Deus Ex: The Fall is a game that has been streamlined for mobile devices while still "retaining the core essence" of a Deus Ex game, according to Eidos Montreal creative director, Jean-François Dugas.
Dugas was the creative director of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and is now working with Square Enix's European mobile division to create The Fall. He told Polygon that the mobile game is far from a simplistic or dumbed-down experience that many people associate with mobile titles. Instead, it has been designed in such a way that suits mobile play habits and styles while still offering players meaningful choices.
"For example, in the core game you're able to take down characters by killing them or knocking them unconscious, and you can then drag their body to hide them," Dugas said. "In The Fall, you can still kill or knock them unconscious, but you don't have to drag the body — it will disappear.
"But you still have a choice. You still choose how you play. The game still tracks those choices and everything. It's just a little more streamlined in that sense."
"We created things that would work within the format of the platform."
In another example Dugas gave, players don't pick up crates in The Fall because the controls would make it cumbersome. Instead, the game has contextual objects, so if a player has the strength augmentation when they're around an object, they'll be able to move it. Movement is controlled by double tapping on the location to make the character walk and, if the player is near cover, they will automatically take cover.
The jump ability has also been removed from the game. In its place is the ability to vault. When a player is close to an object, they can vault over it to get to the other side instead of fussing about on a touchscreen to get their character to jump.
"We did things like that to make it enjoyable to play while maintaining the essence of what was in the core game, without trying to emulate it one for one," Dugas said. "We created things that would work within the format of the platform."
When asked whether he is concerned that fans of the core series might be dismissive of a mobile title, Dugas said even though parts of the game have been streamlined, the core of what makes it Deus Ex is still there.
"You still choose how you play. The game still tracks those choices and everything."
"Before we launched Human Revolution, a lot of people didn't like that they could see markers on the screen or yellow highlights on objects — they thought it would make the game easy," Dugas said. "But in the end the game was a good challenge and it was really demanding. It asked you to be creative in the way you solve challenge, and I would say for The Fall, it's exactly the same thing."
According to Dugas, players will still have to find creative ways to solve challenges. Players will still be flanked by enemies and the game can often be quite brutal.
"I think it's easy to play in terms of manipulating the controls, but it's still a game where you need to think and prepare your strategy," he said.
Deus Ex: The Fall is coming this summer and will cost $6.99.