Did you know that Valve and Arkane were once such super best friends that Valve contracted the Dishonored studio to make one of their mythical Half-Life episodes? Funnily enough, I did. Everything I knew about Return To Ravenholm has now been revealed by those scamps at Valvetime, meaning the treasure trove of inside knowledge that I’ve kept for six years (told to me by candlelight) is now useless. I can only confirm the details below. Also, it’s my birthday, and I hope to spend it only positing fun stories. If anything bad happens, it won’t happen in my posts. Everyone fix a smile and join me. Smilier! SMILIER! Good.
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Posts Tagged ‘Arkane’
RPS Feature Getting Pumped
There’s no question that Dishonored’s Heart deserves celebration. Fortunately RPS contributor Paul Walker has done that in fine style, digging in to what makes the object so significant to the game, and speaking to co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio about how it came to exist, and their feelings about its part in the game.
Dishonored’s Heart is an object which lives up to its name in many ways. It breathes life into the game’s characters, imbues the city of Dunwall with soul, and helps the player to feel the melancholy tone which permeates all facets of its world. Characterised by the intersection of the mystical and the technological, it distills the very essence of the pseudo-Victorian steampunk landscape in which Dishonored’s tale unfolds. It is presented to the player as a navigation tool — a guide to lead players to the occult items littered throughout the fictional city of Dunwall. But, as co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio told me, “It also plays a part related to informing their decisions about when to apply violence or not, making it a really interesting, more subtle part of the power fantasy.” Here we start to get to grips with what it is the makes the Heart so compelling.
The first DLC for Dishonored is, as we know, the Dunwall City Trials. Rather than expanding the story in any meaningful way, this is much more of a mechanical inclusion, a series of tests to apply skills gained from playing the game in its rather beautiful setting. And there’s a new trailer showing it in action. With the most inappropriate, dreadful music imaginable. Take action! Click below!
The somewhat underwhelming in concept first DLC for Dishonored is, as we already knew, Dunwall City Trials. It’s a challenge map pack rather than an expansion containing more long-game assassinations or world-building. This leaves me a little cold in principle, but perhaps there will be something to be said for using and combining the game’s many combat, stealth and movement systems unfettered and without the focus on meeting a specific objective.
The pack now has a release date, which is December 11, and a price, which is £3.99. And specific details, which are below. I’m nice like that.
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RPS Feature Staggering
As RPS has long pointed out, staggered international release dates for games may well please high street stores, but they piss off just about everyone else in the world. The archaic, anachronistic notion that a game should come out on Tuesday in the US, and Friday in Europe, was pretty daft when a trip to the shops was the only way to get a game. To still do it when everything is online is aching stupidity. And it’s a real shame to see games as great as XCOM and Dishonored being sullied by this utter nonsense. You want an extra kick in the teeth? On Wednesday 10th October, a day after the game was released in the US, Bethesda have seen fit to release the “UK Launch Trailer”, two full days before it’s actually out over here.
RPS Feature On layers and length
There’s going to be a backlash against Dishonored. It can’t be helped: when a game makes big promises, a justice squad will quickly arise to loudly demand that it accounts for not meeting them to the very letter, and in this case I suspect there’s an additional flock of people who have been led by marketing to expect an all-out action game. I can predict, even sympathise with, some of the complaints, others I suspect will be absolutely mystifying to me. It’s the finest hour in what we might loosely but innacurately term ‘blockbuster shooters’ in years – I’d feel petulant were I to demand it give me even more. But there is one complaint that may reach a crescendo in short order, and that is the issue of length. For me, Dishonored was a deliciously long game, clocking in at about 25 hours even without the total replay I intend on having very soon. For someone else – someone who has a lot of numbers in the name they use when playing Halo 4, say – it will be insultingly short. It may not even make a double figures quantity of hours. That’s not the game’s fault, it’s theirs (or, perhaps, the fault of the marketeers who sold the game as an action opus). They gobbled the onion up whole, too greedy or too lazy or too accustomed to inflexible fare to peel apart its layers.
RPS Feature Rune For Improvement?
Expectations are high. A stealth game that utilises the brains of Deus Ex veteran Harvey Smith and Viktor Antonov, architect of the imaginary, would always be an intriguing proposition and Dishonored’s industrial plague-ridden city is a curiosity that would stand out in any crowd, but in the particular crowd it finds itself in – early twenty first century first-person games – this is a game that stands out like a whale in a sardine tin. I’ve been sneaking my way through this brave new world, and now I feel obliged to tell you wot I think.
The final part of the Dishonored: Tales From Dunwall animated series is here. Sterling work, these, which put me in mind of Thief’s cutscenes. The style isn’t anything like the same, but there is style and lots of it. Part one and two are also available for your viewing.
Dishonored hardly needs a bigger sell from Bethesda, but this dev diary, featuring Raf Colantonio, Harvey Smith, Viktor Antonov and others, is certainly convincing. They talk about all the aspects we’ve heard before – the complex mechanics, the exquisite world design, the fiction – but more than the words are the in-game scenes that go with it, showing some aspects of the game we’ve not seen much of before, such as you interaction with numerous NPCs, and your escape from prison at the start of the game. I’m fairly certain this is going to be breath-taking, and roll on October. (Not that I don’t have enough to play in the meantime.)
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I know there’s an entire army of your screwing up your eyes and refusing to look at another jot of Dishonored coverage until it arrives in October, but for those not yet convinced there’s still more to be seen. The latest game footage trailer (below) lays out a chunk of stealth business, which is something trailers seem to ignore when they are dealing with stealth games. Not so here, as you can observe from this. And that bit with the candle at 0.58 is really neat. I had not seen that before.