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Dishonored

Bethesda photo
Bethesda

All the Bethesda games are up for pre-order now


Amazon's on it
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
Bethesda kicked off E3 2015 with a nice little press conference last night. The stars of the show were Fallout 4, Doom, and Dishonored 2. Each title got a fair chunk of time dedicated to it, so we know what they look like (ev...
Bethesda.net photo
Bethesda.net

Bethesda games gets new hub, called Bethesda.net


One place to rule them all
Jun 14
// Darren Nakamura
At Bethesda's E3 press conference tonight, the publisher announced its new hub Bethesda.net (pronounced without a "dot"). The hub will handle all of Bethesda's online games. The list of games that will go through the centralized hub is shown above, including a lot of big names: Dishonored, Doom, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, The Evil Within, Quake, Wolfenstein, and newcomer Battlecry.
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Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2 announced with female protagonist


Or a male protaganist
Jun 14
// Jed Whitaker
Arkane Studios announced Dishonored 2 on Bethesda's E3 2015 stream, featuring the option to play as a female protagonist named Emily Kaldwin. In the trailer Emily takes on four-armed robots, and she does some cool shadow pow...

E3 2015 Leak photo
E3 2015 Leak

Something Dishonored might be getting announced tomorrow


Bethesda's hot mic mistakes
Jun 13
// Jed Whitaker
Bethesda's E3 press conference isn't till tomorrow, but that didn't stop it from accidently streaming some rehearsal audio on its Twitch channel today. The above audio was captured from said stream. It is to be noted th...
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Dishonored

Dishonored: Definitive Edition may be a thing, according to a Brazilian rating


Another remaster?
May 11
// Chris Carter
Dishonored had plenty of legs after its release. Like most AAA games it had DLC, and even a Game of the Year Edition release. Now, you may be able to play it on current-gen systems. According to a listing from the Brazilian A...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored is also free on Steam this weekend


In addition to Borderlands 2
Aug 22
// Chris Carter
Starting now until Sunday at 1PM Pacific, you can play Dishonored for free on Steam this weekend. In addition to Borderlands 2 you can also get in on some stealth action, and the game has been marked down to $5 until Aug...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

PSA: Xbox Live Gold members, go get yo' free games!


Except for Dishonored; you get to wait for that
Aug 01
// Brett Makedonski
As you flip the calendar from July's impossibly cute picture of a puppy to August's impossibly cute picture of a puppy, you should be reminded that there's a new stable of free games to download on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for X...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

August Games with Gold: Dishonored, Crimson Dragon, more


Next month's Xbox One and 360 titles announced
Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
Microsoft has come out with its August lineup of free games for Xbox Live Gold members and the highlight here is unquestionably Arkane Studios' stealth title Dishonored. You'll want to clear hard drive space for it in a coupl...
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QuakeCon

Dishonored is $4.99 in the yearly QuakeCon Steam sale


The Elder Scrolls Online is also making its Steam debut
Jul 17
// Alasdair Duncan
The horribly cynical part of me is wondering what's going to actually happen at this year's QuakeCon; now that John Carmack is gone from the company and Doom 4 still just exists as a trailer, is there much to look forward to?...
Arkane Studios photo
Arkane Studios

Arkane Studios is making its next game with CryEngine


Maybe a new Dishonored?
Nov 04
// Brett Makedonski
Whatever projects are on the horizon for Arkane Studios, it looks like CryEngine will play a significant part in at least one of them. ZeniMax is looking to hire developers who have experience with the engine for both Arkane ...

New releases: Beyond, Pokemon X/Y, Disgaea

Oct 07 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Xbox 360: Capcom Essentials, Just Dance 2014, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Let's Sing and Dance, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition PS3: Beyond: Two Souls, Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness, Capcom Essentials, Just Dance 2014, Atomic Ninjas, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition, Orc Attack Wii U: Just Dance 2014 Wii: Just Dance 2014 PC: F1 2013, Gas Guzzlers Extreme, Borderlands 2: Game of the Year Edition, Farming Simulator 2013 Titanium Edition, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition 3DS: Pokemon X, Pokemon Y PS Vita: Atomic Ninjas, Worms Revolution Extreme, Malicious Rebirth Just Dance 2014 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii) [embed]263182:50805:0[/embed] Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) [embed]263182:50807:0[/embed] Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) [embed]263182:50808:0[/embed] Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness (PS3) [embed]263182:50809:0[/embed]
New releases photo
Plus Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year editions
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. ...

