Dishonored - All News
Sunday - May 05, 2013
Dishonored - Void Walker’s Arsenal DLC
Well if your one of those people who must have every peice of DLC Bethesda has provided. Bethesda has announced the Void Walker's Arsenal bundle, a collection of the game's various pre-order DLC.
The gifts of the Outsider are bestowed unto those who walk the Void.
With the Void Walker’s Arsenal add-on pack, gain immediate access to four content bundles previously available only through pre-ordering Dishonored. The Acrobatic Killer Pack, Arcane Assassin Pack, Backstreet Butcher Pack and Shadow Rat Pack offer unique character bonuses, additional bone charm slots, unhidden books and bonus coins that will aid you in your pursuit of revenge. Found in the Hound Pits Pub, use these items to enhance your playthrough of Corvo’s main campaign in the original game.
Void Walker’s Arsenal arrives next week on PlayStation Store, Steam, and Xbox LIVE for $3.99 (320 Microsoft Points) on Tuesday, May 14th. Note: The European PS3 release will Wednesday, May 15th.
Monday - April 22, 2013
Dishonored - 50% off on Amazon
Dishonored is on sale on Amazon for 50% off. All three versions of the game on PC/XBOX/PS3 are $29.99. The offer is only valid in the US though so that might be a downer for some.
Saturday - April 20, 2013
Dishonored - Blink And The Stealth Genre
Sidequesting has a small editorial on Dishonored. The author writes that the games blink ability re-introduced him to the stealth genre.
I’ve avoided stealth games ever since I played a Japanese demo of Metal Gear Solid. Not only could I not read Japanese, but I had no idea how stealth games worked. I couldn’t run around and shoot every guard in the head, and when they saw me, it was all over. I wanted to like it, but I was overwhelmed. I was frustrated.
Those emotions became familiar to me. I got excited about games like Hitman and Splinter Cell, brought them home, popped them into my console, ripped the discs out and left them at the bottom of my stack of games. I couldn’t find a stealth game I enjoyed, and I began to believe I would never. So, I quit playing them.
I had forgotten about Dishonored until it finally released.. Out of some tortuous need to see what I was missing, I watched a few videos of other people playing it. And that’s when I saw the blink ability, broke my years-long abstinence, and finally played my first stealth game.
Blink remedies my problems with the stealth genre. In some ways, Batman: Arkham Asylum did it with Batman’s ability to grapple to gargoyles near the ceiling, but blink isn’t tied to specific rooms, and it not only allows vertical movement but horizontal too. It ignores the confinement of stealth games, speeds up the laborious process of sneaking, and gives me options when I’m caught.
Thanks to Dishonored and blink, I’ve been able to overcome the barriers of a genre I’ve wanted to love for a long time.
Thursday - April 18, 2013
Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall Review Roundup #2
Here are a few more reviews of The Knife of Dunwall.
As someone who loved the original Dishonored, I was mildly disappointed in The Knife of Dunwall DLC, much like an honor student would be mad at only getting a B+ on a test. Not because The Knife of Dunwall was bad in any way; in fact, I wanted more. If you enjoyed the original Dishonored, this is certainly a great excuse to jump back into Dunwall to sneak around looking for hidden loot and secluded pathways. I could have gone through another 10 or so missions as Daud in his search for redemption for murdering the Empress. But the way the game tells its limited story hurt the experience badly and the ending comes at you like a Mack truck. You’re expecting there to be another chapter or two explaining the new character that Daud meets along the way, but instead, the game just ends with a final cutscene after a mission where it seems that the story is just hitting its stride and rolls credits.
So here’s your takeaway: if you liked Dishonored, then this is three more levels in which you can ply your stealthy trade, and all the usual disclaimers to that apply. If you just race through lopping off heads, you’ll probably be done in an hour or two and will likely wonder what all the fuss is about. But if you go through it twice, for Low Chaos and High Chaos (with multiple endings and an unlockable Master Assassin difficulty to sweeten your second time through); if you take the time to explore and bask in the world-building; if you go back and redo particular bits again and again to try them in different ways, then you’re likely talking somewhere between six to eight hours, and every single one of those hours is just as good as the base game. Knife of Dunwall is a brutal and bloody playground, and how happy you are to just play around with the mechanics and setpieces dictates how long you’ll spend in it.
Like the original game, Knife of Dunwall feels truncated. It’s the first half of a two-part story, and clips along too quickly for its own good before culminating in an entirely predictable and ultimately uninteresting plot twist. For all the joy of another visit to the grimy pseudo-Victorian mess that is Dunwall, I couldn’t help feeling a little lost and confused as the game rushed towards its conclusion. Taken on the strength of the first two levels, I’d call this a pitch-perfect pack of DLC, but it’s held back by the short-change in the third act and awkward plotting. When you’re promised three missions and you really only get two, you feel it.
I thought about spending half this piece talking about what Dishonored gets right compared to BioShock Infinite, but screw it. Whatever metatextuality the apologists want to use to excuse Binfinite’s unliving world and however much the absolutists want to dismiss the entire thing because they don’t like its focus on violence, it is a game based on shooting whereas Dishonored is a game based on navigation. They aren’t trying to do the same thing, so the comparison is inherently an artificial one. What I will say instead is that, going back to Dunwall after Columbia, Dishonored’s technical compromises on PC really show. Far too many low-res, blurry textures, a couple too many invisible barriers, no native support for anisotropic filtering or proper anti-aliasing… O, tragedy! I love the art approach as much as I ever did, but ultimately the game does look more dated than a 2012/13 PC game should. It’s a shame, because in concept and in art alike, this is a game that deserved the fanciest PC version possible, but once again those damnable consoles won out.
Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall Review Roundup
Here are threee reviews for the Dishonored DLC The Knife of Dunwall.
Regardless of your approach, each mission is cleverly designed to accommodate it, with multiple entry points to every location and countless routes within. The mission design in The Knife of Dunwall is more functional than inspired: there is no Lady Boyle’s Last Party-style mission here, or a trek across a towering bridge, but the freedom in gameplay is still as refreshing now as it was when Dishonored was first released. Players who are content to take their time will get a huge amount out of it too: there are many, many secrets ferreted about this world. That exploration might also uncover an odd bug or two – particularly around mission markers that, well, aren’t quite sure what they’re meant to be doing.
The Chaos mechanic makes a return as well, with your choice in how to complete missions and your body count influencing whether you send the world into a High Chaos or Low Chaos state. The influence of Chaos does not seem to be as big as in the original game; I didn't notice any different objectives or more difficult enemies present playing on High Chaos. However, some dialogue sequences and cutscenes do change a little bit, so there is still some reason to play through the story twice. As The Knife of Dunwall's story ends in a cliffhanger, to be continued in an upcoming add-on, perhaps it's Arkane's intent to have Chaos make more of a difference in the next chapter. Unfortunately, this also means the sudden ending to The Knife of Dunwall leaves you with more questions than answers, but not necessarily wanting more thanks to the drab, one-dimensional characters and lack of interesting stakes.
The Rothwild Slaughterhouse is a fine creation, and one that's as worthy as The Golden Cat or any of Dishonored's other highlights. Cast in orange early evening light, it's an impossibly tall warehouse that's been caught in the throes of a heavy-handed industrial dispute, allowing you to pick through the debris as some of Dunwall's extremes clash together.
As a play space it's thrillingly wide, a courtyard coursed with clumsy pipework and littered with ribbed corpses funneling into a central building that can be explored through high walkways or through sticky sewers. There's a centrepiece that's worth discovering for yourself, and all around it are a handful of little stories playing out that you're free to lend your hand to or to just casually observe.
Wednesday - April 17, 2013
Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall Review @ PCGMedia
PCGMedia's Michael Cromwell checked out the Dishonored DLC The Knife of Dunwall and comes back with some positive feedback.
Stuck in the same morally ambiguous dutiful position as Corvo, Daud feels both familiar and expansive, adding to the over-all tone of the base-game without simply borrowing from it. This really is DLC how it should be, and whilst I’m skeptical of DLC because generally, when I buy it, I find myself lost, confused, and questioning the relevancy of tacked on content to a finished story, I get the impression Arkane Studios are adding that “directors cut” polish to Dishonored as a package, rather than milking us for more cash.
Tuesday - April 16, 2013
Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall Available for Download
The Knife of Dunwall DLC for Dishonered is available for download now on Steam.
Thursday - April 11, 2013
Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall Coming Tuesday, First Trailer Released
ActionTrip brings news that the first major DLC for Dishonored will be released next Tuesday. There is also a trailer showcasing the DLC.
In Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall you play from a new perspective. You're put in control of Daud, one of the antagonists in the original game's campaign. As you might remember from your confrontations with him, he has supernatural powers that make him a force to be reckoned with. The journey in this new DLC will be challenging, so using abilities such as 'Summon Assassin' and 'Blink' will be critical to conquering the new districts of the DLC.
Monday - February 25, 2013
Dishonored - New Story DLC
The people at PS3Trophies have spotted some new trophies for an yet unannounced Dishonored DLC named The Other Side of the Coin. The 10 trophies are at the bottom of this list.
Based on available information the second and third DLC for Dishonored are supposed to be story based, which would be applicable to this DLC, but as this list is the only information available we'll have to wait and see.
Wednesday - December 19, 2012
Dishonored - Spatial and Social Realism and Dissecting Dishonored's Heart
There are a couple of pieces on Dishonored on the web beyond the usual reviews. Gamasutra argues that despite the fantasy setting, Dishonored uses cues that make it feel like "moving to a new town and meeting the neighbors", creating a sense of realism:
Just as is the case in the real world, things rarely exist for no reason. An open window signifies that you can climb into a building. A bundle of wires will inevitably lead to something interesting, even if it’s not crucial to the task at hand. The nice thing about video games is that they allow you to indulge yourself in these environments. Try following a bundle of cables around an office building or rummaging through a restaurant’s closet and you’ll likely have to explain yourself to the police. Dishonored gives you the satisfaction of being able to pursue your latent curiosity.
Over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Paul Walker writes about the role of the Heart:
Dishonored’s Heart is an object which lives up to its name in many ways. It breathes life into the game’s characters, imbues the city of Dunwall with soul, and helps the player to feel the melancholy tone which permeates all facets of its world. Characterised by the intersection of the mystical and the technological, it distills the very essence of the pseudo-Victorian steampunk landscape in which Dishonored’s tale unfolds. It is presented to the player as a navigation tool — a guide to lead players to the occult items littered throughout the fictional city of Dunwall. But, as co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio told me, “It also plays a part related to informing their decisions about when to apply violence or not, making it a really interesting, more subtle part of the power fantasy.” Here we start to get to grips with what it is the makes the Heart so compelling.
Monday - December 17, 2012
Dishonored - Dunwall City Trials Review Roundup #2
Found some more reviews of Dishonored's Dunwall City Trials DLC.
Cheat Code Central, 3.4/5
The Dunwall City Trials are a bit like the Disneyland version of Dishonored. They've cut out some of the most compelling parts of the game, such as exploring the expansive levels and learning the secrets of Dunwall's citizens. There are no interesting moral choices to make and no lore-filled books to read, but there are some fun challenges that remain true to the spirit of the game. While not all the Dunwall Trials are of equal quality, at the price at which they're offered the better Trials provide an entertaining afternoon or two of guilt-free assassination fun.
In the end, it’s tough to complain about Dishonored‘s Dunwall City Trials DLC. The download is full of content and replay value, boasts quality presentation facets and plays very well. For those reasons, it’s extremely easy to recommend it to the game’s fans. With a price tag of only $4.99 (400 Microsoft Points), the add-on an absolute steal.
For the few hours you'll get out of it, it's worth it easily for everyone. If you're the competitive guy looking to up your skills, take to the leaderboards and rise to the top. If you're looking to just have some fun and get more content out of Dishonored, this is your chance. If you want to see a bunch of concept art as a reward for beating levels, guess what, you're in luck. For $4.99, I'd say go buy it.
Thursday - December 13, 2012
Dishonored - Dunwall City Trials Review Roundup
In case you are still wondering if you should get the Dunwall City Trials DLC for Dishonored, here is a collection of reviews:
Eject Disk Magazine, 87%
Overall, Dishonored is a great stealth-action game taking place in a new original setting, with great character and gameplay design. While it may have a few graphical hiccups and the story isn’t perfect, Dishonored truly is a brilliant title and one of the best new IPs released this year. No matter how you play it, it never feels like it is punishing you for not taking the route it wants you to go. Add this to the adequate level of challenge on the Normal difficulty, and you are left with a game that will cause you to quick-load rather often, but never becomes tiring or wears out its welcome.
Regardless of where you are in the main campaign, you can start playing the Dunwall City Trials, so it’s a great way to practice your skills and I can already see myself getting better at certain things, like using Blink to quickly and accurately fly around the map. I look at Dunwall City Trials as preparation before I even think about attempting to beat the game on Very Hard. I think I’m going to need all of the practice I can get.
For $4.99 you can’t criticize the value you’ll get, but taken on their own the challenges aren’t much to sink your teeth in. They are a sample of a better offer and focus on the individual aspects of a property that worked precisely because it combined those aspects. The Dunwall City Trials DLC is worth a look, but it’s not compelling in terms of standalone content. If, however, you absolutely loved the gameplay of Dishonored, then the challenges should be perfectly suited for you.
I didn’t need a reminder as to why I loved Dishonored, but this DLC pack definitely made me long to play through the entire game again. Maybe all the practice I get from doing these trials until I get them perfect will finally help me play through without killing anyone. That would be great because I don’t like being a murderer. Murder makes me have guilt, and besides, what kind of example would I set for Emily if I killed everyone?
Taking a “glass half full” approach, you could say that this rather unwieldy spread of mini-games and challenges offers something for everyone, regardless of your style of play. Alternatively, you could bemoan the way that the game's strongest elements are the ones reduced to a couple of trials, and that these are the best ones with the most replay value. I'd gladly have swapped the rather pointless Oil Drop and Bonfires for more chewy puzzles and stealth maps.
This first round of DLC for Dishonored is a good one. There’s a nice mixture of difficulty and fun in the Dunwall City Trials challenges that’s sure to hold you over until the story driven content arrives next year. While some of the modes are hit and miss, the price isn’t too taxing. At 400 Microsoft Points ($4.99) Dunwall City Trials is well worth the price of admission, and you just might want to try out some of these newly developed challenge skills in the single player mode, if you complete them that is.
Tuesday - December 11, 2012
Dishonored - Dunwall City Trials Available on Steam
Enter the world of the Outsider in Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials, the first add-on pack for the critically-acclaimed first-person action game by Arkane Studios. Your combat, stealth and mobility skills will be put to the test as you make your way through 10 distinct maps that feature a variety of challenges. Creatively combine your supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets to eliminate as many targets as possible, fight off waves of tallboys, guards, weepers and thugs, or take out targets in a non-stop run of drop assassinations. Dunwall City Trials also features a new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard.
Thursday - December 06, 2012
Dishonored - Dunwall City Trials Trailer
The Bethblog has a new trailer for the Dishonored DLC, Dunwall City Trials:
Watch the newly-released gameplay trailer for Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials, arriving on Xbox LIVE, PSN, and Steam next week!
Dunwall City Trials will include 10 challenge maps that will test and track your combat, stealth and mobility skills. Creatively combine your supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets to eliminate as many targets as possible, fight off waves of tallboys, guards, weepers and thugs, or take out targets in a non-stop run of drop assassinations. Dunwall City Trials also features a new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard.
Wednesday - December 05, 2012
Dishonored - v1.2 Patch
Dishonored has been patched on all platforms:
Today we’ve released the first post-release title update for Dishonored. The update is up for PC, PS3, and 360 players.
Release notes below:
- Support for playing the game on multiple screens.
- Game Settings are now saved and restored properly even when using Steam offline.
