Harvey Smith of Deus Ex fame working on “Immersive” FPS-RPG

Ask me my favourite video game genre and I’ll tell you it’s the FPS/RPG hybrid. Deus Ex, is of course, my favourite game of all-time, but other notable games in the rare genre are the System Shock games, or Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. But these games, like my second-favourite genre, Adventure games faded into an abyss.

But let’s hope this is set to change. With a Deus Ex 3 already in the works, we have some more optimistic news. Harvey Smith, who partnered Warren Spector to design Deus Ex now has his own studio: Arkane, which he is going to use to create “immersive” FPS titles, in the same vein as Deus Ex. Talking to Gamasutra, he says that Arkane’s focus will be on these immersive titles.

He didn’t release any specifics just yet, but that is as good an announcement as any. Oh, and they’re working on a strategy game for the iPhone, if you are interested in that, for any arcane reason.

Is this finally it? Are FPS/RPG games making a comeback?

Deus Ex 3 announced, teaser revealed, pants wetted

Screenshot from Deus Ex 3’s teaser

I’ve always maintained that Deus Ex is the greatest game ever made by man, and with good reason. It was thought-provoking, immersive, intelligent and its unique game mechanics were plain perfect. While its sequel never lived up to its predecessor’s timeless glory, I still liked it for just being. I’m in need of underwear right now, because Eidos has just announced Deus Ex 3. That’s right, folks – Deus Ex is back with a vengeance!

Of course, Ion Storm saddeningly dissolved a long time ago, so this is Eidos’ Montreal studio’s first game, and that’s a blazing inauguration. Gamasutra reports the company’s structure, their goals and other details not concerning Deus Ex. What I found to be interesting was that Eidos mentions that the new studio will have tightly-knit, multi-discipline groups (at the most 80 people) working on a single project. Also, their development cycles will reportedly last 24 months, as opposed to the much lesser numbers of their competitors.

Eidos also released the teaser for Deus Ex 3, which you can find below. It’s as ambiguous as you’d expect from a teaser, and depicts a bio-augmented foetus, along with some mysterious words from a narrator. There are also a series of pictures that run damn fast. There’s a list of what they are at Wikipedia, if you’re that interested. (UPDATE: We have just learned that the guys at Shacknews have spent a good portion of their lives taking screenshots from the series of images. They have 20 images here right now, and I have no idea if those are all the images or not.)

While this is all excellent news, I have a strange fear in the back of my mind that this may get “consolized” as well, just like (*shudder*) Invisible War. Also, the fact that Montreal is facing a development cycle, no matter how long, hints at the same. Deus Ex, the beautiful game, in its unadulterated form is one that can only be reasonably played on the PC in its entirety. I hope that Montreal tries to recreate that, rather than tossing this legendary franchise into the unwashed masses of multi-console video games.