Sharpest: Dishonored’s E3 Trailer Is Quite The Thing

Good morning! And it is a good morning, because the first of the great wave of E3 trailers are starting to arrive. Let’s kick off the day with the one trailer we probably all want to take a look at – Arkane’s tale of a supernatural assassin in an alternative world. Yes, the Dishonored trailer is quite the thing, with whales, plague, children, and lots and lots of slow-motion evisceration.

Oh my. You’re going to want to watch this one.

The game is out October 9/12th.


  1. Tridae says:

    Who needs HL3 when we have this? Awesome trailer song.

    • baby snot says:

      Or Bioshock Infinite.

      • Syra says:

        It sure did remind me a lot of bioshock infinite indeed. But more awesome?

        • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

          Re: “Awesome trailer song”. For any who aren’t aware, that song wasn’t a fisherman’s song but a fisherman’s wives’ song, and the “drunken sailor” is a euphemism for a flaccid penis (“Tickle his belly… Hoo-ray and up she rises!”). The more you know…

          • Ross Angus says:

            Thanks! And also: ew!

          • The Dark One says:

            Whatever it was, it kept on reminding me of The Glitch Mob’s song Animus Vox.

          • j6m says:

            In this case it appears to be a drunken whaler

          • JamesPatton says:

            It’s a drunken whaler because the game is set in a world where whale oil is the main resource that drives industry (like regular oil in our world). “What shall we do with a drunken sailor”, an actual song in real life, has been repurposed for Dishonoured’s fictional setting.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            I don’t think that’s true. It’s originally a sea shanty, a song sung to pace and motivate jobs that require a regular, quick tempo, like turning a capstan to haul a rope. “Tickle his belly” was never a verse in the original.. Googling {“drunken sailor” “tickle his belly”} produces four results; three of them are about children’s rhymes and one is the comment above.

          • JackShandy says:

            “Shave his belly with a rusty razor” is another line in the original. Maybe fishermen are into that.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Yeah, I’m pretty Eduado fell for/is perpertrating a total myth there. As always with urban myths it’s all about the (un)sexy subtext.

          • MrLakestream says:

            Just registered to say that they should clearly have used this song: link to

            Also, RPS to me is the pc-gaming-blog equivalent of Mr Scruff.

          • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

            Well, fishermen’s wives had to do jobs (gutting, preparing fish) with a regular, quick tempo. The “flaccid penis” suggestion’s as good as any others – origins of folk music tend to be wrapped in bullshit from the start (the collection of folk songs from the C19th being conducted without a concept of impartiality). Even if one goes to whatever the most original source is (usually Francis Child), you’re just going to late C19th bullshit rather than C21st bullshit. “Urban legend”? That’s – well, if not “the point” of folk music, at least as good as you’re going to get on it.

    • surv1vor says:

      Or Thief 4?

    • Captain Hijinx says:

      Really looking forward to this, have been since it was announced, mainly for the pedigree of people involved in its development. Love the style.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      This is exactly what I thought. They beat Valve to HL3

    • bear912 says:

      I do. It does look pretty cool, though.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      The whole game actually reminds me of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, for some reason. Must be the aesthetic.

  2. nonadventurer says:


    • Orija says:

      It just showed a lot of people getting stabbed in the neck.

      • grundus says:

        It does appear to be the Ultimate Walking up to Various People Who Don’t Seem Extremely Hostile Shortly Before Slashing their Carotid Arteries Simulator.

        I’m afraid to say I’ve got high hopes for this game; Thief meets Deus Ex, Hitman, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto (lots of redundancy in there) in a steampunk, sandbox London which is the size of Assassin’s Creed’s world. While I like that the trailer wasn’t giving much away, I didn’t like that the trailer didn’t give much away because it might mean that it’s going to be linear and scripted to the nines.

        • Giaddon says:

          I don’t know where you got your hopes from, be we already know the game is linear and scripted. Think the Hitman games: a linear sequence of self-contained levels in which you can try several different approaches to accomplish your objective.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Linear map progression but not ‘scripted’. Each map is essentially a sandbox, a la Thief.

          • Brun says:

            People tend to conflate “non-linear” and “sandbox” when really they can be two very different things. Sandbox games are at the far “non-linear” end of the linearity spectrum.

          • subshell001 says:

            That is because people use the word ‘linear’ without a designation of what they mean by linear. This game has a linear mission structure, but not a linear approach to said missions. Some aspects are linear, some are not.