- Fixes for some interactions with Granny Rags that invalidated nonlethal playthroughs under certain circumstances. (Note: These fixes work even for savegames AFTER the final Granny Rags encounter.)
- Fix for a crash that could happen during loading/transition between areas – notably near Dr. Galvani’s house.
- Reworked “Choke” interaction to make it more reliable in valid contexts.
- Fixed minor localization issues (PS3/360).
- Fixed global post-process that sometimes worked improperly during some missions.
- Fix for a rare crash that could happen when killing a NPC with a possessed rat and spring razor (PS3/360)
Thursday - November 15, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ New World Notes
New World Notes interviewed Arkane's Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio on Dishonored.
The main literary influences to Dishonored's story:
"In working out our setting and characters, we were looking to do something less common in games, but the process was very organic. Many people on our team made mention, on a weekly basis, of various influences from Herman Melville to Mervyn Peake. You could point to Thomas Burke (for Limehouse) or Dickens as general influences, and as people who have added to the cultural map that most of the team shares. During development, we discussed the works of H. P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock, Neil Gaiman, and others. Films like Gangs of New York, Perfume, and Anonymous factored into our research. As we've mentioned before, some of us love the Decemberists and took small influences from the lyrics of Picaresque and Her Majesty."
Wednesday - November 07, 2012
Dishonored - Pointless it is @ International Business Times
International Business Times has blog called Why Games Matter where Edward Smith
writes an editorial piece discussing why Dishonored is Pointless. His starting point is
about how other games like say Fallout let's you know you've lost karma. Dishonored doesn't do this and he likes it:
It makes for a much more interesting game, where actions still have consequences, but not the same consequences every time. Being seen is a greyer affair, which opens the game up rather than shutting it down. Dishonored ebbs and flows, gracefully treading between action and sneaking without ever lopsiding into either. Stat fiends can still load up every time they get made, and action buffs can charge in if they like.
And a bit from the conclusion:
Instead, I got to be myself for a change. I got to play a game how I wanted to play it, instead of how I thought I should be. If someone struck me as evil, I killed them and didn't worry about the extra quest they might have offered later. If the guards caught me, I killed them too.
Dishonored - Peeling back the layers @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer speaks with Harvey Smith and Raph Colantonio about the missing third floor of the Hound Pit Pub and their iterative design process for Dishonored:
Led by Smith and Colantonio, Arkane hasn't just alluded to the messiness of the creative process though - it has hung its hat on it, talking about how the serendipitous clashes of unfinished systems would lead to gameplay ideas that made Dishonored a better game. All the talk of turning bugs into features feels practically counter-cultural, and even if it is partly a marketing gimmick, you can feel how deeply rooted it is into the way Arkane works every time you speak to the developers or play the game. They talk about how the fiction of old High Overseers dying is an allusion to the BioShock team, or how the assassin tutorial in Daud's base is using the dialogue from Thief.
"We talked a lot about how before science was really a known thing, it seemed magical in some ways," says Smith. "We were influenced by Tesla a little bit - he had these various devices and some of them had outlandish names, so when we came up with the Wall of Light it was part science... It was the version of science at the time, natural philosophy, and in part this thing of beauty. If you look at some of those old images from Tesla's lab they're just hauntingly beautiful. And I'm sure part of that is the black-and-white photography and all, but imagine being a person in the 1800s seeing for the first time gas lamps or electricity or hearing a radio for the first time with all the crackle and then a voice out of the dark coming out of it. That would just have been freaky in a way that saying the word 'magic' can't really convey."
Monday - November 05, 2012
Dishonored - Review @ RPGCodex
A review of Dishonored showed up at RPGCodex describing its good and not so good points while recommending it to anyone who likes mission-based first person games with a focus on exploration and alternate ways to solve each mission
Due to the many different gameplay approaches Dishonored offers, it is also a very replayable game. You can play it as a pure stealth game, ghosting through the levels without killing anyone, or you can take your pistol and your sword and play it as an action game. The best thing about this is that your gameplay style actually affects the ending: the amount of people you kill directly contributes to the game’s “chaos level”: the more people you kill and havoc you wreak, the higher the chaos level. There are three endings to the game, depending on whether your chaos level is low, medium or high. The chaos level also changes some things in the missions themselves, so you will immediately see the results of your different playstyles. Generally, playing Dishonored as a straight action game will result in high chaos, playing it as a pure stealth game will result in low chaos, while playing it as a sort of hybrid where you stay stealthy and only fight back when you’re detected will result in medium chaos. This means that playing through the game three times to see all three endings is actually fun, since the different endings are a direct result of your playstyle, rather than being determined by binary dialogue choices or by siding with one faction or the other.
Tuesday - October 30, 2012
Dishonored - Review @ Gamasutra: The Missteps
Eric Schwarz from Gamebanshee has penned a blog entry at Gamasutra about this game.
In it, he dicusses The Missteps. A quote, as always:
In terms of basic mechanics, Dishonored simply does not have as much to offer. Although light and shadow apparently do have an influence on whether enemies can detect you as you sneak around, I found it to be an incredibly subtle distinction, as enemies were able to spot me hulking in the shadows from distances of 40-50 feet near the endgame. There is also almost no reliable way to manipulate light and shadow in the game, which was Thief's big technical innovation in 1997... if Thief could do this with dynamic lightmaps running on antiquated technology, why can't Unreal Engine 3.x.x manage the same? Sure, it's more a design problem than a technical one now, but even so, one would expect that after so many years improving graphics, we'd start using them more consistently to enhance gameplay as well. Additionally, the lack of tools in stealth is a big misstep.
Monday - October 29, 2012
Dishonored - Review @ GameBanshee
Eric Schwarz reviews Dishonered at GameBanshee and likes it, but does not shy away from its shortcomings.
However, Dishonored does have its share of faults, namely in that its stealth gameplay is a bit underwhelming compared to its inspirations, its RPG-like character progression is lacking, it starts to run out of steam a bit towards the end, and the story simply does not have the same intellectual themes to it that gets you thinking about bigger issues once you've turned the game off (something Deus Ex: Human Revolution managed far better last year). As much as I liked it, and will play through it at least once or twice more, it's hard not to feel a bit disappointed where potential wasn't realized, mostly in the RPG qualities that it's dropped over its predecessors. I could have been an "instant classic" for fans of hybrid shooter/RPG titles, but instead it's merely "pretty good."
Thursday - October 25, 2012
Dishonored - DLC Dunwall City Trials Announced
Bethesda announced today the first DLC for Dishonered. The name of the DLC is Dunwall City Trials and it
releases in December for £3.99 / €4.99 or 400 Microsoft Points simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It includes 10 challenge maps each with 10 distinct trials designed to test your combat, stealth and mobility skills. These trials include an arena battle against waves of enemy AI, drop assassinations and a race against the clock. There are new achievements and trophies and a global online leaderboard. That's the first DLC. The second and third add-ons will launch in 2013 simultaneously on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and each features a story-driven campaign.
Saturday - October 13, 2012
Dishonored - Why you shouldn't buy it @ VG247
VG247 repsponds to some common complaints about Dishonored with some sarcasm:
It’s too short.
No it’s not, you prat, and I spent quite a long time saying so. I know what you want from games, friend: you want a wee popup saying “mission successful” and a breakdown of how amazing you are at pressing buttons on your plastic input device of choice.
For years you have been trained to believe that this is how things are done – games give you a task; you complete them in as direct a fashion as possible; an achievement unlocks; this repeats for 12 or so hours and it feels like $60 well spent. If it lasts for less than 12 hours you write an angry forum post.
That’s fine, dude, and I wish you well in your mole-like ingestion of breast-fed entertainment. But if you can give up the speed run mentality for a couple of minutes, you’re going to be more than compensated for your precious, precious time (which has been assigned a dollar value of game cover price divided by minimum hours spent on one aspect of the game).
Even once you’ve tried out both extremes of the chaos metre, there’s loads to find in terms of side quests, branching storylines, and lore – let alone the potential for mechanical exploration; Arkane’s beautiful semi-sandbox has only been out a few days and already people are doing marvellous things with it, suggesting a YouTube phenomenon in the making.
Wednesday - October 10, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ The Creators Project
Art Director Sébastien Mitton and video game director Viktor Antonovare interviewed at The Creators project about Dishonored, its begining and how it got to be what it is now.
The Creators Project: How long have you been working on Dishonored? How did this project come to life?
Viktor Antonov: We’ve been working on it for three years, since 2009. The project came to life in quite a dramatic way. I was an independent author at the time, and Arkane was an indie studio with great potential to sign a big contract with Bethesda. For legal reasons, their initial project was aborted. We were given three weeks to come up with a sufficiently interesting suggestion. But I was extremely enthusiastic because it’s such a rare opportunity to start from scratch and design something to fit a colossal budget.
At this stage, there was no preliminary draft, just a budget?
Sébastien Mitton: No, there were only intentions for gameplay. Bethesda knew that we had an expertise in first person shooters, and they knew we were looking to achieve dense and visceral games. At that time, Dishonored was supposed to take place in Japan during medieval times, but we told them it was hardly conceivable—as Europeans, we can easily fall into cheap stereotypes. After several discussions, we told them that we wanted the game to be based in London, which was our starting point.
Dishonored - Review Roundup # 4
Here is another batch of Dishonered reviews and I probably missed a couple as well, but I doubt you'll be missing much because of that.
Dishonored - Review Roundup # 3
Here is another batch of Dishonored review with high scores and a slightly lower one at 8.
- 411Mania, 9
- Bad Ass Digest
- Brutal Gamer, 9
- Complex Gaming, 9
- Daily Bruin
- Digital Trends, 9
- Dualshockers, 9
- EGM, 9.5
- Electronic Theatre, 94%
- Forbes, Part 2
- GameLogical Society
- Gamer Euphoria, 9.4
- Games Media Pro, 10
- Games Xtreme
- Gaming Blend, 4.5/5
- Gaming Union, 8
- God Is A Geek, 10
- IMGMR, 9
- MTV Multiplayer
- Play Now, 92%
- PlayStation Universe, 9
- PopWatch, A-
Tuesday - October 09, 2012
Dishonored - Protips from Harvey Smith
The Bethblog has posted some "pro tips" for playing Dishonored from co-creative director Harvey Smith:
Try playing the game with stealth. Sneaking, playing nonlethally, or even ghosting the missions adds even more tension and drama to situations.
Eavesdrop on unaware enemies to absorb more background information related to the world and the events unfolding around you. Sometimes eavesdropping updates your objectives. (Similarly, listen to street speaker announcements and read posted signs.)
If you use combat, don’t forget to block and counter-attack while an enemy is off-balance.
Often characters have followup lines if you hang out and listen to them (or click on them further). You’ll absorb more about the world this way.
Notes and books also add a lot of background info on the world and events.
Set your brightness so the blacks are really black. The game looks dramatically better.
Monday - October 08, 2012
Dishonored - Review Roundup #2
Given the amount of reviews of Dishonored here is another roundup of review, that all have a similar score.
- 1Up, A+
- 360GamerCast, 9
- Coin-Op TV, a video review
- Computer and Video Games, 9.5
- Destructoid, 9
- Digital Chumps, 9
- Digital Spy, 4/5 stars
- Edge Online, 9
- Gadget Magazine
- GameReactor, 9
- GameRevolution, 4.5/5
- Giant Bomb, 4/5
- Guardian, 5/5
- Metro UK, 9
- Planet Xbox360, 9
- PS3 MMGN, 9.5
- PSNation, A
- Rev3 Games, 5/5 (video review)
- Strategy Informer, 9
- The Gamers Hub, 5/5
- The Verge, 9
Dishonored - The Onion @ RPS
There’s going to be a backlash against Dishonored. It can’t be helped: when a game makes big promises, a justice squad will quickly arise to loudly demand that it accounts for not meeting them to the very letter, and in this case I suspect there’s an additional flock of people who have been led by marketing to expect an all-out action game. I can predict, even sympathise with, some of the complaints, others I suspect will be absolutely mystifying to me. It’s the finest hour in what we might loosely but innacurately term ‘blockbuster shooters’ in years – I’d feel petulant were I to demand it give me even more. But there is one complaint that may reach a crescendo in short order, and that is the issue of length. For me, Dishonored was a deliciously long game, clocking in at about 25 hours even without the total replay I intend on having very soon. For someone else – someone who has a lot of numbers in the name they use when playing Halo 4, say – it will be insultingly short. It may not even make a double figures quantity of hours. That’s not the game’s fault, it’s theirs. They gobbled the onion up whole, too greedy or too lazy to peel apart its layers.
Dishonored - Interview Roundup
Next to the reviews of Dishonored that will show up in large quantities over the next days there are also several interviews that are popping up.
Pure Sophistry talked with Harvey Smith on art, gaming and Dishonored:
Where do you see dishonoured in the spectrum of games? Where does it land? Between the art house games that deal with that specific niche or to the more high end, big budget games if you will?
That’s a really interesting question because dishonoured is definitely a kick ass action game were you play a supernatural assassin in a dark world where you can stop time, possess people, cut throats, shatter doors you’re that character, but at the same time at Arkane we truly are into doing more. It’s not a linear game its not scripted, it’s a bunch of systems working, you can play the game about an assassin were you can avoid killing anyone, when we tell someone about that they always ask “really? Even the main target?” Yes, even the main target. We set out as a goal, we settled on it about half way through the game to track how violent the player was being, and then stabilize or destabilize the world depending on that. And so you can wreck everything and kill anyone you encounter, or you can avoid killing innocents, or anyone. And then you end up with a world where the government a little more stable and things are a bit nicer. And that’s one part of it. It’s ambitious because it tries to have a foot in both camps.
Forbes chatted with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio:
What are the difficulty options for the game? Will it be one size fits all, or will there be a difficulty setting option? How does the game’s difficulty compare to other stealth games?
We’ve included four difficulty modes, but that only scratches the surface in terms of options.
This is a game about assassin, designed around allowing people to approach the experience with different play-styles, stealth or straight up combat, moral outlooks, which powers you choose to acquire and upgrade, which of the many pathways you take through a mission, how much you explore (vs bee-lining through the game), etc. Different players will have different experiences, and we hope they’ll compare notes.
Some of the most tense, dramatic moments happen on high difficulty, playing according to some of the self-imposed goals like “ghosting” the game, or never being seen. We compare to other stealth games in an interesting way, because we never force stealth and players don’t “fail” when the alarms go off; after you get busted, Dishonored gets fun in a different way.
The Gamers Hub talke to Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith:
TGH: How do you go about building a world as large as Dunwall, and then allowing players to approach each situation as they see fit?
Harvey and Raf: The short answer is that we plan for this and encourage it, and when possible we “let the systems work it out.”
The longer answer: The level designers and architects set up their mission objectives, enemy patrols and environments with ideas for the two or three most likely ways for players to complete the mission. We do this by matching player tools and archetypical play styles with mission elements: we always make sure that the stealthy player can hide, that the tricky player can hack, unlock or bribe, that the direct player can fight, etc. Plus each area will end up with a few more ideas contributed over time, as people on the team consider the situation. But much of the magic happens courtesy of the simulation: our systems interact in cohesive ways and we try not to script interactions. The assassination target is always in the world, for instance, instead of being spawned under set story conditions. When things work according to general purpose rules, it allows players many more permutations of interaction, to approach each situation as they see fit. As long as the objective is complete, we don’t care how the player did it. Sometimes we’re surprised by how creative players can be during moments of tension, trying to achieve their objectives. Sometimes they short-cut some content, but that’s cool… power to the player.
And an older one at Sci-Fi London, talking to Sebastian Mitton:
Some members of the development team worked on 'Deus Ex' - did they bring a flavour of that game to Dishonored or was the intention always to create something completely new?
Some coworkers worked on Deus Ex as game-designers and level designers. It has indirectly impacted the art, as their demand was in the vein of the Deus Ex design style. So yes, we share the same philosophy, but art-wise Dishonored is a fresh new experience in a world built from scratch.
