From The Shadows: Hands On With Dishonored

Me, figuring out Dishonored, yesterday.
So I got my hands on Dishonored – Arkane’s first-person game of magical stealth and supernatural assassination – and had some time to play through the level shown at E3, Kaldwin’s Bridge.

It’s quite good.

Actually, that’s unfair. It’s better than quite good. And it’s making me yearn.

Preview events seem simple enough. The journalist – that’s me – goes along, plays a fragment of the unreleased title, and writes up some impressions. But sometimes the piece of the game he saw wasn’t actually representative of the final game, and other times it’s not presented in the right way. That means the preview can come out all wonky. Words in the wrong place, sentences back to front, that sort of thing.

Worse than that, if you’ve basically engineered your entire life to spend as much time basking in the light of videogames as humanly possible, as I have, then there’s a chance that seeing a chunk of the game out of context will spoil your experience with the full thing later on. That happens quite a bit.

But then there’s another aspect to it, which is the time spent with a game that tantalises and frustrates more than it informs. My time with Dishonored was brief, and there’s a chance I didn’t get enough of it down to really consider it properly. There’s also a chance that something in what I played might detract from my final playthrough (although I sense not), but the real issue is that I need more.

I need to know.

Now I don’t want to just slice open the belly of the hype-beast and allow its golden guts to pour forth into the internet, so let’s bleed that excitement out more slowly. I want more, because I just don’t know whether what I saw was really what it might be. And it might be that Dishonored is going to be truly great. What I saw in Kaldwin’s Bridge was fascinating. But it raised many questions. And I need them to be answered. I yearn for them to be answered.

Dishonored is a game of infiltration and exfiltration. An action game. Some folk seem to have confused it with an RPG. There are choices in there, and dialogue decisions, yes, but this is an action game.

The level I played saw me overpowering a government official from his laboratory high on a building above the lavish pseudo-London cityscape, and lugging him out to a riverside rendezvous. Initially I went in through the front door, bluntly killing the guards with a knife and sneaking inside. But I could have used all manner of other entrances, and other powers. I could have slipped in undetected by distracting the guards. I could have possessed a rat – zooming into the hapless thing in a manner of bodily possession/transformation reminiscent of forgotten FPS Requiem: Avenging Angel – and then rematerialsed once I’d run in through grates and rat holes. I could have possessed an NPC and used the meatsuit to pass through the energy-field barricades. Or I could even have employed a short-ranged teleportation power, blink, and leapt and mantled my way up across the rooftops.

Yeah, Dishonored poses all sorts of questions, such as: what if free-runners could also teleport short distances, and wanted to kill you with rats? What then?

Such thoughts aside, the range of powers is interesting, and even disconcerting. This is because they don’t seem to be drawn from the predictable spectrum of things we might be given to expect from games – invisibility or telekinesis, for example – but rather there are some of those familiar FPS powers peppered with weirdness. You can slow time, which is extraordinarily powerful for both stealth and combat, but you can also summon rats to devour people (right down to their twitching bones, which is horrid.) You can use a commonplace (to videogames) sleep dart, but can also access an unlikely wind-blast power to knock projectiles back at your enemies. There’s possession, and surprisingly good (if simplified to attack/parry) hand-to-hand combat. It’s a strange, mixed palette of devices, which I imagine will be explained in the somewhat baroque backstory that frames the Dishonored world. But how, exactly? I want to know.

Anyway, what became clear quite quickly was that although violence is certainly not going to be too much of a challenge at the easier difficulty settings, the game is firmly weighted towards the player who sneaks. The question this raised, then, was what challenges the game would pose for the stealthy player? If there are always enough routes into a level, if I always stick to a dark corner – will there be a torch shone there? And will the game be able to keep up its adherence to the gospel of crouched hiding, or am I going to be dragged out of the shadows to fight it out for those climactic moments where the super-villain’s base is exploding? How that’s handled will be critical stuff.

Then there’s the question of how good it looks. The visual design is impeccable, with a distinct sense of style, as well as some remarkable atmospherics. The influences are unmistakable, but since what we’ve seen so far is the Xbox-tuned material, is it going to look any better on PC? And are those levels going to be able to expand far beyond what we saw on Kaldwin’s Bridge? As tight an experience as it is, and as beautiful as that fragment of city was to sneak through, is that as big as a level will be? They’ll vary in size, sure, but will anything really breath-take with its scale, or are we again tied up by the Xbox’s shitty 512mb of memory?

And what of what lies between the levels? I understand that there’s a pub and shop hub, which the player returns to between missions to spend the gold he’s collected, and to procure his next mission. But precisely how will that work? And what inevitable treachery lies in my path? Overall Bethesda are saying the game will take around 12 hours to complete and 28 hours to “explore fully”. I can totally believe this, because the level I saw was packed with secrets and hidden paths. There was even one fully old-fashioned secret room, which required finding another clue to access. Thrilling stuff.

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.

Due to its proximity in time, however, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is going to be the most obvious comparison for this game. They share much: the alternative routes through levels, the possibility for grotesque overkill or muted non-lethality, the focus on stealth and on magical technology (literally-speaking, in Dishonored’s case.) There are crucial differences, too, of course: this feels much more colourful, imaginative and alive when compared to DXHR’s gritty cyberpunk drab ‘n gold. But the most important connection between these games is that they also share a crucial constraint: the aforementioned memory limit of industry-alpha machine, the ageing Xbox 360. Both games exhibit signs of the limitations that imposes, despite both operating at the edge of what is possible from games right now. That will not stop it from being a great game, of course – technical limitations seldom do that – but it does draw a line beyond which the game cannot cross. A line that our hefty gaming PC waits patiently the other side of.

In the narrow world of stealth games, both Dishonored and DXHR have – or had – the potential to breach the dusty vault of all-time greatness, and remain there for the foreseeable future. But I believe it’s Dishonored, rather than DXHR, which will come closest to being one of those games that the deeper past of gaming promised us: the future pointed to by Thief and Deus Ex. It could be the kind of game that so much else that went before seemed to suggest was inevitable, and yet never seemed to happen. But I haven’t played enough.

I just don’t know if it’s there yet.

Perhaps it’ll miss the mark.

I hope not.

We’ll find out in October.


  1. c-Row says:

    And I just put myself on an Indie diet… does this still count as Indie?

    • Unaco says:


    • S Jay says:

      Indie? That is AAA, console box and all. Hardly there can be a game less indie than this (and non-indie does not = bad)

    • FloorBelow says:

      It’s being published by Bethsoft. By definition, it cannot be indie.

    • Chris D says:

      On the other hand it’s not a sequel and certainly doesn’t seem to be afraid to innovate and take risks. It may not technically be an indie game but I think you could easily consider it to be one in spirit. I say go for it.

    • HothMonster says:

      Halloween is the perfect time to blow a diet.

    • carbonelli says:

      You should start a good game diet. It’s the best kind. And this game is certainly included.

    • CrookedLittleVein says:

      No, it’s something even better; an intelligent AAA game that also happens to be an original IP.

    • Bobtree says:

      The game is entirely owned, developed, and published by ZeniMax. It’s built on a licensed engine, but so are lots of indie games. It is technically independent, but not in the spirit of being a small roguish underdog.

      • nayrbarr says:

        No, you’re completely wrong. It is NOT technically an independent game, quite the contrary. It is being published by a different company to the one making it (Bethesda and Arkane respectively). By definition it cannot be independent. The game could, however, be considered in keeping with the spirit of an indie game because it is a new IP trying out original ideas. Notice how that’s exactly the opposite of what you said?

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          You are aware of the concept of ownership and how to google ZeniMax, right?

          I just can’t figure out what shortcircuited your logic center so badly unless you’re missing some basic fundamentals like that…

          Speaking of which, look up “opposite”, “small” and “underdog” while you’re at it.

          • hilltop says:

            But if the developers are not independent of the publishers, how can you call it independent? If funding depends on an outside company, isn’t that the opposite of independent?

            I don’t mean to suggest I think this kind of labelling matters in the least, but I’d like to at least make sure I’m getting the semantics right.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            The counterpoint being, when both publisher and developer are owned and paid by the same parent company you could count them as one and the same, and therefore self-funded.

            Both are valid sides of a pointless semantics debate. Stating only one is an acceptable view is monstro-annoying though, so I had the urge to “correct” nayr.

          • jwfiore says:

            I think he meant “technologically” independent, not “technically” independent. In that it’s developed using a new IP by an in-house dev team.

    • Thoric says:

      Well, Bethesda itself is independent. It doesn’t answer to shareholders and Zenimax is just a shell company created by Bethesda, not some publisher that came and gobbled them up. While they do own Arkane, it’s a relationship built on mutual respect, a shared interest in immersive first person sworders, and something both companies have wished for to happen for years (read more about it here), a far cry from EA’s hostile takeovers.

      So Dishonored may not be exactly “indie”, but it’s still made and even published by people with a true passion for video games. I think that’s what counts.

    • lurkalisk says:

      The sole criterion for being “indie” is, was, and always will be, development accomplished without substantial funding from a third party publishing house/studio or parent company. Dishonored’s development funding is coming from Bethesda, and it is thus not indie. However, were it merely being distributed by Bethesda, and funded with Arkane’s own coffers (or arguably some degree of crowd-funding) it would then be indie. But such isn’t the case.

  2. Brittfire says:

    Want. I need to say no more. I revisited Dark Messiah many times to get my melee fix. Let the goodness be true, please please please, let the shiny, dirty, violent goodness be true.

    • Godwhacker says:

      If they can bring the gameplay from Dark Messiah without bringing the horrible writing, then this should be excellent.

      • theblazeuk says:

        There was writing? I just remember kicking things into or off of other things.

