Be Honoured: Lots Of Dishonored Screenshots

By Craig Pearson on March 19th, 2012 at 4:01 pm.

Cor blimey.
Arkane’s Dishonored is very exciting and feels like it’s getting nearer, but that might be an evil, supernatural trick being played on us. While we haven’t had a release date for the amazing sounding immersive sim, Bethesda have started to open up more about the setting, the world, what you do. More importantly in this crazy world of ocular pleasure, they’re releasing screenshots and video of the supernatural assassin’s redemptive bloodletting. If I cared about PR buzzwords, I’d call what follows a ‘media blast’, but I’m a loose cannon. Hit the jump for the *checks thesaurus* ‘cable peal’.

Gamespot chatted with the art brains Viktor Antov and Sebastien Mitton about the city of Dunwall’s expressive architecture. It’s partly based on 1940s London.

And now the new screens. The art style is a clear meshing of two ideas: you can see the Half-Life 2 influence from Antov, but I think Mitton has a greater influence in the character design.













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75 Comments »

  1. Brun says:

    Getting strong Half-Life 2 vibes from some of these screenshots.

  2. Flukie says:

    Looks pretty good I must say.

  3. kyrieee says:

    Someone pitch this game to me

    • Alexander Norris says:

      Harvey Smith making another immersive sim.

      Really, that should be enough, but in case it isn’t: you can remote-control rats and turn them into bombs.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Yep, this is definitely the game I’m most excited for this year. Rumor has it that it isn’t too far off, either. I’m assuming this is the start of a big marketing push. I can’t wait to see some actual gameplay footage.

    • Bob says:

      Arkane studios making a Deus Ex, plus Thief, plus Hitman game with a supernatural setting, in a Steampunk city. I don’t care how much they want me to pay. Just take my money.

  4. Jonith says:

    Oh God it looks amazing.

    If the game is as good as it seems to be designed on here, then we have a GOTY contender (with the amazing people working on it, I wouldn’t be suprised)

  5. caddyB says:

    Before anyone starts about the women and their degree of clothing, it’s a brothel.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      Apparently brothels are the only place appropriate for assassinating people, since you seem to be killing several different mans all in the same brothel. Or are they different brothels?

      It says something when the first location you choose to show off happens to feature piles of barely dressed ladies. And the only lady on show who is not a sex worker is the cut and paste “hilariously ugly” brothel matriarch.

      What ever happened to blowing up a guy’s car? Or the good old “ambush while leaving church/the office” strategy?

      While I’m excited for this game, and it seems very clever in a lot of ways, this dump of images just makes me doubt the sophistication of the creative direction, or think they’re just pandering to adolescent boys. I mean, sure, I love looking at ladies in old fashioned knickers and hosiery, but at least give me a little variety.

      • caddyB says:

        They are after all, trying to sell their game.

          • caddyB says:

            I was trying to make a joke about that previous thread on this indeed, but yeah.

          • AlwaysRight says:

            I know you were, I was trying to make a joke about you making a joke about the joke from before.

            … It appears we may have gone too many levels deep and ended up in limbo.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            Sorry if it seems like I jumped down your throat, caddyB – I missed the earlier thread you seem to be referencing, and didn’t get what you were trying for.

            That said, I understand why a company would use these sorts of images to sell a product which is aimed at teenage males, but that doesn’t make them any less problematic.

            Mostly I just think it’s absurd that this is seen as so normal these days. I can only shrug and move on, with that much more attention and excitement for games which choose to present themselves in a more sophisticated and mature way.

            Sorry for the excessively serious tone, I do that more than I like. I’m working on it!

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Do you think Fellini was pandering to adolescent boys because he set Roma in brothels? I’m not saying Dishonored is on the same level, but maybe consider the thematic purpose of a brothel setting before making assumptions. Like, for example, how there is (or seems to be from what I’ve seen) a recurring theme in Dishonored of a clean and ordered outward image but a corrupt core.

            This isn’t exactly Bulletstorm with its gag reflex bonus points.

      • propjoe says:

        Indeed. It would be nice to see a major game where all the women aren’t just buckets of tits and legs. The whole brothel thing isn’t even original (I’m looking at you, Assassin’s Creed). This sort of thing actually caused me to stop playing The Witcher just a few hours in, despite the fact that I liked the gameplay pretty well.