Dishonored - Review Roundup
Over the weekend the first Dishonored reviews have flooded in, so here's a roundup. Arkane and Bethesda look like they have a ripper on their hands, with most reviews landing in the 9s.
Kicking off with Kotaku, who call it a "masterpiece":
I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the pitch meeting for Dishonored. “Well, it’s Deus Ex meets BioShock,” someone undoubtedly said. “Oh hey, and let’s throw in some Half-Life 2 ’cause why not?”
It’s a bizarre, eclectic blend, the type of combination that might seem too ambitious to work. But the resulting game is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Shacknews on being an "RPG", which left the reviewer "emotionally exhausted and simultaneously stunned":
The challenge for a developer creating a role-playing game is to build a bond with the player, the kind of bond where the player as protagonist not only believes in the mission of his alter ego, but cares about the characters in the game on an emotional level. The story is the essence of any good RPG, and the developer must allow the player to feel the character's anger, frustration, joy or any of the myriad emotions through that story. A great RPG builds a trust with the player and demands that role-playing be the game.
And for that reason, Arkane Studios' Dishonored is a great RPG. My emotions drove my style of game play as the bodyguard Corvo, falsely accused of killing a beloved Empress and my friend. I started with the mindset that clearing my name was secondary to finding those that killed her and kidnapped her daughter, the future monarch that I had watched grow up in my time as their bodyguard. I began play in a non-lethal fashion, fully unaware that what I was about to experience went well beyond the traditional point-and-click RPGs.
Joystiq with 4.5/5 on the different approaches:
So, reaching a mark may involve overhearing a conversation about their location, blinking (teleporting) from rooftop to rooftop onto a window ledge, using dark vision to observe enemies through the wall and choosing just the right moment to enter. Then, once inside, possessing a rat in the house, scurrying through a vent (possession in Dishonored is a full transference of body) and finally blinking into the target's room. That's just one stealth approach. Should you choose, you can also just walk through the front door and cut down everybody in your way, summoning rats to gnaw on anyone who gets too close.
IGN calls it "a breath of fresh air", on the way to 9.2/10, talking about the missions:
Dishonored’s nine missions are all very distinct. You’ll attend a society gala in disguise, scale a bridge, escape from prison, wander through flooded slums and stalk across rooftops. You'll take part in a duel, carry an unconscious man through a gauntlet of enemies and decide whether or not to become a torturer. Each mission is designed as a sandbox, allowing players to utilise whatever approach they want, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll take your time, getting the lay of the land, discovering alternate routes, listening in on conversations, taking on optional objectives, looking for secrets and treasure, and generally just playing.
Players who really take the time to enjoy the experience are rewarded too. The more runes, bone charms and money you find, the more you can augment and upgrade your character, and the more bad-ass you’ll become. In fact, by the last couple of missions I was almost too powerful; able to stalk, choke and kill with ease. Good thing there are hard and extra hard difficulty settings to move on to, which ramp up the perceptiveness of enemies and increase the general challenge.
More on exploration from GameSpot, who awarded 9/10:
Exploring Dunwall is another one of Dishonored's great pleasures. The city prospered from the whaling trade in the recent past, but has fallen on hard times since the influx of a deadly plague. Brick walls and wooden beams loom over alleys crawling with rats, while granite facades and metal barricades block off the cobblestoned plazas of the wealthier neighborhoods. Dunwall evokes a British city in the grip of the industrial revolution, but painterly coloring and slightly exaggerated proportions give the place a unique feel. Though some texture details can be slow to load in the console versions, the lovely artistic design is undiminished, making Dunwall an immensely appealing place to inhabit.
Of course, there are tangible benefits to exploration as well. Sewers, alleys, apartments, and estates all hide items that restore your health, reinforce your arsenal, teach you secrets, or allow you to gain new supernatural powers. The large areas you must traverse to get to your targets are riddled with out-of-the-way places to explore, and finding them reveals not only hidden goodies, but alternate routes as well.
The Escapist, 5/5:
The design of the city and Corvo's array of skills create an elasticity of play that makes every mission a joy to explore. Each new objective feels like a natural extension of the overall drama, rather than just another tick in your journal, and your options for completing those objectives never feel like they were put there just to help you solve a puzzle. You don't suddenly obtain the ability to possess a rat just as you need to scuttle your way through a convenient vent - the power is yours to use, or not, the entire time. You're not being given a path to follow with a target at the end, the world simply exists and you must decide how you will navigate through it. That both stealth and combat options work so smoothly and are both so enjoyable is a testament to the great thought and care put into Dishonored's design.
Eurogamer has one of the lowest scores at 8/10, so let's take some criticism:
It's a shame, then, that the mechanics of the game aren't always up to the high standard set elsewhere. Context-sensitive actions are needlessly fussy, as opening doors or teleporting to ledges requires a little too much shuffling around for the right prompt to appear. Frustrating and, under pressure, sometimes fatal.
The AI of your opponents doesn't always hold up to scrutiny either, with guards sometimes spotting you from a long distance and other times remaining blissfully unaware of the black-clad figure crouching in their peripheral vision. Once alerted to your presence, their only instinct is to mob you, and should you evade them by ducking through a doorway, they won't think to check if you close the door behind you. On one occasion I actually had guards appear behind me in a room with only one exit, and it's common for bodies and thrown objects to lodge, juddering and twitching, in walls and floors.
...and PC Gamer on the PC credentials:
Dishonored’s whole world is textured with an oil-painted smudge that brings out the 19th-century vibe – despite the sci-fi tech. That’s part of what makes its atmosphere so intoxicating: we don’t often get to explore a setting like this.
For all those reasons, I recommend turning off almost every part of the interface. There’s a thrillingly nerdy array of options for this, and I found myself getting more and more lost in the game once I’d tinkered with them: I learned to listen for the noise of my mana recharging, read street signs to figure out where I was going, and notice the way I was holding my weapon to check whether I was in sneak mode.
This is all PC specific, and our version gets all the special attention we like: field-of-view options, responsive mouse movement, graphics options – you can even ‘Disable rat shadows’. +5% to the score right there.
Thursday - October 04, 2012
Dishonored - Path to Revenge Trailer
We have just released an interactive video for Dishonored. A true choose your own adventure, the trailer offers a full series of interactive videos – including a branch that allows for a non-violent playthrough.
As you make your way through the video, which was created with the help of the Twine interactive game engine, be on the lookout for hidden giveaways.
Note: The video features extended content (and minor spoilers)… you’ve been warned. We also recommend viewing the video in full screen. Enjoy!
Sunday - September 30, 2012
Dishonored - Previews and Other stuff
Here are two previews of Dishonered and a collection of other things collected on the net.
Due to my limited time, subtlety took a backseat to speed. I found the target and eliminated her with prejudice, then had to run for it. Once outside it took a moment for the confusion to settle and the guards to mobilize. As bullets ripped by, I froze time to escape the grounds. I sprinted to the sewers and slid into a covered escape route, but came out and was facing tallboys, guards walking on mechanized stilts. These guards can quickly ruin your day, so I laid a trap on a nearby bridge, summoned rats to attack another guard, and threw a sticky grenade into a crowd to even the odds. The tallboy then came at me via the bridge and walked right into my trap. As guards closed in, I possessed a fish and swam to my escape route, a waiting boat.
Attempting to teleport into a corridor near my target I fudged my aim, falling slap bang in the middle of a trio of gun toting sentries. What ensued can only be described as an embarrassing kerfuffle of summoned rats, exploding arrows and clashing blades, but what a glorious kerfuffle it was: Dishonored’s melee combat feels weighty, tense and challenging in all the right ways, requiring perfect block timing in order to break your enemy’s swipe, opening an opportunity for an instant kill parry, and granting you with a deeply personal death animation that can only be described as schlocky, crunchy and harrowing in equal measure.
An interview with Seth Shain on not “defeating the player’s intentionality” at AtomicMPC:
Atomic: The guys who work the crank. What are they called?
Seth: That’s a Musical Overseer.
Atomic: And they’re the ones that stop the magic abilities?
Seth: Yeah. Yeah, the Overseers are… one of the religions in the world of Dishonored in Dunwall is the Abbey of the Everyman, it’s the Overseers. They’re a religious sect and they’re puritan in a way. They hate The Outsider, they hate magic, and they try to do away with that. So some of them are witch hunters and they try to root out that evil wherever they see it, and they have… we’ve developed the religion, there are the seven strictures which is sort of like their Ten Commandments. And so there’s a lot of fiction in the world that supports this. They talk about witches they’ve burned, and they’re always accusing people. So the Musical Overseer, his whole job is to ferret out people with magic. And so that’s why that musical device is something that stops magic… somehow, it uses a mathematical formula to create music that counters The Outsider’s magic. They do things like, they’ll patrol the street and they’ll be cranking their machine and, there’s a book about this in the world, a woman is walking on the other side of the street and she’s just singing to herself, and this guy’s turning the crank and, as they pass, she stops singing. And so they accuse her of witchcraft because clearly her singing was magical, so they burn her. *Laugh*
Eight reasons why Dishonored could be the best game of the year at What Culture:
2. The Scope
This game combines stealth, supernatural abilities, hand to hand combat, guns, crossbows, grenades and even a pulsating heart that guides you to rare loot (no joke, and if it was a joke I don’t think I could think of something quite that ludicrous).
The map is huge and embraces historical aspects of mid-plague London with advanced technology powered by Whale oil.
Rather than holding on to genre cliches and playing it safe; this game takes on everything it’s creators found interesting and then some, making it one of the more inventive and inviting prospects of the coming months.
And MyGaming has a piece on why the Thief style stealth mechanic was ditched:
In the early stages of its development, Dishonored had a stealth mechanic akin to Thief where players could hide in the shadows. However, Arkane decided to scrap it, and lead designer Christophe Carrier explained why.
“In Thief the light is very very important. At the beginning we tried to be in the same mood: use the light, use the shadows.
“But we realised that when you’re standing in front of an NPC like this [hand in front of face] it’s not realistic – we must admit that. In the real world it’s not like this.
Saturday - September 29, 2012
Dishonored - Gone Gold!
The Bethblog announces Dishonored has gone Gold in time for the official release dates starting October 9th:
We’re thrilled to announce that Dishonored has “Gone Gold”! After more than three years of development, 30+ versions of the game (accounting for different languages, countries, and platforms) are ready for release. Huge congrats to Arkane’s Lyon and Austin offices, as well as everyone else involved with the project.
Coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, Dishonored will be available in North America on October 9, 2012, in Australia and Spain on October 11, 2012, and throughout Europe on October 12, 2012.
And to celebrate, we’re going to give away an extremely limited Overseer mask (note: not actually made of gold) created specifically for our PAX Prime Boyle Mansion Party, as well as a signed copy of the game. For a chance to win, read the sweepstakes rules after the break.
Friday - September 28, 2012
Dishonored - Tales from Dunwall, In the Mind of Madness
Here is the third and last part of the Dishonored 'Tales from Dunwall' webisodes titled 'In the Mind of Madness'.
Wednesday - September 26, 2012
Dishonored - Tales from Dunwall, The Hand that Feeds
The Bethblog has kicked up the the second part of their Dishonored webisode series, Tales from Dunwall:
‘The Tales from Dunwall’, the three-part Dishonored webisode series continues with the release of ‘The Hand the Feeds’. While the first episode reveals how Dunwall was revolutionized by a new energy source, this next chapter is a cautionary tale – one that illustrates the advantages, and the dangerous disadvantages, of accepting supernatural abilities from The Outsider.
Tuesday - September 25, 2012
Dishonored - Tales From Dunwall, The Awakening
The first of a series of 3 webisodes serving as a prequel to Dishonered has been made available by Bethesda.
Presenting 'The Awakening'- the first in a three-part Dishonored webisode series entitled 'The Tales from Dunwall'. These engrossing prequels, scored by Daniel Licht (Dexter) and narrated by Chloe Grace Mortez (Kick Ass), gives you a first-hand glimpse into Dishonored's shadowy whaling world of Dunwall, where plague is rampant and the city is in disarray and on the verge of dystopia.
Created by Psyop, each episode was predominantly produced by hand. Each frame was a fully rendered style frame, which was then enhanced with 3D elements to add to the painterly atmosphere, dimension and depth of each shot.
Saturday - September 22, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ GON
Aussie site Games On Net has interviewed Julien Roby from Arkane about Dishonored:
GON: Do you see Dishonored as more of a stealth title, or do you see it as a sandbox-ey, supernatural explore-em-up?
Julien: I see it as more of a sandbox game than a stealth game. You can have different options depending on what you want to do. So you can play fully stealth, or you can go fully action, or anywhere in between. It’s more up to the player to define the experience they want to have.
GON: So do you find in your tests that a lot of people opt for the full shooting, full action build? Just from playing today it seems like that’d be much harder than going all out for stealth.
Julien: Usually what we see in playtests is that people start their playthrough using stealth. They want to see what’s around them and understand the world so they sneak around as much as possible. But then they get detected, so they do a bit of combat, and revert back to stealth for the next area. So it’s a mix of both.
Wednesday - September 19, 2012
Dishonored - Dev Video #4, End Game
Bethsoft and Arkane have released the fourth dev diary video for Dishonored, reflecting on the journey:
Today we’ve released the fourth and final developer documentary for Dishonored. In ‘End Game’, the team at Arkane Studios reflect on the journey of taking Dishonored from its early conceptual stage to a world ready to be fully experienced by fans.
Catch the previous Dishonored videos on our YouTube Channel and be on the look out for new videos in these final weeks leading up to the game’s October 9th release.
Monday - September 17, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ OXCGN
OXCGN interviewed Arkane Studios’ Executive Producer Julien Roby about Dishonored. The first part of this interview can be read here.
Arthur: So basically there’s going to be a lot of variety of gamers playing Dishonored; the video diaries obviously demonstrate the game can be approached in a variety of ways.
Do you think that most gamers will find this sense of choice coming naturally to them or will they be confused by the fact that they aren’t actually being shuffled along in a corridor and told exactly what to do?
Julien: Yeah that’s a good point actually we ah…we kind of came up with this problem when we play-tested the game a few months ago: players were not expecting to be able to do 10 different things in the same area because there was just one path on the street and they didn’t think of looking at the rooftop.
So what we tried to do was at the beginning of the game show the different options and teach the player about these options initially and then let them try to explore and experiment with things.
We didn’t want to fall in the pitfall where we’re just drawing the player by the nose because then that defeats the point of letting them find their own way, so yeah just trying to strike a nice balance between teaching the player what they can do and then letting them actually do things.
Saturday - September 15, 2012
Dishonored - Preview, Drunken Whaler and More
An IGN editor writes Why Dishonored is my Most Anticipated Game This Year:
If you’ve been following Dishonored on IGN, you probably read Charles’ “Death at a Dinner Party” adventures earlier this year, in which he crashed a masked ball and caused total chaos, attracting the whole city’s attention by murdering guests and throwing canisters of explosive whale oil at guards. I sat down with the exact same mission recently, and was a bit concerned that I’d have nothing new to write about. How wrong I was.
Everything was different. For me and Charles, literally not one single thing, apart from the mission itself, was the same. This has instantly made Dishonored my most-anticipated game of this year. This is the first game I’ve played since Dark Souls last year that hasn’t patronised or restricted me for one second, instead just pushing a set of tools and powers into my hands with an avuncular wink and leaving me to do what I want with them. It gives you freedom, it gives you options, and it lets you work things out for yourself.
Over at the Bethblog, they've released a full .mp3 The Drunken Whaler, the creepy version of the traditional song and launched a remix competition for the budding music producers out there.
Finally, Dishonored will be a the Eurogamer Expo, so expect more previews at the end of the month.
