Deus Ex: Human Revolution had the best ceilings of any game ever made. I'm not kidding. I've had screenshots of that game's ceilings as desktop wallpapers and I know others who have done the same. Each one was a sculptural work designed to communicate the cyber renaissance setting. I spoke to gameplay director Patrick Fortier about this at Gamescom and unfortunately it sounds as if sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site] won't carry on the game's ceiling-based legacy in quite the same way. "That dream is dying," he said.
Mankind Divided is set two years after Human Revolution, in the aftermath of that game's finale, and therefore takes place in a world suspicious of those with augmentations. There's less idealism in the world, and therefore less desire to spend money on lavish ceiling art. I asked Fortier directly whether the ceilings would be as good in Mankind Divded as in Human Revolution.
"It depends," he said. "[In] Human Revolution, it was the golden age of the cyber renaissance. The dream was there: augmentations are going to be everywhere, everybody's going to get them, and they have that palette and those colours. Now that dream is dying, and Mankind Divided is much more about corporate feudalism coming back and kind of killing that. So you're going to get different kinds of ceilings. There are still, you know, the cyber renaissance is still out there, and you can still see glimpses of it, but it's been pushed into the corners a little bit, so that's going to affect the ceilings as well.
When I suggest that this makes Mankind Divided the Star Wars: The Original Trilogy of ceilings - replacing the gleaming metal of the prequels with the sand and rust of the Millenium Falcon - Fortier laughs and says, "Right, right."
Then I was escorted out of the interview.
In fairness, the game still has a pretty rad tree sculpture.
The screenshot that heads this post was taken by Nic Clapper and posted on our forum in 2012. The full version makes a great desktop wallpaper. Here are some more great Human Revolution ceiling images:
From Dead End Thrills general selection of Human Revolution screenshots.