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Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition coming Oct. 8


Priced at $39.99
Sep 12
// Dale North
One of my favorite games of the past year, Dishonored, gets a Game of the Year edition. Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC this October 8 in North America (Oct. 11 for Europe), pr...
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GTA, CoD, & Dishonored Multiplayer! Plus: Prey 2 Reboot?


The Destructoid Show does a little dance
Aug 16
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! I'm back from my important business trip to give you hard-hitting news about video games! Hooray! Today we talk about Grand Theft Auto Online, which sounds totally nuts, and apparently involves submarines?! Dying L...

Review: Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches

Aug 16 // Fraser Brown
Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Arkane StudiosPublisher: Bethesda Release: August 13, 2013MSRP: $9.99 The Knife of Dunwall's slightly contrived tale of a broken assassin attempting to atone for his heinous acts was surprisingly impersonal. Daud's not very charismatic, helped little by Michael Madsen's half-hearted vocal talents, and while his investigation into the mysterious painter known as Delilah was a good excuse for lots of wonderful stealth and murder, it wasn't in the least bit gripping. The Brigmore Witches immediately fixes this with its sharp focus: Daud's out for revenge. There's still a lot of nonsense about atoning for past sins, but playing in high chaos like I was, there's little forgiveness to be found or earned. Instead it's a hunt for Delilah. She who caused Daud's protégé to betray her master. We're still dallying in the realm of clichés, but it's one that doesn't come with the baggage of dissonance.    The first of the three missions sees Daud sneak into Coldridge Prison, not long after Corvo's escape. What could have so easily been a regurgitated level manages to be entirely fresh, and Arkane use it to expertly showcase the features that make The Brigmore Witches stand out from both the core game and its sister DLC.  Favors remain, introduced in The Knife of Dunwall, and continue to completely change the dynamic of a mission. For a fairly small amount of gold, Daud's able to get his hands on an Overseer disguise, and makes it into Coldridge right through the front door, unimpeded. None of the intensity provided by slowly sneaking into the imposing prison is lost, as Daud's instructed to stick to only a small part of the facility, and there's always that sense that he's going to be discovered.  Goodies locked away behind bars, like gold or elixirs, are a splendid excuse to use Daud's new power. A simple ability gifted to him by the Outsider, allowing the master murderer to pull items towards him. Upgraded, it can even snare people, leaving them vulnerable to a killing blow from Daud's bloodied knife.  Coldridge is on edge after Corvo's escape. The guards are meaner, more paranoid; the river has been drained, stopping anyone from leaping off the bridge; and those considered responsible for letting the Lord Protector slip through the grasp of the Lord Regent are about to be executed. It's the smallest of the three missions, but it does the best job of connecting the old with the new. It is in Drapers Ward, the textile and seamstress district making up the second act, where most of Brigmore takes place. Canals, sewers, once glamorous streets now filled with detritus and crumbling buildings, factories, and a dock collide, making it by far the most diverse location. A savage gang war is tearing the place apart, with the dapper, top hat-wearing Hatters on one side, and the Dead Eel smugglers on the other. While criminals paint the streets red with blood, Daud prowls above them. They fight amongst themselves, against the hungry rats, and like all the enemies in both expansions, they patrol erratically, making them tricky bastards to predict. Initially, both gangs will attack Daud on sight, but a side is taken, and deals are struck. Where The Knife of Dunwall fleshed out the grisly whaling industry, Brigmore gives depth to Dunwall's criminal element and its textile industry. There's plenty of history to be devoured, all of it interesting, despite textiles not normally conjuring up exciting