        • Brittfire says:

          The writing was an excuse the get more locations for stabby stabby in. Also, so they could render a pixel demon lady in questionable states of undress.

  3. TheDreamlord says:

    I hope it doesn’t have DX:HR’s spacial limit. I liked its world, but it felt empty, lifeless and constrained.

  4. Unholymess says:

    Requiem: Avenging Angel!!! Glad to know I’m not the only one who remembers that delightfully ambitious and peculiar game!

    • Mut says:

      Agreed! Underrated little game.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:


        Stumbled across it by sheer accident and loved it to pieces.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      Hell yes, Requiem. Loved that thing. First FPS with a slow-motion power, IIRC. Slow-motion + triple barreled shotgun = an easy but unbelievably amusing game. I also recall a prison level with a design that necessitated trailing from one end to the other several times, looking for things, while the alarm siren constantly went off, and there being a specific area in the middle where, when you walked over it, the player character said “damn, that’s annoying!”. Every single time you went that way. Damn, that was annoying.

    • Radiant says:

      Best machine gun in any game on any system.

  5. Shakermaker says:

    This game seems to hit all the right buttons. Please be good …

    • Vurp says:

      This is actually one of the few triple A games that have interested me in a while. However with all of these games (like DX:HR) the stealth is the “best” way of playing through the game. If you decide to go on a shooty-shooty spree it doesn’t feel as good as a straight up action game. These games punishes you by giving a worse ending, less exp points (hello DX:HR), disappointed remarks by npc’s e.t.c.
      I hoped that it would have been more like Dark Messiah and less like Thief. But time will tell.

  6. NotSoSmilingJack says:

    “Bethesda are saying the game will take around 12 hours to complete and 28 hours to “explore fully””

    Stopped reading there.

    • Snidesworth says:


      • Vorphalack says:

        Perhaps because 12 hours is really short, and would relegate this game to a sale purchase for a lot of gamers.

        • Baboonanza says:

          Besides the fact that most people will do at least some exploring, so 12 hours may not even end up being representative, I’d much rather have an amazing 12 hour game than a game stretched out to 30 hours that ends as a dull grind.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Amazing 12 hour games sound great, just not at £35. Sale purchase material.

          • Torn says:

            Or a bugfest sandbox whose length derives from repetition.

            I think it’s perfectly fine to tailor a game with a clear beginning, middle, and end without stuffing loads of identikit locations and fetch quests. Not everything has to be a sandbox these days!

          • dE says:

            Couple of years back, I’d be disappointed with “only 12 hours of game” but as times change, so does the player. I feel hard pressed to squeeze in an hour or two in my schedule and as people have said, a well tuned short experience is better than padded content.

        • Snidesworth says:

          I’m inclined to say unkind things about those gamers and question their judgement. 12 hours is a fair chunk of time, especially if you’re playing a game as quickly as possible. If you really must analyse the worth of a game in hours per £ then I imagine there’s a whole lot of replayability to the game, given the ability to explore and all the assorted ways to go about playing any given mission.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”I’m inclined to say unkind things about those gamers and question their judgement.”

            And who the fuck are you to tell other people how they spend and value their own money?

          • beekay says:

            He didn’t tell you how to spend your money, he just said it was a stupid way to spend it.

            Have you noticed that whenever people get offended about people telling them what to do, they’re almost always being more demanding than the person they’re offended by? “How dare you tell me I should spend my money differently! Hold still while I sew your lips together!”

          • Snidesworth says:

            Some random on the internet, obviously. Not that I’m telling you to spend your money differently, of course. Just saying that you’ve got crappy judgement.

            PS: There’s no greentext on RPS.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”He didn’t tell you how to spend your money, he just said it was a stupid way to spend it.”

            I strongly dispute his right to pass that judgement. You cannot say beyond reasonable doubt that placing a high relative value on the l;length of a game is objectively stupid. You also do not have a right to simply approach a complete stranger and pass judgement on how they choose to spend their own leisure time / money, while having no concept of relative personal context. Whats good for one is not always good for another.

          • beekay says:

            Er, right. Regardless of that thing you just said, he’s perfectly entitled to pass judgement on your purchases. If you’re really that fussed about a guy saying a thing, maybe you ought to not read comments.

          • dE says:

            And you don’t have the Right to go completely bonkers about it. /edit: referring to Vorphalack
            The internet needs its own magna carta, so people have some grounds when they’re throwing around their “Rights”.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Vorphalack, he has every right to pass that judgement, even more-so than you have to pass yours. I love it when people like you come out, start parading with their opinion, and if someone questions it they get hostile and attack with bloodlust in their eyes. He has every right to question how you managed to judge a game based on a meaningless number.

            So do I.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”He has every right to question how you managed to judge a game based on a meaningless number.

            So do I.”

            No you fucking well don’t, and the expected play length from a developer statement is not a meaningless number.

            Now lets clear something up before the troll brigade get a hard on for my latest reply. I did not, at any point, say that purchasing Dishonored at launch for full price was wrong. If that’s how some people want to spend their money, go for it. Doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a little perplexed as to why people wouldn’t want a potentially awesome game to be longer, but i’m not going to tell people how they should spend their own money.

            So getting back on topic, what fucking right do any of you have to tell me what criteria I base my game purchases on? What right do you have to tell me that making a comparative entertainment value based on product length is stupid? Can even one of you objectively validate that concept?

          • beekay says:

            Generally right-determination should be done via an elimination mechanism, that is, you have a right by default unless there is a compelling reason to restrict that right.

            As such, unless you can give a compelling reason that we shouldn’t be allowed to pass judgement (which outweighs the many reasons that such a ban would be incredibly stupid), you have no grounds to state that people cannot question or condemn your choices.

          • Snidesworth says:

            You are getting way too angry about people disagreeing with you on the internet, even if they are saying unkind things.

            PS: You’re still a fool, and your judgement still sucks.

          • ratbum says:

            SELECT * FROM users WHERE name=’Vorphalack’ && iq>10;

            No results returned.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”PS: You’re still a fool, and your judgement still sucks.”

            If that’s the best validation you’ve got, then I can safely say your opinion of my opinion isn’t worth the brain fart that spawned it.

            > ”As such, unless you can give a compelling reason that we shouldn’t be allowed to pass judgement (which outweighs the many reasons that such a ban would be incredibly stupid), you have no grounds to state that people cannot question or condemn your choices.”

            I can think of two right off the top of my head; social empathy and validation. It is not acceptable social behavior to declare one persons opinion ”stupid” or ”wrong” without any provocation. It is not acceptable to make a strong judgement without the ability to validate your own point. You wouldn’t act like this in the real world, stop trying to con people into believing this is acceptable because we are online.

          • Brun says:

            I’m a little perplexed as to why people wouldn’t want a potentially awesome game to be longer

            No one really said that they didn’t want it to be longer, just that they weren’t going to let the length discourage them from buying it.

          • beekay says:

            Actually it is acceptable, because this isn’t real life. What you’ve done is gone on to the internet, where communication is frequently different to face-to-face talkies. It’s sort of like going to a different country where nobody is too fussed about calling you a moron, whether or not you deserve it. You can be annoyed at how they’ve offended your sensibilities, but it would be pretty fucking ridiculous to demand that the entire country change its ways to suit your own personal tastes.

            Ultimately this is all down to RPS comment moderation, and apparently moderation is relaxed enough that “gee, are you sure what you’re saying makes any sense?” is an allowable thing to say. I also imagine, baselessly and self-affirmingly, that the silent majority agree with me. If you don’t like such abruptness (and let’s be honest here, the provocation here was pretty weak), you’ll probably have to find a comments section with more zealous moderation.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Actually it is acceptable, because this isn’t real life.”

            Firstly, it still isn’t acceptable. I can’t stop you all acting like jerks, but that does not make it acceptable to act like a jerk. Secondly, it is real life. This is very much a conversation happening between two real people, only without the social barriers of face to face contact. The internet is not a place that exists only in the mind, and if you believe that you need to take a long break in a mental health ward.

            > ”If you don’t like such abruptness (and let’s be honest here, the provocation here was pretty weak), you’ll probably have to find a comments section with more zealous moderation.”

            What’s the phrase….”letting the terrorists win”? No chance.

          • DiamondDog says:

            As happens so often (the recent D3 threads being a prime example) a simple difference of opinion is met with a quite aggressive reaction. You said 12 hours was really short, he disagreed. You flew off the handle saying how dare he question how you spend your money. Yeah, well who the fuck are you to say 12 hours is short? By your own definition? That’s all we’re going on here.

            You made an assertion and he disagreed. Suck it up.

            If it’s done insultingly then fine, that’s unpleasant. No need to get worked up if someone just says “you’re wrong.”

          • Brun says:


            The reason for such aggression is that people see things like D3 (and now any game with campaigns shorter than 30 hours, apparently) as “threats to the sanctity of PC gaming.” Moreover, anyone who is comfortable with these “threats” is themselves a threat, as they provide the financial feedback to the treacherous dogs who produce such drivel. Therefore, these zealots believe that they must take it upon themselves to “enlighten” the ignorant masses in a feeble attempt to “save” the culture and traditions they hold dear. Instead of being respected, differing opinions are to be eradicated without prejudice.

          • Brittfire says:

            Game length has nothing to do with how good it is. I’d love this to be 12 hours of violent or sneaky or sneaky violence. To say that a game has to overtake your life and suck all joy out of everything else to be worth £35 quid is missing the point of something called “value for money”. I’d rather pay £35 for a 45min womens volleyball match then £35 for an our of watching Celtic vs Rangers.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Game length has nothing to do with how good it is.”