Thursday - September 13, 2012
Dishonored - Experience Video
The third Dishonored developer documentary video has been released, looking at combat and the "experience":
We’ve just released the third video, entitled ‘Experience’, in the developer documentary series for Dishonored. The game’s flexible combat systems allows you to play to your individual style and craft your own experience. In this video, the team at Arkane Studios discuss the game’s depth of player choice.
Tuesday - September 11, 2012
Dishonored - Immersion Video
A new "Making Of" video for Dishonored has been released, this time looking at "immersion" in Arkane's game:
We’ve just released the second video in our developer documentary series for Dishonored. In ‘Immersion’, the team at Arkane Studios discuss the creative process that went into building the world and characters of Dunwall – from the city setting and it’s strange technologies to the all-star cast voicing its citizens.
Monday - September 10, 2012
Dishonored - People are Tired of Sequels
IGN had a talk with Dishonored’s executive producer Julien Roby about his view on sequels of sequels of which he thinks people are tired of and are craving for something new.
“Well, you probably have some insight on that but I think as long as the game is good, whether it’s a new IP or not, if the game is good, it gets a good review and it’s marketed properly people will want to look at it,” said Roby. “Specifically now, because it’s been a few years where we’ve only got sequels of sequels of sequels of sequels. I think people are getting tired of just playing the same thing over and over.”
“So I hope that they’re going to try Dishonored for the fact that it’s trying to do something a little different that those other games.”
Dishonored - Preview @Nerdist
The people from Nerdist show us their views on Dishonored in their preview of a hands-on demo.
Right off the bat, I was obsessed with the stealth options the game had. Sticking to the shadows and creeping by enemies is very natural. You’re defaulted with a cutlass as your weapon, but as my goal was to never have to use it, I don’t know how effective it is. Being spotted causes a kerfuffle with pretty bad odds, and you learn quickly that a full-on assault is going to cost you a lot of time and pistol shots to the knee. Blink, the game’s teleportation ability, was quite addictive as I bounced from ledge to ledge and snuck in. Timing on this game is super important, and while the guards have patterns, they’re repeated in random timing. Once I reached the scientist, all hell broke loose getting out of there. Tallboys flooded the level and took shots at me, but my Kurt Wagner reflexes took hold and I blinked my way out of there. So there, the coward’s approach to Dishonored.
Saturday - September 08, 2012
Dishonored - DLC Hints
Australian magazine PC Powerplay has some comments from Arkane's Julien Roby about their approach to DLC for Dishonored:
“When we did Dishonored, we wanted to build the world around the missions so that it was believable, and has a lot of elements that we don’t actually use in the game,” Roby continues. “So we definitely want to explore more of these things.”
An example he provides may set a mission within the southern Isle of Serkonos, perhaps as another character. “So then you can go to this island, or to this city, or use this character.”
Thursday - September 06, 2012
Dishonored - Inception Video
Bethesda has release a first in a series of videos where they give a behind the scenes of Dishonored.
Thursday - August 30, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ God is a Geek
The next in line with a preview of Dishonored featuring the Lady Boyle mission is God is a Geek.
You see, although my main quest is to eliminate Lady Boyle, there are also side-quests and collectibles throughout the game in order to encourage two things; variety and exploration off the beaten path. Like Hitman and the Thief series before it, Dishonored is the latest in a long line of games to encourage you to become the assassin you wish to be. For example, the side quest available in the preview level was to assassinate a member of the nobility under the guise of a challenge from another Lord. As such, when you hand over a seemingly forged letter, and take part in a duel, nobody bats an eyelid when you gun the masked Lord down. In fact, one of the guards makes an off-hand comment about needing a new employer.
Wednesday - August 29, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ StickTwiddlers
Here is another preview of Dishonored showcasing the same section of the game as the other previews from the last weeks. This time it is StickTwiddlers who have penned something down.
The level I got stuck into tasked me with the mission of infiltrating a party held by Lady Boyle and assassinating her. This wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds as there are three Lady Boyle’s at the soiree and you have to make sure you kill the right one – with the correct answer being randomly assigned with each playthrough of the level.
The level opens up with your stealthy assassin entering via a boat, right next to the mansion. In this Victorian London-esque landscape are guards including one atop a large a large metal construct and keeping watch on the streets. It’s here that you have to make your first decision. Using the spell wheel you can decide to posses one of the guards and walk up to the gate, or you can use sneaky tactics and bust out a teleportation spell to quickly get past the metal man.
Monday - August 27, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ VG24/7
Arkane's Raf Colantonio talks with VG24/7 about everything Dishonered.
Gaming is a powerful medium and you can see that in Dishonored’s artistry and sense of place. If you consider a game to be a blank canvas, do you feel the corridor approach is a waste of that potential?
Yeah I mean we don’t necessarily try to give a message so much, but I definitely want to engage the player’s emotion and let them express themselves. It’s more about the player than us really, and I think players recognise that. I’ve heard a few players say that of our previous game, like ‘to me it felt real, like a place with identification. A very real place.’
That was a really nice feeling that they said that, because it wasn’t a corridor where everything feels fake and you never look behind or explore, or you just keep on moving forward and everyone’s faking it. Those games are a show, you know, but occasionally I like that.
Dishonored does have a sense of place though, like the big environments of our day – City 17 Rapture, and so on. That must have been a difficult feeling to establish. Was the world always the same as it exists now.
No, it was very iterative. The infrastructure and the initial map of the world was done very quickly, and then one the map was done they cut it up so they knew that mission two is here, mission three is there.
Viktor Antonov and the art director were methodical about these things and very structured. But yeah it took forever – mostly the style during pre-production – but even as the game was being made we kept on adding and adding and refining. So yeah, it’s been a long and complex process.
Dishonored - Preview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a preview of Dishonered where they share their view on things:
Dishonored boasts a real sense of place, and a sense of your place within it. For me, it's something that other like-minded video game spaces have lacked; for all of Rapture's beauty, I still felt as if I was being funneled from one gunfight to another rather than exploring a place that had been lived in. Dunwall, on the other hand, feels utterly alive.
It's alive with possibility, too, and the authenticity with which Dunwall has been conjured makes your exploration of it often feel truly subversive. Levels are self-contained sandboxes that are designed, it seems, to accommodate any play-style, and it's here that the comparisons to Thief bear most weight.
Outside in the streets you can dash across rooftops using a short teleport enabled by the Blink power, or scurry with the rats through damp gutters. You can confront those guards or concoct comedic demises by slowing down time and possessing their bodies. You can fight the Tall Boy, or simply skulk past in the shadows.
Sunday - August 26, 2012
Dishonored - 6 Ways It Will Save Gaming
The Official Playstation Magazine UK has some hyperbole titled Dishonored: 6 ways it will save gaming, but the pictorial article does highlight some of the strengths of Arkane's game:
It’s a new IP
These are risk-averse times. Triple-A titles are huge investments from a publisher perspective, which is why even relatively unknown franchises like Sniper Elite are more likely to get a sequel than a brand new game is to see the light of day – at least with the former you have some idea of how a game might sell based on previous figures. Blame it on software piracy, sub-prime mortages, etc. And yet, Dishonored exists. It’s been likened to plenty of games, and the big names on the development side have very impressive portfolios, but there’s no number, roman numeral or even pithy subtitle attached to it. And if we all buy it, publishers will see how originality can be a real unit-shifter.
Thursday - August 23, 2012
Dishonored - Study of Stealth Trailer
There's a new Dishonored trailer titled The Study of Stealth - no guesses for what the video shows over three minutes or so of gameplay.
Speaking to VG247 at gamescom last week, we asked Colantonio if he felt that freedom to approach objectives and to express yourself in games is currently lacking in the industry, and why corridor games focus more on spectacle and giving you a big show.
“For me as a gamer yes,” Colantonio laughed, “I don’t know, I mean like, I think a lot of people at Arkane do love games that liberate and let you explore and experiment with systems. That’s better than moving down a line and just shooting things that are coming at you.”
“But that’s OK,” the director continued, “and I understand why the industry does that in a way. It’s so hard to make games, and people want to invest their dollars in the things that are the most impactful, and put all of their dollars in special effects – it’s a circus – that’s why people do it.”
Wednesday - August 22, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Pondering Dishonored with Raf Colantonio is a preview at Rock, Paper, Shotgun with input from Arkane's co-lead. Topics covered include some corrections to first impressions (not really "Thief with a knife"), whether the character is overpowered, designing the powers and more:
Fresh from my experiences with infiltrating the aristocratic household, and having played with some of the possibilities, I suggested to Colantonio that for him as a designer, there must be deep rewards inherent in watching players learn and master the systems he imagined: “Yes. For us the satisfaction is to see players do things that we have never seen before. We are still seeing that now. In fact I just saw something like that a few moments ago out there [in the GamesCom press booth where journalists are playing the game] and I was like “okay, wow.”" He continued: “This was one of the objectives of the project: to engage player creativity, to allow them to develop their own play style. When we see that happening for real, it feels really good.”
The consequence of this overall approach is that Dishonored is not as predictable as so many other games seems to be, and this seems to extend to the fiction and the level design. I felt that one of the more stinging criticisms of Dishonored cyberpunk cousin, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, was that the level design was too contrived, too predictable: there was always an alternate route through air ducts, behind those boxes. Was this something that Arkane worried about? “Yes, totally,” says Colantonio. “I mean we didn’t want to be too formulaic, we want to make sure that we broke the pattern. We’ve shown three different demos so far, and each one of these has a very different feel. They’re not the same kind of mission, sometimes it’s an abduction, sometimes you don’t know who the target is.” And you can see this in the environments that the team are creating: while each one is a small, self-contained videogame level, there are secrets, and there are asides. Things that might happen, or could be ignored. Colantonio stresses again: “We want to break up the patterns.”
Monday - August 20, 2012
Dishonored - Boyle Sisters Footage
All the recent Dishonored previews have been based on the Boyle Sisters mission - I can't remember if we've seen any actual footage but VG247 has what they are calling "all new" video of that quest line, with input from Raf Colantonio.
Saturday - August 18, 2012
Dishonored - Previews
Two more previews of Dishonored from the Gamescom show have pooped up.
Dishonored looks to be a dark, intricate and incredibly ambitious game. Its sense of style, of setting, of thematic and visual unity is enormously impressive. It exudes depth, not just in its vast selection of abilities and possibilties, but in its realisation of a functioning world.
This is a game of the year contender; and in its apparent offer of a world that can be bent to the wills of every player, it promises a truly intelligent action adventure. In this sense, Dishonored is both a link back to Deus Ex and forward toward a future of genuine sandbox design
The protagonist, Corvo, is on assignment to assassinate Waverly Boyle, one of the three sisters hosting a lavish masquerade ball. Theres a catch, however: because of the anonymous nature of the party, you aren't sure which of the three the actual target is. They are all identified as "Lady Boyle" when approached, but all three wear different colors of the same outfit. To identify the appropriate sister, you must talk to the other attendees and explore the estate to gather enough intel to identify the color of the target's garb.
Friday - August 17, 2012
Dishonored - Harvey Smith on Breaking the Game
Joystiq has some comments from Arkane's Harvey Smith about letting players break Dishonored:
"It's so much easier to make a game where you unlock things at the right time," he says. If, for example, a certain power is unlocked in the third mission, you know that players won't be able to use it in the second mission. You can "bullet-proof" against any game-breaking issues that way, he says. Creating this sort of closed, curated experience is simpler from a design perspective, and allows developers to spend "many many more hours polishing, making it more cinematic-like" says Smith.
On the other hand, with all the systems at play in Dishonored – stealth, a variety of powers, multiple entrances, numerous weapons, variable A.I. – it's a much greater development challenge to ensure that everything comes together. "You have fewer hours to polish, so games like this are inherently less cinematic in a way. They're inherently more player-driven. They're inherently harder to make, but, at the end of the day, the experience is something that you can play improvisationally," he says. "We're very passionate about that goal."
Dishonored - Preview @ RPS
Rock Paper Shotgun provides us with their take on Dishonored from their hands-on session in which they were able to break the game.
Before I lay bare the sordid nature of my experiments, let me give you a brief flyby of the basics. The mission kicked off in a canal outside the mansion, heavily patrolled by both guards and Tallboys – long, spindly legs atwitter with excitement over the fact that they finally found a home after Gabe Newell left them cold and alone in a box by the roadside. My initial goal was to get into the mansion by any means necessary (for example, possess a rat, blink up the side of a building, battle a bunch of deranged plague victims, valiantly attempt to kill everyone, etc) and figure out which of three similarly dressed women all named “Lady Boyle” was secretly plotting with the corrupt Lord Regent. And then, of course, I’d need to find a way to make her not do that anymore ever again.
Thursday - August 16, 2012
Dishonored - Previews
Here are two previews of Dishonored from a hands-on session at Gamescom.
Right from the start of the demo, it's clear that we're playing a game with whopping ambitions. We enter the level by boat, a moody opening that quickly segues onto your first problem: how best to infiltrate the party. After a few unsuccessful attempts at freezing time and sneaking past the guards, I end up possessing one of the watchmen and walking him up to a convenient spot near the front gate. As he regains control of his body, he has just enough time to vomit his guts up (possession does this, it would seem) before I ventilate his neck. After this, I use the Blink power to teleport over the fence. Shortly thereafter I manage to find myself an invitation, and stroll in the front door.
The level is also full of ways to infiltrate the party itself. Our method was picking up an invitation that a guest dropped, but we could have possessed a fish in the river and swam up a drainpipe, or entered through the sewers. The sheer amount of freedom, and ways to complete your objectives, is dizzying. Arkane have cited Deus Ex and Thief as reflecting Dishonored's 'core values', and it shows. It feels like a spiritual successor to both of those games, with a little bit of Hitman and BioShock thrown in - but it still has a totally unique identity of its own.
Tuesday - August 14, 2012
Dishonored - PC Requirements
The Bethblog has revealed the system requirements for Dishonored:
OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
Processor: 3.0 GHz dual core or better
Memory: 4 GB system RAM
Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 512 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
Sound: Windows compatible sound card
OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
Processor: 2.4 GHz quad core or better
Memory: 4 GB system RAM
Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 768 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
Sound: Windows compatible sound card
Saturday - August 11, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ PC Gamer
Thrasher sends in this Dishonored preview at PC Gamer. The piece is based on the Boyle sisters / masquerade ball mission we've seen from recent QuakeCon previews, though this article steps through their play session in detail so some might it spoilery:
He’s wearing a whale the size of a dog on his head. Her mask is a fly, with plate-sized compound eyes. They both stare at me for a moment, then the fly woman says:
“I don’t know how you can wear that mask. Disgusting.”
I’m at the only place a masked criminal can walk around in plain sight: a masquerade party, thrown by Lady Boyle in her lavish mansion. The ceilings hang with silver silk, confetti periodically pops from the chandeliers, and music floods the house. I’m here to kill her.
The trouble is, there are three Lady Boyles: sisters. I don’t know which one is working with the conspirators who framed me, I don’t know any of their first names, and I don’t know what any of them are wearing tonight. All I’ve got to do is find all that out and kill the right one, with a few dozen guards and a house full of party guests watching me. I think I’ll start by stealing this guy’s wallet.
Thursday - August 09, 2012
Dishonored - Creative Kills
Here's a new Dishonored video titled Creative Kills:
The latest Dishonored video showcases just a few of the ways that you can eliminate your enemies using the flexible combat system. Creatively combine supernatural abilities with the weapons and gadgets at your disposal, including self-induced friendly fire and the ever-popular mobile rat bomb.
Dishonored will be available in North America on October 9, 2012 and throughout Europe on October 12, 2012, and is slated for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
Wednesday - August 08, 2012
Dishonored - Previews @ IGN, Kotaku
Here's another couple of Dishonored previews from QuakeCon, as well as new screens via the Bethblog showing off the Dark Vision ability. As with all the others, these articles are based on the same missions. Off to IGN:
Playing Dishonored instills a strange mix of vulnerability and strength, where I’m given a superhero’s ability set but feel like I’m always one mistake away from death. Errors are severely punished by aggressive enemies, and because powers are tied to a limited mana resource, they can’t be spammed. I can’t simply blanket an area with rats. I can’t use my wind blast ability to repeatedly knock aside any that stand in my way. I need to be careful about timing, precision, and chaining abilities together in an effective manner.
