More Dishonored content on the way

Finish Dishonored, already? Completed a non-lethal playthrough, too? Congrats on being a true supernatural assassin! We recommend you continue honing your skills in preparation for the game’s upcoming game add-on content, Dunwall City Trials.

Dunwall City Trials will arrive simultaneously on PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360. Details on this add-on, as well as future plans, are outlined below:

Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials, being released in December for $4.99 (or 400 Microsoft Points), will include 10 challenge maps that will test and track your combat, stealth and mobility skills. Ten distinct trials await challengers – including an arena battle against waves of enemy AI, a gravity-defying run of drop assassinations, and a race against the clock. Dunwall City Trials also features a whole new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard that will establish the greatest assassins for each challenge.

The second and third add-ons for Dishonored will be coming in 2013 and will each feature story-driven campaigns. Pricing on these two packs will be revealed closer to launch.

Daud, the leader of a group of supernatural assassins known as ‘The Whalers’, will be the focus of the second add-on pack, scheduled for release in early Spring 2013. Make your way through new Dunwall locales and discover Daud’s own set of weapons, powers and gadgets in this story-driven campaign. How you play and the choices you make will impact the final outcome…

Additional story details on the third add-on pack will be revealed closer to its launch next year.

Stay tuned for more details.

Dishonored Remix Contest Finalists

The Dishonored Remix Contest entries are in, and we’ve been idly whistling and quietly commenting on your songs in the hallways of Bethesda for the past few weeks. Now the Lord Remix has finally passed down his judgment, and we are left with these ten musical assasssins:

  • Eddy Charlton
  • Mayank
  • Chris Williams
  • Kamil Wolter
  • Triune
  • Alex Simescu
  • Kjell Anderson
  • Marcus Banks
  • Robert Robinson
  • Xavier Paciocc

If you’re on this list, you’ve won a Dishonored t-shirt, a poster and a copy of the game. We’ll also be posting each of the finalists’ tracks next week for you to enjoy. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Hands-on previews for The Elder Scrolls Online (Updated)

Last week MMO and Elder Scrolls enthusiasts made their way to ZeniMax Online Studios and became the first to go hands on with The Elder Scrolls Online. With four hours to explore the game and access to key members of the development team, there’s plenty of new info being shared on their sites.

Among those covering the event was The Elder Scrolls Off the Record, and they definitely went on the record with numerous features on the game, including:

Making an MMO Feel Like Elder Scrolls

Finesse, Synergy, and You: How It All Fits Together in Elder Scrolls Online

ESO’s PvP: “Massive and Epic!!”

Your Character Development

ESO Unveiled!

All that plus they recorded their latest podcast while at the event. Listen to it on their site, via iTunes, or using Podkicker.

For more impressions, check out these sites:

MPOGD.com – “Though I got to spend a few quality hours with the game, it wasn’t enough for me, as I wanted to play and didn’t want to stop for lunch, bathroom breaks, or anything; I just wanted more.”

ZAM “The controls also feel like slipping on a pair of comfortable slippers.  Left mouse for weapon attack — held for power moves — right click for block is close enough to Skyrim et al to feel immediately familiar and engaging.” For more from ZAM, read their Big Picture article.

MMORPGRead their comprehensive preview, plus articles on PvP and social integration, impressions of playing as a Templar, and a write up on ZeniMax Online’s MMO Philosophy.

Ten Ton Hammer “…the first thing you should know about The Elder Scrolls Online is that it absolutely works as both a game worthy of flying the Elder Scrolls banner, and as an MMOG built for the modern era of our massive corner of the gaming industry.”

Strategy Informer hands-on preview:  “The Elder Scrolls Online is clearly an MMO with ambition but first and foremost it’s clearly an Elder Scrolls game – and that’ll ease the fears of many fans greatly.” In addition to preview, check out their interview with lead gameplay designer, Nick Konkle.

MMO Reporter Video interviews with creative director Paul Sage and game director Matt Firor.

Acolytes Gaming Community In-depth recap of the day spent at ZeniMax Online Studios.

Massively “TESO captures the spirit of the series’ combat in a way that is better-suited to an MMO environment, and in my opinion, considerably more engaging.”

RPG Gamer “…there are a lot of things here that make The Elder Scrolls Online a compelling experience for both MMO fans as well as those of us who simply enjoy the Elder Scrolls world and lore. And for someone who is not typically an MMO fan, the fact that this game now has my attention speaks volumes.”

Tamriel Foundry An explosion of coverage including interviews with lead PvP designer Brian Wheeler &  Matt and Paul, plus a hands-on report, combat feature, and general gameplay impressions.

RPGFan “TESO offers a highly polished social experience in the vein of the Elder Scrolls franchise.”

Guild Umbra Interview with Matt Firor

MMO Attack “My time with The Elder Scrolls Online has left me wanting more. The game is successful in bringing the immersive world of The Elder Scrolls to the MMO world to give the genre a breath of fresh air.”

That should keep you busy for today. We’ll share the latest coverage as it surfaces. Until thenthen, we leave you with Guild Umbra’s video showcasing their trip to the event.

Dishonored Contest: Show Us Your Killer Moves

We’ve already seen some amazing displays of Dishonored skill on YouTube. Now we want to see what you can really do — and we’re putting up a cool prize.

Starting today, we’re looking for the most creative power combos, the craziest kill moves and the sneakiest feats of stealth on YouTube. To enter the contest, simply upload a direct capture Dishonored video clip to YouTube — under 60 seconds and at 720p quality — by 11:59pm EST on October 31.

