It's getting closer. We still don't know exactly when Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, but we do know it will be early 2011, and we do know we're excited about it in around 50 different ways.
Which is apt, of course, because Human Revolution is, as much as its predecessors, a game about choice and consequence – and mixing things up as you go about making choices and living with the consequences.
Today developer Eidos Montreal unveils an exciting chunk of gameplay footage, demonstrating some of the augmentations that you will be able to put to use as you get onto the tail of its future-noir conspiracy.
As with the original unveil trailer, we thought it would be a good idea to seek some clarification in advance, so we watched the trailer a dozen times and slung some questions over to affable game director Jean-Francois Dugas, who obliged us with these replies.
Oh, and if you're a bit behind on this Deus Ex lark, do be sure to check out our detailed Deus Ex: Human Revolution preview elsewhere on the site.
Eurogamer: What aspect of Deus Ex's gameplay are you trying to showcase with the new trailer?
Jean-Francois Dugas: We really wanted to give a glimpse of the various ways to get the job done. Whether it's about the different weapons, the various augmentations or the alternate paths, you're never reduced to a single way to deal with an obstacle. And that is at the heart of the trailer.
Eurogamer: What's the orange line that appears around certain items and enemies about?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It's part of the Retinal Prosthesis augmentation that you get at the beginning of the game - it gives you information on things you can interact with, etc.
Eurogamer: What are Praxis Points and how do they work?
Jean-Francois Dugas: You earn Experience Points for every mission you complete, every secret you discover, and various other meaningful actions you take. By collecting experience points you will unlock Praxis points - something you need in order to acquire and unlock new augmentation abilities.
Eurogamer: The upgrade selected – Move/Throw Heavy Objects – appeared to allow Adam to move the crate so he could reach the vent. Are there any other examples of a similar application of this upgrade?
Jean-Francois Dugas: Yes, you can use objects as weapons by throwing them on enemies. You move objects and then take cover behind them, you can stack them to reach hard to reach areas, etc.
Eurogamer: What is the P.E.P.S. and how does it work?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It's a non-lethal weapon using a Pulsed Energy Projection System. So, every time you hit a target with this weapon, the enemy is going to be pushed away and stunned for a moment, giving you the time to disappear before he gets his senses together.
Eurogamer: Secondary weapons include the EMP grenade – what other secondary weapons are there in the game?
Jean-Francois Dugas: We have frag grenades and mine templates to name a couple of examples. What's interesting about mine templates is that you can combine them with any types of grenades you have (i.e. Frag, EMP, etc.). And then, you can stick them to any kind of surfaces as a trap for the enemies.
Eurogamer: We see Adam have a robot turn on his enemies – are there other examples of how Adam can manipulate the environment?
Jean-Francois Dugas: You can shut them off too. The same with cameras as well.
Eurogamer: How does stealth (cloaking) work, exactly? I assume it doesn't last forever, or does it?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It uses energy. We have what we call "passive" and "active" augmentations. All "active" augmentations use energy. When depleted, you can't use it any more. So, you need to find/buy nutrients to recharge your energy cells to use your augmentations again.
Eurogamer: We see a hacking mini-game – how does it work, exactly?
Jean-Francois Dugas: The hacking screen represents a network that you have infiltrated through an I/O Port. Your goal is to reach the network's Registry before its Diagnostic Sub-Routine discovers your original point of entry (the I/O Port) and kicks you out.
To progress to the Registry, you need to capture nodes on your way and each one has a rating influencing on the probabilities the Diagnostic Sub-Routine will detect you or not.
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Eurogamer: Adam kicks a box at an enemy – what other environmental objects can be used against enemies and how?
Jean-Francois Dugas: Anything that is pickable. It goes from boxes to trash cans, etc. You can also throw objects to create a distraction sending the enemies in the opposite direction, etc.
Eurogamer: We briefly see the weapon combine feature – what can you tell us about that?
Jean-Francois Dugas: You can combine them with weapon upgrades, basically. There are four basic ones (Ammo count, RoF, Reload speed & Damage) that can be combined to most weapons and we have few special ones as well that can be attached to certain weapons.
Eurogamer: We see explosive rounds used – what other rounds will be in the game and how do they work?
Jean-Francois Dugas: They're different calibres more or less effective depending the type of enemy your facing.
Eurogamer: There is a moment when Adam lands on the floor in slow motion with a bubble around him – is it triggered by the player as a character skill or is it part of a cut scene?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It's the "Icarus Landing System" augmentation. It is triggered automatically when you have the augmentation unlocked but the way you land (softly or with a bang to stun enemies) is done manually as you fall.
Eurogamer: The trailer ends with what looks like a defensive manoeuvre that deflects bullets – is this a special skill? What other types of this kind are there?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It's not deflecting bullets. It's an offensive augmentation called the "Typhoon Explosive System" that allows you to launch mini-explosives in a 360 degree arc around you.
Eurogamer: The Laser Rifle looks like fun – how does it work?
Jean-Francois Dugas: It's a weapon that allows you to shoot through walls so you just have to shoot, really. Combined with the Smart Vision (e.g. through thru walls) it makes for deadly combo. However, I'm telling you right away, it's a very difficult weapon to get...