Disappointing endings are a staple of Deus Ex games, aren't they? That's fine, though, because almost everything leading up to those final two minutes when you choose which button to press is pretty great. Unsurprisingly, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] will be continuing the series's sequel tradition of openings which kinda ignore which button you picked, but the ending this time will be more than a mere button-press. So its lead writer say, anyway.
Talking to cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer, Mary DeMarle explained that whichever ending you chose in Human Revolution, that can be correct. "We realised that there are three people in the world who know what decision was made: Adam Jensen, Eliza, and you, the player," DeMarle said. "So you guys know, but the rest of the world [in the Deus Ex universe] only knows that the 'aug incident' caused millions of augmented people to go crazy all over the world." The truth got buried in upset and outrage and rumours and theories so what actually happened doesn't really matter to the world, is the idea.
That's fine. I wouldn't have expected the ending to make a substantial change to Mankind Divided anyway, mostly because of the cost and complexity of creating big changes most people wouldn't see.
It sounds like, with Mankind Divided, Eidos Montreal are now thinking more about consequences and branches throughout the whole game - or have the time and money to actually follow through on that this time. DeMarle explained to PCG:
"For Human Revolution we actually didn't want [the ending to be dictated by] a press of a button, [but we had to] for production reasons and timeline and schedule. We actually wanted to have the player do things, and we believed that if you really believed in your ending you'd have to work for it. Really what we wanted to do from the get go was, 'can we really push the narrative in ways where choices you make early on can impact later'? Now we're embracing the idea of choice and consequence."
Aye, that sounds good. The few touches of that in Human Revolution, such as hostages on the first mission dying if you dawdled too long round Sarif's offices, were good, and I welcome more. The very final ending - those two minutes before the credits roll - are less important to me than the story that'll unfold as I go through.
I dig Life Is Strange's endings, for example, because the whole series was about living and experiencing, starting a life rather than ending a story. Yeah, the end of Mass Effect 3 is (still) guff, but the endings that mattered to me there were hanging out with Garrus, visiting Thane, Mordin's redemption, reuiniting the Geth and Quarians, and all that - which were independent of spacekids. Mass Effect was, by and large, about the relationships that you form. And at the end of the original Deus Ex, what I did with Paul and Anna and so on is what concerned me - my initial ending choice was mostly driven by wanting to be pals with Helios.
Anyway! Mankind Divided is due on February 23rd, 2016. Adam has played a bit, and he dug it. Do read the rest of PCG's chat with DeMarle, by the way, it seems to tackle a lot of small questions I've seen folks raise.