'Death has more weight' in Dishonored, dev says

Arkane creative director states new IP was requested by Bethesda, player freedom and choice paramount in design for first-person role-playing game.

Killing is a common task in video games, but Arkane Studios hopes that by grounding players in the fictional world of Dishonored, it can at least make it a more considered one. Arkane Studios creative director Raf Colantonio spoke to VG247 about how the first-person role-playing game came to be and what his team hopes players get out of it.

Fancy nipping out for a bit of murder, old boy?

"Look at the games that don't give you a choice, the ones that ask you to just kill everyone in a variety of ways," Colantonio said. "But when you look at the games that give you choice, the fact that there is a possibility not to kill makes killing that little bit more impactful in this case, because you have made the choice to kill. Death has more weight."

The game is being published by Bethesda. Colantonio said the company approached Arkane and requested it make another title in the vein of its previous releases, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and Arx Fatalis. "From there they let us do whatever we wanted and we said, 's*** yeah, that's awesome, why haven't we hooked up before?'" he said.

Colantonio said he wants Arkane to continue working within its specialty of first-person RPGs that emphasize intricate worlds and deliberate action over the faster pace of most first-person shooters.

Set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 9, Dishonored puts players in the boots of Corvo, an assassin tasked with protecting the empress of stylized steampunk city Dunwall. However, the empress is soon murdered, with Corvo framed for the killing, and sinister forces grant the accused assassin supernatural abilities to pursue his revenge.

For more on Dishonored, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

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Discussion

37 comments
sknight175216
sknight175216

This game is a ten out of ten for me. Top-notch work. Thank you Bethesda and Arkane Studios for making this masterpiece ha ha.. :)

isshiah
isshiah

i started a playthrough and have avoided killing. it's harder, but worth it.

Leeric420
Leeric420

Sadly I wont buy this game, fuck you bethesda.

It looks fun though, maybe ill just download it or buy it from a friend

pidow
pidow

I, will play this game without killing the first time around....then, try the other possibilities, I love this type of game, choice.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

They mention player choice a lot, but when it has been stated that the more you kill in Dishonored the more likely you are to get the bad ending, I don't find that to be player choice at all.

never-named
never-named

I'm loving these guys (Rafael and Harvey to be precise)! They have a good grasp of what's right and what's not within the medium these days and are able to express those thoughts without sounding pretentious or self-centered. Even if Dishonored is not able to live up to the game's promises (which I highly doubt it won't) expect a purchase from me chaps!

exedeath
exedeath

I was really hoping that they meant the death of the player held more weight. Cause they can come up with all of these new ways to make you think about avoiding combat, and thinking about your decisions, but when you can start your game a couple minutes before you died it dies not really matter. It will all boil down to using a few of the choices in skills and combat for most gamers, and they will just kill whatever is in front of them without thinking about using other means. If you made a game with a lives system that let you save anywhere, but when you loaded that save it would delete it, so there is no reset game, load save tray again option, and if you lost all of your lives you had to restart from the beginning. Then players would explore alternatives to combat, or think situations through more thoroughly before barging into the next area guns blazing. It would also warrant the use of all your neato powers, and weapons to just avoid loosing that last life. So as much as you think players are going to make hard decisions killing enemies, all they will end up doing is run and gun without care, cause there is no penalty for doing so. In the end if it is a great selling game it will be billed as a mix of COD with mystical powers.

Tygravius
Tygravius

Ehh....I'm getting more nervous about this game. Don't get me wrong, I'm getting it, but the more attention a game gets like this, the more it tells me it's half-ass and needs all the hype possible. I mean they've shown alot of the game already with all the powers, etc. in action. Shown both kinds of stealth and slaughter types of gameplay. I really, really hope they save some surprise for petes sake! It's getting to be a little too much overkill at the moment...and that worries me.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I definitely was looking forward to this new IP. The dev can say whatever, I'll be the judge at release. I hope it's great.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

blah blah blah hype hype buy our game it's different honest.

CroutonOfDEATH
CroutonOfDEATH

"Sounds like this game has a lot of..."

*puts on sunglasses*

"...dead weight"

YEEEEEAAAH!

