VGA Nominations: Honoring Dishonored and Dawnguard

Nominations for the 10th Annual SPIKE Video Game Awards were announced today and we’re happy to share that both Dishonored and Dawnguard received nominations. Huge congrats to both Arkane Studios and Bethesda Game Studios for this well-deserved honor.

Here’s the nomination breakdown:

Dishonored

Game of the Year
Best XBOX 360 Game
Best PS3 Game
Best Action Adventure Game
Best Graphics

Arkane Studios

Studio of the Year

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Best DLC – Dawnguard

See all the nominees and learn about the advisory panel behind the awards at Spike.com. Then tune in for the VGAs, hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, on Saturday, December 7th at 9 PM ET.

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.

Now Available: Happy Launch Day for Dishonored!

If you haven’t picked it up already, Dishonored is now available across North America (and France)! In the photo above, members of the Arkane team in Austin celebrate during last night’s midnight launch party at GameStop.

For more on the game, check out the latest reviews

1Up (A+) - “expect to see Dishonored hovering at or around the top of just about everyone’s list.”

Entertainment Weekly (A-) – Smart, thrilling, and unsettling, Dishonored is the best surprise of the season.

411 Mania – (9/10) – “It’s great to see a game that gives the full freedom of killing as many or as little people as you want. Definitely check this out.”

Complex - “Dishonored is the type of game that begs to be played over and over”

GameFront (9/10) - “Dishonored’s creators have obviously put a lot of passion into the project, and the result is a great experience that offers new additions to some phenomenal classic formulas. The game feels like a conversation between player and creator, and those are often the best experiences in the medium.”

Paste Magazine – But the genius of Dishonored is how subtly its fiction and mechanics work together to draw the player into its world.

Impulse Gamer (9.3) –  “Dishonored is the thinking man’s first person shooter but throw those guns away as there are so many more interesting ways to take on your enemies. With a great protagonist, interesting characters and well-written story, it’s games like Dishonored that really make you sit up and take notice.”

Xbox Addict (96%) – “One of the biggest innovations of Dishonored is how the game itself will adapt to your play style and base how the game unfolds on your Chaos rating.”

GameTrailers (8.7/10) – “It’s an interesting and often invigorous experience.”

Gaming-Age (A-) – If you’re in the mood for something fresh and unique, and legitimately fun to play, then Dishonored definitely fits that bill.

Cheat Code Central (5.0) - “Dishonored is incredible both as a game and as a work of art.”

GameRevoluttion (4.5/5) - Dishonored is unquestionably Game of the Year material.

Inc Gamers (9/10) - “Despite all of its different elements, it’s a cohesive, intuitive experience. Not once do you feel as though you’re being cheated or told to do something.”

Penny Arcade Report - “Fans of the Deus Ex series are going to be very happy with Dishonored, and players will be sharing their stories and interesting moments on forums and Twitter for weeks after release.”

The Sixth Axis (9/10) – Perhaps the most striking thing about Dishonored is the way the later stages of the game change, depending on how you’ve approached earlier missions.

For more Dishonored goodness, be sure to check out these additional items

Game Informer  and Kotaku give pointers for getting started with the game.

ThisIsMyJoystick interview with Sebastien Mitton and Viktor Antonov

Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s Alec Meer, Jim Rossignol, Adam Bessemer, and  John Walker provide an entertaining commentary of the game. Elsewhere on their site, be sure to read Alec’s dissection of the game.

Additionally, be sure to watch the ongoing look at the game from the always-entertaining Yogscast.

Still waiting for Dishonored to release? The game releases in Spain/Australia/New Zealand this Thursday and hits the rest of the world on Friday!

Protips for Dishonored

As you prepare to delve into Dishonored, co-creative director Harvey Smith is here to provide some helpful pointers on playing through the game.

Take it away, Harvey!

Dishonored has been an amazing project to work on. Raphael and I have a huge appreciation for all my teammates, the people at Bethesda, and all the players who have poured their passion into our work. Here are some quick points that we believe will enhance the experience of playing the game.

You can change difficulty whenever you want. If the game is too hard (or too easy), switch difficulty levels. Difficulty setting changes enemy damage, enemy visual perceptiveness, and player-character potion effectiveness.

You can turn off almost every part of the HUD UI, including goal markers. If you’re a minimalist, experiment with that.

Look up! Go vertical when you can, along ledges, rooftops, pipes, etc. You can often sneak past an encounter that way or find an alternate entry or path.
Don’t forget to lean! If your body is behind something like a wall, you can lean out to peak ahead. We abstract that so that your body stays hidden.
More tips from Harvey after the break…

Dishonored Launch Week: Midnight Party!

Beginning at midnight, stores around the country will allow customers to be the first to purchase Dishonored. To confirm what time they’ll open their doors, check with your local retailer.

If you happen to live near Austin, you’re in for a treat. Beginning at 10 pm, co-creative directors Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio, as well as other key members of the development team, will be on hand at the Austin Arboretum GameStop at 10000 Research Blvd to celebrate the game’s launch.

We’ll have prizes and giveaways at the store, including Corvo masks for the first 45 fans that line up. Once the game goes on sale, you’ll be able to get both the game and the official Brady Games strategy guide (you can save 10% if you purchase both together) signed by members of the team. Nick, Angela (pictured above), and I will be there, too!

Can’t make it to GameStop? You can purchase the game digitally. Below are details on when the game unlocks worldwide.

