Game on for Dubai

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Ryan @ThatPad­dyRyan pa­

Dubai-based gamers who have bought the re­cently-re­leased Deus Ex: Mankind Di­vided will be more than fa­mil­iar with the open­ing level.

The game, which is set in the near fu­ture and de­picts the strug­gles of phys­i­cally aug­mented peo­ple to fit into so­ci­ety, opens with a team of sol­diers leap­ing from an air­plane above the Burj Khal­ifa to in­fil­trate a ter­ror­ist cell be­fore they strike.

Most of the ac­tion takes place a few hun­dred me­tres from the world’s tallest build­ing, on a lux­ury hotel com­plex that was aban­doned long be­fore com­ple­tion – fic­tional, of course.

Jean Fran­cois Du­gas, Ex­ec­u­tive Game Di­rec­tor at de­vel­op­ers Ei­dos Mon­treal in Canada, spoke to 7DAYS about the project and how they brought Dubai to pix­e­lated life. He said: “We did look at Google Maps, ref­er­ence pic­tures, etc.

“We didn’t nec­es­sar­ily try to match ev­ery­thing as is but em­u­late the feel­ing of be­ing there.

“We were sup­posed to visit Dubai early on in the project but, due to the na­ture of how we’d use the city in the game, back­ground land­scape, it wouldn’t have been the best fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion to send a team there.”

He said this was the first time that the ac­claimed stu­dio, which also pro­duces the Tomb Raider se­ries, has de­picted Dubai in one of its games. “It was a first, for me at least. Deus Ex is all about ex­plor­ing global con­spir­a­cies,” he added.

“There­fore, our goal is to make the player travel in var­i­ous places in the world and not al­ways to the same typ­i­cal well-known places. “We try to mix things up and bring the player with us in ad­ven­tures to fa­mil­iar and not so fa­mil­iar places.”

One of the key fea­tures to the Dubai level is a sand­storm that takes place to­wards the end.

“Every city has its own chal­lenge,” he said.

“For Dubai, we had to think about sand which was not the case with Prague, or Detroit in the last game.

“So, we thought about how to use sand in an in­ter­est­ing way. This is how the sand­storm was born.

“We made sure to make it play a part in the sce­nario of the level.”

Du­gas said that he hopes the game meets the ap­proval of res­i­dents in Dubai.

“I hope you en­joyed the game and that the Dubai level looked cred­i­ble enough for play­ers from there,” he said. “All we want is to be faith­ful to the places we visit.”

‘Every city has its own chal­lenges. For Dubai we had to think about sand.’ – Jean Fan­cois Du­gas

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