Deus Ex: Human Revolution deals with mature themes
Jean-Franí§ois Dugas was compelled to work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution because of its mature content. “I’m not 20 years old any longer,” the game’s director told the Straight in a phone interview.
But the mature content he referred to isn’t spicy dialogue or naked women. “I’m talking about themes and exploring more philosophical aspects while building an entertainment product,” Dugas explained.
An overarching theme of the Deus Ex franchise is transhumanism, and in Human Revolution, set in the year 2027, it is expressed through a culture and society in which people can choose to augment their bodies with technology.
According to producer David Anfossi, the game explores a specific era of human evolution and the push to maximize human potential. In a 2010 interview at E3, Anfossi explained that the tension between the organic and the mechanical—between biology and technology—infuses Human Revolution.
The augmentations that people have are visible to others, so everyone can identify those who have made the choice to become a cyborg. But Adam Jensen, the protagonist of the game, is augmented without his consent. The theme of control and free will is also evoked in Human Revolution.
However, the Eidos Montreal developers didn’t want the game to make judgments about what’s right and wrong. “We really wanted to paint a world that was filled with shades of grey,” Dugas said. That meant determining motivations for every character, and asking why they were acting the way they were. Human Revolution was, he said, a chance to question what it means to be human: “Should we be able to be everything we can be?”
Dugas admitted that the game still needs to be fun and entertaining, but said that the more reflective aspects of Human Revolution will be appreciated by those players who like to “dig into those things”.