Exploration is also rewarded. Opportunities for discovery are all over Dishonored’s fictional city of Dunwall, where a plague eats away at the poor and hardens the insularity of the ruling class. When I fled to the rooftops, for instance, I found an open window that led to a porch where a nervous looking man gripped the railing. I snuck up and choked him, then pulled a special item from a nearby pile of junk that I could use to augment my abilities.
...and then to Kotaku:
But before we get down to the macabre business at hand, Corvo had to first make his way onto the party grounds. We started down in a water canal far below a well-lit and well-guarded bridge, driven in by a cohort on a boat, and after an unfortunate encounter with a surprisingly hostile fish, I ascended the nearby stairs to find two more guards blocking my path to another, less Tall-Boy-inhabited walkway. And a choice loomed over me in this rather somber ditty: do I wield my assortment of armaments and powers and force through or do I instigate the key change by possessing the aforementioned fish and seeing where that gets me?
I chose a third path. I realized I could instead Blink (teleport a short distance) to a lower path on the walkway, allowing me to slide by both the guards and an ambulatory watchtower. With a boost off a friendly dumpster, I jumped a side fence to find myself in an alley with three other masked party guests and an armed doorman.
Tuesday - August 07, 2012
Dishonored - Previews @ Joystiq
Joystiq has a couple of pieces on Dishonored from QuakeCon. First, here's a sample from A Game of Murder, describing the same mission we've seen from the other QuakeCon previews:
But detailing all the different ways I solved each obstacle Dishonored threw at me would ruin a lot of the fun for anyone planing to play it themselves. As the game's co-creative director Harvey Smith said during one of the panels at QuakeCon, Dishonored is a game that focuses on improvisation. How you react to situations will ultimately define your experience in a lot of different ways, and the choices you may should be yours, not mine.
The options at your disposal are many and varied. Most seem to be interesting – but if you're a careless player who only wants to blaze through a game using physical force, Dishonored doesn't seem to be made for you. (Then again, who would really exclusively choose this path?)
In Dishonored's Chaos, Morality and Potentially Over-Powered Hero, the same author discusses some of the design elements with Raf Colantonio and Ricardo Bare:
Many elements of Dishonored – from its original setting and art style to the protagonist's arsenal of special powers – have made the game subject to a great deal of attention. But with great power comes a great fear: Will the game lack any sort of challenge? Where is the difficulty in being stealthy if you can teleport behind guards and stop time in order to get away?
"It was a hard paradox for us to get right in the game design," co-creative director Raphael Colantonio told Joystiq during QuakeCon 2012, "because we wanted to give you very strong powers, to make you really a badass, but at the same time we didn't want the game to be too easy. So it took awhile to get it right, and some of it is just obvious tuning. Every power has a duration, cost of mana, and some other tunable properties ... So even if your power is incredibly strong, you can mitigate it by saying 'Well, it only lasts three seconds.'"
Sunday - August 05, 2012
Dishonored - Previews @ Penny Arcade, The Verge
Penny Arcade's Report feature looks at Arkane's Dishonored based on a demo at QuakeCon:
There are ways to finish the level that aren’t quite as elegant as solving the mystery and gracefully ending the life of your target. I was discovered killing a guard during one attempt, and I fled to a bedroom when the alarm was sounded. It was, oddly enough, the bedroom of the Boyle sisters themselves. They ran in as a group, hoping to hide, and found me there. I decided to murder all of them, just to be sure, and teleported down to the street and to safety. No one said the other sisters had to live.
The game tracks the level of “Chaos” you create when you kill people in this way, and the higher your Chaos rating, the more entropy is introduced into the world. The plague will spread and you will find more rats; the world will descend further into darkness. If you limit your killings to your targets, or even find ways to fulfill your missions by non-lethal means, you’ll find the opposite happening. Characters you spare may also decide to offer you assistance later in the game by sending you letters and items. The world may not seem better for having the Boyle sisters alive in it, but every death you cause in the game has a consequence.
...as does The Verge:
My plan was to then harmlessly Blink my way out of the house, but the presence of "Observers" — guards who can nullify all your magic powers — scrapped that plan immediately. I gracefully slid across almost all of the foyer, slicing knees as I bashed through the front door. The heat was off me for a matter of seconds as the outside guard learned of the assassination, giving me enough time to scurry up a wall, blink onto a nearby balcony, and leap five stories into the channel, and exit, below.
Friday - August 03, 2012
Dishonored - Voice Cast Announced
Bethsoft has announced a star-studded voice cast for Arkane's Dishonored:
August 3, 2012 (Rockville, MD) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today revealed the all-star cast lending their voices to DishonoredTM, a new first-person action game from Arkane Studios in which the player takes on the role of Corvo, a supernatural assassin driven by revenge.Dishonored will feature an award-winning ensemble including Academy Award® winner, Susan Sarandon (“Thelma & Louise,” “Dead Man Walking”), Golden Globe® winner, Brad Dourif (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”), Emmy® Award nominees Carrie Fisher (original “Star Wars” trilogy) and John Slattery (“Mad Men”), Michael Madsen (“Thelma & Louise,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Kill Bill”), and Lena Headey (“300,” “Game of Thrones”),
Susan Sarandon, an Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, will make her videogame debut as the former aristocrat, Granny Rags – an intriguing old blind woman now deranged after years of street life. Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe-winner Brad Dourif takes on the role of the inventor Piero, creator of the iconic mask worn by Corvo as well as a wealth of gadgets Corvo can use. Emmy winner and Hollywood-icon Carrie Fisher can be heard broadcasting government propaganda over loudspeakers throughout the city of Dunwall, where the game is set.
The all-star cast continues with John Slattery (“Mad Men,” “The Adjustment Bureau”) who takes on the role of Admiral Havelock, a Loyalist who helps Corvo on his quest, as well as Michael Madsenwho brings his videogame voiceover experience to the role of Daud, a mysterious assassin. Chloë Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass,” “Hugo”) portrays Young Lady Emily, the Empress’ daughter who is kidnapped after her mother’s death while Lena Headey joins the cast as Calista, Emily’s caretaker. In addition to the star-studded voice cast, Composer Daniel Licht (“Dexter”) lends his musical talents to create the game’s original score.
“Having such talented actors voice Dishonored’s compelling cast of characters adds a rich, powerful element to the game,” said Raphaël Colantonio, president of Arkane Studios. “We want to draw people into this virtual world and make it feel real. This celebrated cast adds wonderful depth and credibility to the overall Dishonored gameplay experience.
Thanks to CountChocula for sending this in as well.
Monday - July 30, 2012
Dishonored - Stealth Answers, AMA Edition
The Bethblog offers more Stealth Answers for Dishonored, partly culled from the recent Reddit AMA, though there are a couple of new questions:
Q: Will there be a new game plus mechanic?
Arkane: While players do not have the option to restart the game with all powers unlocked (that seems to be the standard definition for “game plus” these days), replayability was a major focus for our team with Dishonored’s development. As fans of games like Deus Ex, Thief, and Fallout 3, we want the player to be able to approach the game in different ways each time they play through. As such, players will never be able to unlock all abilities or try every option in one playthrough.
Q: Can the game be completed with zero kills? How long would a total stealth play-through take (average, estimate)?
Arkane: Yes, you can complete the game without killing anyone. (It was a goal of ours.) And the world reflects that to some extent.
The game is about 12-24 hours in length. The variance there is related to how directly you play (vs side quests, exploration, etc).
As players we’re always trying to do things we didn’t do last time. Our programmers were all trying to do crazy weird variants this week. “The Falling Angel playthrough,” where you only kill by using drop-assassination.
Q:Is Dishonored open world, or linear with a variety of options?
Arkane: No, Dishonored is not open world, it is mission based. Each mission is built as a mini sandbox, so the missions are open and offer several paths and approaches.
Q:Can you tell us about how player’s actions and Chaos affect the world and narrative? Is it pre-scripted or more dynamic like low and mid-level gameplay?
Arkane: It’s a bit of both. For most players, the effects over the course of the game will be fairly subtle. The mission checks the current level of Chaos so far and the following can happen: More pools of rats, more people with the plague (weepers), lines of dialogue/attitudes changed, additional scenes here and there, and different endgames. Things like the rat pools feel like “mid level gameplay” as you say. Lines of dialogue are obviously a scripted reaction.
There are two main endings, but each has variations based on who lived or died.
Some of the Chaos effects are meant to be ‘felt’ more than overtly identified as they’re happening.
After the break, check out a speed run of new answers…
Q: Will you be able to use any of the environment, like vases, frying pans and the like as a weapon?
Arkane: Some of the objects you see in the environment are movable and can be flung at characters.
Q: Does the Outsider interact with Corvo throughout the game, as you complete missions?
Arkane: The Outsider shows up at various moments of the game, but not specifically as you complete missions
Q: Will you get any exp/achievements for “ghosting” missions? No kills, no alarms set, etc.
Q: Is dismemberment or decapitation possible?
Q: Will the PC version offer gamepad (360 controller) support?)
Saturday - July 28, 2012
Dishonored - UK Preorder Bonuses
With Bethesda pursuing a strategy of dozens of different versions of Dishonored, UK players might want to check out this post at the Bethblog explaining the preorder offers for that region.
Thursday - July 26, 2012
Dishonored - Three Daring Escapes
A new Dishonored trailer has been released highlighting three different escapes from an assassination - The Long Jump, Sleep Tight and Chain Possession.
Wednesday - July 25, 2012
Dishonored - AMA @ Reddit
Reddit has held their Ask Me Anything with Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio talking about their backgrounds and Dishonored. I can't see anything particularly new but it's worth a read for fans:
An assassination style game where stealth is key you would figure 3rd person would be great because it reveals more area for the player but after seeing the videos it looks like this could be tons of great fun!
For the game form itself as you're asking - first-person stealth - the truth is this: We're very specifically passionate about a particular type of game that mixes first-person, RPG features and more fuzzy enemy awareness. We love games like Thief, Bioshock, Deus Ex, Arx Fatalis, Far Cry 2, et al. So for us Dishonored is a natural creative course.
Thanks for taking time here. The game looks fantastic. You've mentioned that the campaign can be completed without killing anyone, and I love that. If I choose to take that course of action, will I be missing out on any particularly satisfying skills or abilities? I'd imagine some of the cooler "powers" are the more violent ones. Thanks again!
Well, by definition, yes. You'll miss the assassination anims and a couple of powers like Devouring Swarm and Shadow Kill. But playing nonlethally (and with total stealth, on a higher difficulty) often forces very tense cool moments...sublime tension as my friend Randy Smith (from Thief) likes to say. So it's a trade-off.
Dishonored - Video Preview @ G4TV
There's a new Dishonored video preview over at G4TV:
X-Play's Blair Herter recently got to check out the "Golden Cat" level in Bethesda's Dishonored. The game revolves around an elite bodyguard whose only goal is to seek revenge. Armed with unique ways of taking out baddies, gamers will be able to decide how they want to execute each mission. Find out how Blair decided to play in the Dishonored gameplay video below.
Monday - July 23, 2012
Dishonored - Upcoming AMA
The Bethblog announces an upcoming Ask Me Anything on Reddit with Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith. We'll post the results, of course, but some of you may want to participate:
While we’ve answered plenty of Dishonored questions this summer on Bethesda Blog, we realize there’s plenty more you want to know about the game. On Wednesday (3-7 PM EST), Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio will be answering community questions with an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit.
Sunday - July 22, 2012
Dishonored - Interview @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra chats with Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio in an interview titled "Not Really Artists", where they argue "designer" is a more appropriate term. A late quote:
Something you talked about in the presentation was that you built systems of gameplay that interacted in certain ways to allow for emergent gameplay but then, as you saw different strategies emerge, you sort of tweaked the design to take advantage of some of the scenarios you saw emerging.
It's a big question, but how does that work? Do you just let people run into the world, see what they can actually do, and then build design scenarios based on that? Or do you have an idea of the scenarios and the powers and how they're going to interact? It sounds like you were taken by surprise by some of those things. How much do you want to start deliberately designing toward the things that emerge that you see happening as you test the game?
RC: The way we do it is we work by layers, first of all. It's a very, very vague question because, at the end of the day, it's the heart of the nature of our game. It comes from some approaches at every level. It's true for the mechanics; it's true for the level design itself, and therefore the mission design; it's true for the architecture.
So, if we talk about the level design/architecture/mission design, we come up with a little story, and an objective, whatever the objective is -- reach this place or kill that guy. "Eliminate that guy" would be more accurate, because there are multiple ways to do it.
Then, we design the environment around it. We have a rough idea of the main path that we have in mind, and this main path might be based some of the powers that we have -- some of the mechanics. We know that there might be a double jump; we know that there's a blink [teleport]; we know that the player might have the tools to possess a rat and therefore go this way or that way.
That is the first draft, and then we let it organically evolve a little bit. We let the architects do their stuff, and they add some alternate paths. Of course, because nothing is scripted so much, we put the AI in there, and all the systems are simulated, so they interact with each other; they cross each other.
We let it live for awhile, and then we see naturally some stuff emerging. Even ourselves, before it goes to the players, in fact, the devs in-house will start finding some way to do things -- which are shortcuts, which are more fun. Then, if it's a problem, we fix it. If it's, in fact, something that we think has potential, then we encourage it and expand on it. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Then come the real testers, and they might find their own other stuff. Then we add some more mechanics later in the process, and not only this new mechanic offers new possibilities, but new bugs. At this point, you keep doing this; this is why it takes so long to make the game. Even though each level designer doesn't have that many areas to work on, they work on them for a long time -- for a long time -- and maintain them in every aspect.
Saturday - July 21, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ RPS
Alec Meer writes at Rock, Paper, Shotgun about his experience trying Dishonored as a quasi-pacifist. Here's a lengthy snip, mostly because I think this is the most interesting game on the horizon:
The Blink rune quickly proved to be most powerful tool in my arsenal. A mid-range teleportation power, it’s my immediate way out of these gloomy, dank, patrolled streets and up to the relative freedom and safety of the rooftops. No guards there, not on this level at least, but it’s not a straight run to my target – Sokolov lurks inside what looks for all the world like a giant, elevated greenhouse wearing battle armour, with a ring of guards, forcefields and alarms around its entrances.
To run/jump/Blink directly to this building would also be to deny myself many of this level’s other entertainments. Blink entails a subtle but important shift in how I think about videogame navigation. Initially, I treat it as simply a way to teleport across short distances, to reach different altitudes and otherwise out of reach ledges and to instantly escape danger. A shortcut, essentially. What it also does, and something I don’t realise without prompting from a passing Bethesda rep, is allow access to whole new areas of the map.
I’ve become so accustomed, over the years, of seeing a locked door or an indestructible fence/pile of rubble/old sofa blocking my path to a space I can see that here too I give such things a cursory glance then run on past. I’m inside a semi-ruined, multi-level apartment building, making my way up the stairs to the roofs, and on the right of me is the entrance to a side room, blocked by fallen furniture. My knife has no effect on it. I continue upwards.
Wait. Go back. OK, so I can’t walk through, jump over or smash that barrier, but there is a big enough gap that I can at least see the space on the other side of it. Blink. And I’m in. Here be secrets. Assorted vials for health and mana, some cash, and best of all a Bone Charm – a minor buff I can equip. In this case, it increases the number of white rats I encounter, which allow for longer psychic possession times than the standard rodents. Thank you, Blink. My progress through the level is now slowed dramatically, as I’m constantly scouring my surroundings for possible secret spaces.
