Let's tackle that headline head-on, shall we? After playing a chunk of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (opens in new tab) last week, I noticed that the new game lacked the monochrome look of Human Revolution. When I met Executive Art Director, Jonathan Jacques-Belletête and asked about the new visual direction, he went for the... earthier description you see emblazoned above.
It's a joke, obviously - the accepted term for Human Revolution's colour scheme at Eidos Montreal is 'black and gold' - and there are deep reasons for why it's less dominant this time around. "HR was all about the enlightenment era of Transhumanism", explains Jacques-Belletête. "The black and gold palette came from an analysis of something; it wasn’t just because I felt like it, it was because black and gold was very much like Renaissance painting, the gold was all about hope, the golden era. The black was the dystopia and all that stuff.
"Now that the [Deus Ex] world is more afraid of Transhumanism, this whole pro-Transhuman thing has taken a step back so our gold and black palette has taken a back step with it. This new world order is this corporate feudalism thing, so now the influence is a lot more medieval - it’s a lot more desaturated, all blues and greys and matte browns. The armour suits of the guards are highly influenced by knights or men at arms."
In its own special way, all that gold has turned to mere piss. Evocative, no?
That's not to say we won't see the piss flowin- sorry - gold shining anywhere in MD, however. "Whenever the pro-transhuman status comes back in Mankind Divided," he explains, "say you’re in Golem City,where all the augmented people are being segregated or whatever, the gold comes back with them. Again, it’s metaphorical – it’s not them bringing back yellow paint and lighting candles all over the place, right? It’s an allegory, but it does come back when it makes sense, yeah."
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