This year's Deus Ex: Human Revolution did an excellent job of reviving the open-ended premise of the 2000 PC cult-classic, hybrid role-playing game Deus Ex. The new game starred Adam Jensen, a character whose technological implants gave him superhuman powers in an increasingly complicated, futuristic world where the ethics of installing "augmentations" (or augs for short) were very much up for debate.
And the game's story is about to get a little longer and a little deeper with The Missing Link DLC, which will be available later this year. We had an opportunity to take an advance look at this new adventure and have new details to report. Please be advised that this preview contains minor plot spoilers for those who haven't played through the original game.
The Missing Link takes place midway through the original story of Human Revolution in which Jensen boards a freighter, and in the DLC, he must escape. Unfortunately, his captors were smart enough to realize that Jensen was armed and dangerous, so they have stripped away all of his weapons--and all of his augs. So even though you never asked for this, you start off imprisoned in a cell, bloodied, battered, and unarmed, with your first goal being to recover your augs and other items.
Getting to the stockroom where the bad guys have dumped your stuff is your first order of business, and the team at Eidos Montreal (who developed the DLC in its entirety--no outsourcing here) is attempting to add as many different paths to success as possible to support the original game's open-ended nature. Because you start the mission suddenly robbed of all your weapons and abilities, it seems only natural to immediately lean toward taking the long way around by avoiding any areas with hostile armed guards. Taking this path can also net you the key codes to various locked doors (stored on discarded datapads here and there) and help you get through quietly. But you can also try to hack your way through locks or even get closer to the action by using stealth takedowns to bring down the first few guards, picking up their weapons, and making the experience more of a shoot-out.
Once you recover all your stuff from a locked stockroom, you then need to orchestrate your escape, and your path takes you topside to reveal that, yes, you're on a boat. And, yes, the boat is on the move to an undisclosed destination, and the path to your escape is blocked by many, many armed guards. Exactly how you end up making your escape will be up to you; Eidos Montreal has crafted the DLC mission to encourage players to replay it using different approaches, such as hacking, stealth, or gunplay.
Though we won't divulge any more story details here to avoid spoiling the experience, we will say that the DLC content looks noticeably better than the original Deus Ex, thanks to enhanced lighting effects that the team was able to implement based on lessons learned from the original game's development. Speaking of which, Eidos Montreal representatives were quick to point out that despite some negative assumptions from fans, The Missing Link is all-new content that wasn't originally planned to appear in the original game and was later cut out specifically to sell as additional content.
While there apparently were different levels and missions that had been cut from the game earlier in development some two years ago, once the team started looking at that cut content earlier this year, it was immediately obvious that none of that older content could possibly be salvaged because it had been based on older technical revisions of the game's engine. As such, The Missing Link, and any other DLC Eidos Montreal decides to put out in the future, will be new stuff--not something from the cutting-room floor from years back. The studio estimates that a straightforward playthrough with little experimentation will take most players about three hours, though with careful exploration and some eavesdropping, the experience may end up ranging from five to seven hours in length. The DLC will become available for the PC, the Xbox 360, and the PlayStation 3 next month.