          • marlin says:

            Peoples use of the word ‘conflate’ is getting a bit much too…

          • Contrafibularity says:

            It’s not as scripted as Hitman, as it’ll display a lot more emergent behaviours and possibilities (not that Hitman is particularly ‘linear’, but clearly a lot of the possibilities have been thought of and put in by the developers, although you can still do unexpected things). Linearity is a misleading term in a lot of cases, and this is one of them, because it’s about as far removed from the linearity of a corridor shooter as it can get. Immersive sims like this make the game world itself into a narrative, so you’re not just moving from set-piece to set-piece with a binary option on how to proceed in these moments. At least that’s how I look at it. And as should be the case with an immersive sim it depends on how you play; keeping in mind that unlike virtually every RPG in existence it’s not (just) dialogue options which determine outcomes and events, but a lot of what you do during the game will have an effect down the line (but without shiny light-dark or karma-bars to hold your hand) although you probably won’t be aware of it when playing, at most intuition will tell you what effects it may be. It’ll be in the background, and only replaying the game will slowly reveal the intricacy of the game & story, and all the possibilities.

            Scripted is an equally dubious term; most anything in games is scripted (which is to say programmed, following AI/code of some kind, who knows there might be an experimental game which randomizes AI somehow but I haven’t heard of it). Except for the player character himself of course, so that’s why it all depends on how you play.

  3. BaronVonsnakPak says:

    ive been looking forward to this for some time.

    that being said, this follows the videogame trailer trope of: somber song and slo-mo scenery for 30 seconds followed by murder/carnage for duration.

    • CrowPath says:

      Had to chuckle at the end: Dramatic Slow-Mo, ummm… page turning.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, I think it does it a bit better than some of the others… Gears of War and Prototype 2 are completely at odds with their “slow haunting” adverts, and this one at least seems to have made use of the music to develop the atmosphere. The tweaked lyrics of a sea shanty for a game with whalers, is significantly more “valid” than some off-the-shelf popular song overlaid slow-motion run&gun bro-fist jollyness.

  4. Hunchback says:

    Oh how i’ve longed for a real steampunk game!
    The last decent steampunk i’ve played was Arcanum, some 15 years ago o.O

    EDIT: Ok, I Guess Bioshock can count for a sort of steampunk, and it’s definitely one of the best shooters ever made. Still, why is the genre so deeply under-looked?

    • Spectre-7 says:

      No, I don’t think Bioshock counts as Steampunk per se, but whatever milieu is belongs to is closely related. It certainly takes place in a previous era and strongly features anachronistic technological advancements, but it’s not the Victorian era and I think that’s key to being properly Steampunk.

      I’d also disagree that it’s one of the best shooters ever made, but that may just be personal kink. I really enjoyed it, and think it’s a great game… but its shooter mechanics were sorely lacking. I enjoyed it despite the shooting portions. So, while I’d easily count it among the best games ever made, I have trouble categorizing it as one of the best shooters ever made, because I don’t feel like it really excels as a shooter.

      Just IMO, of course.

      • westyfield says:

        Bioshock would be more accurately called dieselpunk.

      • Hunchback says:

        Oh, by “shooter” i actually meant like FPS game, as in not-a-third-person for example. I agree it’s “shooter” mechanics are not the best there is, but for the purpose of the game they are good enough. It’s not a military simulator anyway :P

      • scatterbrainless says:

        Not enough prefixes of -punk, must have more… where’s the Quantum-meta-punk punk, huh? Huh?

        • Syra says:

          Go ahead, make-my-day-punk.

        • Spectre-7 says:

          “Not enough prefixes of -punk, must have more… where’s the Quantum-meta-punk punk, huh? Huh?”

          While I don’t know where Quantum-meta-punk Punk is, I suspect that when you asked, the genre’s wavefunction collapsed and made its eigenposition known, while simultaneously rendering its eigenvector effectively unmeasurable.

          Apologies to the mathematically inclined, for surely screwing up that joke.

      • roryok says:

        EDIT: whoops, replied to the wrong thread!

    • Kreeth says:

      Getting a very New Crobuzon kind of vibe from the cityscapes that I didn’t notice before. As an aside I’d give someone a big old pre-order for a Bas-Lag RPG…

      Really looking forward to this very much indeed. As far as I can see this is pretty much the only interesting non-indie game coming out this year: am I wrong?

      • Davie says:

        Yes! This is exactly the sort of pseudo-steampunk fantasy weirdness that is China Mieville’s domain. It’s nice to see a genuinely original setting in a triple-A game.

    • BigJonno says:

      The problem with steampunk is that supposed steampunk elements are rather common, to the point where people talk about it being tired or overused, while at the same time there is a massive lack of actual steampunk games that are true to the genre.

      The genre falls out of favour without fans ever having that particular itch scratched.

