Deus Ex: The Fall, the newly announced iOS extension to the popular sci-fi franchise, is the first installment in a projected series, and will take six hours for a single playthrough. Available for a one-off price, it will also feature in-app purchases.
Developed by N-Fusion in conjunction with Eidos Montreal, Deus Ex: The Fall utilises all the talent that helped make last year's critical hit, Human Revolution. "Eidos Montreal were involved from day one," producer James Wright told Eurogamer.
"So basically, the same team that really put together Human Revolution - Jean Francois Dugaud, the designer, Mary DeMarle and James Swallow, the writing team, and Jonathan Jacques-Belletęte, the art director - all of the key creative people have been involved from day one to make it a true Deus Ex experience."
So why did Square opt to embark on an iOS installment, rather than chasing the more traditional console and PC route? "Primarily the reason was that we really wanted to expand the Deus Ex universe, and have the experience not just for the core gamers, but to let other types of gamers have that experience as well," explained Wright. "It is a true Deus Ex experience - it does contain action, stealth, hacking, social interaction, choice in gameplay and consequence. It's a game very much that our fanbase and our core gamers will still enjoy, despite the platform."
Deus Ex: The Fall's story picks up from James Swallow's Icarus Effect, and it follows ex-SAS merc Ben Saxon in a story that runs parallel to Human Revolution. Its gameplay closely - and impressively - mimics that of last year's console and PC game, leaning on open-ended action that is, depending on your style, either explosive or stealthy.
Deus Ex: The Fall's structured like its cousin, too, featuring a fully-fledged campaign and missions. It'll be available later this summer for a one-shot price - although it will also contain in-app purcases. "Just to clarify that, once the players purchased the game, they can play through it, through new game plus - they keep all their gear and augmentations, and you can unlock everything without paying a single penny more," Wright said.
"If the player wants to accelerate their performance, however, then they can. Everything in the game is purchased with credits, and they're awarded via loot and meeting certain conditions. So with the IAP, the player can purchase additional credits buying real-world money - and with that you can buy Praxis, ammo, additional upgrades."
Does the inclusion of in-app purchases suggest that Square Enix Mobile thinks that a one-off payment isn't enough? "I think it's enough to have the one-off fee," Wright answered. "Once you've paid that amount of money you get to see all that the game's got to offer. But it's one of those things in the terms of the mobile market and expectations - sometimes people want to play a bit faster, they want to accelerate their game playing, so it's an option if people want to do that. But you don't have to put a single penny in to see the full content the game's got to offer."
So far, Deus Ex: The Fall has been met with a muted response, with fans expressing disappointment after a series of teasers ended up with a reveal of the iOS game - the official YouTube reveal video has, at the time of writing, 989 likes and 12,543 dislikes.
"You always get a mixed response," admitted Wright. "The feedback from mobile gamers has been amazing, but there's a passionate fanbase out there and people who play games on the PC and console who were expecting the sequel of Human Revolution on one of those platforms. That for us is great news - we've got a community that is that passionate.
"For us it's important to allow another audience to experience the Deus Ex universe. We started this to make true Deus Ex experience right from day one. And that's why it's not a port, it's not a derivative. It's got the four core franchise values."