            No one said it did. This was originally about relative value for how you spend money on your leisure time. A good long game is objectively worth more to me than a good short game, and I will quite happily wait for a sale on the short game to get what I perceive as value for money.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            I too value games chiefly by their time to completion, I also value my furniture by the kilo, my food by the expiration date and my music by its volume.

            Sometimes I wonder if I’ve got the right idea, but then I sit on my sandstone cube, crack open a can of condensed milk, put on my industrial noise music and-

            … Forget what I was thinking about because I’m malnurished and it’s too loud in here to think .

        • Roshin says:

          In other news, I have 181 hours in Skyrim and am maybe 25% through the main story. :)

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            This is not the type of thing one boasts about.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Careful, the hivemind decided long ago that Skyrim is bad.

          • Hematite says:

            Roshin is playing Skyrim the correct way. The main quest is the least interesting thing to do in Skyrim.

        • CrookedLittleVein says:


          I would like to congratulate you on a thread well trolled.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Defending my opinion is not trolling. That word really became a cliche at some point didn’t it.

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            “Defending my opinion is not trolling. That word really became a cliche at some point didn’t it.”


            You use ridiculously OTT rhetoric such as “letting the terrorists win” and question the right of other commentators to have opinions, generally act like an sulking teenager ( “And who the fuck are you to tell other people how they spend and value their own money?” or “I can’t stop you all acting like jerks”) then accuse other people of making “emotionally charged” judgements and label them fanboys. Stop behaving like a troll and I’ll stop thinking of you as one.

            My advice? Practise what you preach;

            “You wouldn’t act like this in the real world, stop trying to con people into believing this is acceptable because we are online.”

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            yeah, like the word “right”

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”“Defending my opinion is not trolling. That word really became a cliche at some point didn’t it.”



            > ”You use ridiculously OTT rhetoric such as “letting the terrorists win” and question the right of other commentators to have opinions, generally act like an sulking teenager ( “And who the fuck are you to tell other people how they spend and value their own money?” or “I can’t stop you all acting like jerks”) then accuse other people of making “emotionally charged” judgements and label them fanboys. Stop behaving like a troll and I’ll stop thinking of you as one.”

            Taking quotes out of context to validate your own bullshit might be a better example of trolling. I have backed up everything I have posted, and it is all relevant in context.

            > ”My advice? Practise what you preach;

            “You wouldn’t act like this in the real world, stop trying to con people into believing this is acceptable because we are online.””

            I am like this in the real world. If you are rude to me, I am rude to you. I do not suffer fools.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I’d rather pay full price for an amazing short game (the Portals, Mirror’s Edge, apparently Dishonored although 12-28 hours seems lengthy by action game standards – I’m pretty sure none of the Thief games took me more than 14-15 hours on Expert) than pay $5 for a lengthy game that wastes my time (basically every GTA game, most action RPGs, MMOs, whatever).

      • Vorphalack says:

        Would you not rather pay full price for an amazing long game?

        • Baboonanza says:

          No, I’d rather pay nothing to play an endless amazing game while Emma Stone wiggles in my lap.

        • Ovno says:

          No I’d rather pay full price for a reasonable length, finished, well tested and polished game that I might actually finish before I’m bored of it….

          • Vorphalack says:

            If you get bored of it before the end, that would imply you are not talking about a long good game, but a long needlessly padded game.

        • Rictor says:

          And how many of those can you name? As long as we’re talking about linear, narrative-driven single-player games, 12 hours is pretty good. Levels take time and money to construct. If you exclude open-world games (Skyrim etc) and MMOs, paying full price for a quality 12 hours experience is perfectly reasonable.

          Games like Baldur’s Gate 2 are the exception, not the rule. Virtually every action or FPS game I’ve played in the past X years has been around the 10-20 hours mark. But at least with Dishonored, it looks like there will be a lot of replayability.

          • Vorphalack says:

            We should not dismiss games like BG2 as a simple exception. It is sad that they are, I want more games that manage to capture my imagination and hold my interest over 100+ hours. Promoting shorter games buy paying full price does not incentivise the creation of epics like the infinity engine titles.

          • Memphis-Ahn says:

            Both Baldur’s Gate games can be beaten in under an hour, they’re not an exception at all.

          • Rictor says:

            Wishing that all games be exceptional will not make it so. You can only incentivize so much. If you choose to only purchase the rare, perfect gems of gaming, that’s your thing.

            Content must be made by people, who must be paid a salary. As long as a single level can only be used once (or twice, at most) lest we accuse devs of recycling levels to pad the game, there are hard limits to how much content a game may contain.

            BG2 came at the end-cycle of the Infinity Engine, when Bioware had streamlined their content production to peak efficiency. It is very much an exception – a great game, but not a realistic yardstick. The reason most 1st or 3rd person single-player games are 10-20 hours long is not because devs are money-grubbing assholes, but because that’s how much stuff (for lack of a better term) they can produce during a typical 2-3 year development cycle.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Wishing that all games be exceptional will not make it so. You can only incentivize so much. If you choose to only purchase the rare, perfect gems of gaming, that’s your thing.”

            I accept that. Last few years i’ve barely bought any new games at launch.

            > ”Content must be made by people, who must be paid a salary. As long as a single level can only be used once (or twice, at most) lest we accuse devs of recycling levels to pad the game, there are hard limits to how much content a game may contain.”

            I’d argue that depends on what style of game you are making. If you want to be at the cutting edge graphically, or have high quality full voice acting, then that leaves less time for content development. Love them or loathe them, I felt Dragon Age and Mass Effect found a nice balance there. Sequels, not so much, but that’s a different argument. I’d ignore the side missions in both games as needless padding, but just following the main plot would net you around 30-40 hours of good content, with graphical polish and good story / acting. It can be done, and I like to promote that with my purchases.

        • Memphis-Ahn says:

          No such thing, any “long” game overstays its welcome, stopping it from being amazing.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I have a job, limited free time, and a desire to see the ending.

          So no.

          • Vorphalack says:

            I have a job, limited free time and a desire to finish my games as well.

            Whats the rush? Took me about 6 months to finish Baldurs Gate, can’t say the experience was diminished in any way.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I’ve also got a huge backlog of other good games I want to get through, and generally anything that is “long” is “padded”. Short, tight experiences with no dead time* win, in the same way that all good writing has been edited down to within an inch of its life.

            * Proper pacing is not dead time; I am not saying that all games must be fire-and-motion CoD noisefests. There is some fuzziness to that distinction, admittedly.

        • Niyeaux says:

          Have you actually played an action game before? This is not going to be a 100-hour long, text-heavy spreadsheet-fest RPG. It’s an action-adventure game, which are almost never longer than 20 hours.

          12 hours for core storyline, 28 hours for the works, is perfectly in line with most other games in the genre. Assassin’s Creed, Red Dead, DXHR, etc.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Yes I have, and I understand the principal of this game. With that in mind, I will probably not be buying this at launch, as with every other relatively short AAA game from the last 10 years.

            My point is not that short is bad, but that short games are not a priority at full price when considering how many other ways there are to spend leisure money. Waiting for a sale is not an insult to the game or the genre, unless you believe that line from EA about sales devaluing IP.

      • roryok says:

        I agree. Portal 1,2 and Mirrors Edge were probably my favourite games of the last 5 years.

      • Claidheamh says:

        With Thief Gold I was at about 3/5 of the game with 14h of gameplay.

        • mouton says:

          Thief has some long horrible levels itself. Lizard necropolis anyone?

          • Vorphalack says:

            You mean Bonehoard? I liked that one. Genuinely creepy and a real test of spacial awareness if you play on expert.

          • GepardenK says:

            That lizard thing is from the flawed gem thief 3. The only long horrible level in the originals was “thieves guild” from thief gold. Bonehoard is one of gamings best levels, but some don’t like it because its not about being a thief (think diablo mixed with indiana jones)

    • faelnor says:

      You can finish Thief in 10 hours without even doing a speedrun.

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      Once you’re all grown up 12 hours will start to feel like a lot of time.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Your comment practically oozes irony.

      • GepardenK says:

        Strange… to me 12 hours of adult time is no more than 5 minutes of kindergarden time

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      More seriously, being able to rush through in a short time can actually be a good sign in this kind of game.

      Unlike in narrative-heavy games like your Mass Effects etc which make you listen to people talk endlessly, games like Dishonored put the player in control. If you want to run to the objective, murder someone, and run away, you can. But you can also sneak slowly, eavesdrop, explore the place, experiment, etc.

      In other words, it doesn’t force content onto you. It offers content to you and lets you go.

      Not that I’ve played it.

      • Vorphalack says:

        ….and your defense of a title that hasn’t been shown outside of press events is a little disturbing.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          I’m talking about their design philosophy, based on enjoying the games of, and following the careers of, the two creative directors for the past 12 years. I have a pretty good idea of the kind of game it is, and can discuss that separately from the execution of that philosophy.

          I’m normally cynical as fuck but I like what I see here, being a fan of Looking Glass and someone who misses their influence. Not sure how that’s disturbing, so maybe you’re just being a twat about it.

          • Vorphalack says:

            No really, it could be quite a bland game for all we know. No matter how much faith you have in the developers, you cannot make such strong proclamations of awesome this early. That absolutely reeks of fanboi-ism, not rational observation.

          • Muad'Dib says:

            Vorphalack, dude, chill.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Your uncalled-for hatred is quite amusing.

          • Unaco says:

            Why is it, whenever someone defends anything, the first thing the people they are defending that thing to do, is to trot out the ‘Fanboy’ label? Seriously… Why? It’s a horrid, abused word these days… It’s like ‘Socialist’ in US political discussions.