images. It's a history of oppression, and a fall from grace that revealed the true face of one of the city's most popular districts. The criminals are just more open about being criminals now. Dark, claustrophobic tunnels sit beneath towering apartments and wide open spaces, demanding players switch strategies to tackle the varied geography of this slice of Dunwall. Options are plentiful, with additional objectives, side-missions, secrets, and puzzles making the ward a content-rich space. A quest from Granny Rags involving a corpse wedding, locked safes and homes, the opportunity to eradicate a whole section of the city in one fell swoop -- there's plenty to keep Daud busy. Even while exploring a prison filled with mechanical security systems and the one-time heart of the textile industry, magic flows throughout The Brigmore Witches. Runes and bone charms return, of course, giving Daud new abilities or upgraded old ones, but with them comes corrupted charms. Made from broken bits and pieces of other charms or put together by amateurs, they do not work as intended. A charm designed to make its owner's attacks stronger also makes said attacks slower, while another gives the wearer preternatural speed at the cost of hardiness.  Frankly, they are a bit crap. Daud's a pretty deadly fellow as it is, so they payoff isn't really worth the negative side effects. There are so many regular bone charms (especially if you're using a save from Knife of Dunwall, letting you keep all the ones you found in the earlier DLC) that there's simply no reason to cripple yourself unless you want a bit of extra challenge.  It's a missed opportunity. There are a few books and accounts of these corrupted charms scattered throughout the maps, and there's a huge difference between those being described and those Daud finds. One charm apparently made its bearer able to deflect attack as if he wore armor, but every time he was struck, one of his teeth would turn black and fall out. Another account describes a man purchasing a charm that would allow him to dream of a night spent with the object of his affections, but instead fed him nightmares where he saw her sleep with every single one of his enemies. I would have loved to see a more creative application of these dark objects, but instead they provide some minor buffs and debuffs. Elsewhere, magic is more deftly handled. The eponymous witches are bloody horrifying. Decaying women consumed by magic and nature, they fight with powers similar to Daud's, but with greater intensity. Blinking in and out of existence, they viscously stab and slice, before vanishing only to appear far away, where they start to shriek like banshees, assaulting Daud with their screams.  Deadly and unpredictable on their own, these harridans are unfortunately rarely alone. In the once beautiful and now dilapidated Brigmore Manor, the setting of The Brigmore Witches' final act, they not only tend to patrol in groups, but are flanked by hellish mutts that will hunt their quarry to the ends of the earth. What both Dishonored and The Knife of Dunwall sorely lacked were truly threatening antagonists. The Brigmore Witches is not so hampered.  Daud's final mission is undoubtedly his most challenging. I confess that I'm glad I was going for a high-chaos run, as staying hidden from this army of eldrich women and avoiding all conflict would be a tall order -- though it's one I will endeavour to attempt somewhere down the line. It is only in the final moments where I felt let down by The Brigmore Witches. A shaky, humdrum "boss" confrontation that throws stealth and planning out the window, and then an epilogue that flies in the face of my own experiences in Dishonored felt tacked on, but they fail to mar an otherwise superb expansion. All I really wanted was more Dishonored, but what I got was something that surpasses it. Intricate level design, nuanced worldbuilding, and gameplay that demands a thoughtful approach even when resulting in flashy, bloody violence -- The Brigmore Witches is setting the bar very high for future stealth romps. 
Brigmore Witches review photo
Never anger a witch
I'm meant to be playing a cold, calculating murderer -- a man who assassinated an empress and gave her innocent daughter to traitors. So why am I hiding atop a broken chandelier, a mess of tightly wound nerves and sweat? Beca...

Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Arkane hints at what's next for Dishonored


The studio is 'keeping an eye out for ways to do multiplayer the right way'
Aug 15
// Jordan Devore
Arkane Studios has -- for the time being, anyway -- wrapped up Dishonored, now that The Brigmore Witches DLC is out. The stealth-action title has done well enough to be considered a full franchise by publisher Bethesda and it...
DLC photo
DLC

Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches sets it all to rest


Fire burn and cauldron bubble
Aug 05
// Abel Girmay
All great things must end, and it has been a great run for Dishonored, which is set to conclude with Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches. This final DLC is meant to wrap up Daud's story, as he confronts Delilah Cooperspoon...
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19-year-old spent a year making this amazing Skyrim mod


Featuring 25 hours of new content
Jul 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Skyrim mods are the best, like the one we just featured that brings in Dishonored powers into Skyrim. This one, though, takes the cake. Falskaar is a new mod and it features nearly 25 hours of new content. That's new charact...
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Mad Max gameplay, GTA's dogs & Dishonored's witch hunt


The Destructoid Show puts its pants on one leg at a time
Jul 16
// Max Scoville
Today's Destructoid Show is brought to you by vacation! Which I am going on, tomorrow. Because I feel like it. The News: Avalanche Studios' Mad Max will probably be cool, but I'm unimpressed, Dishonored's final DLC...
Skyrim mod photo
Skyrim mod

New mod brings the powers of Dishonored to Skyrim


You can now wield Corvo's arsenal, including the handy Blink power
Jul 16
// Alasdair Duncan
The Skyrim modding community continues to impress; this time it's a new mod entitled The Gift of the Outsider which has brought the powers wielded by Dishonored's protaganist Corvo into Skyrim. Blink, Devouring Swarm, Wind B...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

'The Brigmore Witches' DLC for Dishonored dated


You can wait another month, right?
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Bethesda has lifted the curtain on the next and final DLC for Arkane Studios' Dishonored. Picking up right where The Knife of Dunwall left off, The Brigmore Witches is heading to PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on August 13 i...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

More Dishonored DLC teased by Bethesda


Two images hint at the conclusion of Daud's story
Jul 15
// Alasdair Duncan
Bethesda has teased more upcoming Dishonored content with a pair of mysterious images posted on its blog, with the promise of more to come. In the previous DLC, The Knife of Dunwall, the assassin Daud encountered a witch name...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored is $20 on Xbox Live this week


DLC also discounted
Jul 10
// Jordan Devore
In another unusually good sale for Xbox Live, Arkane Studios' Dishonored is down to a mere $19.99 for Gold members now through Monday, July 15. It's as good of time as any to attempt that non-lethal run you've always dreamed ...
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Upcoming Dishonored DLC bundles pre-order rewards


Void Walker's Arsenal dated
May 03
// Jordan Devore
Pre-order bonuses aren't going anywhere, it seems. And if that truly is the case, the least a developer can do is make retailer-exclusive rewards available after the fact. I'll never buy this stuff, but someone else presumabl...

