Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Art Book

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The “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” art book is a fascinating dive into the visual and conceptual world behind the critically acclaimed video game developed by Eidos Montreal. This review explores the book’s content, its presentation, and the insights it offers into the creative process behind the game’s stunning design. Whether you are a fan of the game, an aspiring artist, or someone interested in the intersection of art and technology, the art book offers a deep, engaging experience.


“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” released in 2016, is set in a dystopian future where humans and augmented individuals (those with advanced biomechanical implants) are deeply divided. The game is renowned for its rich narrative, immersive world, and detailed aesthetic. The art book serves as an extension of this world, providing readers with a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and the incredible effort that went into bringing this vision to life.

Structure and Presentation

The “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” art book is divided into several sections, each focusing on different aspects of the game’s design. These sections include character design, environment design, technology and augmentations, concept art, and behind-the-scenes insights. The book is beautifully laid out, with high-quality prints and detailed captions that offer context and commentary on the artwork.

Cover and Physical Quality

The first thing that stands out about the art book is its physical quality. The cover is striking, featuring a glossy finish with intricate details that echo the game’s cyberpunk aesthetic. The binding is sturdy, and the pages are printed on high-quality paper, ensuring that the images are vibrant and the text is crisp.

Character Design

Main Characters

One of the most captivating sections of the art book is dedicated to character design. This section delves into the creation of the game’s protagonist, Adam Jensen, as well as other key characters. The book showcases early concept sketches, detailed character renders, and notes from the designers about the evolution of each character’s look and personality.

Adam Jensen: As the main character, Jensen’s design is critical to the game’s narrative and visual identity. The art book explores how his appearance was influenced by the need to reflect his augmented nature while maintaining a relatable human aspect. Various iterations of his design are presented, showing how his mechanical augmentations were integrated into his clothing and overall look.

Supporting Characters: The art book also highlights the design process for supporting characters like Viktor Marchenko, Alex Vega, and Elias Chikane. Each character’s design is accompanied by notes that explain the choices behind their appearance, how their look ties into their backstory, and their role in the game’s world.

Factions and Groups

The art book delves into the visual identity of the various factions and groups within the game, such as Task Force 29, the Juggernaut Collective, and the Augmented Rights Coalition. Each group’s aesthetic is meticulously detailed, showcasing the thought process behind their uniforms, equipment, and overall visual theme.

Task Force 29: As the elite unit Jensen works for, Task Force 29’s design reflects a balance between advanced technology and tactical efficiency. The art book shows how the designers aimed for a high-tech, professional look, incorporating sleek armor and sophisticated gear.

Juggernaut Collective: The Juggernaut Collective’s design focuses on a more rugged, clandestine look. The art book explains how the group’s underground nature and hacker ethos influenced their visual style, resulting in a mix of makeshift and high-tech elements.

Augmented Rights Coalition: The design of the ARC emphasizes their status as outcasts and revolutionaries. The book details how the designers used a mix of practical, utilitarian clothing with augmented enhancements to create a look that reflects their fight for equality and justice.

Environment Design

The environment design section of the art book is a visual feast, showcasing the detailed and immersive worlds created for “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” This section is divided into different locations within the game, each with its unique aesthetic and atmosphere.


Prague, the primary setting of the game, is depicted in stunning detail. The art book provides a deep dive into the city’s design, highlighting its blend of historical architecture and futuristic elements. The designers aimed to create a city that felt lived-in and authentic, while also integrating the game’s cyberpunk themes.

City Streets: The art book showcases the bustling streets of Prague, with their mix of old-world charm and neon-lit modernity. It explains how the designers used lighting, color, and texture to create a sense of place and history, while also reflecting the societal tensions within the game.

Apartments and Interiors: Detailed illustrations of various apartments and interior spaces show the contrast between the lives of the wealthy and the oppressed. The book explains how different textures, materials, and lighting were used to convey the atmosphere and mood of each space.

Golem City

Golem City, the massive ghetto for augmented individuals, is another key location in the game. The art book explores the creation of this oppressive and claustrophobic environment, highlighting the intricate design work that went into making it feel both believable and haunting.

Structure and Layout: The book provides an overview of Golem City’s layout, explaining how the maze-like design reflects the isolation and segregation of its inhabitants. Detailed concept art shows the towering structures and narrow passageways that define this environment.

Living Conditions: Illustrations of the cramped and squalid living conditions in Golem City emphasize the plight of its residents. The book explains how the designers used visual storytelling to convey the desperation and resilience of the people living there.

Additional Locations

Other locations in the game, such as the Palisade Bank, the Utulek Complex, and various hidden facilities, are also explored in the art book. Each location is given the same level of detailed analysis, showing how different design elements were used to create distinct and memorable environments.

Technology and Augmentations

The technology and augmentations section of the art book delves into the futuristic gadgets and biomechanical enhancements that are central to the game’s world. This section is particularly fascinating for its detailed breakdown of how the designers envisioned and created these high-tech elements.


The design of augmentations is a major focus, reflecting the game’s core themes of transhumanism and societal division. The art book showcases various types of augmentations, from Jensen’s iconic arm blades to more subtle enhancements.