Thursday - July 19, 2012
Dishonored - Victor Antonov Interview @ Eurogamer
Dishonored art director Victor Antonov talks with Eurogamer about a variety of subjects, starting by bemoaning the creativity of the industry over the last five years - though the heart of the conversation is the development of Dishonored's art. Here's a short snip on some of his views:
"We were always waiting for the next generation of great worlds or great graphics. Well, great graphics came; the worlds that came with these graphics are not up to the level of the graphics.
"Graphics used to be an excuse 10 years ago, that we can't make great worlds. Right now, we have a lot of New Yorks, we have a lot of war games. Please everybody," he pleaded, "let's do more science-fiction and more crazy worlds out there."
Antonov, ideally, would see games separate back into genres and away from the trend of fusing disciplines. "Because now a game is trying to pack too many games - narration, music, contemplation, shooting - that they lose the experience," he observed.
"Games should sort of split up and specialise and assume that there's such a thing as genre, and they shouldn't try to please everybody at the same time and try to make easy, diluted projects. Let's go for intensity and quality.
"Dishonored is one of these things that is stepping back into the side a little bit, and let's make a good stealth game with a hardcore, dark world, and go into detail."
Dishonored - Web Roundup
The Bethblog has a roundup of recent Dishonored articles on the web, including a number we missed. Here's a straight rip of the Bethblog post so you can catch up:
I. Eat. Games – Raphael Colantonio talks about working with Viktor Antonov, non-lethal playthroughs, different endings, and more. To learn more about how decisions impact the game’s ending, read this article at The Escapist.
Develop – Art Director Sebastien Mitton discusses how crucial pre-production was to Dishonored’s development.
The Penny Arcade Report – Designs decisions relating to supernatural powers and the game’s “Chaos” rating are discussed by Harvey and Raf.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - “It’s quite good. Actually, that’s unfair. It’s better than quite good. And it’s making me yearn.”
PC Gamer – “Experimentally, I clang my knife against a metal pipe. A second later, the guard comes running down the corridor, passes through the field, and disintegrates into floating, glowing dust. Wow.”
OXM UK – New preview shares seven amusing ways to fail completely and die
CVG – “What we’re really excited about is delving into a game that delivers bags of player freedom and immense prospects for experimentation, coupled with the tightly focused density of gameplay impossible in vast open world games.”
RipTen -”Dishonored’s earned its action-stealth label quite a few times over. The blend of skills along with Corvo’s array of weapons lends itself perfectly to either kind of play through.”
Telegraph UK – “What impressed most about about Dishonored was that the two scenarios were quite clearly two ends of a wide spectrum. How much creativity and impromptu adaptation exist within that range will determine the game’s success, and Arkane certainly appear to be offering an impressive palette with which to experiment. That thirst for invention and interpretation, coupled with the creeping atmosphere of Dunwall should make Dishonored a dark horse for the best game of 2012.”
Xbox 360 Achievements – “Our first hands-on taste of Dishonored was short, sweet and easy, but it was also utterly brilliant… if I do say so myself. There are so many more powers we could have used throughout the mission as well, including the whirlwind, and we did all that without so much as firing a bullet, just how we like it. And that’s the beauty of Dishonored: you can play it exactly how you want, whether that’s quiet, loud or a mix of the two.”
Dishonored - Playable at QuakeCon
Those able to make it to QuakeCon in Dallas will be able to check out Arkane's Dishonored for themselves:
During the event, attendees will also have the opportunity to play Dishonored, the supernatural assassin action game under development at Arkane Studios, and DOOM 3 BFG Edition, the full collection of genre-defining games from id Software, in Bethesda’s booth in the Exhibit Hall. [...]
QuakeCon 2012 will take place at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday, August 2nd through Sunday, August 5th. The event is free for general admission attendees thanks to the support of id and Bethesda Softworks, as well as the QuakeCon volunteer staff and the 2012 event sponsors and exhibitors.
Monday - July 16, 2012
Dishonored - Stealth Answers #5
New "Stealth Answers" from Arkane on the Bethblog:
Q: I would like to know if you can take out a target while controlling someone? I was also wondering if you take over the target can’t you make him jump from the balcony then blink out of him to avoid the fall ? or is the only way to push him over with the other ability? (Exocd)
Arkane: When possessing humans, control is rudimentary. You can walk, open doors and collect things, but not fight. Note that your speed is dependent on what you possessed (i.e possessing a wolfhound will let you move around pretty fast)
Q: Does anybody know, if PC version will have normal FOV? (Kethoth)
Arkane: On PC, you can adjust FOV options in the menus from 65 – 85 degrees. For more PC settings, check out this Bethesda Blog post.
Q:Will the game have subtitles or it will be in other language? (Charlie Pacheco)
Arkane: You can always turn on subtitles. And, the game will also be fully voiced in multiple languages.
Q: Will the game be separated by “levels” you will be able to choose from once you’ve completed them, like a campaign mode in FPS games? (Will Y.)
Arkane: Yes, the game is divided into missions, made up of multiple levels. After completing a mission, you can choose it from the main menu. It uses the very first save game from your play-through as a starting point.
Q: When performing your abilities, it looks like the blue bar on the top right corner is depleted. How do you regain your ‘mana/powers’ abilities – is it a time thing, is it by defeating enemies non-lethally (like earning marks in splinter cell conviction) or is it through collectibles in the world? (Matt)
Arkane: A small portion of the mana bar recharges, making Blink and Dark Vision effectively free to use (if you wait for the recharges). You refill the mana bar with a potion called Piero’s Spiritual Remedy, one of the elixirs that people in the world use to prevent the plague.
Friday - July 13, 2012
Dishonored - A look at the UI options
This should be mandatory for all games...the Bethblog offers a look at the UI options for Dishonored along with some example screenshots.
Dishonored is often referred to as an “immersive” game, and that can imply a lot of things — everything from a first-person perspective to, say, dynamic sound design. For Arkane, it means a commitment to all aspects of the word, and that involves the user interface.
While Dishonored features a robust interface to support its rich mechanics, it also affords you the option to tweak the UI for a fully immersive experience. In addition to the general gameplay options — which you can take a look at here — we wanted to reveal the full slate of interface options you’ll be able to enable and disable individually in all versions of the game, as well as some PC-specific features. Click through for the second page of the options, as well as some comparison screenshots.
Monday - July 09, 2012
Dishonored - Stealth Answers #4
The Bethblog offers a new set of "Stealth Answers" for Dishonored, as well as offering a new assassination animated .gif.
Q: Are there ways to distract enemies or lure them? (Anthony T.)
A: Enemies respond to sound, so firing a crossbow bolt into the wall or throwing a bottle will cause an enemy to come investigate.
Q: How will climbing/parkour work in the game? (Angela E.)
A: We’re not a parkour game (in the sense of wall running) so much as a supernatural jump/blink-teleport/climb up game. We do also have lean and slide, which feel good and support stealth. Our climb is more like a pull up, allowing you to grab ledges or the top of small structures. Vertical space and exploration are important in the game, for sure.
Q: Will Corvo’s opponents have supernatural abilities? (Carcharoth)
A: A few. The Outsider shows up to people who are potentially pivotal in some way, marking them and granting access to supernatural powers. Each person marked has access to different powers.
Q: Are Corvo’s powers available 100% at the beginning? If not, how are they made available? (Carcharoth)
A: Not at the start; developments through the game make the supernatural powers available. And the way they work is through a Rune economy. During gameplay, you’ll search for runes that allow you to obtain or upgrade powers.
Q: How many discs will Dishonored be on Xbox 360? (Luis A.)A: Dishonored’s content fits on one Xbox 360 DVD.
Saturday - July 07, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has previewed Dishonored, breathlessly saying they need to see more:
So my time with the game did answer a few questions, such as what games the team were playing (and even working on) over the past few years. Visually it’s a meeting of Rapture and City 17 (not least thanks to the involvement of fantasy-skyline maestro Viktor Antonov), but with a distinct regency-punk bent of its own. It’s such a strong style that it stands out from screenshots, but it’s really in motion that the game’s most distinct moments set it apart. The flurry of ash from a guard being disintegrated in a forcefield, the spring-razor effect that takes a man’s head off. Gruesome, and gruesomely beautiful. Dishonored is going to be one of the most beautiful games of 2012, no doubt.
Yes, you can taste all the artistic influences like those elements that wine connoisseurs claim to be able to detect in wine. There the smoky aroma of the kinetic melee of Dark Messiah. There’s that earthy hint of Thief in the movement and stealth action (throwing objects to distract guards). Perhaps more than a hint, actually. This feels a lot like Thief-with-a-knife. It’s like a sort of magical-ninja extension to the Thief games. It’s almost as if that idea – the first-person stealth game – didn’t basically grind to a halt after Deadly Shadows. Then there’s a hint of Bioshock (especially 2) with dual wielding of weird weapons and magical powers in close-up combat. Finally we get an aftertaste of the oppressive sense of over-arching threat in the beleaguered, diseased city from well, a bunch of games, but Deus Ex and Half-Life 2 met to conspire in an alleyway here, and their odour is all around. It wears its influences on it sleeve, and does so in a brave, educated fashion.
Friday - June 29, 2012
Dishonored - Stealth Answers
The Bethblog has posted more developer responses in their ongoing Dishonored community Q&A series. As previously, it's fairly short, so here's the whole thing:
Q: In the Dishonored gameplay videos Corvo seems capable of hiding from enemies who are very close, even when they’re looking in his direction. Is he cloaked or are cheats enabled for the demos? (from StealthAssassin)
A: In Dishonored, stealth is occlusion-based, meaning it’s mostly based on enemy view cone and hiding behind objects or architecture. (At a significant distance, lighting is also a factor.) What you might be describing is the Lean feature. If Corvo is hidden behind something, he can lean out to see ahead, eavesdrop, and observe the situation. As long as Corvo’s body is hidden, enemies up ahead will not see him. Dishonored also allows players to peep through keyholes, and the game has a Dark Vision power that can be obtained. Dark Vision displays enemies and their view cones through walls, and it features an abstract representation of the sounds the player makes.
Q: How will the save system work? Does the game have checkpoints or can I save everywhere I want? (Sebastien H.)
A: Both. You can’t save during combat, that is the only constraint.
Q: How is gameplay varied based on the difficulty level you choose? (Cory G.)
A: (courtesy of Game Designer/Associate Producer, Dinga Bakaba): Dishonored features four levels of difficulty, ranging from a casual experience to a demanding challenge. The main factors affected by difficulty are enemy perception, damage and responsiveness, as well as health and mana potion potency. Easy also causes part of your health to regenerate over time.
Thursday - June 28, 2012
Dishonored - "Choose your own adventure" videos
The Bethblog is offering two new Dishonored videos that demonstrate different play styles - here's the accompanying description:
Dishonored’s gameplay provides plenty of choice to the player, and today we’ve released two videos that demonstrate just that.
Narrated by co-creative directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, the video above demonstrates a direct, action-heavy playthrough of the game’s Golden Cat mission. Meanwhile, the video below demonstrates a stealth playthrough that offers a drastically different experience for the player.
Saturday - June 23, 2012
Dishonored - Stealth Answers
The Bethblog offers the Friday community mini-Q&A on Dishonored:
Q: Does the AI stay aggressive after your character has been spotted or can it become unsuspecting again when hiding? Also, will guards alert other guards of your presence? (Fabian K.)
A: The AI has several states of “alertness“, so it goes from totally unsuspecting, to suspecting, to aware, to search, then it cools down to search patrol in high alert but it never cools down to the initial state. Also, AI communicate their level of alertness to allies within range and therefore they let each other know about the presence of the player when he’s been spotted.
Q: Will there be a “game plus ” after completing the game and having all the powers and upgrades for this ” game plus “? (Sea Gull)
A: We encourage multiple playthroughs with Dishonored as 1) you can’t get all the powers and upgrades in one playthrough, and 2) there are different endings based on how you play: surgical assassin or sneaker vs. brutal killer.
The official site has also been refreshed, so check it out.
Sunday - June 17, 2012
Dishonored - E3 Wrap
The Bethblog offers an E3 Wrap for Dishonored, including a number of previews we haven't covered - I'll just rip them all here, so you can head to your favourite sites:
- GameSpy – Overall Game of Show & Best Action Game
- G4TV – Most Original Game
- Gamespot – Best of E3 2012 Editors’ Choice Award
- The Verge/Polygon – Editor’s Choice Selection
- Digital Trends – Overall Best of Show
- Joystiq – EIC Judwig Kietzmann’s Game of Show
- Giant Bomb – One of Patrick Klepek’s most memorable game played at E3
- EGM – Best Action Game, Game of Show Runner-Up
- Yahoo Games - Best of E3 Selection
- Cinema Blend – “The Best Game at E3″
- Game Revolution – Best of E3 Selection
- PC Gamer – Staff Favorite (Tom Francis)
- Hidden Audio Log - #1 Game of Show
- Gamers Daily News – Top 3 Games of E3
- Games Catalyst – Top 5 E3 Triumphs
- The Age – Hits of E3
- Paste Magazine – Top 10 Game of E3
- Destructoid - Game of Show & Best Action Game Nominee
- Kotaku — Top 27 Game Ideas (Blink ability)
Friday - June 15, 2012
Dishonored - Miscellaneous Roundup
Here's a bunch of Dishonored odds and sods, starting with the Bethesda Podcast:
Spontaneous discussions amongst the Arkane team lead to exciting and surprising Dishonored features. Learn more about the powerful Blink ability, and Corvo’s non-violent takedown options.
...and the first promised weekly community Q&A is available. It's short, so here are all three questions from this edition:
Q: How does mana work in Dishonored?
A: A small portion of the mana bar regens; just enough to use powers like Blink and Dark Vision, making them basically free. Beyond that, for the expensive powers like Possession or Bend Time, the player must rely on Piero’s Spiritual Remedy (mana potions).
Q: How many different powers will there be?
A: There are six major active powers and four enhancements (passive powers), in addition to weapons and gadgets; plus there are 40 bone charms in the game that grant small supernatural perks. But no one can have all of these things in one playthrough.
Q: How long will the game be?
A: Play-style matters a lot. Very direct players will probably get through the game in 12 or 14 hours. Explorers who eavesdrop a lot will take twice as long.
The Dishonored tumblr offers an animated .gif of the "tallboy" walkers and the Bethblog offfered new wallpapers a few days back. Lastly, here's a preview from Edge Online, with a snip about the art direction from Victor Antonov:
Metropolis and Blade Runner rank highly in Antonov’s inspirations, he explains, and Dunwall is very much in the vein of these dystopias. An iconic Victorian clock tower stands defiantly from its soft and vulnerable royal quarter, high above the sewers and far from the squalid embankment. Whatever government buildings dare to sit riverside do so from their own imposing fortresses, harking back to the smart barriers of City 17. To the west, meanwhile, the resistance hideout lies within a stone’s throw – or boat ride – of every place in the game.
Wednesday - June 13, 2012
Dishonored - E3 Preview Roundup
We haven't really rounded up a wide selection of Dishonored previews from E3, so here's a selection. Arkane had a great E3, with numerous sites suggesting Dishonored was the best game at the show.
Let's start with Gaming Blend, who said exactly that:
The winner of the best gameplay demo at E3 is easily Dishonored from Arkane Studios. Arkane, a sister studio to Bethesda, counts Deus Ex designer Harvey Smith among its employees. The company developed Arx Fatalis and assisted with BioShock 2. You can see elements of all three games in Dishonored.
IGN argues Why Dishonored Was My Game of E3 2012:
In both the demo and our hands-on, the ease with which stealth movement is handled is impressive. This is a game where measured players can have a real awareness of what’s around them, and stay in control. Crouched movement keeps the player silent, while the ability to lean out from behind corners without being seen is key to keeping tabs on the movements of guards. It’s immediately obvious whether a guard is blissfully unaware of the knife about to be plunged into his neck or not, because as soon as he’s alerted, graphic novel-style lightning bolt icons flash red above his head.