Review: Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall

Apr 22 // Fraser Brown
Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall (PC [Reviewed], PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developer: Arkane StudiosPublisher: Bethesda Release: April 16, 2013MSRP: $9.99 The clock has been reset, and Dunwall is once more under the oppressive heel of the Lord Regent, Empress Kaldwin is recently deceased, and Corvo Attano is wanted for her murder. The real murderer, the veteran assassin Daud, takes center stage in this bloody drama. The Knife of Dunwall eschews the silent protagonist of its predecessor, giving Daud a voice in the form of gravel-throated Michael Madsen. I was not a fan of keeping Corvo mute throughout the original game, not merely because of the dissonance created by having people constantly talking to someone who never so much as utters a word, but also because it simply made him a frustratingly boring protagonist. So, on paper, having a more chatty assassin seemed like a wonderful idea. It is a shame, then, that Daud is almost as bland as Corvo. He feels bad about killing the late Empress (sort of), and is seeking redemption for her murder (sort of), and he does this by embarking on a convoluted investigation into a woman called Delilah that sees him assassinating a whole bunch of people. The narrative is far from gripping, and the lip service paid to themes like guilt and redemption are at odds with the murderous nature of Daud. Of course, much like its forebearer, the entire three-mission piece of DLC can be completed without murdering anyone, but unlike Corvo, Daud is a genuine assassin, and The Knife of Dunwall always seems like it leans more towards high chaos -- in great part due to the amount of enemies and their patterns. Foes are rarely by themselves, and when I spotted a solitary guard, he'd usually have a chum (or four) right around the corner, waiting to jump out at the most inopportune time. The Shadow Kill perk, which makes a welcome return, was my best friend, turning dead bodies to ash and allowing me to continue my murderous activities without alerting the veritable army of enemies.  There's a lot more urgency in The Knife of Dunwall, with harder-to-predict patrols making hiding an unconscious body a nerve-wracking affair, and close calls punctuated the whole experience with great frequency. I tried to use non-lethal approaches as much as I could, but I'd often find myself in situations where I'd be taking a huge risk by not permanently dispatching someone.  I recall one attempt I made to find an appropriate nook to hide a slumbering chap that ended in a significant amount of bloodshed. I was making past some boxes, looking for a good place to dump my snoring friend, when no less than three guards walked around the corner. I chucked the body aside, unfortunately dropping it over a rail and into the river, and blinked up onto the boxes above my foes. The new blink mechanic is rather delightful, stopping time entirely when you are standing still to allow for plenty of time to analyze the situation. From my spot atop the crates, I summoned a friendly assassin -- another of Daud's special abilities -- and managed to drop all three guards with bolts launched from my wrist-mounted crossbow as they struggled to deal with my swirling, vanishing ally. I could have dealt with these party crashers in a completely different fashion, mind you. If I'd been feeling less like sticking around, for instance, I could have blinked away, leaving one of Sokolov's ingenious ark mines behind as a little present. The guards would have inevitably given chase, and found themselves reduced to nothing more than ash on the ground, as the mine shot out fatal streaks of electricity.  Even when painting my blade with the blood of my foes, I never stopped trying to be a stealthy assassin. All three of the sprawling levels must have been designed by those familiar with staying out of sight, as they are laden with secret routes, high perches, and underground passages. Sneaking through a tunnel drenched in the blood of tortured whales might allow Daud to completely avoid a confrontation, while blinking up onto a walkway puts him in a perfect position to take dangerous foes out from afar, or even drop on top of them, blade first, before they can react. It is entirely possible to run through each mission in an almost straight line, slicing flesh, firing off bullets and bolts, and launching grenades with wild abandon, but to do so would ignore most of the DLC. Bone charms and runes return, there's a lot of new reading material for those with an appetite for Dishonored's rich lore, and little touches that breathe life into the world litter every level. Truly exploring each area can take up to six hours or more, but turning it into a blood-drenched sprint warps it into a half-hour-long, less-satisfying experience. While The Knife of Dunwall's missions may not reach the heights of the Boyle's masquerade or the Golden Cat, the first mission -- which sheds more light on Dunwall's grisly whaling industry -- is undoubtedly one of the best designed game-spaces in both the DLC and game proper. It both encapsulates what makes Dishonored such a delight to play and introduces a few new things, including the horrific Butchers -- a particularly nasty enemy who requires a wee bit more thought that most to dispatch. The new protagonist and plot may have been underwhelming -- and completely unfinished until Arkane releases the next piece of DLC -- but I'm less disappointed due to the polished gameplay. Daud has less tricks than Corvo, and damn do I miss the talking heart, but it all goes towards making The Knife of Dunwall a more focused package. Solving puzzles by silently watching guards, figuring out who to dispatch and when; uncovering new paths when you find your progress blocked by criss-crossing guard patrols; and being able to adapt to increasingly challenging encounters lie at the core of the experience, not the narrative or plethora of powers. Dunwall also remains an intriguing place, filled with mystery and character, even if this particular yarn isn't all that interesting. After finishing Dishonored I wanted more, and The Knife of Dunwall gives me exactly that. Hell, at moments I even completely forgot that I was no longer playing Corvo, as both he and Daud do play in generally the same way. The promise of more DLC has me excited, if not to finish Daud's adventure, then to explore more of this detailed world, and embark on more devilishly challenging assassinations. 
Knife of Dunwall review photo
A honed blade
Crouching on the rooftop of a dilapidated building in the whale oil-fuelled Victorian dystopia of Dunwall, I felt like I had never left. I'd cleared the name of Corvo Attano, saved a child who would become an Empres...

Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition happens every Monday!
This week, Jimquisition gives you a brief lesson in pasta sauce, and ties it into the misguided quest for perfection currently plaguing the so-called "AAA" title scene. Expanding on a few ideas found in last week's...

Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored's lore summed up in a minute


They make it sound so simple
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Dishonored is the game with the racists people in the sky? Or is it the one with the head crabs? I've been playing Black Mesa and BioShock Infinite recently, so Dishonored feels like a distant memory, despite it being my per...
New releases photo
New releases

New releases: The Knife of Dunwall blinks into existence


Plus Injustice, Rise of the Hutt Cartel, and Soul Hackers
Apr 15
// Fraser Brown
After a couple of lackluster weeks of new releases, we're spoiled for choice this week. A plethora of games drop, begging for your attention. Time to blow more money. At the top of the list, for me, is the latest piece of Di...