 October 9th

  • 12:01 AM Eastern Time (ET) for North America, Central America, South America, and France

October 10th

  • 12:01 AM local Tokyo Time for Asia (excluding Japan)
  • 12:01 AM local Madrid Time for Spain

October 11th

  • 12:01 AM Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) for Australia and New Zealand
  • 12:01 AM Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for all territories other than North America, Central America, South America, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand
  • 12:01 AM local Tokyo Time for Japan

Dishonored Launch Week: Riding the midnight train to Reviewville

“It’s a big, shiny example of so much we keep asking for in games, but rarely get. Luckily, the best way to vindicate it is to buy and then play an amazing game.” – PC Gamer (92/100)

That’s one of many highlights from all the reviews pouring in for Dishonored. With under 24 hours until the game launches in North America, there’s plenty of reviews to read up on.

Before heading off to bed, here’s a quick rundown:

Polygon (9/10) – “With everything against it, Arkane has created a game with a unifying vision and design that stands apart from its contemporaries as something different. But more importantly, Dishonored succeeds as an ambitious game not content to take one thing and do it well.”

Gamespot (9/10) – “It’s a rare game that feels so compulsively replayable, but Dishonored is such a game.”

EDGE (9/10) – “It’s a rare delight to play a game with such consistency of vision, its art design, level architecture, rulesets, storylines and writing all working in lockstep.”

Revision3 (video review above) – “It’s detailed and engaging and unique. It’s one of the best game of the year.”

Official PlayStation Magazine(9/10) – It succeeds because it gives you the freedom to mastermind incredible set-pieces for yourself, rather than showing you a scripted sequence. It’s as good as first-person gaming gets, and it’s set in one of the most original gameworlds in years, calling to mind Half-Life 2’s oppression-ravaged streets, and an intricate level design style reminiscent of Deus Ex, System Shock and Thief games from the old days, necromancing gaming maxims that seem to have all but died in recent times.”

The Escapist (5/5) – “Grab it so you’ll know what everyone is talking about when the Game of the Year conversations start happening.”

GameSpy(4.5.5) – “A supernatural work of videogame art.”

CVG (9.5/10) – “One of the greatest game of this generation.”

Kotaku – “It’s a bizarre, eclectic blend, the type of combination that might seem too ambitious to work. But the resulting game is nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Rock, Paper, Shotgun – “Dishonored is a work of rare imagination and skill, the sort of thing that can’t simply be copied and repeated.”

Destructoid (9/10) – “Dishonored is that game of 2012. It’s the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and — more importantly — brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane’s aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn’t all straightforward shooters and “me too” trend-seekers.”

GameArena (10/10) – “Dishonored, like Thief, or Deus Ex, is one of those timeless games you’ll play a dozen times.”

IGN (9.2/10) – “Players who really take the time to enjoy the experience are rewarded too. The more runes, bone charms and money you find, the more you can augment and upgrade your character, and the more bad-ass you’ll become.”

OXM (9/10) – ” Arkane Studios has crafted what’s likely the year’s best new IP, and by tapping into elements of so many of this generation’s greatest games, this adventure sneaks up, grabs you, and won’t let go.”

Joystiq (4.5.5) – “Dishonored is remarkably polished, bending stealth action in new directions and offering plenty of freedom.”

GamesRadar (4.5/5) – “Dishonored is a game that you won’t want to miss.”

Giant Bomb (4/5) – “Dishonored is an excellent game, and one worthy of your attention.”

Game Informer (8.75/10) – “The team at Arkane Studios has injected an array of cool possibilities into the simulated city of Dunwall, and discovering them all is a blast.”

Phew! That’s a lot of late night reading. We’ll be sharing plenty more throughout Dishonored’s launch week.

Are you ready for Dishonored?

Arkane is! With only a few days remaining until launch, they’re already counting the seconds in their Austin office.

If you’re anxious too, we’re pleased to announce the game is now ready for pre-load on Steam!

For more on the game, check out OXM UK’s hands-on preview of the Boyle Party, as well as IGN’s spoof of our recently released interactive video. Watch below.

Dishonored, The Tales from Dunwall – Episode 3: In the Mind of Madness

Watch ‘In the Mind of Madness’, the final chapter in three-part Dishonored webisode series entitled ‘The Tales from Dunwall’.

‘In the Mind of Madness’ introduces Piero, a key figure in the city of Dunwall, and who also plays a pivotal role in Corvo’s story.

All three episodes, which were created by Psyop and Rokkan, scored by Daniel Licht (Dexter) and narrated by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass), are currently featured on the game’s official site, www.Dishonored.com.

Dishonored, The Tales from Dunwall – Episode 2: The Hand that Feeds

‘The Tales from Dunwall’, the three-part Dishonored webisode series continues with the release of ‘The Hand the Feeds’. While the first episode reveals how Dunwall was revolutionized by a new energy source, this next chapter is a cautionary tale – one that illustrates the advantages, and the dangerous disadvantages, of accepting supernatural abilities from The Outsider.

Watch Part 1, The Awakening, here.

All the Dishonored news fit for print

Here’s the latest on Dishonored from around the web and on newsstands…

UK mags PSM3 and sister mag Xbox World are so excited for Dishonored, they’re already predicting it will be their top game of the year. Anticipating the game’s release, both publications share new hands-on impressions and celebrate the game with four collectible magazine covers. Preview the covers in the Flickr slideshow below.

Looking for a digital version of the magazine? Download the enhanced iPad editions using the links below:

And to learn more on Dishonored, check out these links:

Official PlayStation Magazine UK  – After playing the Boyle Mission, Phil Iwaniuk calls Dishonored an “instant classic”.
PlayStation Blogcast – Sid Shuman interviews co-creative director, Raphael Colantonio. Interview starts at the 1 hour, 11 minute mark.
IGN – Keza MacDonald explains why she thinks Dishonored could be the most interesting game of the year.

As we count down the days to Dishonored’s release (19!), be on the lookout for more news and updates.