    • rapier17 says:

      This isn’t Steampunk. Bioshock had rather a large chunk of Dieselpunk in its inspiration and Dishonoured is also very Dieselpunk’ish’. For those who are unclear on the concepts of Steampunk it is a revisualisation of contemporary technology if the Victorians had had the same kit but built with materials they’d more likely have used – wood, brass, steel, glass. It is also a partly a revival of Victorian/early Edwardian clothing as well. For Dieselpunk its similar but in a 1920s-1950s style.

    • roryok says:

      Actually, it’s Whalepunk

      • Ernesto says:

        I just imagined a whale with a mohawk ‘haircut’ and piercings in its fins :)
        And I can’t wait to play this.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I think they officially described it as whalepunk (whalers and whale-based products being the big industry)

    • Contrafibularity says:

      It can scarcely be called a genre.

      Let’s just get rid of the term Steampunk altogether shall we? It server no purpose other than to confuse and box-in perfectly unrelated works and other than the connotations this trailer raises for you there’s really no point in calling it steampunk. The world in Dishonored doesn’t run on steam, and even if it did it’s a useless qualifier. What started out as a fictional aesthetic for alternate histories has become rather limiting a term (and also a cosplay and party theme but that was inevitable).

      The same happened with Thief; it created a perfectly unique universe and people still manage to mistake it for steampunk. Can’t we live in a world where unique works exist which don’t have to fall into sci-fi/cyberpunk/steampunk/fantasy categories without people getting confused about what’s what? Maybe it’s semantics, but it’s gotten rather ridiculous in my opinion. Like I’m living in some kind of surrealpunk world.

    • Werthead says:

      I was pushing for ‘Americanapunk’ and also roping the FALLOUT series into the same genre, but according to Wikipedia the genre already exists as ‘retrofuturism’, which saddens me through a lack of punkness.

  5. Torn says:

    Really glad to see the Arx / Dark Messiah guys are producing something new, and that it looks absolutely amazing. Their games always had promise but I found them slightly lacking, for some reason.

    The graphics in that trailer also look pretty dated, but I’m sure (or I hope) the gameplay will make up for it.

    • Maritz says:

      Yeah, I’m sure it looked graphically more impressive in earlier trailers. Regardless, it’s still high on my ones to watch list.

  6. Dreforian says:

    Head directly to October. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I am disappointed, however, that there was no blowing up of buildings. I saw that tower and thought “I bet the next thing I see is asplody”. There was no kaboom. There was supposed to have been an earth shattering kaboom.

  7. Tom De Roeck says:

    Ahhh. Dark Messiah. Of course. Now I know where I know the style from.

  8. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    Now I’m not one for judging the game on trailers alone but….

    I think they just got a day one purchase from me.

  9. byteCrunch says:

    As nice as it looks, still hoping for some straight gameplay, this trailer still doesn’t really give you an idea, besides a couple few seconds clips in it.

  10. undu says:

    Looks like a Bioshock spin-off, very interesting.

    • Hanban says:

      How d’you figure?

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      The only people making Bioshock comparisons are the ones unaware of this game’s pedigree. This is much more Thief and Deus Ex than Bioshock.

      • GepardenK says:

        Yup, this is Thief in setting and gameplay, mixed with a healthy dose of HL2 artstyle and maybe some Dark Messiah like combat/RPG elements

  11. Jamesworkshop says:

    I don’t think much of the trailer, I’m glad I know more about the game than the lack of things that are being paraded in this trailer.


    Just been cruising gametrailers and most of the trailers I’ve found underwhelming today, even for games i’m already personally counting down to.

    • Palehorse says:

      Yeah, this trailer actually made me less interested in the game. Hoping for more interesting stuff soon.

      As this conflicts with XCOM’s release it is looking to take a back seat.

      • mpk says:

        I’m beginning to think that the worst thing you can ever do to a game is release a trailer for it. Whether it’s utterly unrepresentitive, like the live action Battleduty stuff, or the Hitman vs Nuns one (that’s an assumption tbh, I’ve never really played the Hitman games. Maybe there guncrazy stripper nuns in every game. I do not know. I digress.) or “ACTUAL GAMEPLAY” trailers like the above, the devs and publishers and (spit) marketing departments are still trying to create movie trailers.

        And that just doesn’t work for me. All the best trailers for movies habe made me excited because they give me tidbits of a finite story with one-way interaction. There may be ‘splodes, there may be robots, there may just be acting and some Basil Exposition, but they give me a doorway into the world of the movie.

