Eurogamer: How would you describe lead character Adam Jensen's personality?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: There's a phrase we coined for him straight from the get-go, even before we started drawing him. It was something the game director, producer and I knew from the beginning.
We didn't want to go for a big, tough space marine guy this cycle of consoles are saturated with. The phrase we would say was, he can kick your ass, and then he goes home and reads a good book.
That's what we've been saying for the past three and a half years. He needed to be someone of an average build, with nothing too crazy, but yet someone you'd still know you wouldn't want to mess around with.
And there really are some people like that. I remember someone mentioning this club he goes out to in Montreal, that one of the bouncers is like this really average-looking guy, but you look at his face and you know you don't want to mess with him. He probably doesn't weigh more than 150 pounds, but yet he looks like a total killer.
Adam has this duality. He's an ex-SWAT member, a security specialist, he's a bit of a bass ass. But he looks like someone who's fairly intellectual. That's who he is.
Eurogamer: We understand the game takes place across five metropolises. Is that correct?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: We haven't said exactly how many cities we go to in the game. There are definitely quite a few. I'm not going to say if it's five or less or more. It's an international conspiracy and Adam gets to travel to a lot of places.
Eurogamer: We know about Detroit, Shanghai and Montreal. Any chance of London?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: You'll have to wait and see!
Eurogamer: Square Enix, a Japanese company, bought Eidos during the game's development. How would you describe the relationship you have with it? Has it influenced the game at all?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: As corporate as it's going to sound, I swear to God it feels like the honest answer, it's been an awesome collaboration.
We all had that same reaction when it happened: a Japanese company taking over a Western company, how's that going to happen and how much are they going to tell us to do A or B? They left us total creative control of Deus Ex. Square Enix fully understand why they acquired a Western company. They're letting us do our Western stuff 100 per cent.
There are some Japanese aesthetics in the game in terms of visuals not Japanese culture aesthetics, but the way the Japanese do their visuals in games. All those things were set down pre-Square Enix. Those are aesthetic flavours my team and I were already into. We had included those things in the game way before we knew that Square Enix had bought us. Those things come from us.
Eurogamer: Any examples?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: The way the mechanical design is done in the game, what the robots look like, Adam's chopper all these things are really Ghost in the Shell or Akira. The way they do their robots and sci-fi stuff in animes, that's stuff my team were already into.
A lot of people have made comments: this or that looks like it's straight out of an anime. It's got to be Square Enix, blah blah blah. It really isn't. It's from us.
Even if you look at Adam, the way we paid attention to the way his face is constructed, his hair, is a way of looking at it that Japanese videogame companies are usually more into than Western companies.
Western companies pay attention to the global feeling of their character, which is absolutely important. If you look at Ubisoft, a company I know well, Sam Fisher, he looks different every game. I'm not talking about his clothing. His face is always morphing. It's like, who is he really, that guy? Yeah, okay, he's scruffy, whatever. It's inconsistent how they build his face.
The Japanese look at it in a totally different way, where even the way the structure of the face is, is very important. It's how we treated Adam. He's really angular. People relate to that as a highly Japanese-influenced design, but that was all pre-Square Enix. So when Square Enix bought us we were pretty stoked because of that.
Eurogamer: After Deus Ex, what's next for Eidos Montreal?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: I can't answer that precisely, but big stuff. We've already started talking about all that. They're going to shoot me if I say anything! We're busy, man!
Eurogamer: Is there a feeling within the studio that you'd like to do another Deus Ex game?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: Yeah, absolutely. I remember when we first started, I read an article where Warren Spector remembered the fact he knew the third one was started by other people, and he said, you know, I can't wait to see what they're going to do because this universe and those characters, I've lived with them for such a big part of my life.
I didn't really understand what he meant. Emotionally I didn't really know. Now I've just spent almost four years with that world we created and those characters we created that we've lived with every day of our lives, I know exactly what it means.
It would be cool to work with those variables again.
Eurogamer: You're not sick and tired of Deus Ex after working on it for four years?
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete: No, not yet! Not yet.
Jonathan Jacques-Belletete is art director at Eidos Montreal. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is due out early next year.