Deus Ex art director reveals new game about the horrors of humanity

Hell Is Us
(Image credit: Rogue Factor)

Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, known for his work as art director on Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is heading up a new game called Hell Is Us at Rogue Factor, the developer of Mordheim: City of the Damned and Necromunda: Underhive Wars.

Hell Is Us is Rogue Factor's "most ambitious project to date," and unlike its previous releases, it is not a licensed Warhammer game: It's a "semi-open world" third-person action-adventure that takes place in a country devastated by civil war and the sudden appearance of supernatural creatures unleashed by an event known as the Calamity. Simply put, things are not good, and it's up to you to figure out what to do about it.

Figuring it out is in fact a core aspect of the experience: There's no map, compass, or quest markers to guide you on your way. "Our goal with Hell is Us is to bring back true adventure and exploration," said Jacques-Belletête. "There's no need for a detailed quest log or precise waypoint on the map: We want players to feel the thrill of adventure, guided by their feelings and instincts."

It sounds a bit like Elden Ring in that regard, and the teaser certainly looks grim, but it's also obviously more modern: There's an APC sitting parked in the background, and the player character appears to be packing a sidearm. At the same time, the player is also wielding a sword that wouldn't look out of place in Final Fantasy. The big shiv looks a tad incongruous here, but the Steam listing suggests that melee combat is going to be the primary way of getting things done.

"Swords, spears and axes: a wide range of weapons forged specially for fighting these supernatural creatures is available," it says. "You will need to learn how to fight these monsters and use your drone wisely to stay alive."

There's also an intriguing quote from Jacques-Belletête: "The central theme of Hell is Us is that human violence is a perpetual cycle fueled by human emotions and passions."

That's a little too cerebral for me, but I loved Jacques-Belletête's work on Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and I'm looking forward to seeing where he goes with this new project. Hell Is Us is expected to be out sometime in 2023, and you can find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.