Bethesda versus freemium multiplayer sequels

Apr 15 // Jim Sterling
"I’m not sure I know the answer to that," confessed vice president Pete Hines in conversation. "It might be that we were simply set up as a different type of company. Our origins were as a boutique-type developer, not a massive publisher with huge overhead and thousands and thousands of employees. We come at things from a different perspective, having gotten into this as a developer that published its own games." Though it may have started small, Bethesda's projects these days are large in scale, and as risky as any release from the likes of Electronic Arts or Ubisoft. Despite this, the company has enjoyed major success with games that other companies are too afraid to touch. Dishonored, if we believe the words of Bethesda's peers, should have failed. It's a brand new IP, a single-player game, without an online pass to protect it from the scourge of GameStop. What's more, it's a linear experience, with a running time some would call too short to maintain player interest. And yet, the game sold quite well, with Bethesda going so far as to call it the beginning of a new series.  Hines admits there is some truth to the belief that it's difficult to sell a game like Dishonored this late in the generation. There is a gamble at play, but ultimately, it can be even less of a risk to just let passionate developers work on the projects they want to work on, rather than force them to do something else.  "There is certainly some truth to the premise. It is more difficult to establish a new IP than it is to go with something people know. It adds risk. And when you're talking about development budgets as big as they are now for these releases -- plus all the support that goes along with that -- from QA, Sales, Marketing, Legal, Finance -- a lot of people are gonna spend a lot of time working to make that game a success. "In listening to the kinds of comments you're talking about, what I really hear is people talking about the risk. You're taking a bigger chance that all that work by all those people is going to pay off. And going with an established IP helps reduce that risk and better ensures success. "With a game like Dishonored, you're talking about a talented, experienced developer like Arkane, with two industry vets -- Raf and Harvey -- leading the project, and they're making the kind of game they know and love; a game they'd always wanted to make, but never had the chance," Hines continues. "From my perspective, it's less risky to let them do that and put that passion in to something they believe in, even if it's new IP, than to tell them to go make a game based on some IP we own that they don't have that same passion for. Or if we made them include some kind of multiplayer because that's what market research says we need. But that wasn't the game they wanted to make. Talented people making something they love and believe in is where, I think, success happens." But surely, single-player gaming is dead, no matter how passionate a developer is. Why is Dishonored surviving in the face of that stark reality? The Bethesda camp believes it's not so much reality as it is people skewing the narrative based on their own interests.  "It's important to note that quite a few people who tend to say those kinds of things do so because it's not what they're doing," explains the VP. "No publisher or developer making single-player games ever comes out and says single-player games won't work. Guys that do mobile games predict that console gaming as we know it is dying. People that do console-only games proclaim that PC is dead. Funny how people don't predict failure for the thing it is they're making or doing. They make those statements to build up or defend what they're doing and tear down what they aren't doing. "Or, they just don't know what the hell they're talking about." Hines remains adamant that solo experiences still have plenty of life left.  "Single-player games aren't going anywhere. Bethesda Softworks has been making single-player games for all of our 25+ years in the industry. We're still here, we're still making them, and people are still buying them. Dishonored was single-player and people really loved it, and it sold well. Skyrim was a complete success. A single-player RPG. There's practically a cottage industry dedicated to talking about how that isn't possible or why that won't succeed. Console fans won't get a game like that. Has to have multiplayer of some kind. PC gaming is dead. It's gotta be a shooter. RPGs are a niche. Etc. "People like fun games. They have games they like to play by themselves, they have games they like to play with others. Every game doesn't have to be all things to all people. And so the Skyrims and Fallout 3s and Bioshock Infinites and Walking Deads of the world aren't going anywhere. Just stop already." A quality solo experience can be achieved with dedication and resources, but often the narrative campaign has to share space with a multiplayer mode, often suggested to be crucial to any game's success these days. That in mind, I was curious as to whether or not Bethesda felt Skyrim could have benefited from an online mode, whether it indeed could have led to the game selling better.  "Given how well it did I'm not sure that's possible," Hines informed me. "Actually, I'm pretty positive the opposite is true. The time and energy we would have put into adding online/co-op/whatever functionality to Skyrim would have taken away from the single-player experience. I don't think the game would have been as good. We'd spend a lot more time working on how it all works when one person is playing versus two people, and the end result would have been a lesser game. "Todd Howard has explicitly said this in the past, so I'm gonna go with what he thinks. I think multiplayer really helps when multiplayer is important to the game experience the developer wants to create. If it's not important, leave it out." Some publishers seem to have an ulterior motive for sidelining solo experiences, with some of them quite open about their fear of single-player games being beaten and traded in. The used game market is a long-running boogieman of the industry, replacing rental services like Blockbuster after the nineties. Again, Bethesda concedes that secondhand games are a concern, and may not have an answer, but companies can try to combat them by offering quality products.  "Absolutely it's a concern," said Hines. "We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that's worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further. "There's no doubt that being a videogamer is expensive. Games are not cheap to buy because they're expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable. I'm not sure anyone has figured out a solution that works for everyone, and there simply may not be one until someone figures out how to include developers and publishers in the loop on used games sales instead of keeping it all for themselves." Bethesda is not a dyed-in-the-wool customer hero, it has to be said. The company has had its fair share of difficulties with the game buying public, one of the earliest being the notorious Horse Armor DLC -- a useless downloadable purchase for Oblivion that, well, added armor to a horse. It's funny, however, that what was once such a controversy has become a norm. Many games ship with silly cosmetic content that can be downloaded at launch, for a price. Sometimes, the content's even on the disc itself, demanding cash for an unlock.  These days, Bethesda's DLC plans aren't quite so obnoxious, and have certainly taken a step back from the kind of practices seen in games like Dead Space 3.  "Horse Armor was really the first time anyone had tried any real DLC, and was us taking a shot in the dark as far as what DLC might look like or include. We obviously evolved from there both in terms of what we offered, and more importantly what we charged for it. So I think it was partly what the very first one happened to be and how everyone reacted to the very idea of any DLC. If the first DLC had been "Fighter's Stronghold," we probably still would have seen a reaction, but I don't know if it would have been the same kind of reaction. "As you said, we do like to try to make DLC a bit more substantial and haven't done the things a lot of other folks have tried that you mentioned. There are a lot of ways to do DLC, we've tried to stick with what feels right, what fits the game, and what can be successful. Every game is different and the size of the DLC and timing is always going to change based on what the team wants to do, how long that will take, what other project(s) they need to move onto, etc. I can't say what will or won't work for anyone else, just that we're very pleased with the reaction to the DLC we've done over the years and we're going to continue to try to do things that fans want and enjoy." In the mainstream market space, Bethesda remains something of an anomaly. In a way, its recent library of lengthy solo role-playing games and linear, narrative-driven first-person shooters may look old fashioned, even archaic. Its bread and butter is a stable of games rooted in the past of the industry -- its established franchises are venerable, its new ones informed by the design of past generations. In a world where every other publisher is grasping at the new in total uniformity, however, Bethesda's seasoned approach comes off as positively fresh.  Bethesda isn't perfect. Its history with the PlayStation 3 could certainly have been better, and its games regularly pay for their huge size with many documented flaws. When it comes to the business of making and selling games, however, it's one of the few large publishers left I can respect. Even as The Elder Scrolls experiments with an MMO spin-off, and the company prepares to announce a free-to-play title by way of Battlecry Studios, I am consistently pleased by Bethesda's desire to demonstrate success with games other companies are terrified of failing with.  You did good, Bethesda. Keep doing that. 
Bethesda photo
How Dishonored, Skyrim and Fallout find success where none should be
The game industry tells us many things in order to justify its various activities. Multiplayer is added to so many games because solo experiences are dying. Online passes are needed because used games are killing creativity. ...

Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored's Corvo goes on a live action killing spree


With great powers come total carnage
Apr 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Dishonored's combination of magic and weaponry made for a perfect mixture of making you feel like a total overpowered badass. Stringing together kills all while teleporting around levels like your Nightcrawler from the opening of X-Men 2 can be thrilling, but you probably want to make sure you're not about to kill anyone important while on your spree.
April Fools photo
April Fools

Developers let loose in fake Dishonored walkthrough video


Featuring "the oddest threeway that has ever been in a videogame."
Apr 01
// Allistair Pinsof
Dishonored co-directors Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith are serious guys who make serious games, but in the above video we see a different side of them. The three minute long, heavily edited walkthrough plays like an E3 walk...

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