The Deus Ex series is set in a dark, futuristic cyberpunk world where secret societies and groups hatch plans for world control from the shadow. The events and twists of the series can be a bit hard to follow, especially as Human Revolution and Mankind Divided take place a number of years before the original. Here’s a handy time to give you some basic knowledge of the events of the series. With such an intricate series it’s of course impossible to cover everything, and there’s a massive spoiler warning for what’s ahead.
The enigmatic Knights Templar is one of the driving forces behind everything that happens in the Deus Ex series. Even though their existence takes place hundreds of years before any of the games, they would lead to the creation of the Illuminati and Majestic 12, and would also remain a presence.
DARPA begins looking for partners on a project that would increase soldiers’ situational awareness on the battlefield. This idea would eventually become the Hyron Project, which leads to a series of quantum computers that are slaved to human beings known as drones. This allows the computer to store large amounts of data, think abstractly and even be somewhat self aware. The Hyron Project is also used by Darrow and features into Human Revolution.
Adam Jensen the protagonist of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided joins the Detroid PD, learning the necessary skills for his future job as Sarif Industries.
Construction begins on the Panchea Project in Antarctica and other oceans around the world, funded by Hugh Darrow. The project’s original goal is to curb global warming, although Darrow would use one of the installations later on to broadcast the signal that starts the “Aug Incident.”
Jensen takes down Darrow and other members of the Illuminati at Panchaea. Darrow created the “Aug Incident,” sending out a signal across the world that causes augmented people to lose control and act violently. Jensen stops this incident and the Hyron Project, but not before damage has been done.
After years of rising tension between augmented and non-augmented people, things boil over as terrorist attacks rock Prague and other cities around the world. Many of the events of Mankind Divided are as of yet unknown, but Adam Jensen continues his fight against the Illuminati.
Paul Denton, the test subject for Majestic 12’s cloning, graduates from a university and joins UNATCO (United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition.) This groups was formed under the guise of protecting against the increasing terror attacks, but actually functions as a police force for Majestic 12.