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Arx Fatalis was a brilliant game.  It had enough flexibility that you could actually kill your way to "breaking" the game, like the brilliant old Ultima games.  Kill enough quest-givers across multiple factions (i.e., wanton tribe-cleansing violence), and you'd eventually just be left wandering.  Of course, there were plenty of paths to success provided, but I like that you can CHOOSE to simply piss EVERYONE off.

codeman101360
codeman101360

It's sad that re-hashed garbage like CoD sells millions while gems like this get barely any attention...

TrueGB
TrueGB

PR machine is on overdrive lately. We've gotten a few articles about publishers giving their devs. free reign to do what they want.

servb0ts
servb0ts

saw few gamepay videos very impressed but uncertain if day 1 buy.

slicedbread117
slicedbread117

Pre-ordered this along with Halo 4 a long while back. Very excited for this

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

This is the ONLY game I'm interested in Q4 2012.

 

It looks very promising.  I'm pretty excited to try it out.

C810
C810

This game is looking more and more like a Day 1 purchase

Void_Master
Void_Master

Exciting stuff. I can't wait to try this game.

JangoWuzHere
JangoWuzHere

 @SavoyPrime 

 

This is true, I don't mind going around stabbing everyone I can in DIshonored. I only restrain myself because I want the better ending

sknight175216
sknight175216

 @SavoyPrime They're called consequences smart one ha ha. Choices are pointless if you get the same ending regardless of what you do. What do you think player choice is? Seriously, I'm not trying to patronize you. What in your opinion constitutes player choices? Maybe choosing your path separate from your actions, as opposed to your choice in actions directly choosing your path for you, or what?

pip3dream
pip3dream

 @SavoyPrime Well - why wouldn't it be a choice that would be reflected accurately?  I really haven't followed the press at all on this game, (although I'm definitely going to get it, I love steampunk/cyberpunk) - but it seems that in our society, killing is not a good thing.  And this would be in-line with the story presented above about your character.  Your character was a good person, who is framed for something they didn't do.  It seems accurate that if your character was driven to murder repeatedly, regardless of how your character started, this would ultimately be a negative consequence.  And a choice you made, right?

kvan33
kvan33

I agree.  When I play a game that has real consequences for dying, the whole experience is made more intense and satisfying.  Great games like Bioshock and Borderlands where cheapened a little because death carried no penalty.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

 @exedeath I'm not sure you really get the game concept they're going for here. They kind of already stated that running and gunning would get you killed a lot, especially early on before you've had chance to get most of those mystical powers. From everything they've said and shown it seems more like a magical first person hitman game than anything remotely like cod. You could run and gun your way through hitman but you'd die a lot. Also given the general openness of the levels I doubt there is much autosaving going on since you're clearly not going through checkpoints. Also you're pretty much painting all players as a bunch of knuckle dragging headshot fanatics. Most players don't require perma-death in order to stop them running and gunning and the kind who do probably won't play this game since its clearly not aimed at them. I'll be aiming for a no fatalities run preferably with no one realising I'm there until I'm not and I'm pretty sure the majority of players will be pretty sneaky on their first run. If you really need the threat of perma-death to stop you trying to treat the game like call of duty: steampunk then you're probably playing the wrong game.

i-like-me
i-like-me

 @exedeath So all the people who got annoyed with Deus ex Human revolution's boss battles forcing you to fight them when you have poured all your upgrade point into stealth skills were just running and gunning were they? There is also no reason why you can't give yourself those restrictions I am going to complete the game without making any kills except to advance the plot so you could just say I am only going to use 3 lives per level and your happy and it doesn't negatively affect someone who does want to go for combat run.

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

 @Tygravius The more attention a game gets, it means the publisher is more confident in the status of a product as headlining product. With this game it's even better since it is not part of a franchise.

deathblow3
deathblow3

 @DarkSaber2k sounds different to me at least it wont be call of doody or another battlefail. sounds like you take any game info as hype. or if a dev takes about his game he is hyping it we yeah why would you make something you dont like or believe in. this guy is making game as oppose to the pr guy activision and ea use that don't evendo one lick of programming for the game

Ray5555
Ray5555

 @servb0ts

 Once they released more info about it at E3 it was easily a day 1 buy for me

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

 @pip3dream Well when you speak on it the way you just did, that actually makes sense. Not sure if I'm going to pick it up though since I'm not that big on stealth-heavy gameplay.