Did you ask for this?
A franchise like Deus Ex is always about opportunity costs- you make a choice, and then the game responds to your choice, and that is the version of events that you end up playing. No matter how thorough you are, you will always miss something, if only because of the branching choices throughout the game. But that’s no reason to be lazy and skip out on all the side content too- in fact, you’ll probably regret it if you do.
“The key to designing any game is the first thing you have to do is figure out what the bare critical path, and you want to make that critical path experience the most exciting it can be for everybody,”Mary DeMarle, Executive Narrative Director for Deus Ex Mankind Divided, told The Examiner. “Once we have that, then it becomes a matter of what are building the layers that’ll make players who really take the time to explore understand and appreciate it even more.”
This means that the side content that does make it into the game has to make sense within the primary narrative constraints of the game- otherwise it ends up being banal and also trivializes the whole game experience.
“In Human Revolution, we said ‘Adam Jensen is on a quest to find the people who did this and anything that’s going to pull him away from that quest has to be deeply meaningful,” DeMarle said, “It can’t be ‘go save my cat from the tree.’ It has to be important to the character and so to make it important, we always look at it and say the side content needs to further explore the themes of the game to cast different perspectives on that central theme that we’re going through.”
DeMarle also confirmed that the game would have entire story arcs, gameplay sections, and characters whose existence could be missed entirely if the player did not engage with the side content. “Obviously, when you’re doing side missions you are being introduced to a whole array of characters, so yes there are characters you would not ever meet if you didn’t do those side missions.”
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will launch on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 23.