Stealth Answers from Arkane

Developers from Arkane Studios return with new answers to your burning questions.

Q: I would like to know if you can take out a target while controlling someone? I was also wondering if you take over the target can’t you make him jump from the balcony then blink out of him to avoid the fall ? or is the only way to push him over with the other ability? (Exocd)

Arkane: When possessing humans, control is rudimentary. You can walk, open doors and collect things, but not fight. Note that your speed is dependent on what you possessed (i.e possessing a wolfhound will let you move around pretty fast)

Q: Does anybody know, if PC version will have normal FOV? (Kethoth)

Arkane: On PC, you can adjust FOV options in the menus from 65 – 85 degrees. For more PC settings, check out this Bethesda Blog post.

Q:
Will the game have subtitles or it will be in other language? (Charlie Pacheco)

Arkane: You can always turn on subtitles. And, the game will also be fully voiced in multiple languages.

Q: Will the game be separated by “levels” you will be able to choose from once you’ve completed them, like a campaign mode in FPS games? (Will Y.)

Arkane:
Yes, the game is divided into missions, made up of multiple levels. After completing a mission, you can choose it from the main menu. It uses the very first save game from your play-through as a starting point.

Q: When performing your abilities, it looks like the blue bar on the top right corner is depleted. How do you regain your ‘mana/powers’ abilities – is it a time thing, is it by defeating enemies non-lethally (like earning marks in splinter cell conviction) or is it through collectibles in the world? (Matt)

Arkane:
A small portion of the mana bar recharges, making Blink and Dark Vision effectively free to use (if you wait for the recharges). You refill the mana bar with a potion called Piero’s Spiritual Remedy, one of the elixirs that people in the world use to prevent the plague.

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A look at Dishonored’s many UI options

Dishonored is often referred to as an “immersive” game, and that can imply a lot of things — everything from a first-person perspective to, say, dynamic sound design. For Arkane, it means a commitment to all aspects of the word, and that involves the user interface.

While Dishonored features a robust interface to support its rich mechanics, it also affords you the option to tweak the UI for a fully immersive experience. In addition to the general gameplay options — which you can take a look at here — we wanted to reveal the full slate of interface options you’ll be able to enable and disable individually in all versions of the game, as well as some PC-specific features. Click through for the second page of the options, as well as some comparison screenshots.

Continue reading full article ›

Stealth Answers from Arkane Studios, Pt. 4

Co-creators Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith return to answer more of your Dishonored questions.

Q: Are there ways to distract enemies or lure them? (Anthony T.)

A: Enemies respond to sound, so firing a crossbow bolt into the wall or throwing a bottle will cause an enemy to come investigate.

Q: How will climbing/parkour work in the game? (Angela E.)

A: We’re not a parkour game (in the sense of wall running) so much as a supernatural jump/blink-teleport/climb up game. We do also have lean and slide, which feel good and support stealth. Our climb is more like a pull up, allowing you to grab ledges or the top of small structures. Vertical space and exploration are important in the game, for sure.

Q: Will Corvo’s opponents have supernatural abilities? (Carcharoth)

A: A few. The Outsider shows up to people who are potentially pivotal in some way, marking them and granting access to supernatural powers. Each person marked has access to different powers.

Q: Are Corvo’s powers available 100% at the beginning? If not, how are they made available? (Carcharoth)

A: Not at the start; developments through the game make the supernatural powers available. And the way they work is through a Rune economy. During gameplay, you’ll search for runes that allow you to obtain or upgrade powers.

Q: How many discs will Dishonored be on Xbox 360? (Luis A.)

A: Dishonored’s content fits on one Xbox 360 DVD.

Want to learn more about Dishonored? Submit your questions below, post on our official Facebook page, or send your question via Twitter to @Dishonored.

Stealth Answers From Arkane Studios

Raph and Harvey return to cover off on Dishonored’s stealth and save systems, while Game Designer/Associate Producer Dinga Bakaba sounds off on gameplay difficulty options.

Q: In the Dishonored gameplay videos Corvo seems capable of hiding from enemies who are very close, even when they’re looking in his direction. Is he cloaked or are cheats enabled for the demos? (from StealthAssassin)

A: In Dishonored, stealth is occlusion-based, meaning it’s mostly based on enemy view cone and hiding behind objects or architecture. (At a significant distance, lighting is also a factor.) What you might be describing is the Lean feature. If Corvo is hidden behind something, he can lean out to see ahead, eavesdrop, and observe the situation. As long as Corvo’s body is hidden, enemies up ahead will not see him. Dishonored also allows players to peep through keyholes, and the game has a Dark Vision power that can be obtained. Dark Vision displays enemies and their view cones through walls, and it features an abstract representation of the sounds the player makes.

Q: How will the save system work? Does the game have checkpoints or can I save everywhere I want? (Sebastien H.)

A: Both. You can’t save during combat, that is the only constraint.

Q: How is gameplay varied based on the difficulty level you choose? (Cory G.)

A: (courtesy of Game Designer/Associate Producer, Dinga Bakaba): Dishonored features four levels of difficulty, ranging from a casual experience to a demanding challenge. The main factors affected by difficulty are enemy perception, damage and responsiveness, as well as health and mana potion potency. Easy also causes part of your health to regenerate over time.

Looking to get a question on Dishonored answered? Post your questions in the comment section.

Choose your own adventure with new Dishonored gameplay videos

Dishonored’s gameplay provides plenty of choice to the player, and today we’ve released two videos that demonstrate just that.

Narrated by co-creative directors Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, the video above demonstrates a direct, action-heavy playthrough of the game’s Golden Cat mission. Meanwhile, the video below demonstrates a stealth playthrough that offers a drastically different experience for the player.

Read Polygon’s in-depth feature on Dishonored’s directors

Our friends over at Polygon recently stopped by Arkane Studios to chat with the creative directors of Dishonored, Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio.

The result is a massive article detailing the lives and games of the two developers, from the origin of their relationship at Origin Systems to the founding of Arkane. It’s really quite something — go give it a read.

Stealth Answers from Arkane

It’s Friday and we’ve got more of your Dishonored questions answered by co-creators Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio:

Q: Does the AI stay aggressive after your character has been spotted or can it become unsuspecting again when hiding? Also, will guards alert other guards of your presence? (Fabian K.)

A: The AI has several states of “alertness“, so it goes from totally unsuspecting, to suspecting, to aware, to search, then it cools down to search patrol in high alert but it never cools down to the initial state. Also, AI communicate their level of alertness to allies within range and therefore they let each other know about the presence of the player when he’s been spotted.

Q: Will there be a “game plus ” after completing the game and having all the powers and upgrades for this ” game plus “? (Sea Gull)

A: We encourage multiple playthroughs with Dishonored as 1) you can’t get all the powers and upgrades in one playthrough, and 2) there are different endings based on how you play: surgical assassin or sneaker vs. brutal killer.

Looking to get a question on Dishonored answered? Post your questions in the comment section.

Game Critics Awards nominations!

Congrats to Arkane Studios, Bethesda Game Studios, and id Software on their newly-announced “Best of E3 2012″ nominations from the Game Critics Awards’ judging panel. In total, Team Bethesda scored six nominations.

Tied for the most nominations of any game (four), Dishonored received nominations for Best Action/Adventure Game, Best Console Game, Best Original Game, and the overall Best of Show award!

Meanwhile, John Carmack’s VR presentation of DOOM 3 BFG Edition scored a nomination for Best Hardware, while Skyrim’s first game add-on, Dawnguard, was nominated for Best RPG.

Catch up on E3 highlights for all three titles, which only I refer to as “The Triple D”, in the roundup posts below.