P
          There’s none of the surprise or impact of the reveal, and it puts the game in a terrible place where the player already knows exactly what’s going on but has to play dumb because Jensen has no idea.
          It’s a prequel, that’s a fundamental given when writing a prequel. Hence why I totally agree with this:
          I’d have preferred Human Revolution take the themes and the play style of Deus Ex and run with it; break continuity and make their own thing.
          If they didn’t want to/couldn’t expand meaningfully on the existing canon (whether that’s uncovering the same conspiracy or a related one or something else) in a prequel, then it seems like a mistake to try and do so anyway. I think they could have gone much further with a brand new IP only “inspired” by Deus Ex than they did with this direct prequel which is, like you say, hamstrung by what’s already there. Human Revolution feels to me like the worst of both worlds — enough fresh stuff that it doesn’t sit right with its parents, but enough jemmied-in stuff that it refuses to stand alone.

          • Chaoslord AJ says:

            For one thing I’m not sure how many people played and remembered Deus Ex 1 for HR. Critical reception was mediocre and the game only later become a classic with hardcore fans.
            Second thing – it’s kinda an inspired prequel as many things don’t add up in continuity like Deus Ex 1 areas looking much like today and HR the “prequel” overly futuristic.

          • Premium User Badge

            gritz says:

            “Critical reception was mediocre and the game only later become a classic with hardcore fans.”

            That’s entirely incorrect. Deus Ex was highly regarded immediately upon release, by critics and fans alike.

    • Shazbut says:

      I’m hoping for a young Walton Simons

  5. mukuste says:

    The story of HR was so ho-hummingly meh that I basically don’t recall anything that happened in it at this point (and it’s mere months since I finally dredged up the motivation to finish the game). And the basic gameplay loop of hide-takedown-hide got really tedious towards the end. It’s an ok game but I don’t quite get the rapturous praise for it.

    This looks like more of the same, so… waiting for the sale on the GOTY edition.

  6. plugav says:

    I think it’s a strange choice to talk about hopes for a new age of Enlightenment in relation to Mankind Divided, unless they’re being purposefully bleak. As with Human Revolution, we already know the future is going to be shit, regardless of the actions of our electronic old men.

  7. dorobo says:

    You see what fallout guys are doing!? We need a cartoon too!! It’s cheap to make and it keeps us relevent!

    It’s funny how all the hype is just until the releases of games these days after that it’s just same old game game.

  8. ldgonza says:

    What the hell with Adam killing everyone on first sight? That poor evil henchman behind the wall didn’t even need to be in the same room with him :P

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      Yeah, that disconnect always bugged me about DXHR- here’s all of these sweet murdertools for your badass killing machine Jensen… but we hold back enormous amounts of skill points from you if you actually use them.

      Unfortunately, there’s not much of a mod scene around to rebalance that.

  9. Pheeze says:

    A bottle of booze, please

  10. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I really wanna know about the holding the hand in the flames -bit, now. Been making free PR on my work logon screen for months now with that wallpaper, hoping the game would be good…

  11. ifaiw says:

    What, no one else has said it yet? Then allow me: Invisible War is the second best Deus Ex, behind only the original. I enjoyed HR, but it didn’t feel as expansive and mysterious as IW.

    Any chance RPS can post Kieron’s original review of Invisible War? It’s a great piece, and I think it’s important to not gloss-over or ignore IW’s place in the series.