Corvo moved about the complex with style, either avoiding or knocking out guards, and using rooftops and windows ledges to his advantage. Of course, his many powers came in handy too. The key ones for the stealth run were Blink – which is essentially a short range teleport move, and invaluable for moving from cover to cover and crossing gaps; Dark Vision, which allows the player to see where guards and other people are through walls; and Possess, the aforementioned ability to merge your body with another, from fish and rats to humans. Powers are upgraded with runes, and these are found using a device called The Heart – a steampunk heart that players can hold in hand: it beats faster the closer Corvo is to a rune.
I creep forward, using Dark Vision—a type of thermal/x-ray vision power—to see how many guards are nearby. Dark Vision also shows the guards’ cone of vision to help avoid detection.
I lurch a little too close and alert the guards...then accidentally stand up like an idiot. At that point I may as well wave a flag and shout “I’m over here”. Sure enough, guards pick up on my location, draw swords, and attack. One of them pulls a pistol. I die horribly while fumbling through my abilities with the game pad and longing for a mouse.
A couple deaths later I start to find my thumbs with the controller. Using the Blink (a short range teleport) ability, I quietly teleport to an adjacent, hidden area away from the guards and down below the street. I eventually come to a waterwheel. Riding the water wheel, it deposits me into a sewer which I use to ultimately gain entry to the building.
For the first showing they went with a more stealth oriented route complicated by attempting to kill nobody but the targets. It was beyond wild to see the character sneak up on a guard, choke him out, pick up the body and then teleport up on top of a taller structure to hide the unconscious man. Infiltration was done via possessing a fish of all things, going in through a drainage pipe and then hopping out. From here a series of careful teleports brought him through the brothel to the first target. Rather than confront him directly our protagonist can use a pipe in a nearby room to funnel steam in on the man and his prostitute companion. Then making your way upstairs to the second target, it's a simple matter of possessing him so he walks out onto the balcony and then blowing him off with a wind blast. Sneaking is complicated by seemingly very aware enemies and sound that moves realistically meaning a thick door might prevent you from hearing any enemies coming your way.
I spent a large amount of time playing the demo, and despite its brevity I couldn’t help but play it multiple times due to its strong impression of player choice. It was fun to blast my way to the goal by slowing time and decapitating enemies left and right, but it was even more fun to play tactfully and let my agility and smarts do the talking. Given that the full version will have multiple endings which result from choices made throughout the adventure, I see Dishonored packing a lot of play value.
At one point, I nearly blow my cover by stumbling out into the open where a maid can see me. Instead, I quickly swap over to Corvo's Possession ability, jumping into the maid's POV and walking along out in the open up a set of stairs. Unfortunately, the time limit on that power runs out, and I suddenly find myself deposited directly behind the now-vomiting maid.
I quickly take her head off with my blade, but a guard spots this whole bizarre scene and advances. I take him out too, with nothing more than a few quick blade stabs, before he can raise an alarm. It turns out that I got lucky here; turning on my Dark Vision after the encounter plays out, I see no less than three other guards in nearby rooms who could easily have come rushing in.
The combat heavy playthrough managed to be even more brutal and a pile of dead enemies were left in the player’s wake. Corvo teleported directly in front of enemies and immediately delivered a devastating blow and even dropped down on them with dagger at the ready. As the blood started to fly, I realized that body parts flew into the air as well. Dismemberment will be a common sight when force pushing, slicing and dicing and having a flood of rats eat enemies (yes, that last one is a power). The fluidity of the combat was impressive. Much like Bioshock, each of Corvo’s hands was used for something else. The left hand could either wield a gun, a small crossbow or one of his powers. The right hand seemed to be reserved for the main character’s blade. It’s truly a sight to behold when distant enemies are being shot and close-up opponents are being countered and stabbed.
Thursday - June 07, 2012
Dishonored - Stage Demo and More Videos
GameSpot has around 15 minutes of Dishonored footage from the E3 stage demo, offering the best look at Arkane's game so far. They also have a video interview with Lead Designer, Ricardo Bare.
Over at Gametrailers, Raf Colantonio provides a video walkthrough using some similar footage, though not as long.
Lastly, IGN joins the fray - once again with Raf - with around 10 minutes of video this time.
Wednesday - June 06, 2012
Dishonored - Weekly Fan Q&A
News from the Bethblog of a weekly fan Q&A for Dishonored that is now taking questions:
Starting this week, we’ll be answering a new community question for Dishonored. If there’s something you’re dying to learn about, submit your question via Facebook or in the comments section below. We will send the best questions to the developers at Arkane Studios to answer.
Tuesday - June 05, 2012
Dishonored - Gameplay Demo, Preview
G4 has a video walkthrough of Dishonored with narration provided by Raph Colantonio and Harvey Smith. There's around five minutes of footage and you'll get to see some of the UI and a number of powers.
There's also a walkthrough preview over at GameSpot:
The mission that gives us our first hands-on experience with Dishonored is one called Kaldwin's Bridge. We're out to kidnap the royal physician, a guy named Sokolov whose knowledge of medicine has earned him a slightly nicer fate than Corvo's other targets. We begin by sneaking through a decrepit side street, with alleyways and crumbled buildings offering a number of pathways toward Sokolov's safe house atop the bridge. We immediately get the sense that this place has seen better days.
As we creep along, we emerge onto a street overlooking the harbor, taking in a pre-sunset view of Dishonored's steampunk city of Dunwall. It's a nice view, but all that daylight means we have to get creative with our pathway around the guards patrolling the street. Perhaps that's for the best. Dishonored uses a first-person perspective, making it tricky to tell when your entire body is cloaked in shadow even if it's dark out. Rather, this game encourages a more active approach to stealth where you're constantly soaking up details about the environment around you. You've got basic tools like the ability to poke your head around a wall or peek through keyholes, as well as more subtle aids like contextual audio clues. Indeed, sound is very important to your exploits as a crafty assassin. If a guard's voice is clear and natural, you know he's somewhere close. If that same voice turns soft and muffled, however, that's a sign that the guard has walked into another room, giving you the chance to breeze on by.
Friday - June 01, 2012
Dishonored - Blink Assassination, NA Preorder Bonuses
The Bethblog has two new Dishonored items today. First is a new animated .gif showing a "double jump - blink - choke out" assassination and the second is the NA retail preorder bonuses (other regions are coming, apparently).
Dishonored - Gameplay Trailer
An E3 gameplay trailer has been released for Dishonored showing a collage of game scenes and quite a lot of throat-slitting. Here you go:
Saturday - May 26, 2012
Dishonored - Tumblr Page
There's a new Tumblr page for Dishonored, offering some animated .gifs and art from Arkane's stealth game - in particular, a falling assassination move is worth a look.
Wednesday - May 23, 2012
Dishonored - Preview @ Sneaky Bastards
Stealth fan site Sneaky Bastards has a preview of Arkane's Dishonored:
The first thing I said to Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio, Co-creative Directors at Arkane, after seeing a double run-through of a level in Dishonored, was, “The stealth looks really good.”
Coming from the Editor of Sneaky Bastards, I hoped the compliment would carry some weight.
“My god,” Smith replies, “you have no idea how important that is to us.”
I was absolutely sincere. With its unbreaking first-person perspective, light and shadow system, intriguing AI innovations, suite of supernatural powers and overpowering ambience, what I saw of Dishonored evoked the very title that was the genesis of the stealth genre and Sneaky Bastards itself: Thief.
But this was Thief on speed.
“That was the original intention,” says Colantonio.
Source: Blues News
Dishonored - Weapons of Revenge Promo Site
Bethsoft has kicked up a promo site for Arkane's Dishonored at WeaponsOfRevenge.com. There's a flash application that may not be for the...squeamish and another flash app that lets you play with a 3D model of the Dishonored mask.
Friday - May 11, 2012
Dishonored - October Launch Date
Dishonored has been officially announced for October 12th:
BETHESDA SOFTWORKS MARKS OCTOBER 12, 2012 LAUNCH DATE FOR DISHONOREDArkane Studios’ Supernatural Assassin Action Game Available Worldwide This FallMay 10th, 2012 (London, UK) – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, today announced that Dishonored™, the supernatural assassin action game under development at Arkane® Studios, will be available in North America on October 9, in Australia on October 11 and throughout Europe on October 12, 2012. Developed under the direction of co-creative directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, Dishonored is slated for release on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Games for Windows.
Dishonored is set in Dunwall, an industrial whaling city where steampunk- inspired technology and otherworldly forces coexist in the shadows. You are Corvo, the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress who has been murdered. Framed for the crime, you become an infamous assassin, known by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. In a time of uncertainty, when the city is besieged by plague and ruled by a corrupt government armed with frightening technologies, dark forces bestow supernatural abilities upon you – but at what cost? The truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city, and the life you once had is gone forever.
Creatively eliminate your enemies with Dishonored’s flexible combat system as you combine supernatural abilities with weapons and gadgets at your disposal. Pursue your targets under the cover of darkness or boldly attack them head on with weapons drawn. The outcome of each mission plays out based on the choices you make.
“We are pleased that Dishonored has captured people’s attention,” said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. “We are looking forward to sharing lots more information about the game leading up to its launch in October, and having a hands-on build of Dishonored in our booth at E3!”
For more information on Dishonored visit www.Dishonored.com.
Tuesday - May 01, 2012
Dishonored - Screens @ Bethblog
I think I missed these Dishonored screens over at the Bethblog yesterday.
Dishonored - Release Date Revealed?
Don't take this as fact but it might be indicative. Games Radar notes that two online retailers both accidentally listed Dishonored for September 25th - we'll have to wait to find out, of course:
Bethesda and Arkane Studio's Dishonored will be releasing in the United States on September 25 this year if two accidental pre-order listing is to be believed. The information was leaked after both Best Buy Canada and FutureShop.ca accidentally listed the date.
Saturday - April 28, 2012
Dishonored - Previews @ Kotaku, IncGamers, Bethsoft
Here are a couple more Dishonored previews we missed yesterday. First, Kotaku has 18 Things About Dishonored That You Should Know:
One of your best powers is called Blink. It lets you scoot forward a few yards in space, like a short-distance warp. Combine this with agile jumping and you can dart not just across rooftops but through open space, suddenly appearing in a crowd or getting to the other side of an open doorway without ever walking past it. One of the powers they didn't mean to give players, but did involves free-falling from the top of a building but then possessing a guard before you smack into the ground. The designers said that their test players figured it out and it seemed too terrific to remove. So, yeah, kill a guy on a balcony, and then jump off the balcony before his bodyguards can seize you, drop a few stories but body-hop into a regular citizen who is walking down the street in the nick of time.
Thanks to Borcanu for that one.
On to IncGamers for a more standard prevew:
“We believe very much in giving the player a selection of options and blending them constantly so that it’s in their hands,” Smith told us at a recent Q&A session. “It’s not like there’s a stealth road and a combat road; for us - the type of game we like - it’s just mixed. So a mission will have many different pathways: into the building, around the building, over the roof via a side-quest, or straight in the front door, blasting.”
Lastly, the latest Bethsoft Podcast is about Dishonored:
The team at Arkane joins us to explain the unpredictable magic of Dishonored’s dark sandbox playground. Listen as the developers describe the deep systems that lead to Dishonored’s crazy moments, and learn how a single bottle can stand between you and destruction.
Thursday - April 26, 2012
Dishonored - Preview Roundup
As promised by Bethsoft last week, new Dishonored previews are hitting the 'net. Let's start with Alec Meer on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, who say they were told there are "eight or nine different broad methods of completing a level":
Linear – the devil word. Scourge of freedom, the antithesis of PC gaming, the ancient enemy of anyone who’s ever roamed the Zone or steered a Dragonborn across the mountains. Or so the purist spirit often believes. Is, the question hangs so very heavily, Dishonored a linear game?
Yes. At least in the sense that it is not an open world. It is a series of missions in a linear order, most if not all of which require you to eliminate a specific target or targets. That’s okay, though, because my understanding of the game – having seen it in action – has morphed from something like ‘steampunk Deus Ex’ to ‘magic Hitman’. In what I’ve just been shown of the game, the same mission is tackled in two very different ways, with yet more described. And yes, I thought it looked amazing.
The demo did a good job in outlining the different ways the game can be played but Smith and Colantonio were keen to emphasis even further the variety of options available to the player. They mentioned examples of emergent gameplay being discovered play testers that they hadn't accounted for, describing an elaborate case when a player attached an explosive mine to a rat, possessed the rat and took it into a room of enemies before detonating the mine.
Taking on the task of building a fictional world from scratch presented numerous challenges for Antonov and the team at Arkane, such as balancing Dunwall's fantastical aspects with familiar, grounding elements. "If they're too strange or too original, [fictional cities] may not appeal to anybody," said Antonov. "We have to strike a balance between accessibility and overall appeal…Every dock, every chair, everything was designed by hand because we wanted to hand craft this, as opposed to the procedural method of making games. This is a steampunk, Victorian world, but it doesn't have any rivets, it doesn't have any copper, it doesn't have any tubes. It's a new breed, a world of its own."
Dishonored is a game about systems, choices and unique pathways. The first time you see it in action your mind hurtles through a constant stream of comparisons. Deus Ex comes first, then Hitman, Thief, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, BioShock and even - at a point at which the hero occupies the body and soul of an ornamental fish - Disney's Sword in the Stone.
The best moments of the stealth playthrough came from this sense that the player should be allowed to solve problems however they see fit, particularly when it comes to combining Corvo’s magical powers. Creeping around the outer wall of a parlour where one of the Pendleton brothers was arguing with a prostitute, Colantonio explained the possession ability – which we’ve previously seen being used to take control of rats and fish – can be upgraded at great cost to allow Corvo to enter into the bodies of humans. So what’s to stop the player just possessing his targets and chucking them off something high? Apart from the fact that Corvo would die along with his host, not very much.
Wednesday - April 25, 2012
Dishonored - Roundup
The Bethblog has a roundup of Dishonored coverage following the release of the debut trailer last week and RPS points out two lengthy Game Informer interview videos adding up to over 20 minutes of interview with Raf and Harvey Smith.
Tuesday - April 17, 2012
Dishonored - Debut Trailer
Bethsoft's teaser yesterday was actually for a debut trailer for Dishonored, which you can watch at the Bethblog. It's a lengthy 4:27 and well worth a look, in my opinion.
Saturday - March 31, 2012
Dishonored - Colantonio and Smith Interview @ Sneaky Bastards
This interview with Arkane's Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith is about the stealth genre but obviously, Dishonored gets several mentions:
What are your thoughts on stealth gameplay being included as one possible path or playstyle, as opposed to the main focus of a game?
Raf: This is the approach we’re taking with Dishonored: you can chose a stealth approach or attack head on, or in combination. My personal thought on this is that it supports simulation and player choice, which is always a good thing from our standpoint.
What are your thoughts on stealth gameplay being included as one possible path or playstyle, as opposed to the main focus of a game?
Harvey: One could argue that the game is stronger with a pure focus on stealth, but like Raf said we find it more interesting when a range of options present themselves. To us, the most interesting games constantly present the player with inputs and outputs that work in as many general cases as possible: gradients related to movement, powers/weapons, morality, and enemy perception. So many things can happen in that environment that the end result feels like something the player authored. Personally, I think analogue awareness would add to many games. If I play a zombie apocalypse game or a shooter, I really want to be able to play cat and mouse. Far Cry 2 is one of my favorite shooters of all time, for instance.
Tuesday - March 20, 2012
Dishonored - First Look Preview @ G4TV
G4TV has a First Look Preview video of Dishonored with input from Raph Colantonio and Harvey Smith.
Monday - March 19, 2012
Dishonored - Video, New Screens
GameSpot has a video interview with Dishonored artistic leads Viktor Antov and Sebastien Mitton talking about building the city's architecture. New screens have also been released and you can grab the lot from RPS.