Design Philosophy: The book explains the design philosophy behind the augmentations, emphasizing the need to balance realism with futuristic aesthetics. It details how the designers researched current medical and technological advancements to create plausible future technologies.

Functional Details: Each augmentation is presented with detailed illustrations and notes on its functionality and purpose. This includes explanations of how the augmentations integrate with the human body and the potential benefits and drawbacks they offer.

Gadgets and Equipment

In addition to augmentations, the art book also explores the various gadgets and equipment used by characters in the game. This includes weapons, hacking tools, and other advanced technologies that play a crucial role in the gameplay.

Weapons: The book features detailed designs of the game’s weaponry, from conventional firearms to advanced energy weapons. It explains how the designers aimed to create weapons that felt both futuristic and grounded in reality.

Hacking Tools: The design of hacking tools and devices is also explored, showing how these elements were created to support the game’s emphasis on stealth and strategy. Detailed illustrations and notes provide insight into the functionality and visual design of these tools.

Concept Art and Behind-the-Scenes Insights

The concept art section of the book is a treasure trove of early sketches, paintings, and ideas that eventually shaped the final game. This section provides a fascinating glimpse into the creative process, showing how initial concepts evolved over time.

Early Concepts

Early concept art showcases the initial ideas for characters, environments, and technology. These pieces often differ significantly from the final designs, providing insight into the iterative process of game development.

Character Evolution: Early sketches of characters like Adam Jensen reveal how their designs changed over time. The book explains the rationale behind these changes, highlighting the collaboration and feedback involved in refining each character’s look.

Environment Development: Initial paintings and sketches of environments like Prague and Golem City show different iterations and ideas. The book discusses how these concepts were refined and adjusted to fit the game’s narrative and gameplay needs.

Artistic Techniques

The art book also delves into the artistic techniques used by the designers, from digital painting to 3D modeling. This section is particularly valuable for aspiring artists, offering practical insights into the tools and methods used to create the game’s stunning visuals.

Digital Painting: Detailed explanations of digital painting techniques used in the concept art provide valuable insights into the creative process. The book highlights the importance of lighting, color, and composition in creating compelling artwork.

3D Modeling: The transition from 2D concepts to 3D models is explored, showing how designers used advanced software to bring their ideas to life. The book includes detailed renders and breakdowns of 3D models, explaining the process of creating realistic and immersive environments and characters.

Thematic Exploration

Beyond the technical and artistic aspects, the art book also delves into the thematic elements of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” It explores how the game’s visual design reflects its core themes, such as the impact of technology on society, the nature of identity, and the struggle for freedom and equality.

Technology and Society

The art book examines how the game’s design reflects the complex relationship between technology and society. This includes the depiction of advanced augmentations and their impact on individuals and communities.

Visual Storytelling: The book explains how visual elements were used to convey the game’s themes, such as the contrast between the high-tech world of the elite and the rundown environments of the oppressed. It discusses how design choices were made to highlight the disparities and tensions within the game’s world.

Identity and Augmentation

The theme of identity, particularly how it is altered by augmentation, is a central aspect of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” The art book explores how character designs and augmentations were used to reflect these ideas.

Character Representation: The book delves into how the appearance and augmentations of characters like Adam Jensen illustrate their internal struggles and the broader societal issues. It discusses the symbolism behind specific design choices, such as the sleek, high-tech look of Jensen’s augmentations compared to the more crude and makeshift enhancements of other characters.

Human vs. Machine: The book explores the visual tension between humanity and technology, showing how characters balance their human traits with their augmented abilities. It highlights the design choices that emphasize this duality, such as the integration of mechanical elements with organic features.

Freedom and Oppression

The art book examines how the game’s environments and character designs reflect themes of freedom and oppression. It highlights how the oppressive atmosphere of places like Golem City contrasts with the more open and luxurious settings of the elite.

Environmental Storytelling: The book discusses how the design of different locations tells a story of control and resistance. For example, the cramped and chaotic design of Golem City conveys a sense of entrapment, while the sleek, high-tech facilities of the Palisade Bank reflect power and control.

Symbolic Imagery: The art book also highlights the use of symbolic imagery to reinforce themes. This includes the use of barbed wire, surveillance cameras, and graffiti in environments to symbolize the struggle against oppression.


The “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” art book is an invaluable resource for fans of the game, offering a deep and comprehensive look into the creative process behind its stunning visual design. It provides a detailed exploration of character and environment design, technology and augmentations, and the thematic elements that make the game’s world so compelling.

Final Thoughts

This art book not only celebrates the artistry and creativity of the team at Eidos Montreal but also serves as an inspirational guide for aspiring artists and game designers. It offers practical insights into the techniques and processes used to create a richly detailed and immersive world.

Whether you are a dedicated fan of the “Deus Ex” series, an artist seeking inspiration, or simply someone interested in the art of video game design, the “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” art book is a must-have addition to your collection. It stands as a testament to the power of visual storytelling and the incredible talent of the artists who brought this dystopian future to life.

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