          • Vorphalack says:

            What hatred? I’m just pointing out an obvious flaw in passing emotionally charged judgement on a pre-beta press release.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Discussing the way the game is designed is an emotionally charged judgement.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”I’m normally cynical as fuck but I like what I see here, being a fan of Looking Glass and someone who misses their influence.”

            You obviously have a personal investment that goes beyond the facts about what we have seen so far. I’m also miss Looking Glass, and i’m quite interested in this title, but you must admit that this title has some potential flaws that could stop it from being truly great.

          • Doesn'tmeananything says:

            The initial comment was about the developer’s design approach with regards to the game’s so-called length. It wasn’t really a blanket qualitative judgement.

          • dE says:

            The internet lost a couple of colours. There’s no grey anymore. There’s only black and white. Haters and Fanboys with no middle-ground in-between. People are so busy telling everyone else just how much they don’t care, that any person willing to overlook that and give their opinion regardless – must be either too dense to notice, hence the constant dumb/retard accusations, or emotionally invested, thus a hater or fanboy.

            I blame the trolling nonsense. When any argument with any form of ambiguity has to be scrutinized for trolling attempts, it’s too tiresome for most to bother, if not highly annoying. It’s just far less effort to fall back to pretending not to care while going off on an aggressive tangent.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            You obviously have a personal investment that goes beyond the facts about what we have seen so far. I’m also miss Looking Glass, and i’m quite interested in this title, but you must admit that this title has some potential flaws that could stop it from being truly great.

            Yeah I dunno man, I think discussing the design approach based on playing and understanding the games previously made by these guys is based a little more in reality than saying Whoa There Could Be Potential Flaws Here.

            I mean there might be a bestiality minigame halfway through as well, but I don’t see any evidence of it yet.

          • HothMonster says:

            “but you must admit that this title has some potential flaws that could stop it from being truly great.”

            Like any unreleased anything ever? Or is this special?

            This game peaked my interest the first time I heard about it and everything I have heard since makes me glow a little. Could it still be a big fat steaming pile of shit? Sure, but no reason to assume that over assuming they will actually do what they are trying to do.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”The initial comment was about the developer’s design approach with regards to the game’s so-called length. It wasn’t really a blanket qualitative judgement.”

            It was a fairly one sided defense of the games advertised length. He might be right in the end, but as I’ve said we don’t know enough about the game yet to be defending it with conviction so soon.

            > ”Yeah I dunno man, I think discussing the design approach based on playing and understanding the games previously made by these guys is based a little more in reality than saying Whoa There Could Be Potential Flaws Here.”

            Might be worth reminding the internet that BioWare made both Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2. One was a reasonable success, the other was a ham fisted exploitation of the IP. Defending Dragon Age 2, while still in development based solely on the success of the previous title, would have been silly. I can see why you might think that way, but it is always better to wait until you know more about the subject before stating to validate the design choices.

          • turnbasedfalafel says:

            “reeks of fanboyism”

            right, because positing the simple design philosophy behind a game which is being made by the two developers most notable for successfully pioneering that very philosophy is such a “strong proclamation”. but i guess watching a warren spector lecture on game design would be sacrificing any precious time set aside for dragon age 2 literotica.

            vorphalack sounds like a great larp name though.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Defending Dragon Age 2, while still in development based solely on the success of the previous title, would have been silly.

            Now you’re just insulting me.

          • Doesn'tmeananything says:


            Now wait a second there. I have an inkling that you’re too emotionally invested in this commenting business to respond to my comment. Why don’t you take a step back and relax until you reach the state of total objectivity.

          • turnbasedfalafel says:

            um vorphalack is basing his argument on the assumption that dragon age was a good rpg


          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Now you’re just insulting me.”

            I’m really not.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            (I’m just saying Dragon Age is kinda shit and anyone defending Dragon Age 2 wouldn’t be capable of explaining its design philosophy beyond Immersive Romances so it’s not really a good comparison.)

          • Vorphalack says:

            But there were quite a lot of people hyping DA2 before it launched the demo, and a load more who bought it anyway based on the strength of DA1. A lot of them ended up disappointed. All i’m saying is be careful not to set yourself up for a fall.

          • turnbasedfalafel says:

            right, except we’re talking about game design and not how many gamers there are throbbing for their next emotional release

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I hope the game is as fun as this thread

    • Vinraith says:

      Wow, yeah, that’s a pass. Short RPG’s are just a bad idea, there’s no time for decisions to have substantial consequences, no time to observe the impact of stat changes etc. To each their own, of course, but 12 hours renders this either no sale (likely) or bargain bin (if the reviews and word of mouth are amazing), and I say that as an adult with highly limited gaming time.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        You missed the bit that says this isn’t an RPG. Which is obvious.

        • Vinraith says:

          Yup, too busy responding to the always-bizarre “short is good” crowd to have actually properly read the article. My apologies, I mistook this for something interesting, but I see the “it’s an action game” disclaimers and will move along now.

          • Unaco says:



          • Doesn'tmeananything says:

            It’s an immsim. Did I get your attention back?

          • EPICTHEFAIL says:

            The entirety of Valve`s Half-Life universe would like you to fuck off, if at all possible.

          • Vinraith says:


            Oddly no. While I love the idea of immsims, and they always sound like good ideas, in practice they don’t tend to work very well for me. I think I’m allergic to stealth gameplay. It’s cool that a new one is being made, these things are quite rare and I know a lot of people love them, but I don’t think it’s for me.


            I don’t know why the Half Life games would want such a thing, I rather enjoyed them (well, except for Xen, but no one liked Xen).

          • Unaco says:


            You say,

            Yup, too busy responding to the always-bizarre “short is good” crowd

            I’m not actually seeing much of a ‘short is good’ crowd here… more a crowd saying that it’s Quality and not Quantity that is most important… i.e. a Short, but good, game is preferable to a Long, but bad, game, ultimately. There does seem to be a (quite bizarre) ‘Short = bad’ crowd though.

            Also… Garrett has said you shouldn’t bother RSVP’ing that invitation to his wedding, and you’re not invited to the Stag weekend anymore, and JC Denton says you better not try turning up to his Luau this weekend.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            THIRTY HOURS TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING. How do people miss that number?! This game doesn’t look in any way shorter than Bioshock, Half-Life 2 or Hitman (to which it also bears similarities). By your logic I shouldn’t have wasted my time with the aforementioned titles because they are too short, and that would have been one of the stupidest things I could have ever done.

            What is it with gamers and such meaningless numbers? In every hands-on I’ve read, in every gameplay preview I’ve seen one thing has always stood out – replayability, the game has heaps of it. You can kill everyone or you can kill no one, even the target. You can sneak in a variety of different ways, you can combine powers to find your own way through levels that rewards such a creative gameplay-style. Is it so bad to have a 12 hour game which you could replay again and again to find different secrets, different paths to the objective, different ways to get through each mission? Would you honestly prefer if they had made a longer, strictly linear game than what they are aiming to do right now? Just so they could show-off a bigger meaningless number, just so they could say it’s a 30 hour strictly linear game? Because that’s exactly what’s wrong with the industry today. Developers are too scared to create a game with a high replay value. They are too scared because if they don’t spoon-feed the consumer every little bit of content on the first playthrough, if they don’t put glowing signs around each corner that point to all the nooks and crannies of the game, if they don’t do that, then consumer will dismiss them because the game is, you see, too short.

            I miss games like Hitman, where a single mission could take 5 to 45 minutes depending on how well you know the level and how you make your way around it. I miss such replayability and that’s something Dishonored is very much going for. We’ll see if it gets there (although with the talent on board I seriously doubt they will pull out a stinker), but the fact that they are trying renders those 12 hours absolutely meaningless.

            Doug Church was right it seems. Gamers aren’t ready for games like his perceived LMNO. Not if they judge them based on some obscure abstract number, something I find very sad.

            Oh, and the game isn’t a RPG. It says as much in the article, you know.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”THIRTY HOURS TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING. How do people miss that number?! ”

            There was no statement that said there would be 28 hours of worthwhile content. If most of that ”exploration” time just involves finding the alternative entrances that you choose not to use, and nutralising all the NPCs for the sake of completionism, it doesn’t really add much.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            There was exactly that statement. It’s oh-so-lovely that you ignore my entire post except the very first line though, you are exactly the kind of gamer I described in my rant. Kudos, here’s your spoon. Now go troll some more.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Once again you are making an assumption based on what was available in the press release level. We do not know if the final game will sustain the same standard. personally, I hope it will, but don’t jump the gun. The logical approach is to wait until we know more.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            And you AREN’T MAKING AN ASSUMPTION? Go away, troll, stop making an idiot out of yourself.

            There are multiple playthroughs on the internet, it’s your problem if you didn’t check out any of them. The replay value I talked about I have already seen in action.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Hold the phone, Xardas Kane, don’t you know this game has potential flaws?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            I do, and I acknowledged it in my post, hit ctrl+F and type in stinker if you have a hard time finding it. My post went beyond this game, it’s about the mind-set of the modern gamer and how flawed I find it. Glad to see you missed my point :p

          • Vinraith says:


            i.e. a Short, but good, game is preferable to a Long, but bad, game, ultimately.

            I’ve never understood why anyone thinks the quality vs. quantity argument is even relevant to this discussion. Of course quality is more important than quantity, no one would argue that a long bad game is better than a good short game. In fact, the length of a bad game is totally irrelevant, as you’re not going to play it for very long no matter what. Whenever you see “short is bad” you should always read it as “short and good is worse than long and good” because no one is rooting for long, crappy games.

          • Unaco says:

            “I’ve never understood why anyone thinks the quality vs. quantity argument is even relevant to this discussion.”