Wednesday - March 14, 2012
Dishonored - German Video Preview
German site spieletipps has a video preview / interview on Dishonored. The in-game footage looks the same as provided by GameSpot the other day, so don't expect too much, but there are also developer interviews and glimpses of Arkane's Lyon offices that might be worth a look for fans. Despite the German voiceovers, the interviews are in English and the developers are French, making for a multicultural affair.
Tuesday - March 13, 2012
Dishonored - Screens @ Worthplaying
Worthplaying has a dozen screens from Dishonored. Several (all?) will be familiar from yesterday's GameSpot video but these are a higher resolution.
Monday - March 12, 2012
Dishonored - First In-Game Footage
Bethsoft recently held a press event for Arkane's Dishonored, so expect a flurry of previews. For the moment, however, GameSpot has exclusivity on the first in-game footage with a 6-minute video interview featuring several gameplay segments. From the accompanying preview:
Between each mission, you're dropped into a hub world where you can upgrade your equipment and powers--and boy, are there a lot of powers to choose from. You can launch fire and ice attacks, summon a plague of rats, instantly teleport over short distances, possess people and animals, slow down time Max Payne-style, see through walls, and master a range of weapons including a crossbow, pistol, and the deliciously gory Spring Razor. This range of powers is combined with a level design that does its best not to restrict you in any way; if you see a great sniping spot on top of a roof or a distant vent that would simply be part of scenery in a lesser game, chances are you can get there and use it.
Wednesday - August 31, 2011
Dishonored - Podcast Interview
The GameOverCast podcast has an interview with Raf Colantonio about Dishonored. According to a post on Bethsoft forums by one of the hosts, the conversation starts at 53:30 minutes and covers:
In our impression/preview peice and the interview we cover the following points
-Testers breaking the game
-Letting the players decide how to approach... everything
-Organic mission design
-The length of time its been in development.
And many other points.
Dishonored - Preview @ IGN
There's a Dishonored preview at IGN, titled No-Kill Playthrough is Possible, although we already know that bit from previous articles. A snip on consequences:
An important aspect of development, according to Smith, is creating a world that feels varied and responsive. Just because an area is peaceful doesn't mean it has to stay that way. You can go in and instigate violence if you want, which affects your Chaos rating. "Killing a guard is chaotic, but not very chaotic. Killing a maid, this creates more chaos," said Colantonio. "Ringing an alarm creates chaos. After some threshold we have consequences. Some of them are more like atmospheric effects like there are more rats, for example. Some of them have gameplay consequences like there are more guards patrolling the area. And some of them are story consequences like this ally may now betray you or instead be very excited. It's all linked to different effects all the way down to the endings."
Monday - August 29, 2011
RPGWatch Feature: Dishonored First Looks
At Gamescom we had the opportunity to check out Arkane's latest game, Dishonored. Here's an excerpt from Myrthos' preview, discussing a quest to kill a lawyer:
Once you arrive at the house of the lawyer there is nothing holding you back from going through the front door and shooting and killing your way to the lawyer, but you might also consider there are less deadly ways to enter that building. Like from the sewers, from one of the other sides of the house - or the rooftop. Each entry point has its own advantages but might also have disadvantages. You can use your superjump or teleport powers to travel over the rooftops. Sneak around to avoid the guards and pickpocket one of them for the key to the lawyer’s room. Then, you could peek through the keyhole and quietly open the door, freeze time, sprint to the lawyer, unfreeze time, kill him and jump out of the window. Or you could just assassinate the guard, take the key, open the door and shoot, maim and kill everybody in the room. And for those with a more pacifist nature there is also the option not to kill him if that is more fitting to your style.
Saturday - August 27, 2011
Dishonored - Bethesda Podcast
The latest Bethesda Podcast focuses on Dishonored:
On this episode of the podcast, Arkane Studios’ Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith join us once again to discuss their recently announced immersive action game Dishonored.
Recorded in the halls of QuakeCon, the co-directors give us a rundown on the basic premise of Dishonored, a game that reflects their love of deep action simulations and rich worlds. We also delve into some of the finer details, with talk of assassination powers, environmental storytelling and three-headed fish.
Friday - August 26, 2011
Dishonored - Official Site
There's an official Dishonored site I haven't noticed before. Not much on it at this stage but might be worth watching.
Source: Blues News
Thursday - August 25, 2011
Dishonored - Screens, Preview
RPS has some new Dishonored shots, although John Walker complains about the quality of some of them despite this "officially" being his next most anticipated game. I think John missed the rats clustered around the edge of the light in one of them, which is clearly why they chose that shot.
Moving along, Kotaku has a quite negative preview by implication, with the author seeing ideas stolen from "every first-person game of the last decade":
The gameplay is what really… stay positive!… intrigues, though. In short, it’s sort of everything ever, a million gameplay ideas cribbed from every first-person game of the last decade. There is magic that affects time. There are ranged weapons and melee attacks. There is an ability to summon a rat which you can incarnate, run through drainage pipes up into a home, and then swap places with. (It makes sense as a gameplay mechanism more than it does a practical ability.)
The idea, as I can reckon, is to create a palette of gameplay options, rather than strongly try to denote clear pathways or archetypes for the player. Someone had an interview with Harvey Smith that I can’t find at the moment — I think it might have been Rock, Paper, Shotgun? — in which he described a test player stopping time, firing six arrows toward six targets (the arrows hung in place), then starting time to watch all six enemies eat serious fletching. That wasn’t a planned or taught attack from the designers, just something that sprang organically as the player assembled his attack from the tools at hand.
It’s gameplay as a modular system, a sort of interactive scripting language for action. (Hey, they should call it Actionscript!) That’s compelling, but it has the whiff of “Our gameplay has more widgets than your gameplay”, which may appeal to our neckbeardy tendencies, but won’t necessarily sell the average player who doesn’t have time or patience to discover emergent play. The closer Dishonored gets to a kitchen sink simulation, the more challenging it will be for Arkane to make the game approachable.
Monday - August 22, 2011
Dishonored - Preview, Interview @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a preview and then an interview on Arkane's Dishonored. From their preview piece:
Colantonio is playing Dishonored for a convention crowd, 20 compressed minutes imbued with maximum flash to ensnare the attention of exhausted and jaded hacks who’ve been shown game after game and are already thinking of their next appointment. It’s also, of course, for watchers and commentors for whom Calls of Duty and Gearses of War are their bread and butter: they wouldn’t pay attention to a stealth game, so the sound and fury of all-out action must be there too. So he’s playing it with bloodshed and drama, with stabbings and desperate escapes amidst a hail of gunfire. He’s playing it wrong, whispers that dumb brain of mine – he could have hidden there, climbed that, pickpocketed rather than killed and looted that guard… It’s all wrong, not at all what I’d do.
Oddly, this only makes me lean closer, my excitement grow. I’m not being shown the game as I would approach it, but Colantonio is carefully to hint at how that would be done, to sneak in sneaking alongside the killing. So I extrapolate and deduce, plot and wonder. The sense of possibility, of mind-mapping what I might have done, is that much richer than actually watching a guy hide behind walls and wait for guards’ backs to turn would ever be. With all the powers, all the openness, all the aesthetic strangeness on show here – well, the thought of how I might go at it once I have the chance to instantly makes Dishonored the most promising and exciting thing I saw at Gamescom by a country mile.
...and from the interview with Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio:
RPS: You’re concentrating on a fairly violent path in what you’ve shown so far. Is it definitely possible to kill absolutely no-one – to not even do the assassination at the end?
Raphael Colantonio: Oh, yeah.
Harvey Smith: So, an interesting thing about the game is that, in the missions, it’s made so you can be extremely high Chaos and it’s fun, or extremely low Chaos and if you like sneaking it’ll be fun. And then for the key targets in the game, your missions, you’re giving alternate outcomes that the thorough player can trigger. The truth is about this demo is that it’s not a true piece of the game, actually, it’s a separate thing made from pieces of the game. We made it as a proof of alpha, and it has little pieces all over the place and it’s custom content… We used pieces of it everywhere. But it’s very representative of the missions that we actually have, but we’ll reveal those later.
Sunday - August 21, 2011
Dishonored - Preview @ AtomicGamer
There's another preview of Arkane's Dishonored over at AtomicGamer:
The mission we got to see was an assassination of a powerful lawyer who is holed up at his residence. The player had to find a way into the house, up to the top floor, and kill him, all without alerting a single guard. (The mission was not a total failure if alarms were tripped, but apparently it changes for the worse as the lawyer escapes and has to be chased on foot.) Here, though, Corvo used light and darkness to avoid the guards and took the lawyer by surprise in his chambers, finishing him off and making a daring escape off of the balcony. Guards and the city watchmen gave chase, but our assassin is a crafty type who used powerful abilities, a bit of impressive first-person melee combat, an ability to point at a nearby ledge or wall and instantly leap towards it, and a little old fashioned parkour-style clambering on rooftops and such to evade the guards.
What I liked seeing was the interesting combinations of powers and weapons that could be employed. Using the Stop Time power, Corvo could move around but his weapons' projectiles would freeze in space once they left the barrel of his flintlock-style pistol. But a few well-placed shots in this mode did wonders, as once time started back up again, several enemies would die at once from well-placed bullets that, for a second, seemed to be just floating still in mid-air.
Wednesday - August 17, 2011
Dishonored - Interviews, Screens
More Dishonored material is hitting the 'net, with Blues pointng put two interviews and Rock, Paper, Shotgun offering some screens.
Here's a snip from Destructoid, talking to Harvery Smith and Raphael Colantonio:
You guys are culling a lot of elements from Deus Ex, Thief and System Shock. What elements of those games do you think can live on in modern games, while keeping the game marketable?
Harvey: I am drawn to that type of game. Raf and I are the biggest Ultima Underworld fans, period. We’ll fight anyone else in a pile of Jell-O to claim that. We are both drawn to System Shock. [Raf] was working in Europe and I was working at Origin, and we were both testing System Shock.
We are already drawn to these guys making these games. As soon as he got a chance he created Arx Fatalis, and as soon as I got a chance I worked with Warren Spector on Deus Ex.
...and another from AusGamers:
Harvey You know, aside from our core values that overlap at Arkane -- immersive simulation first person action game with RPG features -- aside from that, Dishonored is a first person action game about a supernatural assassin in a retro-future industrial world. And really, our whole belief around the game -- our core-mechanic -- is that the game mechanics work with each other in combinations we didn’t predict; they work together creatively.
So the player can actually improvise. A player can get to an area, see a problem, formulate a plan, execute on that plan and so something we never predicted and that’s a beautiful moment. That’s Dishonored in a nutshell, those three bullet points I think.
Source: Blues News
Thursday - August 11, 2011
Dishonored - FAQ @ Bethblog
The Bethblog has kicked up a FAQ for Dishonored - you've got to love the inclusion of swimming and roof-climbing:
Q: What is the mission structure for the game? Is Dishonored an open world game?
A: Dishonored is a mission-based game, with each location a living, breathing place in the city. These places have distinct identities, but also feel like part of an integrated world. Each mission will take you to a set of sandbox areas with multiple pathways encouraging exploration, in terms of both physical space, player style and game mechanics powers. The game also features a central hub that you revisit between missions. Incidentally, one of our core values is world cohesion, so we think about who lives in each place and how the area functions, realistically.
Q: What about the gameplay? Is it a stealth game or a “run and gun” FPS?
A: “Play your way” is one of our sayings at Arkane. In Dishonored, you will be able to find and exploit your own play-style. Whether you prefer several flavors of stealth, trickery or direct combat, the player will be able to make gameplay style choices throughout the game, second to second. However, the game is tuned so that direct combat is intense.
Q: Tell us about the game’s perspective and the philosophy behind it.
A: The entire game is seen through the player-character’s eyes as he moves through the world. (Not sticky cover system or third-person camera cuts.) You have a range of movement options from first-person point of view, including lean, sprint, slide and mantle. In addition, you have the opportunity to gain improved physical abilities throughout the game through one of our three character upgrade systems. Swimming, hiding in shadows and getting up onto rooftops are part of the fun.
Dishonored - Preview @ VG247
There's a preview-slash-interview on Dishonored at VG247, with a lengthy discussion about the setting, gameplay and rats. Here's a snip:
Point of interest: According to Colantonio, our demo mission could have been accomplished via roughly five completely different means – that Arkane currently knows of, anyway. On top of that, our vengeance-thirsty assassin’s quarry – a crooked lawyer with gallons of blood indirectly on his hands – could have escaped from his clutches, but a Game Over screen wouldn’t have brick-walled further progress. Again, life goes on. You give chase and hope for the best. After all, this is a world in which you can rescue a woman from her would-be murderers, only to watch her rush straight into a pack of rats equivalent to one Hungry Hungry Hippo. For sensitive audiences, we’re replacing what actually ensues with a “Nom, nom, nom” sound effect, but you probably get the idea. It’s all dynamic, too. That bit of morbid hilarity’s not pre-scripted at all.
Obviously, Dishonored’s brimming with potential paths to success (or temporary failure and then probably hilarious success), but where to start? Well, conveniently, you’re magic. And magic, as it turns out, opens a few doors. For instance, our demonstrator chose to sneak. After using the blink ability to teleport right past some guards, he possessed a rat and infiltrated the lawyer’s mansion through a hole in the wall. Then he emerged from the rat in human form – not a single hair out of place or lost in some weird possession dimension – and tippy toed onward.
Saturday - August 06, 2011
Dishonored - Previews @ Eurogamer, IGN
Web previews of Dishonored are hitting the 'net, so here are a couple of major articles. A snip from Eurogamer:
You can always choose not to kill. Dishonored – as perhaps befits a game designed by the men who made Deus Ex and Arx Fatalis – is an assassin game where you don't have to assassinate anyone. Silence, shadow, occlusion and distance protect you from discovery as you stalk side streets and rooftops, and by exploring all your options you can even find ways to eliminate your target without actually killing them.
The developers estimate only one per cent of players will want to take this path, but they evidently care about that one per cent, allowing them to save anywhere – even on console – so they can try to preserve that invisibility by recalling earlier states.
Arkane clearly wants you to experiment, too, allowing for partial failure all over the place. In our demo, Corvo sneaks into the lawyer's home and makes it to his office – lurking in shadows, peering through keyholes and waiting for guards to pause in front of paintings or warm their hands by fireplaces to sneak past on the way – and eventually confronts and kills him in a blaze of magical abilities. But if you do alert the lawyer, you can continue – he'll cower somewhere, or run away, and that will change the way the mission unfolds but won't stop you from succeeding in it.
...and an overview from IGN:
It turns out the rats in Arkane's Dishonored serve a much larger purpose than you might initially expect. When the appropriate powers are acquired it's possible to spawn rats into a fight to distract and even strip the skin from aggressors. You can possess them as well, taking the form of a rat to slip through small sewer grates and around enemies to reach a destination in safety.
If the idea of utilizing rats as a method of attack and exploration is entirely unpalatable, it seems you can ignore it entirely in Dishonored. It's a stealth action game that blends the multi-path exploration elements of Deus Ex with the combat variety of BioShock, all set in a fictional world designed by Viktor Antonov of Half-Life 2 fame. The mission-based excursions are isolated – this isn't an open world game – but within each space it's apparent there's plenty to do aside from the main quest. You can explore to find items, coins and more to power up your character and select skills, get side quests from NPCs and pick up blueprints to more skillfully interact with pieces of technology. All your actions of senseless violence or deadly precision are fed into a chaos system that will eventually affect how the game progresses. Arkane stresses this isn't a system of good or evil – the game isn't morally judging you for what you do – but the chaos rating will stick with you throughout the play experience and potentially alter the path of the story.
Developer: Arkane Studios
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2012-10-09
· Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
· Platform: PS3
· Released at 2012-10-09
· Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2012-10-09
· Publisher: Bethesda Softworks