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SWTOR got it wrong – oh so very wrong – but here we are once again, looking at a mega-bucks MMO that could> make World of Warcraft wriggle around uncomfortably, like it’s wearing underwear a size too small. Like it or not, Skyrim is a game which crossed to The Other Side, that strange and terrifying world of people who play games but don’t follow gaming. Y’know, Normals. As such, Bethesda’s upcoming massively multiplayer monster-stabber The Elder Scrolls Online has at least a chance at a very big audience, not purely the MMO-educated. We shall see!
Just before Christmas, Nathan wrote a piece asking for a conversation about the role gaming violence plays in our lives. And as so many have when discussing the topic, he featured an image from Dishonored at the top – a man getting stabbed through the neck. For Joe Houston, the former Arkane developer who created that stabbing scene, this was the prompt he needed to give his own perspective on the subject. >
Whenever I’m clicking my way through game industry opinion articles, I tend to get hung up on pieces about video game violence. This is mostly because the image plastered across the top of the post is a screen grab from Dishonored. You know, the one where a member of the city watch gets his jugular opened in a first-person blast of arterial spray. But it’s not the shock of that image that stops me. No, I pause because I’m the guy that wrote the code to make the player do that in the first place.
They did. They absolutely, utterly, completely modded a new world into Skyrim that’s based on Super Mario. Super Skyrim Bros. adds a new instance into Skyrim, so you at least won’t be converting all of Bethesda’s chilly wastes to the blocky nightmare you see here. Just a corner of it. A nightmare of question mark blocks, coins, Goombas, Koopas, secrets, and even Bowser. Want to see it in action? You’ll need sunglasses and a quiet room to lie down in after. I’m about to hit my sofa and hide under some cushions. (more…)
I don’t know who the head of Bethesda is. I’ll assume it’s John Bethesda Softworks. Hello, Mr Bethesda Softworks! Mind if I call you John? Nope. Grand. I have an idea for you: crowd-source the content for next Elder Scrolls. Calm down, John. Stop throwing things and hear me out. I know your games are lorey love letters to the world you created with Adrian Elder Scrolls, but things are moving on. Fans of games don’t need developers, just tools and assets to make their own game. You could spend all your time churning out huts and swords, and leave it to the people to make something from it. I have proof: this Skyrim mod Interesting NPCs adds over 100 new NPCS to the game, with over 90 of them voiced by actors. (more…)
There’s no question that Dishonored’s Heart deserves celebration. Fortunately RPS contributor Paul Walker has done that in fine style, digging in to what makes the object so significant to the game, and speaking to co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio about how it came to exist, and their feelings about its part in the game.>
Dishonored’s Heart is an object which lives up to its name in many ways. It breathes life into the game’s characters, imbues the city of Dunwall with soul, and helps the player to feel the melancholy tone which permeates all facets of its world. Characterised by the intersection of the mystical and the technological, it distills the very essence of the pseudo-Victorian steampunk landscape in which Dishonored’s tale unfolds. It is presented to the player as a navigation tool — a guide to lead players to the occult items littered throughout the fictional city of Dunwall. But, as co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio told me, “It also plays a part related to informing their decisions about when to apply violence or not, making it a really interesting, more subtle part of the power fantasy.” Here we start to get to grips with what it is the makes the Heart so compelling.
For a while there, I thought we were going to find RAGE on some trashy “What ever happened to… ?” television special. It’d have been huddled in the back of a barely lit trailer, clad in a grease-and-sweat-stained bathrobe and wolfing down an entire carton of metropolitan ice cream. “I coulda been somethin’,” it’d have said between chunky mouthfuls. “I coulda gone places. But then id got all distant, and everyone forgot about me.” Then: warm salty tears, pitter-pattering into the sticky sugar soup below. That depressing reality, however, is no longer our own. After leaving RAGE untouched for a year, id’s finally returned to its not-so-deserted deserts. The result? A brand new, six-area DLC tale called “Scorchers.” Sweet, sweet deets after the break.
I remember when I turned 15. It was pretty unspectacular. I couldn’t drive yet, I didn’t really have much of a party to speak of, and hardly any of the entire Internet used it as an opportunity to fondly reminisce about rocket jumps and murder. But now, Quake II turns 15, and suddenly it gets the royal treatment. Bizarre, right? It really is just the darndest thing. Maybe everyone’s still waiting to leap out and surprise me. I bet that’s it. Any second now. While we’re waiting, though, I suppose we can discuss some crazy Quake II factoids. But only just for a bit. And you have to put on this party hat and pretend to be having fun. I demand it.
The first DLC for Dishonored is, as we know, the Dunwall City Trials. Rather than expanding the story in any meaningful way, this is much more of a mechanical inclusion, a series of tests to apply skills gained from playing the game in its rather beautiful setting. And there’s a new trailer showing it in action. With the most inappropriate, dreadful music imaginable. Take action! Click below!
Bethesda have announced that Skyrim’s Dragonborn DLC will be available on PC early next year, following a gestation period on the MicroBox. The content is out shortly on the console of 360 exclusives so the internet will be full of details soon but a leak has already occurred in Bethesda’s dam. Apparently. There’s a great deal of plausible information, apparently courtesy of a beta tester, trapped like a fly in the interweb and if you so wish you can look peruse the info-spillage at The Outhousers forum where it first appeared. The bit about dragonbirth labour pains is particularly enlightening. The link contains a million spoilers, of course.
I wonder what sales projections look like for Bethesda. The splendid news today is that Dishonored has outsold the publisher’s expectations. But when they sell games like Skyrim, what must those expectations be like! Talking to Destructoid, the Mouth Of Bethesda, Pete Hines, was disappointingly cagey about saying exactly how many copies had sold (oh could this industry just GROW UP), but did explain that they were so impressive that Bethesda now have a new franchise on their hands.