        Game trailers… well, they fundamentally can’t do that, because games are more interactive. They’re about the storyline, sure, but they’re also about the tactile feel of gamepad or mouse’n’keyboard, they’re about the things that are happening under the bonnet that mean that when I turn that corner an Angry Man will shoot at me, or a dragon will come over the trees and flame me, or some coloured blocks that I don’t want are going to appear at the top of the screen.

        I’d much rather read a preview and get some small impression of the experience of a game, or even watch a short play session video. Almost 3 minutes of non-contextual throat-slitting does not make me want to play this game.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah, I actually find this trailer pretty underwhelming, especially compared to the excellent bit-of-backstory bit-of-prerendered-intended-gameplay-target previous one.

  12. Zepp says:

    I hope it won’t be too easy with all those superpowers at your disposal.

  13. Ian says:

    Yes please.

  14. paralipsis says:

    I know I’m a pedant when I can get really pumped watching that trailer, only to get irked that in the title reveal they spelt dishonoured wrong. (jk btw)

  15. Iskariot says:

    I am increasingly exited about this game.

  16. Toberoth says:

    Well this does look rather good.

  17. The_Great_Skratsby says:


  18. Rinox says:

    Since Arx Fatalis Arkane can’t do anything wrong for me ;-) Excited.

  19. Mr.Dreadlock says:

    Arr, Me matey! Those scurvy dogs got me with that Drunken Sailor!

  20. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Looks pretty good, nice visual style, lots of killing. I don’t think I’m very charmed.

  21. Schadenfreude says:

    What shall we do with the drunken whaler?

    Feed him to the hungry rats for dinner,

    Ha. I like it. Couldn’t make out much more of the lyrics though on my tinny speakers. I’m sure someone has a transcript.

  22. Belsameth says:

    Birthday present.

    • roryok says:

      I dunno, if your birthday was yesterday you would have gotten an announcement for a CDP Cyberpunk game

  23. kyrieee says:

    All the slowmo makes the animations look pretty janky.

  24. Drake Sigar says:

    Three mins of slo-mo Skyrim deaths? I’m not impressed so easily.

    • GepardenK says:

      It’s not Skyrim deaths but Dark Messiah deaths. And that is f***ing awsome!

  25. surv1vor says:

    I’m actually getting a bit of a V for Vendetta vibe from this, I think its the masks and assassinations, but I suppose V wasn’t really out for revenge?

  26. Casimir's Blake says:

    Ridiculous amounts of slo-mo, excessive gore, and those unnecessary, likely-overpowering “super-powers”. Not impressed.

    Artistically, this is top-notch, and recalls works by Looking Glass. But I’m not convinced about the gameplay just yet…

    • innokenti says:

      Yeah, I doubt the developers really bothered to balance the experience for one of their core game mechanics. I mean, why would you?

  27. Bobby Oxygen says:

    That trailer was a bit meh, but I’m still really, REALLY looking forward to the game itself. I’ll be buying it on release day.

  28. scatterbrainless says:

    I deeply, abidingly and eloquently want all the game, all the game in the world now please.

  29. Rii says:

    Well the Saw crowd should be happy.

  30. Davie says:

    The footage was unimpressive, but the setting and that clever bit of music pretty well sold it for me. Unless some new terrible information comes to light I think this’ll be a day one purchase.

  31. varangian says:

    Hope there’s some reason behind what seemed like a lot of arbitrary carnage – half of the body count just seemed to be standing around offering no real threat to Mr Stabby or whoever the protagonist is. Not that I’ve anything against arbitrary carnage per se but several hours of killing whoever you come across just because you can does not a game make.

  32. Sarigs says:

    Really looking forward to this one, the setting looks spot on, excellent music, can’t wait :-)

  33. max_1111 says:

    I enjoyed their choice of music but i am still overcome with intense feelings of, “meh” after watching that trailer. Nothing really stuck out or said, “YES! This is special!”

  34. Meldreth says:

    Hmmm… one thing worries me deeply. All this blood is nice, but why isn’t it handled like it is in, say, Overgrowth ? I know it may sound like a detail, but having insane amounts of blood can’t be fun for long if it stays on screen for 2 seconds and then magically disappears. Like it does in most games. Obviously, I don’t seriously mean that it worries me, but it would just be nice to see more game engines handle blood nicely, as well as wounds.
    Oh and I hope that this time we can impale people with swords without it being only a finish move. Dark messiah had decapitations all right, which were executed quite ” intuitively ” ( that is, just swing horizontally towards the head of your enemy ) but if you wanted to put your sword through someone, well no you had to build up the adrenaline bar and then use it, even though there was a thrust attack.

  35. Unaco says:

    Haven’t watched the trailer yet (I’m going to save it, til this evening, as a treat), but this is still one of my most anticipated games for this year.

