When we meet the creators of fictional worlds, we often want to kill them. Whether its Bioshock’s Andrew Ryan and his deadly Rapture, GlaDOS and the sadistic test chambers of Portal, or Kirin Jindosh and the Clockwork Mansion. The urge to destroy these builders is partly down to the nature of their constructions – deathtraps and mazes that make the architect a cruel overseer – but there is perhaps more to it than that. With spoilers for the above, Hazel Monforton investigates the role (and the death) of the author in a medium that invites the audience into the action.
Here you will find the curious case of the politician who broke his neck then went for a nice walk as if nothing had happened.
I’ll be along early next week with full thoughts in our Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider review [official site], but seeing as it’s out right now I want to bend your ear about the most interesting of its new sneak-o-magicky powers: the ability to temporarily assume of the appearance of almost any other character in the game. ‘Semblance’, as it’s called, puts a little Hitman into Dishonored’s whalepunk fantasy – only instead of borrowing someone’s clothes, you take their face. It’s a new tool in the series’ stealth armoury, but more importantly it’s another gonzo way of solving problems.
I hate The Outsider. Perhaps that’s too strong a word, but I’ve never liked Dishonored’s meddling god. I’ll explain my stance in some detail below, but before I do that I offer an apology to the large chunk of the Dishonored fanbase who will find my opinions here blasphemous and heretical. But I’ve held my silence for long enough and it’s time to admit it: I really really really really want to kill that equivocating little bastard.
Dishonored 2‘s Death of the Outsider [official site] standalone expansion should fit my tastes perfectly, and the hour I played of it was fantastic.
As you might know Dishonored 2 is welcoming a new standalone adventure expansiony thing called Dishonored: Death of the Outsider [official site]. Well, I say “welcoming”. I don’t remember anything in Dishonored ever being welcoming, more horrific and with the capacity to go chaotically and mass-murderingly wrong. What I’m trying to say is there’s a new thing involving Billie Lurk and Daud and the Outsider and now there’s a trailer… Read the rest of this entry »
The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.
Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.
I haven’t yet got round to playing Dishonored 2 despite loving the first, so it seems awfully rude of Bethesda and Arkane to announce Dishonored: Death of the Outsider [official site]. It’s a standalone expansion about trying to assassinate The Outsider, the magical goth who gifts powers to the protagonists in Dishonored games and prattles in an irritating way. Watch a cinematic trailer and find details below.
We are living in a golden age of big-budget PC games that offer us choice and freedom. Be they descendants of the System Shock model – finding a route around a meticulously-crafted, locked-down and hostile place, most recently seen in Prey [official site] – or the roleplaying games based around choice and consequence rather than action alone, they are legion. There are so many, even, that I’m not sure we can fully appreciate how good we’ve got it.
One of the talks I went to at GDC was about AI in Dishonored 2 [official site]. I’m not sure what I was expecting because my encounters with the AI are mostly terrifying. As someone who doesn’t play much stealth gaming and isn’t great at combat from a first person perspective the AI is primed to deal with strategies I’m nowhere near perfecting and thus it tends to rule the roost. I think I was hoping that attending a talk might open up the AI in a way that meant I understood how to bludgeon it into submission, or at least do something other than kill a guard, drag them back to my safe spot and repeat until I’d cleared a path to an objective. That didn’t happen, but I did learn that the AI has a crew system that sounded like a kind of maths-based Lonely Hearts column. Read the rest of this entry »
If my interpretation of the update notes is correct, Dishonored 2 [official site] now has a Martial Arts Movie slider. The introduction of customisable difficulty sliders – more than twenty of them – allows you to decide “how many active enemies are likely to attack you at once”. I’m hoping that means I can either choose to have mobs of guards surround me but attack on at a time, as often happens with martial arts minions, or set them to rush me en masse, ignorant to the etiquette of combat.
The sliders let you fiddle with the speed with which sleep darts take effect among other things and I’m glad that they’ve arrived alongside the mission select option because I don’t fancy playing the whole game again, but will gladly jump back into my favourite parts with the scales tipped firmly against me. It’ll all be live some time later today.
So often the bleeding edge of games tech, yet so often fundamentally the same underneath: there’s a reason we can’t get enough of pretend shooting pretend people in their pretend faces. It is a pure test of skill and reflex, a game about movement at least as much as it is about violence, and done right it is absolutely delightful. And hey, sometimes you get a decent gimmick or story thrown into the mix.
These are our favourite 50 first-person shooters on PC, from 1993-2017. Your favourite is at number 51.
This is The Mechanic. Taking a dive into Dishonored 2 [official site] with Harvey Smith, it marks the first anniversary of the column. Holy heck! I hope you’ve been enjoying it. I want to thank everyone who’s read The Mechanic, and all the amazing designers it has given me the opportunity to speak to. Here’s to many more next year.
In the city of Karnaca is a district that lies under mounds of encroaching dust. Home to the labourers of the silver mines, Batista has been worked into exhaustion. Its people are spent and the mines so overexploited that dust from them has been billowing out and falling over the streets and squares, the heavy wind whipping it up into storms and engulfing entire buildings.
Dust District is one of Dishonored 2’s largest levels, a dense network of byways, apartments and compounds peopled by downtrodden miners and two warring factions. But you don’t need to play any of it. In fact, the entire level is designed around an idea that speaks to Dishonored’s deepest design principles. Because the Dust District is all about:
Exciting Dishonored 2 [official site] news arrives in the form of an update that adds new stuff to the game rather than fixing what is already there. First of all, there’s a new game plus mode, allowing you to start fresh with all the abilities and bonecharms you’ve discovered at the end of a playthrough carried across into the next one. In a wonderful turn of events, you can play as either character in your new game plus, but will have access to both Emily and Corvo’s powers, allowing you to mix and match. The update will be available in beta later today and launches proper on Monday.
In January, a second free update will add a mission select screen, for replaying your favourite areas, and customisable difficulty modes. Read the rest of this entry »
You could open the next door on our calendar, but it might be more fun to find another way inside. Surely there’s a window round the back that someone left open, or maybe you could get in through the cellar. Day twelve of The RPS Advent Calendar, which highlights our favourite games of the year, brings…
As a sister of Omega Theta Nu, I could never use Beta software. No, the recent beta patch aimed at improving performance in Dishonored 2 [official site] was not for me. Loyalty wouldn’t allow it. Thankfully, the update yesterday left beta and properly launched on the main line, bringing its fixes and improvements to all players – not just those who have no respect for the sanctity of being sisters forever. While our Adam dodged the performance problems all along and adored the game, that there Alec at last seems to be happier after all his woes. That or it’s broken him. Who could tell? Read the rest of this entry »
Had a week off. (No, not a holiday, no such thing when there’s a three-year-old in the house). Bit of a break from writing about games. Though I’d rebuild and resupply a little, come back fighting fit, ready for anything GAMESWORLD might throw at me next.