            Because people are using it to dismiss the bizarre “Short = Bad” crowd. And because you claimed there are people saying “Short = Good”, when there aren’t (or not many). They are, instead, saying that Quality > Quantity.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Because people are using it to dismiss the bizarre “Short = Bad” crowd.”

            I haven’t seen anyone in this thread arguing that. I’ve seen a few people, including me, going with ”short can = good, but not = value at full price”.

          • Vinraith says:

            So, I’m curious, did you not read what i wrote at all? Or was I somehow unclear?

            There is no quality vs. quantity debate, no one here is talking about bad games. Why would anyone be rooting for bad games?

          • Unaco says:

            There is also no ‘Short = Good’ crowd, but you two seem intent on answering and criticising them. Even though there aren’t any… You have mistaken people saying Quality > Quantity for people saying ‘Short = Good’. That’s where Quality > Quantity comes in.


            No one is rooting for short games either.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            I dunno about other people, but my usual problem with short games is that they’re the type of game I have no time for: disposable fluff. Anything with mechanical depth needs time to grow.

            There are a few games that get the “short story” feel right, but it’s mostly indie bits and pieces like the Stanley Parable. And I’ll give a pass to episodic games as well. But short AAA games that I really liked? Uh, Portal. That’s about it.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”But short AAA games that I really liked? Uh, Portal. That’s about it.”

            I quite like Space Marine as a dumb-but-fun brawler, but I got it last weekend when it was £5 on Steam. Mechanically it’s really good at what it does, nicely detailed and polished, but it was over within 8 hours of buying it. I would have felt a little ripped off if I had bought it at launch.

      • Harlander says:

        It’s.. not an RPG?

        (Huh, RWF beat me to it)

      • JackShandy says:

        I can totally appreciate your disinterest in dishonoured – to each his own. But 12 hours isn’t enough time ” for decisions to have substantial consequences, no time to observe the impact of stat changes etc.”? That seems ridiculous. 12 hours is more time than almost any other medium will ask from you. Films manage to show substantial consequences for decisions in 2 hours or less.

    • woodsey says:

      They said it’d take 12 hours if you blasted through without any care for anything on the side (and were particularly violent).

      If you yearn for the likes of DX and Thief still, I doubt it’ll be 12 hours.

    • unique_identifier says:

      maybe rhetorical question attack: Is a 12 hour campaign which can be replayed in a variety of different ways better than a 40 hour campaign that can only be played in one way?

      • NotSoSmilingJack says:

        30-40 hours campaign with plenty of side quests(I mean GOOD side quests like in VTMB, not ME3 fetch quests), branching dialogue and some exploring is better than a 12 hours game.
        So, in my opinion, no.

        • maninahat says:

          Speaking of VTMB, I haven’t played a single RPG with side missions as interesting. Could someone direct me to a game with similarly off-beat, novel quests? I’m tired of 10 bear’s asses or “go there, talk to him” gameplay.

          • NotSoSmilingJack says:

            Deus EX: HR had pretty good side quests. Only downside is there is too few of them(less than ten in the whole game).
            Also, Brian Mitsoda(VTMB lead writer) just had a successful kickstarter for game, Dead State(unlike VTM it’s an isometric turn-based game but the writing and overall atmosphere should be at least as good).
            Link: link to

          • unique_identifier says:

            Fallout 1 & 2 had good side quests. So did Arcanum. Hey, wait a moment…

            (to give bethesda a bit of credit, as much as fallout 3 annoyed me in many ways, it also had some great side-locations to explore).

          • kud13 says:

            try Morrowind

          • GepardenK says:

            Look up Arcanum for some seriously good sidequests (made by the same guys as VTMB). Fallout 1 and 2 is good too but in sidequest/story-land Arcanum steals the show. Also Planescape I’ve heard

            If you like stuff like VTMB then I think morrorwind will dissapoint you… Its a good but very standard RPG

          • Hematite says:

            Morrowind was my first elder scrolls game, and I played it to death before I even realised there WAS a main quest. I spend dozens of hours just in Balmora and the west coast. Good times :)

          • eclipse mattaru says:

            VTMB is hands down my favorite game of all times, and to put it simply, there’s nothing else like it out there (big hopes for Dead State here, but that’s still a way off). You can start by trying some of the semi-total conversions that are out there, they’re sort of a hit-and-miss situation, but there are some good ideas in there.

            That said, as someone mentioned, Fallout 3 has quite a few fairly cool sidequests (mostly in terms of backstory), with the unmarked ones being largely my personal favorites (i.e.: you explore a certain location, you read some diaries and stuff and you ultimately find some kind of special weapon or other, but there are no markers and often not even NPCs). The Point Lookout DLC is particularly recommended in this aspect. Also, I hold FO3 sort of close to VTMB because it too has a nice undercurrent of humor among all the pretended seriousness (though the writing is nowhere neas as good).

            Other than that, I found some sidequests in The Witcher 2 to be rather interesting too, mainly because they involve interesting characters and genuinely tough choices to make. There are not many of them, however, and they get lost among the very frequent out-and-out fetch quests.

    • Groove says:

      I’m not going to weigh in on the short games vs long games argument, but surely 12-28 hours is leaning at least on the long side of medium?

    • derbefrier says:

      12 hours is probably not exploring and playing straight through the story and not stopping to smell the roses. I recently just replayed Half Life 2to refresh myself on the stort before i played episode 1 and 2 which only took 11 hours but its 11 hours of pure awesome well paced FPS game play. i dunno i will take quality over quantity any day. I cant tell you how many games i have gotten half way through and quit because it got boring and felt drawn out.

    • chackosan says:

      12 good hours wouldn’t be too bad for me. Some AAA titles these days (the Assassin’s Creed series, for example) seem a little bloated to me, and could use some trimming. Of course, if that’s 12 hours with bloat, then that’s a no.

  7. Jason Moyer says:

    I think the hardware restraints of consoles have done more for PC gaming than most people realize. Part of the reason PC gaming seemed like it was dying was the constant need to upgrade components every year to play current games; I know people who were lifelong PC gamers who switched almost entirely to console gaming in the PS2/Xbox era because they were sick of the constantly escalating system requirements. Now that the lesser hardware of the current console generation tends to create cross-platform games with modest hardware needs, nearly everyone can play PC games.

    • Drayk says:

      We discussed that in another thread and you’re right. All we can hope for is that when the next gen of consoles comes out a pc as powerful or even a bit better will not be too expensive.

      • dawnmane says:

        Agreed. Beautiful graphics is all well and good, but my current generation laptop has been able to play the latest AAA games for far longer than the ones I had in previous generation. High end pc gaming is nice, but it is not the reason why PC is the superior gaming platform right now.

      • cunningmunki says:

        So true. I’m hoping it’s a long time until the next gen consoles arrive, because my last PC had the longest life of all of my previous ones put together, and I want my latest one to last as long!

      • Brun says:

        The current rumor is that the new consoles will be launching with hardware roughly equivalent to top-end gaming PCs from two or three years ago. So you may not have to upgrade much at all.

    • Kong says:

      Oh hell yeah. Two years ago my machine got a new kickass CPU, last year a kickass GPU. How many games that I own make me feel that these hardware components are achievements? One, two maybe three games? The Witcher 2, ARMA 2 and Total War 2. Make it 4 coffins, my mistake: Dead Island.
      No reason to complain, they are great games with a lot of rough edges but they makke my gamer heart feel joy and my gamer brain to contemplate in how little time we have gone from Wolfenstein’s goosestepping to the cool beat of Bloodlines. And Vamppires was ages ago, the towers were already gone but no Itunes yet. Recently DXHR came close but missed the target.

      I am happy to read that Dishonored will be no RPG. Bethesda sucks at RPGs. Their worlds never feel right. To me. Maybe it is because I started with US-American RPGs when people used to sit around the table, facing each other while shouting, crying, laughing. Those were silly days. Great fun.
      But today I am surprised by a telly series like Game of Thrones. Fantasy from Yankeetown, no horned helmets or oversized swords that would in real life only be usable as phallus symbols at heathen parties?
      Ah, were was I? Bashing Bethesda.
      A friend actually bought Falllout 3. He always likes to show off his new GPU, so on a visit I played a little of Metro 2033 and Fallout 3. What is it with Bethesda that makes the digital people which inhabit their worlds so alien? Maybe it is simply a style I do not like. Piranha’s Gothic always had the most grotesque and stiff animations, but for me it worked better than Bethesda high end metallic shimmer.
      The most obvious reason for my lack of love for Bethesda could be the lack of memory of the console offspring they produce.
      The next reason would be the morale system of Bethesda games. Kill, hack and slay but do not steal. What is it with you Uncle Sam? Millions of dead but stealing and showing tits and penis is an outrage. But the worst thing real or digital people can do is stealing MONEY!
      I have to mention horned helmets and winged shoulder pauldrons. Plain silly. As silly as the Yankees obsession with blow jobs, anal intercourse and phallic symbols.
      If you feel like I hate US-americans, you are wrong. I love them. I really do. Not all of them. Just generally. (hysterical Cartman voice:) Oh my god they are soooo cute.

      It is good that Dishonored will be an action game. That is something even Bethesda could get right.

      Edit: take a look at this:
      link to
      What would Dr. Freud say? lol

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Bethesda’s the publisher, not the developer.

        Bethesda also doesn’t make RPGs. They just call them that.

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          Incoming fanboy rage…

          • Burky says:

            it’s not a value judgement, being or not being an RPG doesn’t make a game Better

            indeed, realising each genre’s strengths and working within their limitations is important for preventing awkward hybridisations of mechanics, like what happened with VATS

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            I’m a fanboy twice in one thread. Anyone want to up the stakes to a trolly bore?

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Why would there be? Everyone on RPS hates Bethesda and makes sure we all know about it all the time, even when it’s a total non sequitur.

            I mean, I have some big problems with the company, but Jesus Christ people.

        • Brun says:

          Bethesda’s games (Fallout 3 and Oblivion/Skyrim) are some of the only ones in which I’ve actually felt both the desire and ability to “role play” in the most traditional sense (i.e. taking on a characterization and persona and taking your actions according to that persona).

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            If you’re role-playing in the way mummy and daddy role-play a doctor and nurse sometimes, I guess.

          • Doesn'tmeananything says:

            So what you’re saying is that you’ve been covering numerous design flaws of those games with larping. That’s a very good commentary on Bethesda.

          • Brun says:

            Actually I’d argue that the flexibility to facilitate that sort of metagame is one of the greatest strengths of the Bethesda “formula.” As for what it says about Bethesda, it says that they’re capable of creating worlds that are convincing enough and engrossing enough that the illusion can be maintained.

            And is RPing in a video game really considered LARPing? It’s not exactly live action…

          • Doesn'tmeananything says:

            It is completely external to the game and in no way reflected in the system.

            Compare it to Fallout where its very granular stat system defines the player character in a unique way and provides unique consequences through interactions with the world. Your alter ego is completely simulated within the game.

            Meanwhile little bears any significance in Skyrim. Sure, I can drag Lydia’s corpse around and put it in some random coffin and have a good sob (on second thought, why would I ever do that), but that would have no impact on the game world or my character, rendering this played-out vignette utterly meaningless, at least within the game’s framework. How is this roleplaying when neither my character’s stats nor actions were taken into account, with no meaningful consequence as a result of all this. Hence, larping.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        1. I absolutely hate it when people start mistaking the publisher for the developer. Someone worked for years on a game only for the consumer to dismiss what they have done and give all the credit to another company. Smooth, very smooth.

        2. Objectively speaking Skyrim is very much a RPG, not a hardcore one, not an amazing one (although a fantastic game), but a RPG nonetheless. I find it silly not to consider it as such link to

        Besides, I couldn’t care less if Skyrim or any other game fits some obscure genre specification. Games would be better off without any such thing. I put hundreds of hours into Skyrim and I had a blast doing so. I couldn’t care less if it’s supposed to be a RPG or not.

        EDIT: Oh, oh, oh! You mentioned Gothic. I love Gothic. I love love love love Gothic. Damn, I’m gonna replay Gothic, despite its ugly graphics, dreadful controls and at times laughable voice-acting.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        But today I am surprised by a telly series like Game of Thrones. Fantasy from Yankeetown, no horned helmets or oversized swords that would in real life only be usable as phallus symbols at heathen parties?

        You Brits invented surfboard-sized swords. Have you heard of a little thing called Warhammer?

        • HothMonster says:

          link to

          Not really something that stems from the ‘Mericas.

        • bigblack says:

          Also: London is positively covered in gigantic cocks disguised as buildings.

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            “Also: London is positively covered in gigantic cocks disguised as buildings.”

            Fitting, given we seem to be governed by a bunch of gigantic cocks disguised as competent politicians.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’d just be nice if the console limitations matched technological progress a little better. More graphicsulosity is boring, but half a gig of RAM was hardly pushing the boat out even in 2005 when it was new. My desktop from 2001 has a whole gig in it, and that works out as a comfortable half available to games after allowing for Steam and the entire Windows world under it. Four years earlier. And that limitation has hurt virtual environments far more than not being able to pixel shade them with more baryonic tachyon-inverting unnormal maps.

  8. SelfEsteemFund says:

    Thanks Jim, you’ve mentioned some of the concerns I’ve also been pondering, mostly relating to what appear to be incredibly compact, multi-route levels judging from gameplay videos. Though I still have a huge issue with the viewmodel fov and their placement in general, I’m sure most people who are used to modern console games don’t notice/aren’t bothered by it, but I really can’t stand games where the weapons are taking up so much of the screen space and feel like you’re holding them literally a few millimeters from your face.. it just gives me a headache & makes me feel terribly nauseous. Let’s hope they also allow adjustable fov, those are certainly important considerations that DXHR will have over Dishonoured.

    • marcusfell says:

      I like the weapons in your face deal. It lets you appreciate the detail, and if you are ever in a real fight, I doubt your sword hand is going to dangle idly at your hip.

      • Vorphalack says:

        I’d rather appreciate the detail of the world than the obnoxious weapon model obscuring the action in the action focused game. Also, please don’t try and bring realism into the huge weapon model argument. If you ever held a sword that close to your face you could practically shave with it.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          Fucks sake Vorpalhack, is there anything about this game that you *aren’t* going to whinge about today?
          It sound like you need a nap.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          You are a very obnoxious troll. Yes, you definitely ARE.

    • Daedalus29 says:

      I know from a valid source that everything (fov, hud, help in game) is tweakable in the option menu (in the pc version at least).

      • SelfEsteemFund says:

        Thanks Daedalus that’s kinda comforting, as honestly I’m 100% not interested in using a console radial wheel thing to select items but unfortunately I haven’t played a UE3 game yet that allows for adjustable viewmodels. I shall (try to be) optimistic though since this damn game is the most exciting looking thing I’ve seen in years and right up my alley, don’t fail me Arkane!

        • GepardenK says:

          They said the PC version will have its own interface. I’m hoping its like Dark messiah/Deus Ex with their hotkey inventory (all Arkane games have used it to date so…)

          FOV slider in options is 100% confirmed

  9. marcusfell says:

    The one quote that impressed me the most is in that Stealth playthrough/preview, he made the comment about most of the sidequests and things being hidden for the thorough player. That’s me in a nutshell.

    And Fus – Ro – Dah has been outdone by windblast, since it has no cooldown.

  10. Zanchito says:

    The restraint in the writing does more to express your true feelings than writing it all in caps and full of hyperbole.

    • captain567 says:

      Jim sounds like a lover who has lost too many times, and is cautiously evaluating a new potential partner. Small levels were part of the reason Invisible War and Deadly Shadows weren’t so great, and they’re brought up specifically. His heart has been broken too many times.

      Crazy excited for this game.

  11. tlarn says:

    Please be good when you come out, Dishonored. You seem like exactly what I want in a videogame at this moment.

  12. Hypernetic says:

    What’s up with the dude’s face in the first pic?

    • GepardenK says:

      Apparently they went for exaggerated facial expressions to make people look like someone from a 1600s portrait

    • HothMonster says:

      Looks like he has a couple more of those vials crammed up his bung still.

  13. Shooop says:

    My only concern for Dishonored now is its length. They’ve built such an interesting looking world but what good is it if you can’t really get to know it? That was the same thing that crippled Rage.

    • GepardenK says:

      The game might be a bit short if you go the action route, but I don’t think getting to know the world will be a problem. People say they finished thief in 10 hours and that game really made you feel its world. Also with my slow pace thief took at least 40 hours:)

      • Shooop says:

        The developers said a low and slow approach would only last about 28 hours. That’s not a lot of time to really appreciate the background of a bustling city segregated into mansions and disease-ridden slums in between eavesdropping and secretly killing people.

        Especially if there’s no free roam between abducting/assassinating people. I don’t want another Human Revolution where the only real freedom was picking your route to your objective. I really want to explore the world because it looks fascinating. I wanted to explore future Detroit, but I was limited to a few alleyways, two or three sewers, and a police station. I wanted to explore the dusty lands with a handful of small human settlements sticking out like oases in a desert. They were great settings I was really interested in but the games wouldn’t let me appreciate them.

        That’s one of the only two reasons Skryim’s so celebrated (the other being so mod friendly) – you want to go somewhere? Nothing’s going to stop you. And there might even be something more interesting than just nice scenery when you get there. And Skyrim’s standard issue forests/mountains/plains aren’t even half as interesting as how Dishonored’s cyber-whalepunk city by the sea looks. It’ll be a good game if it’s was just a “Go do this, we don’t care how” game. But it’ll blow just about everything that ever existed before out of the water if it’s something more.

        • GepardenK says:

          Yes, DXHR feelt like a very limited game explorations wise. I had fun for a few hours in HongKong but that was about it. Lost interest in some linear factory after that and never went back. My main problem was not so much the size of the levels but the fact that everything felt staged and mazelike somehow.

          Dishonored is no Skyrim that’s for sure, it’s not open world. I don’t know if you are familliar with Thief 1 or 2, but Dishonored seems to be something like that. That means levels that are truly open within their limited scope, like a fully explorable mansion with surrounding buildings and garden.

          So if DXHR is a maze, and Skyrim a farmers field, then Thief/Dishonored would be a house with fences. Did that make sense?

          My point anyway is that the Thief model, at least for me, displays a much more interesting way to discover a world than even Skyrim. Its all about experiencing little pieces that slowly turns into a whole.

    • unique_identifier says:

      hopefully dishonoured will also include a variety of surprisingly fun driving games

  14. phenom_x8 says:

    Another hands on from fellow PC gamer, yesterday! Enjoy!!

    link to

  15. AngryTiger says:

    12 to 28 hours? So not worth buying at full price, maybe after price drop or on sale.

    • woodsey says:

      12 if you run through and concentrate on just blasting through the necessary stuff. Even if it were 12 hours, it’s an Immersive Sim, there should be some pretty intense replay value.

    • danimalkingdom says:

      Are you quite serious? Personally this is the game I’m most looking forward to this year. It seems… strange to just quantify a game experience as ‘only 12 to 28 hours’ and state that it’s not worth your money. Suit yourself I suppose, although there is something that riles me about your dismissive attitude towards someone else’s creative output.

    • KenTWOu says:

      They said that DX:HR press version has 10 hours of gameplay till the first boss, I’ve spent 6 hours on the first mission only! They said that DX:HR takes around 40 hours, I’ve spent more than 120 hours on the first fully stealth walkthrough! Dishonored will take 28 hours to “explore fully”? Obviously they’re modest, it will take much more time!

  16. alfie275 says:

    28 hours is like 14 action movies.

    On a different note: I’m still reading dishonored as dish-honored.

    • AngryTiger says:

      That’s why i never pay for movies because it’s not worth the money. I just wait until they’r shown on tv or just not watch them.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        Yes, i`m sure you do that. *Ahem*piratebay*Ahem*

        • AngryTiger says:

          Yes, i do. I don’t pirate movies or games, there rarely is any movie i would want to see badly enough to even bother pirating it. Only thing i ever use piratebay for is getting episodes of game of thrones because i dont want to wait 2 years until it comes out in my country. I buy the bluray box of the season when it comes out since it’s actually worth the money.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        “A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

      • Shooop says:

        Maybe you just don’t like movies in general?

  17. phenom_x8 says:

    Actually DXHR = DisXHonoRed!!
    Suddenly it’s crossed in my mind! scary!

  18. vasek45 says:

    Long game: boring and repetitive, don’t have so much time, gotta wait for a christmas sale.
    Short game: too short, not worth my money, gotta wait for a sale.
    Good game: awesome, just gonna wait for a sale a bit, can’t wait to play it.
    Mediocre game: well, this ain’t worth buying at laucnh, gotta wait for a sale.
    Bad game: maybe i’ll pick it up on steam when it’ll cost me 5$.

    Guys, seriously, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED? I certainly do not remember gamers complaining about everything so much and being frustrated at everything so seriously like 10 years ago. Or even 5.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Blame it on the hipsters.

    • HothMonster says:

      There a lots of games released every year, and seemingly way more than there were 10 years ago, and yet my boss doesn’t think this is a good enough reason to give me a raise.

      Either Steam spoiled us or the retail price of games needs to come down. But really things seem to do just fine on pre-order and release week sales so I don’t think it is an epidemic yet.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s definitely not that those are all different groups of people. It’s definitely not that more people are commenting on internet fora these days. Nope, it’s definitely neither of those two things, it must be that PC gamers are inherently bad people now.

    • Shooop says:

      Reality would like a word with you. It mentioned something about almost every major game release this year breaking first-day sales records.

    • hilltop says:

      Price at release has been increasing steadily over the last 10 years. I don’t think this kind of inflated development price model is worthwhile (though numerous record breaking games prove me wrong I suppose) so I typically wait for sales for almost all games.

      I think it is reasonable. I don’t know where the rest of you get the money for this, but more power to you.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t think of a single game that I’ve bought in the last decade that was worth paying full price for. Not a single one. That includes genre games that are normally regarded as extended-play, such as strategy games and sandboxes.

      I guess what I’m getting at is that no game will ever be worth paying full price for, even games I end up putting on my All-Time Favorites list.

      Video games are too fucking expensive. If that’s a view shared by other gamers (which it is), so be it. Who are you to judge?

  19. Unaco says:

    Said this since the first article/news about this appeared… Looks awesome, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    The length/time isn’t an issue, for me. 12 hours, minimum, to complete… so probably 20 hours with the way I tend to play games like this, maybe more. And that’ll be for the first playthrough. With the Stealth/Overt violence dichotomy, that’ll be 2 playthroughs, if both are as fun. So, no worries on that front.

    The ‘PC held back by the limitations of console hardware’ discussion is for another time and place, I reckon. But, if anything, I think it’s somewhat beneficial for the PC and its fans, and for developers.

  20. Burky says:

    very confused by the people claiming this to be a RPG; the RPG is a pretty specific genre

    why can’t action games be action games? why try to muddy things up just because its in first person perspective but you can do things other than shooting?

    • Unaco says:

      It is especially confusing, considering there is a paragraph, in the article, that says…

      “Dishonored is a game of infiltration and exfiltration. An action game. Some folk seem to have confused it with an RPG. There are choices in there, and dialogue decisions, yes, but this is an action game.”

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      It’s made by Bethesda, developer of such famous RPGs as RAGE and Brink.

  21. Chris D says:

    The way I see it is that the important measure of a game’s length isn’t how long it takes before you see the end credits, it’s how much time you play or replay the game and still have fun. If I blow through it in 12 hours but it’s varied enough that I immediately want to play again another couple of times to see how I could do things differently then all of those count..

    That said, I don’t have a problem with a twelve hour experience either so long as it’s of sufficiently high quality.

  22. msarge says:

    It’s too bad Arkane’s previous projects with Valve never came to fruition.

  23. BreadBitten says:

    This might be the first time I’ve experienced the closest thing to being disappointed by an RPS write-up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m jazzed for the game and all and the preview all but enforced the feeling that much more, but halfway through the article Jim was just looking for an excuse to blame current gen consoles for restricting all the possible gameplay facets Dishonored could have featured if not tied to the ageing, obsolete, shitty, vomit-inducing, belongs-in-the-trash, came-out-of-the-toilet, put-a-bullet-in-it-already, technology of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

    I’m not negating that as a fact at all (PC exclusives have a reputation of being lightyears ahead of a brunt of the games in current generation consoles, however few they may be), but I’m wondering, how do you think the developers reached the decision to put it out in the current-gen consoles in the first place? Were Arkane forced to develop it for the 360 and the PS3 (which would be the only understandable reason for such an attitude to be expressed) or was it an active decision on their part as a careful financial move to back up such a risky game?

    • HothMonster says:

      512mb is a limiting factor. Obviously it is their choice to develop or not develop console versions. It is also their choice as too how much more graphics and pixels they jam into the PC version. Also he doesn’t even know if those potential limiting factors exist because no one has seen a pc build of the game. But that still doesn’t mean its fucking sad when you have a game on the precipice of greatness that has to cut or compact things because its limited by 6 year old hardware.

      “Were Arkane forced to develop it for the 360 and the PS3” Possibly, they are owned by another company. For all we know they could have wanted to hold onto this another year and a half and release for the next gen but instead cut half their assets and blurred the rest to jam them into this gen because Beth said do it or find a new job and we will keep the IP and duke nukem this shit.

      Or it could be something they are partially forced to do because industry giants have locked the market to those specs for the time being. Or the loch ness told them to do it, or they lost a bet.

      Unless we get invited to some budget and planning meetings that happened in the past we will probably never know and until we see the pc version it really doesn’t matter. It just keeps me from exploding out of my skin with excitement because it is a factor that may constrain this game to being merely good instead of legendary.

      And then again it could be a giant steaming pile of shit even if they made it for computers that won’t exist for 30 years.

      • Burky says:

        I don’t see any reason why console hardware would necessarily be a limiting factor for what Arkane is trying to do here

        the 360 is considerably more powerful than what Thief and Deus Ex ran on back in the day, and its not like they were intending on doing hyper resource-intensive open world persistent AI like in ARMA 2

        worst case, you’re probably going to see some low res textures and/or bad texture streaming

        • JackShandy says:

          Did you see how many polygons the characters in Thief and Deus Ex had? They had to do some ugly things to make those beautiful massive levels.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            Those games looked fine?

            Also I’m no progrummer, but I doubt polygon count and level size is a straightforward tradeoff.

          • Hematite says:

            I’m a programmer, although not a games programmer, and actually polygon count is a pretty big factor.

            The key thing to remember is that size, speed and distance are all completely fake. You could use almost the same model for an orange on a desk in DX:HR or the Death Star in something like X-Wing – the apparent size just depends on where you put the camera and how fast you move it. What the graphics engine is really interested in is how many polygons it has to work out the visible sides of.

            That’s one of the reasons highly detailed games will often only let a couple of enemies on screen at once (polygon budget). Doom 3 was a classic example – pretty enemies, but you only fought one or two at a time in stark contrast to Doom 1 and 2. It’s also why WoW used to grind to a halt around the bank in Ironforge – too many player models on screen (that was a long time ago now). And also, grass simulation is traditionally a pain in the ass – way too many edges.

            There are a few other things which are difficult for an engine, for example calculating collisions in the physics sim, which is also based on polygons but often not the same ones the graphics engine is rendering, that’s why a lot of games put scenery behind suspiciously smooth invisible walls.

            You can pull some tricks to get around this kind of thing. GTA:San Andreas was a great example of a seamless world which streamed in different areas as you approached them so it didn’t have to have too much in memory at once. Oblivion did the same thing fairly obviously where it had a detailed map and models for close by objects, and a coarse low poly representation of distant objects so you could look all the way across Cyrodiil from atop a mountain but still have pretty stuff up close.

            A few years ago when I was associating with game designers the artists were all being judged on the coolness of the models in their portfolio, but crucially also on the polygon count of the models. Inspired designs are necessary, but they’re not much use if you can only have one model on screen at a time (see: Doom 3 again)

            In summary: yeah, polygons.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      If the code is the paint, then the platform is the canvas. A bigger canvas doesn’t necessarily mean a better painting, but maybe it would some of the time.

      It’s a shame we don’t get the chance to find out very much these days, but on the other hand, technical restrictions can often lead to better creative focus. As true of games as of other media. Possibly.

  24. kud13 says:

    I believe DXHR reps said their game could be clocked in at 15 hours… it took me more like 50.

    I expect Dishonored to provide me with hitman-with magic toyboxes on each level, which will make it worth sticking my teeth into it for longer.

    This may be my only Day 1 purchase in 2012.

  25. Totally heterosexual says:

    Oh this looks very very good.

    I need more games that truely tingle my “death by elegance” senses.

