Dishonored, the latest game from Arkane Studios garnered plenty of acclaim from critics, including numerous Game of the Year awards and a 9/10 from our own former editor-in-chief, Michael Urban. This positive buzz was reflected in the sales – pushing them above the two-and-a-half million mark – prompting Bethesda Softworks, the publishers, to term it as their newest franchise. Since then, the game has received several downloadable content packs, including the two episodes chronicling Daud’s concurrent adventures, and little more has been said on the future of the franchise.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently sat down with Raphael Colantonio, one of the game’s co-creative designers, for a chat about that very subject, as well as trying to gain insight into what the developer is now working on. Rumours have abound for months about the possibility of the developer taking over the reigns of Prey 2 from Human Head Studios, but Colantonio was quick to shoot this down:
“No. We’ve been looking at where that rumor came from, and I really don’t know.”
He did, however, offer some choice words about what they are working on:
“I can’t say exactly what we’re working on yet, but I can say that it’s definitely going to be a similar type of game [to Dishonored]. Choices, multiple objectives, branching paths, and things like that. Those are our core values and they will stay that way.”
This drew the logical question of whether this meant that the studio was retaining its drive towards the creation of epic single-player titles, or whether they are planning to implement some form of multiplayer in the follow-up effort. Colantonio’s response was non-committal, but did say that the team are interested in multiplayer if it can be done in such a way that it does not collide with the studio’s principles. For proponents of single-player games, this is good news as it clearly indicates that it will remain a primary consideration going forward, but multiplayer aficionados have reason to be interested, as it implies a rethink of the way that online modes are concepted and structured if it does become reality.
As for the specifics of what they are looking to alter for future titles, one of the biggest things is also what many of Dishonored‘s fans really latched onto: the ability to play through the game in its entirety without a single kill to your name. Colantonio reveals that it was never mandated into the design of the game, meaning that, as an idea, it never reached its fullest potential. He claims that they made steps towards better implementations of the concept into the DLC but they will still try to incorporate it more naturally going forward.
Of more interest to players who prefer story is the sentiment behind the main character. Corvo, the protagonist of the main game, was a player surrogate – a silent character for the consumer to project themselves onto – while Daud in the DLC was a fully voiced character with his own motivations and intentions. Both approaches are equally valid, which makes one wonder which the team will adopt and this is “exact topic” that the team is debating:
“It’s at the heart of our discussions right now. 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].”
The full interview goes deeper into what the developer has taken away from the success of Dishonored as well as what the next generation of consoles means for them and how they will be able to cater to the desires of the audience better with improved hardware. It’s certainly worth a look into if you were a fan of Dishonored, though it is a bit of a shame that no more concrete details about Arkane’s next project could be gleaned.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun