The science of bionics is one that is growing and one that has a lot of potential, especially for medical purposes. Bionic arms, bionic legs , and even bionic eyes are being researched and tested so they can eventually help those with serious injuries or disabilities. It’s a very interesting field of research, but it’s incredibly far from having bionic augmentations installed on a mass scale for such reasons, let alone aesthetic reasons.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution uses the surge in bionic technology as a backdrop to the rise of groups trying to control the population and events surrounding the world. We see this world through the eyes of Adam Jensen, a security manager for Sarif Industries. Sarif is one of the world’s leading bionic companies and are trialling a way to help people with these augmentations to use them without a drug called Neuropozyne, which stops the body from rejecting the machinery. In a sense Sarif are offering a true freedom for people with bionics, allowing them to live their lives without having to pay for expensive pills.
A modern day Daedalus & Icarus tale
The Illuminati want control of the people, not just to rule them from behind the scenes. The attack on Sarif allows them to kidnap the scientists who were working on the Neuropozyne, in an attempt to force them to adjust their research so people can be controlled through their neural chips. This battle for control is the centre point of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and seeing how the different sides approach the reality of augments is interesting.
Humanity Front and Purity First are two of the interesting and volatile groups within Deus Ex: Human Revolution. They have some legitimate concerns on the rapid advancements of bionic augmentations, and the implications of what they have on society. But from what they may have started as, legitimate protest groups, they turn into an incredibly violent and dangerous force hell-bent on ridding the world of bionics. However, it isn’t a surprising evolution
Both groups are adapting to a much more violent and dangerous world. Around them, and from what we see as Jensen, augmentations haven’t just enhanced humans but violence as well. No longer do police worry about a man with a gun, but the potential that person can also run incredibly fast, turn invisible or have incredible strength. The anti augmentation groups have become violent because being a human without enhancements puts you lower down the social food chain. The basic human is fighting for survival.
He may not have asked for it but Adam could be part of the ruling class.
However the most interesting character within Deus Ex: Human Revolution has to be Hugh Darrow, the father of the bionic movement. His is a tale of success and despair, based on the Greek tale of Daedalus and Icarus, which was referenced in the trailers for the game. Darrow watches as his creation becomes the tool of control and changes the very fabric of a society he was trying to improve and help.
He sees his creation being abused so he tries to do the one thing that could be considered noble. Darrow sends out a signal to damage the neural plants in people, and cause them some pain, but he does this in an attempt to turn back the clock and get humanity to shun aesthetic bionic implants because he feels humans aren’t ready. I don’t think you can really blame him for trying to do that either.
Within Deus Ex: Human Revolution you see a society where bionics have advanced far past their original medical purposes, and instead see them become more of a fashion statement for people to show off their status. Darrow has watched as people become, in a way, superhuman leading to a massive divide between those who can’t afford major augmentations and those who can. If the divide is allowed to get bigger then it would be likely that society would have those with bionics running things, controlling things, and those who don’t become a new servant or even slave class.
The Illuminati wanted to control the augmented population, so in a way they could be seen as a check on avoiding such a divide. After all if the Illuminati controlled the world then everyone would have access to augmentations, but no free will. Darrow probably thought of all this and didn’t want to be the creator of such a bleak future of division and control. He had a vision to help people. Others just took advantage.