Deis Ex: Mankind Divided won’t deal with religious issues, the game’s director has said.
Speaking to Gamesmaster (via Gamesradar+), Mankind Divided game director, Jean-François Dugas, said that “the subject we’re tackling, it goes into religion from the aspect of do we choose to play God or not? But we try to keep it as agnostic as we can because the field is too sensitive.”
“We also don’t want to be offensive in any way, or tackle something we don’t really understand ourselves. Instead we distill transhumanism, and what it does for human beings regardless of your beliefs.”
Despite the desire to avoid causing offense, Eidos Montreal has already found itself accused of insensitivity. During this year’s E3 conference, the official twitter account for Mankind Divided used the term “mechanical apartheid” to describe the game’s narrative themes, which upset many given recent human history (particularly in South Africa and the United States).
— Deus Ex (@DeusEx) June 16, 2015
And then there was the controversy surrounding the previous game in the series, Human Revolution, and an NPC named Letitia the Trash Lady, who was widely accused of being a racial stereotype:
Given those incidents, it’s perhaps understandable that Eidos Montreal is keen to avoid being the center of further controversy; but Deus Ex games have dealt with religious themes in the past, either directly or implied. The original game’s protagonist was named JC Denton, his initials being a thinly-veiled reference to Jesus Christ; and Deus Ex: Invisible War featured a religious organization – the Order Church – heavily in its narrative. And of course there’s the name of the series itself: Deus Ex, derived from the latin phrase deus ex machina: “the god from the machine”.
But Dugas’ comments suggest that Eidos Montreal is distancing itself from that aspect of the series this time around, focusing more on the question of what it means to be human.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is due sometime in 2016 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.