When Deus Ex was first released on PC in 2000, it impressed a number of players and critics with its emphasis on player choice. It was viewed as a spiritual successor to the highly regarded System Shock, taking place in a cyberpunk future. The game spanned multiple genres, including first-person shooter, stealth and role-playing, and spawned a number of sequels.
The latest full installment in the franchise was Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original games, developed by Eidos Interactive and published by Square Enix. Human Revolution put players in control of Adam Jensen, a private security officer who is forced to undergo biomechanical augmentation to survive horrific injuries. Once more, the game received praise largely for allowing players freedom to make their own narrative and gameplay choices.
Eidos announced that the next game in the series, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, will be released under the umbrella of Deus Ex Universe. The game follows Jensen two years after the events of Human Revolution, in a world where augmented humans are persecuted by the rest of humanity. Through the new schism, the game will explore themes of transhumanism and human rights.
Unfortunately, the highly anticipated game was recently hit by a delay. Edios revealed that the game's release date has been pushed back to August 23rd, 2016, exactly six months from the previously announced date. David Anfossi, head of development studio Eidos Montreal, cites the team's emphasis on quality as the reason for the delay.
"As you may have already seen by reading and watching the many previews for 'Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,' our aim is for it to be a worthy successor to 'Human Revolution,' and to improve upon that game in every way possible... We're confident and proud of the game so far. However, as we are now playing through the game in full we can see that it will require more time in post-production for tuning, iterations and refinement to meet our high standards."
While a delay is always initially a disappointment, it's far more acceptable than if the developer were to ship an inadequate or broken game. There have been far too many instances in recent memory of games shipping with broken features, punishing early adopters while the developer scrambled to patch the issue. Eidos and Square Enix's decision to push back the release date is a smart choice, giving the studio a chance to polish the game and potentially turn it from good to great.
The road to Mankind Divided hasn't been easy for the team behind the game. Earlier this year, the preorder bonuses were revealed for the game. The preorder campaign was called "augment your preorder" and was an attempt to emulate the games emphasis on choice, giving players access to different bonuses. Unfortunately, many of these bonuses were locked into tiers, only unlocked if enough people were to preorder the game. Understandably, the choice didn't sit well with gamers.
Thankfully, the system was eventually removed entirely with apologies. All preorder bonuses were made available to any who chose to preorder or pick up the game's Day One edition. That decision, coupled with the recent delay, seems to indicate that while the studio is passionate about the project, they are also open to feedback from their dedicated fanbase. Hopefully the delay brings the game in line with everyone's high expectations.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launches on August 23rd, 2016.