Posts Tagged ‘Arkane Studios’

Do alien powers make Prey more than another sci-fi shooter?

A few weeks ago, I played through the first section of Bethesda and Arkane’s upcoming first-person-shooterbut Prey [official site] (no relation, other than in name, to the original Prey or its aborted sequel). I like it well enough, particularly the Total Recallish sense of intrigue it raised about what was really going on and whether the player-character was the person they believed themselves to be. At the same time, I’m not sure how much I truly had to say about it, outside of description.

It was there, polished and pacey, absolutely the kind of thing I traditionally enjoy in an action game – but it was guns and monsters and doorcodes. Where was the thing that made Prey unique? I’ve been back and played a later section of the game, amongst other things I’ve transformed myself into a stack of towels and now I have a much clearer sense of what this new Prey really is. I can show as well as tell you why. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2 demo coming this week

A demo for Dishonored 2 [official site] would’ve been more useful five months ago, back when people had no way to know without buying the game whether its initial performance problems would strike them. Still, a demo coming this Thursday will give a welcome look at the first three missions of Arkane’s first-person supernatural stealth game. That’s a good chunk of sneaking from a good game. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2’s AI form crews as Lonely Hearts for guards

Dishonored 2

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 »

Prey is a game for mugs

After Alec played the new Prey [official site], I grilled him on the mug. Morgan Yu gains the power to transform into inanimate objects, see, and roll around like a spooky ghost. But how many mugs does it have? How’s life as a mug? He couldn’t tell me, as he didn’t have the mimic power in the preview version. Pfft! Luckily, Bethesda’s marketing department recognise the importance of mugs and have blopped out a new trailer showing life as a mug, a technoskull, pizza, a kettle, a sentry gun, a caution sign, and everything else I’ve wanted to be in life. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Prey: the second part of our video playthrough

Here’s the second and final part of my hour-long narrated playthrough of Bethesda and Arkane’s upcoming shooter-me-do, Prey [official site]. N.B. Contains spoilers for the opening hour of the game, but nothing beyond that.
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Let’s chatter over… Prey

Earlier in the week we ran both words and video discussing and demonstrating the first hour of Arkane’s upcoming shoot-o-explorey game Prey [official site], but today we’re doing both. Here’s the first of two videos in which I commentate as I play through said opening hour, pointing out some of the details you or I might have missed and generally chatting about how it all works.
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Prey: watch the full first hour here

I’ve written down my thoughts on what it was like to play the first hour of Arkane’s upcoming first-person-shooterbut Prey [official site] right over here, but if you prefer to watch than read, here’s a recording of the entire session for you. Warning: contains spoilers for the first hour of the game (but nothing beyond that point), which do include a couple of twists. Don’t watch if you want to go in blind.

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Arkane’s Prey blasting off in May

Prey [official site] will blast off on May 5, publishers Bethesda announced today. The new Prey. The sci-fi immersive sim made by Dishonored developers Arkane. The one which seems to have little to do with Human Head’s 2006 FPS yet is confusingly named exactly the same. The one which which looks pretty good fun in its own right. That one. The one where you can be a cup. Bethesda celebrate the announcement with a new trailer which has shocking implications for our Graham. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2 adds custom difficulty & mission select

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.

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Dishonored 2 New Game Plus mode coming today

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 »

RPS 2016 Advent Calendar, Dec 12th: Dishonored 2

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…

It’s sneaky-stabby marvel Dishonored 2 [official site]!

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Dishonored 2 update 1.3 brings performance boosts

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 »

Mugs and mayhem: eight minutes of Prey

Prey [official site] is the game where you can turn into a mug. It’s a sign of developer Arkane’s reputation as Makers of Interesting Games that it isn’t simply known as “That Game Where You Turn Into A Mug”. Eight minutes of footage, some of which you may have seen before, shows other reasons to be excited about this sci-fi thriller. There’s the shadowy creatures, the gloopy gun-gadget, some handsome environmental design, and the kind of combo-chaining of abilities that Dishonored 2 does so well.

And, yes, a mug trundling around a space station.

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Dishonored 2 patch 1.3 hits Steam beta

Dishonored 2

There’s a – oh no! I just dropped a big toast crumb into my keyboard and the number four is now unavailable to me! Let’s start again and I’ll deal with that in a moment. There’s a Dishonored 2 [official site] PC patch currently being tested on the beta branch of the game in Steam which is aiming to help with the performance issues some PC players have been reporting. This is just a housekeeping patch so no sign of a mission select option for now. Read the rest of this entry »

An Exciting Dishonored 2 Performance Update

I’ve a ‘mare of a time with Dishonored 2 [official site]. You can tell because I’ve devoted an order of magnitude more words to the subject than I’ve written to my parents in the past two years. As I wrote yesterday, the latest patch has ameliorated but not solved the performance problem – however, I might now have found the sweet spot. Not without compromise.
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Dishonored 2: The unconscious body piles exhibition

I took last week off to play Dishonored 2 [official site]. That might seem strange, but this was a game I didn’t want to play for work. I wanted to approach it completely differently, play it like I would play games when I was a teenager, no pressures to produce copy by a deadline, no weighing up pros and cons as I went, and most of all, the liberty to luxuriate in playing slowly, meticulously, without worrying that I’d not reach the ending before the internet had moved on. So of course I’ve got so much to write about it now, because apparently I can’t switch off the work bit of my brain. I’ve got a few features half developed, but I thought I’d get the most important and pressing article done straight away. Here’s a gallery of the piles of unconscious bodies I left on my way.

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Latest Dishonored 2 patch helps, but not enough

I’ve had a torrid old time with Dishonored 2 [official site] to date, though I’ll warrant not quite as torrid as the Arkane staff who’ve likely been working all hours to try and redeem a very messy, reputation-trashing PC launch. A second emergency patch has just landed, and, unlike last time, the fixes are meaningful.

The game’s performance is still a long way short of where I want it to be, but, thank Grud, it is now playable at reasonable settings. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2 will add New Game+ mode

Arkane Studios are still working on improving the technical side of Dishonored 2 [official site] but that’s not all. December will bring a free content update including a New Game+ and custom difficulty settings, for folks who fancy more power or more challenge. Don’t forget another performance patch will probably arrive this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Dishonored 2 beta patch out, may or may not help

Arkane have been very open since almost the start that they fully intend to fix Dishonored 2 [official site]’s performance problems, so kudos there. G’dang it’s a shame they didn’t nail this stuff down prior to release though, because in any just world the Dishonored 2 story would have been “Yeah, it’s ace” rather than “Oh God no.” The game runs pretty atrociously on my PC – yes, I can get it to playable with rock-bottom settings and non-native resolutions, but it looks like someone wiped a used nappy down my screen and still feels jerky and sluggish.

Goodish news: a patch has now landed (as an opt-in public beta), which begins to tackle the problems. Its fixes sound very promising on paper, but haven’t helped me in practice. Read the rest of this entry »