There are two ways to submit your entry:

1. Email us a link to your video at “bethblog@bethsoft.com” with subject line “Dishonored Killer Moves”

2. Tweet a link to your video with hashtag “#DishonoredKillerMoves”

If we like your clip, we’ll request your high-quality raw video file from you, so hold on to that. We’ll then include your footage in a compilation video and credit you appropriately, while the player with the most impressive clip will win a framed Dishonored painting (pictured here). Preference will be given to clips with music disabled, and direct capture is a must.

For all of the details and rules, click through. Good luck!

Continue reading full article ›

Playing Games for a Good Cause

Looking for a good reason to play games all day tomorrow? Tomorrow players around the globe will participate in a 24-hour gaming marathon for Extra-Life.org — a charity that donates money to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Among the many players participating, I talked to Bethesda QA testers Joe Mueller and Jen Tonon, who are participating with other Bethesda employees on a team appropriately titled, Children of Akatosh. Learn more about the event and their experience below…

How did you guys get involved with Extra-Life.org?

Our awesome coworker at ZOS, Megan Steckler, actually was the one to shed light on it to us and created the group. It was really a word of mouth thing, which she rallied folks early on. We’ve been promoting it since.

Are you guys planning to meet up together so you can participate with everyone else on the Bethesda/ZeniMax Online team?

There are talks to gather in one area for LAN party shenanigans, but we all have a lot of preferences for types of games and what to play them on. When you spend your full time job testing games, your preferences get pretty specific. One of our team members, Cory, is live-streaming with his twitch account so our craziness is visible there.

What games are you planning on playing? Have you set aside any games perfect for a gaming marathon?

It’s a widespread assortment, but the majority are planning to play WoW- Mists of Pandaria, Borderlands 2, Guild Wars 2, and Left 4 Dead 2. Several of us are actually setting up time slots for genres so a lot of the single-player hours were actually split between Dishonored and Skyrim. There’s even several of us dedicating time to the ridiculously-impossible-to-beat-old-school games, like Legacy of the Wizard for NES.

What’s the best way that others can get involved with Extra-Life.com?

Really at this point for 2012 Extra-Life Marathon, it’s to Donate and to share through social media. It’s so easy to retweet, share a post, or send an email;  trending can be so impactful for causes and it takes just a mouse-click or a touchscreen tap. Our team, Children of Akatosh, shares a variety of ways to spread the word.

For more details on how you can participate in Extra-Life.org, whether it’s playing or donating, visit the charity’s official site.

A semester of Skyrim sounds like a hoot

Received a note this week that the Rice University Department of English is offering a one-time course titled, “Scandanavian Fantasy World: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.” Check out the course description below:

This course has two goals. First, it introduces students to fantasy as both psychological concept and driving force in gamer culture; and second, using these paradigms, it considers how and why medieval Scandinavia serves as a locus of modern Anglo-American fantasy. To these ends, students will read selections from Old Norse and Old Icelandic sagas (in translation) as they play different quests within Skyrim. While the course begins by identifying moments of intersection between the worlds of the sagas and of Skyrim (inclement environments, supernatural figures, mythologies), the course is not in any means meant to map the former onto the latter. The purpose of establishing these connections is to then consider how elements of medieval Scandinavian culture have been taken out of historical milieu and literary context, morphed into unfamiliar shape, and appropriated towards other fantastic pursuits. We’ll consider the political saga of Skyrim, with its emphasis on Empire and rebellion, as pursuits made possible by way of Scandinavia in order to think through what Scandinavian fantasy worlds are really about and why they resonate with contemporary Anglo-American culture.

Note: This course is only for enrolled students at Rice. Fast travelling to Houston to see if you can participate is not an option.

More Skyrim highlights from around the web after the break…

Continue reading full article ›

Make your own Dragonborn

Back at QuakeCon, I watched as members of Symbiote Studios painted their own customized Dragonborn figurines. Pretty amazing stuff, and something that I wished I could have done myself — despite the fact I’m a terrible artist.

Good news is, you can now purchase your very own DIY Dragonborn Figure from Symbiote’s website for a low price of $12.99. Once you’ve painted one on your own, we’d love for you to share your designs by emailing us.

Order the DIY Dragonborn Figure
Order the fully-painted Dragonborn Figure

BFG Release Day!

Relive your favorite moments of DOOM with the newly-released DOOM 3 BFG Edition — available now in North America and this Friday in Europe on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3!

BFG Edition includes the original versions DOOM and DOOM II, as well as  re-mastered versions of DOOM 3 and its Resurrection of Evil add-on pack. And for the first time ever, play eight never-before-seen DOOM 3 levels in ‘The Lost Mission’.

Later today, PS3 players will be able to download the game directly on PSN. And if you already own DOOM 3 on Steam, between now and November 13th you can save $10 on your purchase.

Dishonored news & reviews

Here’s a quick look at the latest Dishonored news from around the web…
  • Trying to be the master of stealth? Both Gamespot and PC Gamer provide lessons on playing through the game without being detected or killing anyone.
  • Haven’t decided what platform to play Dishonored on? Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry joins Gamespot in breaking down how game looks across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
  • The always-entertaining Giant Bomb team give Dishonored a 42-minute “quick look” – courtesy of Patrick Klepek and Ryan Davis.
  • In an interview with Kotaku, Harvey Smith reveals why Dishonored doesn’t have “Boss Monsters”. For more interviews with Harvey, visit Pure Sophistry and CNN.
  • WhatCulture.com shares 10 reasons you should play Dishonored immediately.
  • IGN examines multiple paths for playing through Dishonored’s first assassination mission.
  • Raf and Harvey relax with Xbox’s Major Nelson. Listen to the latest podcast on iTunes.
After the break, check out a sampling of the game’s latest reviews.