    • rockman29 says:

      I do like my brothels (and what is inside) :D

  6. Paul says:

    Stunning, and those are just screenshots. The real meat will be gameplay…and I cannot fucking wait.
    One of the rare day 1 buys for me.

  7. westyfield says:

    Architecture based on 1940s London? So everything will be a big crater then?

    (Haven’t watched the video so if it’s a typo and they actually say 1840s, that would explain it.)

    • Kollega says:

      If i remembered correctly, the developers stated early on that the game was inspired by 1600s London, not 1840s or 1940s.

    • pusheax says:

      I thought victorian era would mean 1840 too. But they say that it’s 1940.

    • McCool says:

      They say 1940s London, but it really doesn’t look like London at all, it is missing that distinctive brickwork, and the forms seem positively continental. Also, the streets are far, far too wide -there is too much space and generously shaped architecture everywhere. If they wanted to capture the “feel” of London I think they got it badly wrong (it looks more like a French port to me, or somewhere in the new world) but happily this has given the city its own rather unique appearance, which is rather good. All’s well that ends well.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Of course it’s 1940s: all Americans know that Queen Victoria was overlord until Elizabeth 2 kicked her ass out. We didn’t get gas automobiles until 1982, and we all drove the same car as Mr. Bean. You’re just confused because no-one is still alive now that was in the 1940s!

      Check your Facebook timeline, you’ll see I’m right.

  8. Kollega says:

    Dishonored: one of the few settings where a “tactical flintlock” is a perfectly appropriate weapon and not a product of absurdist humor. And judging by an advertisement for burial urn exposition seen in one of the screenshots, it’s also not the kind of setting to be messed with, bro.

    P.S. I’m Russian, and hearing “Antonov” pronounced like that does bad things to my ears. It’s “AntOnov”, not “AntonOv”. Please, think of my poor, frozen Russian ears.

    • Oof says:

      Bozheh moi.

      • Kollega says:

        Is unneccesary second “h” intentional?

        (I do get what you’ve been trying to sarcastically imply, though.)

        • Doesn'tmeananything says:

          Since it’s not an accurate transcription, the ‘h’ is absolutely necessary to represent the sound [э]. Otherwise, according to the English phonetics, it’d be a one syllable word or have the sound [ɪ] at the end.

          And it’s not like we’re particularly authentic vis-à-vis pronunciation when it comes to foreign names. It’s only natural that loan words, be they proper nouns or whatever, adapt to the phonetic peculiarities of their new language.

        • Oof says:

          It is necessary if you’re using the latin alphabet, yes.

          You pronounce words according to the rules of the language with which you’re using them. Which is why fillet is pronounced fill-ugh-t in English, and not fill-ay.

    • asshibbitty says:

      He’s Bulgarian I think, maybe they have different rules for stress, like in Polish it’s always the next to last syllable.

      • Kollega says:

        Yeah… i won’t pretend to know how one is supposed to speak Bulgarian. Maybe you’re right. Anyone here speaks Bulgarian so that we can resolve this?

        • Xardas Kane says:

          I am Bulgarian in fact. First, his name is Antonov, not Antov, please fix this before I die of laughter. Second, his name is pronounced AntOnov, just like in Russian, so yeah, their pronunciation is wrong. Then again, we Bulgarians have long gotten used to that. I’ve lived in Germany and Spain and in both countries whenever I said my full name a short silence fizzling with embarrassment followed, ending with something along the lines of “Wait wha’?” Got a lot of funny stories about people messing up my name :D

          Oh, and yes, he is Bulgarian as well. When Half-Life 2 shipped there was some queer sort of patriotism among the ranks of the gamers back home. Patriotism because hey, a Bulgarian worked on one of the best games ever made and Haemmimont aside (Tropico 3 and 4.) we have no successful studios whatsoever. Queer because City 17 is actually a really, and I mean really ****ed up alternative version of a typical city from the region. It was like looking at a twisted image of your home town – you know it’s not like that but damn, it sure reminds you of it.

          • Oof says:

            Zdravei, Xardas, i as sim (chetvart) Bulgarin! I didn’t know Antonov’s Bulgarian!

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Nice, как е :)

            On a side note the game is set in the 1840s, no the 1940s. That’s two mistakes in such a tiny article. I am disappoint, RPS.

  9. zergrush says:

    I hope we get one of those weird bows the stilt dudes are using.

