The Future of ‘Dishonored’: Exploring the World Outside of Dunwall

Aug 16, 2013 by  

Dishonored Review

If you haven’t already tried out the two new pieces of story-based DLC for Arkane Studios’ stealth-action game Dishonored, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, then we highly recommend doing so. For those who enjoyed creeping through the rat-ridden city of Dunwall, the DLC chapters allow you to do so as Daud, the murderer of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin and the leader of mercenary band the Whalers, as he tries to redeem himself by saving the soul of young Emily Kaldwin.

Whereas Corvo Attano, the protagonist of the main game, joined the ranks of mute player characters like Master Chief and Gordon Freeman, Daud continually comments of his surroundings and reflects on each mission after it is complete.

In an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, co-creative director Raphael Colantonio was asked whether he would consider repeating what he did with Daud in future additions to the Dishonored franchise, or if he’s still ultimately married to the appeal of a silent protagonist:

“[Daud] is not a silent protagonist, so we wanted to bring that aspect of his personality. It is funny in a way that people tend to play Daud differently than they play Corvo. They feel more inclined to role-play. We’re glad that’s the case.

For us, Daud had just had to have a voice because he was so well defined by Dishonored. So we decided to riff on that and go deeper. Play with the character. With Corvo, we just wanted to make sure it was the player… Are we gonna go with a silent protagonist or not? Doing that with Daud was a way for us to test a little bit. See if people like it. So it will also depend on what we hear from players [after they finish Brigmore Witches].”

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall - gameplay

One of the most common criticisms of Dishonored was that despite ostensibly being a stealth game that offered and even encouraged the player to take a non-lethal approach wherever possible, many of the supernatural powers on offer were designed for noisy and bloody creative kills. Those who were going for a ‘ghost’ approach were limited to tranquilizer crossbow bolts and suffocation as the only means of non-lethal takedowns. Colantonio admits that this is largely due to the non-lethal approach being something of an afterthought:

“The non-lethal thing in Dishonored 1 started as an easter egg almost… We wanted to find a way to complete the game without killing anyone and make it super hard, but we wanted to stick to it. This survived all along throughout the design process, but it didn’t become a big deal until our second E3 when everyone got to play. Then we realized that everyone was super excited about the fact that you could finish the game without killing anyone… For future games, we’ll definitely make sure we try to support it better.”

A different game with the same gameplay design elements as Dishonored actually sounds a whole lot more desirable than a simple sequel. Firstly because the player’s choices affect the outcome of the game, and therefore a sequel to Dishonored would face the problem of deciding which ending in particular it would follow on from. Deus Ex: Invisible War also struggled with this problem, and ended up trying to be a sequel to all of the available endings in Deus Ex – a messy and ultimately unsuccessful tactic.

A spiritual successor, on the other hand, could be to Dishonored what Bioshock Infinite was to BioShock: a new setting and all-new characters with a story that continues to explore some of the themes of the previous game, with a very similar gameplay style. A followup to Dishonored could also be done in the style of The Elder Scrolls series: set in the same world, but in a different country or continent. Colantonio suggests that this might be where the future of Dishonored lies:

“That’s actually how we designed Dishonored from the beginning. The lore is actually way bigger than the game itself. There are a few places we could go and explore given the opportunity. Definitely the islands around, but also all the big continents. Anything is possible.”

'Dishonored: The Brigmore Witches' - Hatters

Dishonored was part of an increasingly rare breed of AAA game that comes with a singleplayer campaign only, without even so much as an obligatory tacked-on multiplayer. When asked if Arkane would ever consider including multiplayer in the future, Colantonio replied that he wouldn’t rule it out, but it’s not a priority:

“We might be interested by multiplayer. And this would not necessarily be the traditional multiplayer approach. But primarily, we are storytellers. That’s the part we like. So as long as multiplayer does not go against that – which is unfortunately often the case with multiplayer because you have to remove any story bits because they go at odds with the strict values of multiplayer – [we're interested].

