Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Paul Walker)

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.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

This is why you should always chain your house down by the load-bearing columns.

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!

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Starting to feel like home?

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.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Do not pass go, do not collect 200 bone charms

The somewhat underwhelming in concept first DLC for Dishonored is, as we already knew, Dunwall City Trials. It’s a challenge map pack rather than an expansion containing more long-game assassinations or world-building. This leaves me a little cold in principle, but perhaps there will be something to be said for using and combining the game’s many combat, stealth and movement systems unfettered and without the focus on meeting a specific objective.

The pack now has a release date, which is December 11, and a price, which is £3.99. And specific details, which are below. I’m nice like that. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Click upon me.

Remember Dishonored? No, you’re thinking of BioShock. Dishonored was the one with the Blinking. Yes! Gosh, those were the days. But soon we can relive them again, as Bethesda have announced a series of add-ons (not expansions, and not DLC – “add-ons”) that will be coming out in coming months. First up in December (December?! That’s hundreds of years away!) is Dunwall City Trials, and it’ll cost you €5, or £4, or whatever it is Americans use for bartering these days.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Botinacula, since you asked.

Yesterday Jim wrote a superb piece arguing that games are best when everything is going wrong. That the measure of a game’s potential for generating anecdotes, and its depth of connection to the player, is based in the amount of peril it’s able to generate. Citing games like Day Z, FTL and XCOM, Jim’s argument made one small mistake: it was all wrong. Games aren’t best when they’re stressing you out, piling on the pressure, raising your anxiety levels to breaking point! Games are best when they embrace you into their wonderful worlds, telling you great stories, and letting you get away from the incessant worries of real life.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Must have been rats?

With Dishonored reactivating long-dormant stealth glands the world over, now seems a fine time to revisit perhaps its primary ancestor, the Thief games. Doom 3 total conversion The Dark Mod is a mightily ambitious attempt to recreate Thief – its mechanics if not its actual missions – in a more modern, and very much darkness-orientated, engine. It’s just had a major update and a promising new mission added too.

I’m going to insert a ‘Read the rest of this entry’ link now, if that’s okay. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

I once read a suggestion by conservative philosopher Roger Scruton, that you could drop all of culture into two broad categories (I paraphrase): “High culture”, which is best appreciated with some formal education about what is going on with it (difficult literature, opera) and “Low Culture”, which is basically everything in folk, primitive, and pop culture, for which education is not required. Sounds stupid and elitist, doesn’t it? Scruton himself admits many caveats, as I recall. It’s clearly impossible to create two such categories. But recently, well, I’ve started to think that perhaps he’s right about the education thing. At least when it comes to videogames.

I speak with reference to this FT article about a non-gamer judging videogames, and subsequent defences of the same. Actually, no, I don’t think we really need to worry about what non-gamers think of games. And that is because, in this instance, we are the highly educated elite.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (RPS)

Stealth game fans pay heed. Over the next two days RPS hosts a conversation between Nels Anderson, Lead Design of Mark Of The Ninja, and a number of other stealth-game luminaries, as they discuss matters of of sneaking and hiding in videogame form. Anderson talks to Patrick Redding, Game Director on Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Andy Schatz, creator of Monaco, and Raphael Colantonio, co-creative director of Dishonored.

This is part one, part two will appear tomorrow. Onwards! (But stay out of sight…)> (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Nathan Grayson)

Dishonored is pretty great. Incredible, even – at least, in places. We’ve had many wordthinks about it, and odds are, the future will bring many more. Those, however, are for another time. Today, we’re giving the angular, Viktor-Antonov-designed spotlight over to one of the main minds behind the whale-powered wonder, Harvey Smith. From System Shock to the original Deus Ex to an ill-fated Area 51 reboot to a canceled RTS and even a brief stint in mobile gaming, he’s seen all corners of the gaming industry. But – dare I suggest it – there’s far more to life than videogames. So I sat down with Smith to discuss how and why he does what he does, and as it turns out, he may well be just as incredible as the game he played a crucial role in creating – if not more so.>

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