PSLS Presents – Mary DeMarle, Lead Writer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Last week, we previewed Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the third entry in this innovative action series. We also spoke with Audio Director Steve Szczepkowski about how much design goes into crafting the audio for a game such as this. Next up, it is our pleasure to introduce Mary DeMarle, Lead Writer for the upcoming prequel. You can read what she had to say about the story in Human Revolution after the jump!

PSLS: With Human Revolution taking place 25 years before the events of the first game, is the story here self-contained or does it further explain the storyline of the previous games?

Mary DeMarle: Human Revolution is in the same universe [as the other two games]. It’s not exactly a prequel, because it is dealing with a new storyline, new characters, a new plot, and a new conspiracy. But within the story itself, you will find touches and hints that you’ll recognize if you’ve played Deus Ex 1. There might be references to characters, operating in the background, and some other little tidbits that tie into the main story of Deus Ex 1.

Keeping with the subject of the game’s time in which it takes place, how is technology in Human Revolution different?

Since it’s taking place 25 years before the first Deus Ex, it’s not dealing with nanotechnology that you saw there. We’re dealing more with mechanical augmentations or the neuralprosthetics, that are much more external, [such as] mechanical arms, mechanical legs, and some cybernetic implants, rather than the minute nanotech.

We were shown two major corporations in the game. What is their place in the story?

We’re dealing with a time in which corporations have become more powerful than governments in a sense, with all their money and multi-national reach. It’s at a time in which in order to compete in this industry, many of [the corporations] are engaged in clandestine wars against each other – hiring hackers, moles, and other less scrupulous forms to really kind of invade other companies and steal their secrets. That’s how Adam Jensen gets involved, because his job is to protect one of those companies from those kinds of threats.

Speaking of Adam Jensen, is he a lone wolf or does he have some kind of support?

Adam Jensen is the head of security for one of these corporations – Sarif Industries. He sets out on this adventure not necessarily by himself, certainly he’s doing most of the footwork himself. But he does have various support teams with him at various times. I’m not going to go into too many of those details because you’re going to have to explore that in the story [of the game]. But although he is the one doing most of the work and finding the clues, he is getting help from some of the other people that he works with, and occasionally from some people he meets along the way.

What is Adam Jensen’s main motivation?

Adam becomes involved in this storyline because at the very beginning of the story, he has been working at [Sarif Industries] for about a year, and he himself has not yet become mechanically enhanced. He is under pressure to do so, but he hasn’t yet made that decision. Unfortunately, the decision gets taken away from him because early on in the story the company is attacked, and many of the people he’s supposed to protect are killed, and a lot of the research is destroyed. [Adam] only lives because he is forced to become mechanically enhanced to save his life. This kind of sets him off to find out who did this and why – not necessarily out of a sense of revenge, per-say, though there might be a bit of an element in it. More so because he needs to understand why this happened, who attacked, how it was allowed to happen. He is kind of on this quest to really make sure no one does this to anyone else or loses the opportunity to make their choices. We kind of say his motivation is driven by this need for justice and this need to understand, and to really regain control, in a sense, of his own life and his own choices. So that kind of propels him in the initial stages, and as uncovers new information, he discovers new reasons to keep going.

You mentioned Adam has a sense of justice. How is the police force portrayed in this universe?

Jensen himself used to be a member of the police force. Due to certain issues in the background, he’s no longer a part of that force. So sometimes the police in the game are going to be his friends and colleagues, but they are also sometimes under the hands of very powerful forces who are using them as tools to keep you away from certain information. So at times they can become more of a block or an impediment to your own journey and discovering the truth. So you’ll have to deal with getting around that at points in the game.

In the intro we were shown, a female voice could be heard saying “I love you.” Is this mystery woman talking to Adam? Does he have a love interest?

…I can’t answer that!

Okay, okay…Lastly, what aspect of this story that you’ve help to create are you most proud of?

One of the things that I hope will be a real standout in the storyline of this game are the characters themselves. We spent a lot of time really trying to develop characters who are very memorable, who seem very real, and seem to be people that you could know in your own lives, and recognize, but yet they’re not; at the same time, characters who have that realness to them of people in life. No on in the game is black-and-white, they all have motivations for what they’re doing. I think you will find yourselves liking some of them and disliking some of them. But when you finish this game, at least my hope, is that you will come away from it with some very memorable characters who will stay with you long after the story is done.

PSLS would like to thank Mary and the rest of the team at Eidos Montreal for taking time out of their busy schedules to answer some of our questions. Stay tuned for two more interviews going live soon! Deus Ex: Human Revolution is currently scheduled for a Spring 2011 release.