  26. wodin says:

    I read that and it felt like he wanted more but the game teased but didn’t seem to offer it.

    I haven’t understood the excitement about this game, not from what I’ve seen so far anyway. It’s gameplay seems pretty much your usual fair and it isn’t really that good looking either.

    It seems the backstory and aesthetic promise and tease alot and make players imagine all kinds of wonderful things and they forget it’s your usual FPS fair but set in an intriguing setting.

    To me so far it looks like one of those games that promise alot (in gamers heads anyway) but doesn’t quite deliver on them. SO the player is left looking for or expecting more from it, yet it doesn’t happen, because in this case it probably is just another shooter.

    Remember the outpouring when the Dead island trailer was shown, people where getting excited but it turned out to be a typicla Zombie basher.

    • Shooop says:

      Dead Island’s trailer was a blatant, plain-faced lie though. We’re actually seeing gameplay footage of Dishonored now and the trailers aren’t far from the mark.

      • wodin says:

        I understand that, though really it wasn’t a lie as such. All I’m saying is I haven’t seen anything either video or written that makes me understand why everyone has praised the game and are really excited about it. I can only presume it’s the premise and the setting have set the imaginations off and aren’t really seeing what is in front of them.

        Thats why this preview review he was left wanting more. I think he expected or expects more and didn’t really see it though may have had teaser that there might be further down the line. However that more than likely was just what he was wanting to see and really the game is just another game and not the classic or revolutionary game everyone has been getting worked up over. I’m not saying the developers have touted it as one either. Just for some reason gamers here latched onto it and I think it’s the setting and maybe stealth elements that has coloured what they have been shown so far.

        With some games objectivity seems to go out of the window. I expect nine times out of ten the game probably wasn’t what people anticipated. It turns out to be just another game. Sometimes I wonder why I can’t see what other people see in pre release stuff. I also find many of the great games comes out of the blue and end up being a complete surprise.

  27. Paul says:

    Holy hell what a preview. And day 1.

  28. bobiroka says:

    “But the most important connection between these games is that they also share a crucial constraint: the aforementioned memory limit of industry-alpha machine, the ageing Xbox 360. Both games exhibit signs of the limitations that imposes, despite both operating at the edge of what is possible from games right now. That will not stop it from being a great game, of course – technical limitations seldom do that – but it does draw a line beyond which the game cannot cross. A line that our hefty gaming PC waits patiently the other side of.”

    Hence why I’m quite content to play this on a console. There are very few games out there worth maintaining an up to date gaming PC for… /runs

  29. Lambchops says:

    What a sha . . . oh.

  30. DiamondDog says:

    Very excited about this game. Although from watching the stealth video the developers made I’m less convinced it has much Thief DNA in it. Definitely more on the Human Revolution path.

    I just think once you give the player the option the kill your way through a blunder, it stripes out a lot of the tension of stealth games. Thief was all about sweaty palms because you knew if you got spotted by a Hammerite you were fucked. No showy knife-tricks. Either a mad dash for safety or a heart-pounding duel where one mistake was death.

    • LionsPhil says:

      It looks more Hitman in that regard, where if it All Goes Wrong you can try to fight your way out of your mess, but you’ll be kicking yourself for the inelegance of it all.

      And I suspect (hope) that on the harder difficulties that’s just not plausible, because you can’t win a fight you weren’t fully prepared for.

      • DiamondDog says:

        Yeah that’s very true, on harder settings it might not be so easy to get out of trouble.

        And I think you’re right on the Hitman front, too. If Dishonoured is more level based than open, I can imagine there being that compulsion to keep trying and trying until you get your perfect run. Which I suppose in that respect is similar to Thief. Whereas in Human Revolution, aside from quick loading when you really fucked up (I did that way too much) the nature of the game made you roll with a botched take down and keep pushing the story forward.

        Although, a lot of this comes down to how the player decides to approach the game. It’s as much about the restrictions and rules you place on yourself than what the game forces you into.

  31. Ultra Superior says:

    “when compared to DXHR’s gritty cyberpunk drab ‘n gold.”

    OBJECTION! I raise my voice in the defence of DXHRs art style.

    It’s perhaps the best, most powerful and one truly artistic art direction ever to be seen in videogames. There’s wide range of clothing, furniture, architecture, urban architecture – almost all is unique for each setting and all is absolutely brilliant and well thought through. It’s also very colorful.

    Drab ‘n gold is very very unfair statement, as it can only by said about UI.

    DXHR is a great game closest to the promise. Sheez Jim, we know you couldn’t kill those bosses but still, the game was far above any FPStealther that came out since DX.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      You are a very sexy man with a very sexy opinion.

  32. Strangerator says:

    I think when talking about game length, people get very strongly opinionated because they value different things. Some think total enjoyment is more valuable than “enjoyment density” for lack of a better term. If you want a nearly endless drip-feed of low intensity enjoyment, grab Skyrim. Other people prefer to have a more consolidated experience that is more intense enjoyment over a shorter period. Put somewhat mathematically in terms of “enjoyment units”…

    Skyrim – 1 per hour for 200 hours = 200 total
    Shorter game – 5 per hour for 12 hours = 60 total

    Aha! The math is clear! Longer is better! Not really. Again, do you value the overall total enjoyment, with time being no object? Or do you prefer a more intense experience, regardless of how long it lasts (or the total utility you derive from it)?

    And obviously, if the shorter game is of a type you do not enjoy, then you really don’t understand people wanting to play it… just don’t assume everyone derives enjoyment from the same things as you do. I probably won’t buy this game, but I can see how some people might enjoy that sort of thing.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Agreed, but the sum experience of completing a massive game like Baldur’s Gate 2 results in at least three cumulative megajoyments.

      Anyway, I’m gonna go ahead and judge the game by it’s actual quality, not by a vague statement about how long it is from one of the devs. And boy does it look good.

      • wodin says:

        trouble with me is I see something like 12 hours gameplay and go “oh…not keen on that”..and I see 70 hours gameplay and go “WOW superb”. YET I’m no sure I’ve EVER finished a long game yet. Not one. Usually something comes along that takes my attention away and I find I never feel like going back. Well maybe in a year or so but by then it would have long gone off my hard drive as well as the save and the mere thought of going through it all again will put me off.

        So actually the 12 hour game is better suited as I’d probably finish it, yet I still say “Only 12 hours”. Skyrim for me was a shining example of repetitive boredom. I did put in alot of hours and did about 100 side quests, yet they were pretty much the same thing over and over again. I was even being sent in the end to the same caves etc.

        Anyway I think a decent time for a game is twenty to thirty hours for a shooter\rpg. Wargames and the like really do have hours of gameplay but are different everytime you play.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          I think Journey finally cured me of my tendency to dismiss short games. But I do think there’s something special to an ultimateepicsuperawesomebadass 200 hour journey from orphan weakling to god of all things combat.

          Anyway, going by Strangerator’s equation, Journey must have had a whopping 200 enjoyment units per hour. Also, I’m sad someone in this thread mentioned LMNO. The probably greatest short game that never was.

        • Muzman says:

          We fuss on those measures too much anyway. Aren’t the usual dev estimates a measure of straight through the game at a reasonable non-speedrun clip, with no sidequests or failure on Easy? You can probably do Red Faction Guerrilla in under ten hours if you don’t muck about.
          Most of the “6hr” games take me ten playing casually, if they’re any good (some of them actually mean it though)

  33. MistyMike says:

    I think the current heatwave caused slight malfunction in the Hivemind cognitive processes. That’s five pages of comments far below the RPS standard for such a remarkably looking game.

    Truly I can’t see why people care so much about somebody’s claim he will buy the game ‘at a sale’. You can all acquire your copies by means of dumpster diving for all I care.

    • Muzman says:

      The initial kick-off isn’t for much, it’s true. But it did turn up someone of strangely entertaining, and somewhat contradictory, obsessions

  34. CelticPixel says:

    If it’s a tight, story-driven 12 hours, that’s fine with me. Bioshock gave me 11 hours. Half-life 2, 9 hours. I have no complaints.

  35. beekay says:

    Edit: Oh good, posted this at the entirely wrong end of the comments.

  36. SkittleDiddler says:

    Dishonored looks great so far, but two things concern me here:

    1. Dishonored is being produced by Bethesda, which means they’re most likely going to be in charge of bug-testing and all those pesky final release decisions. Given the condition of virtually all the third-party games they’ve had a hand in, this makes me think that Dishonored is going to be a buggy piece of shit on Day One and it’s going to remain a buggy piece of shit until the end of time.

    2. I’m having flashbacks to Bioshock, a game that looked fantastic and was destined to be a personal favorite, until I actually played it and realized how underwhelming the whole experience turned out to be. It’s not just the whole steampunk feel both games share that makes me feel this way — so far the amount of marketing Dishonored has been getting just screams “overcompensation” to me. Bioshock suffered from the same media saturation.

    Definitely not a Day One purchase for me. I’ll let those of you willing to be guinea pigs do the playtesting.

  37. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Am I…
    No, wait, of course I am.
    Let me put it a different way: I am the only one who becomes less and less excited every time they reveal anything new about Dishonoured.
    It being developed by Arkane means it’s an automatic buy, but still… magic powers? Pausing time to put a guy in the way of his own bullet? Really, that’s the best use of time-pausing ability they could think of? Are they making a Superman comic? Possessing a rat and then REAPPEARING out of the rat? Killing with a rat swarm? Teleportation? It seems like this Dishonoured guy is basically omnipotent, but uses it in the most inefficient and flashy anime way possible. Hope it turns out better than it sounds.

    Also, 14 to 28 hours seems a bit brief? DXHR was closer to 50, if I remember what my Steam client was saying correctly.