  10. Iskariot says:

    That settles it. I am going to buy this game for sure.
    The only thing that might prevent that is when the game play time is only 8 hours or so.
    This looks so awesome and unique. It is like a work of art.
    When I look at these images and footage so many things go through my mind.
    Imagine when these guys would create Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2.
    -
    I noticed the characters in the vid had no shadows. I suppose that will change.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I like games that don’t outstay their welcome. If 16 hours means 8 hours killer, 8 hours filler, just keep it to eight, I’d say. Games should be as long as they should be. Nothing more.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        But that’s not a rule you can easily apply to immersive sims, games where you can spend hours alone exploring the world before choosing your approach through a single mission or area (or equally just jump straight in and improvise). So I wouldn’t want a game like that to be limited to the linear-playthrough 8 hour rule, because no one will play it like a linear manshoot. Playing through Deus Ex (not HR) or a Thief game I always take my sweet time, anywhere up to ~100 hours for DX or ~6 hours per mission for Thief. Why? Because I can, and because these are as close to actual virtual worlds as we’ll get for a while (and I’m not talking about sandbox) where the game-world itself is the narrative.

  11. gwathdring says:

    I really like a lot about the style but there’s something … a little off about the coloring. It feels a bit washed out or fuzzy, in a way. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Also everyone has enormous hands–but that’s just a charming quirk of the stylization to me.

    It looks quite pretty in a lot of shots, though, and it looks DIFFERENT enough that I don’t mind if it misses my personal bar in places. I’m rather glad to have such an unusual looking game.

    • Brun says:

      Yes, they do make you feel like you’re looking through some haze or fog at the scene.

    • Kollega says:

      I, personally, think that washed-out colors are perfectly intentional. As i get from this interview, the game is supposed to look like a painting, and coloring here does remind me of the “heaviness” sometimes seen in oil paintings.

    • Oof says:

      As Kollega says, that’s intentional. The style is inspired by late 19th- and early 20th-century industrial art. Or something. I don’t know much about art, so I’m paraphrasing Antonov.

  12. Stupoider says:

    It does look fascinating, but I’m getting the nagging feeling that it might be a little too ambitious in what it’s striving to achieve. Deus Ex, Mirror’s Edge, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, HL2, Hitman, Bioshock, what else is it drawing elements from? It’ll be a tightrope act trying to keep each element fleshed out- jack of all trades, master of none if you may.

  13. YourMessageHere says:

    Who came up with the name ‘immersive sim’? It’s ridiculous. All sims are immersive, unless they fail at being sims.

    Irrespective of what you call it, this does look like a smashing game. Love what Antonov said about making a single building meaningful enough that you can play through it three times in different ways, instead of making the player travel miles for no real reason. That’s proper design.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Wasn’t that actually an RPS coinage? They may have just popularized it, but I don’t seem to remember ever hearing the term before this blog came about.

      edit: nope. Google tells me it’s been making the rounds since at least 2000.

    • Doesn'tmeananything says:

      Who came up with the name ‘role-playing game’? It’s ridiculous. All games have you playing a role, unless they fail at being games.

      • Stupoider says:

        Isn’t that Bioware’s line of argument when it comes to their ‘RPG’s?

        Nevertheless, you’re being a bit pedantic. Sims should be immersive, it goes without saying. Saying something like “well-written RPG” would be a much better analogy, because that should go without saying too.

        • Doesn'tmeananything says:

          The point is, these both terms sound a bit generic but traditionally presuppose a certain design ethos; you can’t just analyse them literally and apply parts of the name to a whole videogames medium.

          ‘Saying something like “well-written RPG” would be a much better analogy, because that should go without saying too.’

          I hope that by ‘well-written’ you don’t mean ‘believable emotional romance quest-lines’.

          • Jonith says:

            Yeah, if you analyse the names, you can say that technically Skyrim is an FPS, because you can play in first person and you can shoot (bows and magic) thus making it an FPS. It doesn’t work

    • asshibbitty says:

      It’s what they used to call it at Looking Glass. I picked it up in the ten years of Deus Ex series of posts

      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/ten-years-of-deus-ex/

      I’ve been making roughly one “genre names don’t have to be literal” comment here every year for five years. Glad it’s catching on.

    • circadianwolf says:

      It was coined by Warren Spector to describe Deus Ex.

