This is a good weekend for free games. We already told you that Borderlands 2, the Gearbox "looter-shooter," is free on Valve's Steam platform, but you'd rather sneak and assassinate instead, you're in luck. Dishonored is also free to play all weekend long.
No matter what upcoming plans Dishonored developer Arkane Studios has hidden in a velvet-lined box somewhere, it looks like CryEngine will be a part of it. A recent hiring push by the Austin-based Arkane and Battlecry Studios for artists and programmers to work with the Crytek game engine has surfaced, pointing to a project separate from the Unreal Engine 3-based Dishonored.
You fool! You didn't actually buy the excellent first-person sneak 'n stabber Dishonored, did you? As always, the fiscally sensible (read: boring) thing to do was wait for this: the Game of the Year edition, which has, with all the tedious inevitability of an Outsider encounter, just been announced. Of course, if you were really fiscally sensible (read: really boring), you wouldn't be buying games at all. And who wants to be that guy?
After yesterday's teaser, Bethesda have today fully unveiled the third Dishonored DLC pack. *Crosses fingers* Please let us play a whale, please let us play a whale, please let us... oh, it's just Daud again. The Brigmore Witches will continue the story started by The Knife of Dunwall, and see the assassin attempt to stop a ritual that threatens to end his aerial knife-plunging ways.
Life for many residents of Dishonored's Dunwall city is brutal, short, and dark. Fortunately, the possibility of a sequel to Arkane Studios' take on steampunk stealth appears to be anything but grim, according to recent comments made by Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines to IGN.
On the strength of this trailer, we can be fairly certain that The Knife of Dunwall, the second piece of Dishonored DLC, is going to live up to its name. In fact, for a man trying to forget what he's done to the Empress, Daud seems to be going about it a in a funny way: doing what he did to her to everyone else. A guard? Stab him! A man with a top hat? Stab him! Another guard? Summon an assassin to stab him! The Outsider? Stand around while he tediously waffles about nothing.
Dishonored's first major story DLC, Knife of Dunwall, is just under a week away. Steam has updated our install directories with about 700 megs of Daud, and with it has come the names and descriptions of all of the add-on's new achievements. Note that these do contain spoilers, so read with caution.
At night, Dishonored's sprawling city of Dunwall looks particularly magnificent. Lit windows dot a canopy of Victorian-style architecture of angular roofs and spires, and jungles of smokestacks continuously belch out whale-oil vapor in an enduring sign of industry. It's easy to forget about Corvo Attano's errand of revenge and simply drink in Dunwall's details, but Arkane's journey of solidifying the city's theme was a far more elaborate process. At a GDC talk (via Polygon), Art Director Sebastien Mitton describes how experiencing "the life of a city" visited by the team eventually shaped Dunwall's culture and identity.
Beyond Dunwall's detailed architecture and snippets of lore spread through its cobbled streets, Dishonored racked up acclaim for its steep non-linearity and free-form areas for players to fashion their own means of completing objectives using as much subtlety as desired. During a panel at GDC yesterday (via Polygon), Arkane co-Creative Directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith embraced this concept of player agency in games, saying, "It's all about guiding and attracting, as opposed to dictating the player's path."
The day after the launch of Bioshock Infinite, it doesn't seem too controversial to suggest single-player games are alive and well. But - as the free-to-play funding model grows in popularity - there are numerous examples of developers doubling down on some form of online multiplayer content. Speaking to Game Industry, Dishonored co-director Harvey Smith says that he thinks that the overall audience for games is growing, leaving plenty of room for both types of experience.
Bethesda have released details of the second Dishonored DLC pack, The Knife of Dunwall. Where the first add-on, Dunwall City Trials, was a hodgepodge of challenge maps and time-trials, Knife of Dunwall will return to the game's story, casting you as Daud, the jerkface assassin who killed the Empress, kicking off Corvo's career as a revenge-driven murderer/magic super-troll/meticulous accident planner.
The spies at ValveTime have unearthed some intel about a Half-Life 2: Episode 4 project that was being developed between Valve and Arkane Studios. An anonymous source provided the site with screenshots and animation tests for the now cancelled project - also known as Return to Ravenholm - showing new textures, locations and a curious new HUD element.
Many minds have weighed in on the effects of violent games after the December 14 Sandy Hook school shooting. A frequently cited modern example of interactive violence is Arkane's Dishonored, a stealth game which allows the player to choose a path of brutality. In a contributed article to RPS, Joe Houston, who worked on Dishonored before leaving Arkane, stressed that we shouldn't dismiss the debate.
I think the reason that Mass Effect 3 remained my favourite game of the year is also the reason it caught some flak: it was the end of a huge story that we were all seriously invested in. For me, that gave the whole 20-hour adventure an almost electric energy, the tingly feeling that everything had been leading up to this. For some, that meant the not entirely satisfying ending felt like a slap in the face.
I became lost in the sprawling city of Dunwall a total of 14 times after receiving the teleporting Blink ability. The culprit wasn’t entangling level design or oblique objectives. It was curiosity – a hunger for the unknown rivalling Corvo Attano’s desire for revenge in its intensity.
From the moment salty ferryman Samuel Beechworth deposited me on the silty, moonlit shoreline of Dunwall’s outskirts, I sensed it: the compelling need to uncover the beating pulse of this once-mighty industrial city.
Dishonored's mixture of stealth, swords, and the supernatural factors into the skills you'll need to master in today's release of the Dunwall City Trials DLC. Sneaking onto Steam for $5/£3, the pack of ten maps throws non-narrative challenges of freerunning, combat, assassination, and stealth in addition to furnishing a new set of achievements for completionists.