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Meet The Power Players Of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

by Jeff Cork on Apr 09, 2015 at 09:00 AM

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Adam Jensen is more driven than ever. Two years after the catastrophic events that marked the end of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, he’s determined to expose the group and people behind the so-called Aug Incident. While the Illuminati may have pulled those strings and are the focus of Jensen’s investigation in the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, they’re not the only organization that he becomes involved with. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the other factions Jensen – and players – will meet.

Task Force 29
In Human Revolution, Jensen worked as head of security for the augmentation manufacturer Sarif Industries. Following the Aug Incident, where augmented people essentially went haywire and unwittingly performed acts of violence and terrorism, Sarif’s business collapsed. Now, Jensen is a member of an anti-terrorist group headed up by Interpol, called Task Force 29. 

“The division that he’s in, he is probably the only augmented person in that strike team,” says Mary DeMarle, Mankind Divided’s narrative director. Jensen will travel around the world as he unravels the conspiracy, including an area near Prague that’s now become a prison camp for augmented people. DeMarle says that Jensen’s augmentations give him an in with the people living there that others might not have. And while Task Force 29’s stated goal is to eliminate terrorism, DeMarle is quick to point out that in this world, one person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. 

The Augmented Rights Coalition
The Augmented Rights Coalition, or ARC, is one group that is seen as terrorists by the powers that be. In the early hours of Mankind Divided, Jensen has to infiltrate the group’s Prague base and capture its leader, Dr. Talos Rucker (pictured above). 

ARC was originally a loosely structured network of groups that were organized to help the recently augmented deal with the transition to their new status. After the Aug Incident, ARC began to coalesce over what members saw as a violation of augmented peoples’ rights. Augmented people were rounded up and abused for crimes that they perpetrated through no fault of their own. ARC saw that as being victimized twice – once for the initial crimes, and secondly for holding augs culpable for things that were out of their control.

Rucker is a humanitarian-aid doctor who was also augmented after sustaining injuries in a natural disaster. He has amassed considerable power by banding the augs together, which makes him a threat to those who would work to further restrict augmented people. While the group itself doesn’t rely on violence to get its message across, various members have gone rogue. Because of that, ARC has been placed on a terrorist watch list. One of the high-ranking members of the group is Victor Marchenko, and it’s unclear at this point whether he poses a threat to Jensen or the people who would keep ARC down. DeMarle says Marchenko is skeptical of Jensen’s place in this world, asking whether Jensen is a wrench – a derogatory slang term and reference to a tool being wielded by the man.

The Illuminati
The Illuminati has been a force in the Deus Ex universe since the series began. It’s also the group that introduced a glitch into augmentation software that created the Aug Incident. While they share the same name, Eidos Montreal’s interpretation of the group is different from the first Deus Ex. Most notably, it’s shifted away from the ‘90s-era X-Files-style paranoia toward something more grounded.

“They’re very powerful one-percenters who have always controlled and manipulated society in ways that serve a vision that they have,” DeMarle says. “For some of them, that vision may be very personal, and it may be, ‘I just want to maintain peace and prosperity so that I stay on top.’ For others, because nothing is ever black and white and it’s about the individual, some of them may very much believe, ‘I’ve been given this power and this money and this wealth, and I come from this upper class because kings are born. Our job is to protect society, and we need to preserve mankind. When we look forward and see the war and we see the terrorism, we have to stop it – but how we stop it might not be to the benefit of everyone.’”

In short, the Illuminati is a blanket term to describe these powerful people overall, even if they don’t necessarily have an official structure or hold meetings. “It’s more along the lines of the one percent of the one-percenters,” DeMarle says. She adds that she was reading the book Too Big to Fail when she realized that some bankers share a common trait with the fictional Illuminati: They’re too arrogant to effectively band together for a common goal. That could make solving this mystery a tough challenge.


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