“But yes, generally we’re more into single-player. Someone playing at their own pace, which is another thing that goes against multiplayer values. In multiplayer, there’s a group, so everyone has to worry about going forward or being shot at. But we’re also keeping an eye out for ways to do multiplayer the right way.

Implementing a decent story in a PvP multiplayer environment does present a lot of challenges, more so than a co-op campaign or even an MMO. It could be interesting, but there doesn’t really seem to be a huge amount of grass roots support for a multiplayer version of Dishonored; if anything, most gamers seemed to be pleased about the fact that all the developer’s resources were being poured into the singleplayer campaign.

Dishonored fans – tell us what you’d like to see Arkane Studios do in a continuation of the series. Multiplayer or no multiplayer? Silent protagonist or talking protagonist? Stealth or action?

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Source: RPS

5 Comments

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  1. As a huge fan of games that require or revolve a stealth-based plot, I must say that Dishonored has been one of, if not, the best stealth action/rpg I’ve ever played. To continue this amazing series, I do implore the same basic style that was executed in the base game of Dishonored and within the two dlc’s, containing Daud’s side of the story.
    If it’s not broken, why fix it? I think you guys had a strong plot, memorable characters, and beautiful scenery.
    All of these aspects need to revolve around Corvo’s story of revenge, and to do it silently. So, of course, there needs to be stealth! Stealth, stealth, stealth! It would be interesting to see a new character without a voice. Gordon Freeman was one of the strongest characters I’ve ever played and he had no voice, so maybe that could be the right route to go; However,a voice for Corvo wouldn’t be so bad.
    I’m not entirely sure how multipayer would be incorporated into the game. If it has to do with player vs. player, I wouldn’t suggest it; But, If there is a contending character that has a significant roll in the game, maybe it would be cool to see a co op campaign.
    Please do take my thoughts into consideration for furthering the future of Dishonored.

  2. Loved Dishonored and The knife of dunwall (still to try brightmore witches)

    But as stated in the article, too many things are made for lethal takedowns so both games kinda felt “limited” if you wanted a low chaos ending. There is the hounds in brightmore witches, and I hope arkhane won’t start implementing huge bugs / insects / various creeps in their Dishonored franchise. The feel of the game, is so much better when it’s “humans” you’re out to get, and no some kind of wierd monsters.

    As for the multiplayer, as “Kyle baker” said, a Multiplayer where you perhaps play as daud and Corvo, each with their own choices could be quite cool – But it shouldn’t be a must for the lore – just an option.

  3. Dishonored was a great game for everyone. You could go on a killing spree or stay back and wait. The bad thing is the developers made it an action game. For me, there’s no possible way to get the game finished in low chaos. For example,in “Lady Boyle’s Last Party”, I entered through the sewers. Undetected. I found out which sister is which. Undetected. Esma Boyle invites me to her bedroom. I kill her, the loot the attic and two bedrooms. Undetected. I walk out. I’m not noticed by tallboy nor guard. I swim to Samuel. Done. My results: Ghost,but wait, HIGH CHAOS! How in the world?

  4. I guess Corvo should have had a voice. When all the NPCs talk to you, you should be able to respond. Silent characters give the game an empty feeling. The multiplayer wouldn’t be a bad idea. Perhaps Gang Wars between The Hatters and The Bottle Street Gang. Either 1v1 as leaders or 6v6 as goons. But it shouldn’t be TDM or CTF, like Dishonored, it shoulfocus on stealth and roleplay

  5. Please no more silent protagonists…it’s quite jarring, especially for a game where you’re accused of something you didn’t do. I felt dead space 2 was better for it. The first was boring. Being an errand boy and not being able to comment about things, in my opinion, broke immersion. And even though I liked half life 2, I forgave the lack of the voice for Dr freeman since everything else was so well done. I would still like a voice for him though. Not into multiplayer, so if they do work on that, I hope they won’t take away time from single player.

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