  36. Cryo says:

    It’s sharpest alright. Looks like those ancient anti-aliasing machines left by the Precursors have finally broken down and modern developers can’t replicate their technology.

  37. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    It needs less killing and more characters and world establishing. Modern video game trailer, psssh!

    • LionsPhil says:

      As I said upthread, the previous one excelled at that where this one fails.

    • Archangel says:

      Don’t know how I missed that previous trailer, but do watch that one instead. I’m excited about the game, but the new trailer is just icky, great music notwithstanding. I guess the E3 crowd is just more focused on context-free murder.

      Again, the one LionsPhil just mentioned is extraordinary.

  38. ArtistFormerlyKnownAsShitForBrains says:

    ‘Quite The Thing’…hmmm…Did you guys suddenly exhaust all available phrases in the English language…or am I just becoming ever increasingly more intelligent ..

    Cause i’m sure this is how you described the Dead Space 3 trailer not 2 days ago..

    I want my money back.

  39. pilouuuu says:

    It reminds me of Half-Life 2 and Bioshock, which can only be a good thing.

  40. derbefrier says:

    Day 1 purchase for me. everything i have read and seen just looks too bad ass.

  41. woodsey says:

    … Holy fuck.

  42. GameCat says:

    Slice his throat with rusty cleaver
    Slice his throat with rusty cleaver
    Slice his throat with rusty cleaver
    Early in the morning

    Best trailer music since… erm, forever?

    Can’t wait, hope the rest of music will be THAT good.

  43. wodin says:

    The people seemed very stiff and hmmm..can’t put my finger on it however they looked like graphics from tow or three years ago.

    Loved the music, without the music the trailer isn’t upto much.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      they looked like graphics from tow or three years ago

      That’ll be the console restrictions influences I guess.

  44. R J K says:

    Maybe it just tickles a juvenile part of me, but I rather liked the game’s tagline. Economical, meaningful, and kind of badass.

    • Kollega says:

      What i find troubling is that there’s a little “TM” next to it. Trademarking this tagline has certain… implications. :P

  45. Kollega says:

    Do you remember when i said that this game has the panache? Well, guess what? It does have panache alright.

    I feel like the game could use a flamethrower, though. I hope the game has a flamethrower, for the hopelessly neurotic of us. It’s dosen’t sound all too plausible in a game about assassinations, but one could hope.

  46. Moni says:

    This trailer bothers me as much as *that* Hitman trailer.

    Completely uncontextualised shot after shot of people getting stabbing in the neck.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Maybe they are just showing us what the game looks like, its atmosphere, looks and feel without spoiling the story? You know, what every good gameplay debut trailer should do?

      • IAmUnaware says:

        What I know is that none of that is what a good gameplay trailer should do. A good gameplay trailer should showcase the GAMEPLAY. There isn’t any in this video.

        It’s not a gameplay trailer, despite what it says on the tin. This trailer doesn’t contain anything but demos of the animations.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          Makes more sense if you call it an ‘E3 trailer’.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Learn the difference between a gameplay trailer and a gameplay demonstration. This is a trailer. This is a demo: link to Not of the same game, still proves my point.

    • JackShandy says:

      So gore disturbs you as much as sexual gore?

      *Makes note on chart*

    • GepardenK says:

      I dunno. The Hitman trailer was stupid beyond belief. But here the voilence seems to fit. Crovo is an anti-hero with a lot of hate in him, and this displays it perfectly. The tagline “revenge solves everything” leads me to belive that this is his mindset and that it will turn around and bite him in the ass somewhere along the storyline

  47. elliott says:

    It looks fiiiiiiiiiine…

    Okay, I hope there will be a HiResTexture pack for that one… And new flames, and cast shadows for the rats, and maybe some nicer color palettes ?

  48. ffordesoon says:

    Boo to all you cynics. Boo, I say!

    It’s an E3 trailer. E3 trailers are meant to drive the preorders of meatheads, so they’re about style, not substance. What I look for in them is an arresting style and the implication of further depth. This trailer has both of those in spades. Very few trailers pass that test for me, so I’m excited.

    • Kollega says:

      [Middle-Eastern voice] You call people at E3 “meatheads”, yet… we are the cynic? [/Middle-Eastern voice]


      EDIT: sorry for the possible confusion… the comment hid faux-HTML code because it was too realistic.

  49. Mungrul says:

    I talk like a pirate being from the West country and all, and I was annoyed by the mispronunciation of “Early” in the song. EVERYONE knows it’s pronounced “Ur-lie”.

    Other than that, Oy think Oy know what Oy’ll be getting for my birthday then.