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Dishonored

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...
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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...
Game of the Year et al. photo
Game of the Year et al.

Journey kills at the Game Developers Choice Awards


More than half of the awards, including Game of the Year
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
Game of the Year, Innovation Award, Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game. That’s 6 out of 11 total awards, and the game was ineligible for two of them (and I’m still not sure why ...
Dishonored's initial plan photo
Dishonored's initial plan

Dishonored was originally to be set in medieval Japan


Don't call it steampunk. Or do, but it's not meant to be.
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
Arkane Studios’ Sebastien Mitton gave a talk at GDC in which he revealed the warmly received Dishonored was originally set to take place in medieval Japan. Mitton continued, “We thought medieval Japan was not goo...
Single-player lives photo
Single-player lives

Single-player games still alive says Dishonored dev


All this negativity is just a phase
Mar 27
// Raz Rauf
With so many online multiplayer games such as Halo and Call of Duty becoming successful franchises, console online gaming really took off this generation. In doing so, the demise of single-player games has become a hot topic ...
Focusing in Thief photo
Focusing in Thief

Hocus Focus: One of Thief's newest systems is optional


And yet...still present. At least presently.
Mar 27
// Steven Hansen
A lot of scrutiny has been directed toward the newly announced, next generation Thief game. In fact, enough people in the official Thief forum have been concerned about a detective mode-esque "Focus" ability that Eidos Montre...
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Saints Row IV, Battlefield 4 & The Phantom Pain


The Destructoid Show waves a big purple dildo around
Mar 15
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! I'm back from wherever I was, and I've brought with me today's Destructoid Show! Big news today with the first trailer for Saints Row IV, which looks as nutty as you'd expect it to. That'll be shown off at PAX East ...
Bethesda Shop photo
Bethesda Shop

Get Skyrim shirts from the official Bethesda store


Celebrate the pubs of Skyrim
Mar 14
// Joshua Derocher
Bethesda now has an official shop where you can buy a good-sized and varied selection of merchandise related to Skyrim, Dishonored, Fallout, Doom, Quake, and Wolfenstein. Everything from t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, figurines, lithographs, and messenger bags.  Personally, I would love to wear a Winking Skeever shirt with a pair of Vault 101 sneakers. That's the pinnacle of fashion my friends.
Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall DLC out April 16


Step into the murderous boots of Daud
Mar 13
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has today announced the second bag of add-on content for Dishonored, titled The Knife of Dunwall, is slated for a worldwide April 16 release date. It'll be available for systems across the board, enjoying release on ...
Awards photo
Awards

Journey wins big at the BAFTA Game Awards


The Walking Dead and Unfinished Swan win two awards each
Mar 06
// Alasdair Duncan
Looks like the folks at thatgamecompany might need a new trophy cabinet after Journey picked up five BAFTA Game Awards last night at the ceremony in London. The PlayStation Network title won awards for Artistic Achievement, A...
Xbox live games sale  photo
Xbox live games sale

Dishonored and Borderlands 2 50% off on XBL today


Also: Arkham City and Red Dead Redemption for $15
Mar 02
// Allistair Pinsof
The week's Xbox Live Arcade sale continues on, with 50% off Dishonored, Borderlands 2, and many more games. You may be able to find these titles cheaper at retail, but if you must play these games now -- and you really shou...
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New GDC talks on Dishonored, Journey, and...NASA?


Houston, we have news blog
Feb 13
// Dale North
This year's Game Developer's Conference, which takes place in late March in San Francisco, keeps filling up with more interesting talks and sessions. New ones announced this week are all interesting enough that I'm already tr...
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Jimquisition Awards: Dishonored


Five Days, Five Games, Five Awards
Dec 17
// Jim Sterling
The very first Jimquisition Awards are here! Five days, five games, five awards! We kick off with one of the most compelling new retail IPs released this year, a classic in the making from Arkane Studios and Bethesda. Yep, it could only be Dishonored!
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Dishonored's 'Dunwall City Trials' DLC gets a trailer


Complete with a rap and everything!
Dec 06
// Jordan Devore
Dishonored is one of those games that's mesmerizing to watch someone play well, and this trailer for the impending Dunwall City Trials add-on is no different. Releasing across all platforms on December 11, the downloadable c...
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Bethesda: Dishonored sales 'exceeding expectations'


Success paves way for franchise
Nov 27
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has told Destructoid that Dishonored, the critically acclaimed stealth-action title released last month, is performing above sales expectations, and the publisher is definitely pleased. While it declined to reveal ac...
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Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials DLC coming December 11


Ten challenge maps and new Achievements
Nov 27
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has announced that Dishonored will be getting its first downloadable content offering on December 11. Dunwall City Trials is a series of ten challenge maps designed to test you on stealth, combat, and agility.  ...
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Dishonored has three bits of DLC on the way


Bethesda announces expansion content for murder simulator
Oct 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
More content will be coming for Dishonored, according to Bethesda. They've confirmed plans for three expansion products, the first arriving in December. "Dunwall City Trials" will include ten challenges for players to attempt...
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Here's how to customize Dishonored's FOV even more


Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
Some people have specific tastes when it comes to their field of view in games. Being able to customize this setting from within a menu is always appreciated, but it's still not something I would expect to see in every major ...
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XCOM or Dishonored? YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE!


Two hot games, one launch day
Oct 09
// Jim Sterling
If there's one thing my Twitter feed has been telling me this week, it's that gamers are desperately choosing between XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored, two good looking games that, in their own ways, stand out among the gen...
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The DTOID Show: XCOM & Dishonored reviewed, RE6 DLC


Rayman delayed, Artemis coming to iOS
Oct 08
// Max Scoville
Oh man, what a big week for gaming. Like, because they're putting out a bunch of games and stuff.  In addition to reviews of Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown going up today, we've also got word that Rayman Legends has been delayed until Q1 2013, cyberhackers have discovered Resident Evil 6's kinda-sorta on-disc DLC, and spaceship bridge-simulator Artemis is coming to iOS. 

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