Dishonored 2 is a tremendously good game that stumbled out of the gate on PC thanks to some glaring performance problems. On anything less than a high-end rig, players would often experience framerate drops, mouse stuttering, and worse, even when running at lower-than-recommended settings. Patches have addressed most of the issues, but memories of launch-day frustrations tend to linger. The upside, as Arkane co-creative director Rafael Colantonio said in a recent interview with Game Informer, is that lessons have been learned, and the studio's next game, Prey, will be in much better shape at release.
"We had a rough launch on the PC [with Dishonored 2]... In development you never exactly know what you're going to see, most of all with PC because there are so many different configurations and stuff. Unfortunately, it's what it is, it shipped, then it got patched, and now it runs really well. So of course, we are paying double-attention to making sure that this time, the PC version is really flawless when we ship," Colantonio said.
"There's a little bit more QA time," he continued, when asked how Arkane will avoid those launch-day pitfalls with Prey. "Also it's a different engine, so the constraints are different. In the case of Dishonored, we created a new engine, really, even though it's based on idTech, most of it has been redone ... In the case of Prey we're using the CryEngine, so it's an engine that has already shipped things before. So it's not the same configuration. Nevertheless, we are of course aware of [PC issues] now, and were back then already, but it caught us by surprise a little. This time we're paying more attention for sure."
Promises are no guarantee of results, but it's good to know that Arkane is keeping a closer eye on things this time around—especially since Prey doesn't have the benefit of being a sequel to a major hit. And technical concerns aside, it does look to be shaping up very well, as we said in our recent preview—"a fascinating attempt to take on the System Shock style," as Phil put it. It's expected to be out sometime in the first half of 2017.