      The application of “immersive” to “simulation” is in reference to traditional “simulation” games being SimCity and its relatives–immersive sims are 1st person POV rather than deific.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      It was I think a Warren Spector coinage, and it’s used to denote games where you are immersed in a role in a world that has several disparate elements heavily simulated. Basically it’s ‘immersive’ to distinguish it from a sim like SimCity, or other management type games, and it’s a ‘simulation’ to distinguish it from pure shooters that are heavily scripted like Half-Life.

      As a genre name I think it does it’s job well enough if you consider it in that context. It makes less sense when you think as sim games as merely your flight sims or tank sims or street sweeper sims, where you are cast in the role of a man on the ground, because yeah, those should be immersive. But that’s not always what ‘Sim’ means, especially since it was coined around the time ‘The Sims’ was coming out.

      Edit: Ohp, should really read full post strings before replying (in my half-hearted defense, this new format confuses me some), circadianwolf beat me to it and explained it better.

    • Nethlem says:

      I think you never played actual “simulation games”.
      Most of them are clunky to get into even if they get everything right by making controls as obscure and keypressintensive as possible.

      They usually have a very steep learning curve that only a few people will bother to “game trough”.
      So an “immersive sim” sounds like something i would totaly play, as it sounds like they are aware of the “learning curve” problem that an great yet complex game often encounters.

      Because computergames are supposed to simulate stuff you always wanted to do, in an fun and overblown way while still feeling somewhat relevant/connected to reality.

  14. Wang Tang says:

    I was excited for this game because of the gameplay elements and the setting.
    But the art style, this kind of painted look – gorgeous!

  15. Hodge says:

    Those screenshots are almost beyond belief.

  16. hosndosn says:

    They say us grumpy old (27, that is) gamers can’t get excited about newer games because we’re stuck in nostalgia or something. This proves to me that this is not the case. I’m incredibly excited for this game, probably more so than I was for Deus Ex back in the day. This is the first true new entry for this kind of genre-bending stealth-heavy FPS gameplay since… well, since Deus Ex (or maybe Vampire Bloodlines). It looks so fresh, I love the gameplay anecdotes they use to promote it and how they put a lot of importance into allowing players their own and unplanned ways of solving obstacles.

    I’m so glad games like it are still produced.

  17. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    Like so many others here, I also cannot wait for what I hope to be a future-classic of the immersive-sim/FPS-RPG genre. I must add that with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Bioshock: Infinite and Dishonored coming out in the space of a couple of years, it feels like my favourite genre is coming back. Also Thief 4… which will -definitely- be finally completely revealed this E3 ;_;

  18. ColonelClaw says:

    Absolutely loving the art direction – lighting, texturing, stylisation, character models, settings, the lot!
    This sort of quality is up there with Valve and Blizzard, the kings of art direction.

  19. Navagon says:

    When a game looks this good there is definitely something cruel in constantly dangling it in front of us like the proverbial carrot.

  20. Justin Keverne says:

    I wonder how Harvey feels about being described as the brains behind System Shock and Thief along with Deus Ex?

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’ve noticed the media tends to combine the resumes of Harvey Smith, Randy Smith, and Warren Spector. We should just start referring to all of them as Harvandy Smithector.

      I kind of feel bad for guys like Tim Stellmach, Marc Leblanc, and Doug Church. They probably did more to make those games happen than any of those other guys, and they never get any credit. No respect, I tells ya.

  21. Stevostin says:

    The visual are so inspired. I am getting really excited now.

  22. orange says:

    I’m speechless. These look incredible, especially the 2nd screenshot; it reminds me of HL2. Loving the art direction in this so far.

  23. Shooop says:

    Yes yes, the art direction is excellent. We’ve reached a consensus on that. But the gameplay Bethesda. Where are the damned gameplay demonstrations? How it plays is the most important question and you’re not answering it at all.

  24. Pelikanol says:

    That brother totally looks like the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts from PS:T, with the lush vegetation and the furniture design.

  25. Kinth says:

    I dont get the hype for this game, yes it sounds great on paper and the screenshots are pretty but with all this information they are pumping at us they still haven’t shown us a single shred of gameplay.

    I don’t know about others but when company’s refuse to show gameplay of a game they are trying to hype it just makes me think that the gameplay isnt as good as they’re trying to make it sound.

    All they have shown is screenshots and meaningless camera pans across enviroments.

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