Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Interviews @ GameBanshee, AtomicGamer
GB: The game is obviously quite linear during the game's opening act, but once the city hubs open up, how non-linear does the game become? Can we do whatever we want on a per-hub basis? And once we go to Shanghai or wherever, can we come back to Detroit if we choose?
Mary: The best way for me to answer that is to say that in essence the story is linear in that there is a sequence of events that carry the plot. But there's a lot of branching that happens within it. Overall, it is a linear story, but within each segment of the linear story things can happen that will affect it and change it. For example, in this demo, how you end up dealing with Zeke at the very end. There will be repercussions to that that will come in a later environment, depending on what you did. If you killed him, he's out of the story for good. If you don't, then there are other options that come up.
But within in a city hub itself, the way it opens up in a non-linear way is how you start achieving objectives. For example, the first time you go to Detroit, David Sarif gives you two objectives; you can do these in any order that you want. The way you do it will be reflected in that sense.
Also, when you get into more of those open-ended objectives, you can diverge from the critical path. You can do side quests, but eventually the story will keep you going forward to your next hub, and your next hub, and your next hub.
...and there's another interview with Mary at AtomicGamer:
AtomicGamer: We're here with Mary DeMarle, Lead Writer and Narrative Designer on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. We got to play some of the game's intro, both before and after the main character, Adam Jensen, is nearly killed and parts of his broken body are replaced with sci-fi augmentations. Now, one of the things we don't see too much is his opinion on the matter. Does Jensen hate his augmentations?
Mary DeMarle: It's really you that gets to decide if he hates them or not. Story-wise, he starts when you're at a time when humanity is questioning whether this is a good thing or a bad thing and he personally hasn't made up his mind yet as to what he wants to do. [At the start], he hasn't become augmented, and he's getting pressured to be augmented, and he doesn't really necessarily know if he wants to yet. He hasn't made up his mind. And then of course the initial incident happens and he's forced to become [augmented] so now he's dealing with that issue. And he's thrown right into middle of the whole crisis and he's got to figure out he feels about that, but it's you as the player that ultimately gets to decide how he feels about that.
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