Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution


Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution is a first person role playing game combining two different design aesthetics: renaissance and cyberpunk. Art director Jonathan Jacques-Belletete discusses the challenges of combining two very different looks to create a single cohesive style. He mentions how the development team are striving for stylized realism as opposed to photographic realism.

Researching for the video game led the team to notice a relationship between the Renaissance period and the fictional cyberpunk ideals. Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches show a strong interest in understanding human anatomy. Cybernetics and human augmentation are pushing this analysis to a level of alteration based on understanding.

Once realizing what periods they wanted to influence the games style, the development team looked to a myth that could strengthen their initial idea:

‘Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his Son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. Overcome by the giddiness that flying lent him, Icarus soarded through the sky curiously, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax. Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bares his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an islnad southwest of Samos.’

– Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (1955).

Using this myth as a metaphor, the game finds a them to correspond to the setting they have already created.

“To conclude, to create original art for a game like we did,” finished Jacques-Belletete,” you need to find a visual constant and to be as original as possible, to find your own visual voice to avoid creating just another echo.”

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