Coming Soon: Dishonored

 By Shamus Feb 12, 2013 209 comments

As many of you guessed, Spoiler Warning’s next season will cover Dishonored. If all goes to plan, we’ll record this weekend and the first episode will appear next week.

sw_dishonored.jpg

It was basically a horse race between this and Skyrim. The main problem with Skyrim is that it completely failed to grab Josh. He never even finished the main quest. When discussing the game, we really couldn’t come up with any particular part that we had a burning desire to discuss. The game isn’t stupid and broken like Fallout 3. It’s not emotionally engaging like Walking Dead. It’s not atmospheric and mechanically varied like Half-Life 2. It’s not a tragic failure like Alan Wake or an over-hyped pile of crap like Assassin’s Creed 2. Bethesda played it safe and the result is a fun game that doesn’t leave us with a lot to discuss.

We’re not ruling out Skyrim forever, but it’s fallen into that strange space that Alpha Protocol occupied for so long: Good enough for us to play, but not interesting enough that we’re clamoring to talk about it. For me, The Walking Dead was our best season so far. Not because we liked the game, but because we constantly found ourselves wanting to talk about it and compare notes.

In the meantime: Dishonored. I’m on my second play-through now. Also I forgot how fun it was to photoshop the Spoiler Warning title onto random screenshots. We’ll be doing that again this season.


A Hundred!A Hundred!9209 COMMENTS? What are you people talking about?!?


  1. Deadpool says:

    “It’s not atmospheric and mechanically varied like Half-Life 3″

    You got a beta copy of Half Life 3 and didn’t tell us Shamus! How dare you hold out?

    ;)

    • Wedge says:

      It’s under a super-seekrit DOUBLE NDA. He’s not even allowed to tell people it exists, which is why he so quickly changed the post to read “Half-Life 2″ instead.

      I’m onto you Shamus.

  2. Zoe M says:

    An honorable choice. Can’t wait for the stream of “Well, in Thief, they…” Comments

  3. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    So… you’re saying I should actually get around to finishing it.

    DANG IT.

  4. Spammy says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooo don’t do a game that I’ve wanted to play but haven’t been able to afford and have been studiously avoiding spoilers and major discussion of so that I play it with an unbiased opinion! Dangit. Here’s hoping it gets a Steam Sale in the first week or two of the season like Human Revolution did.

    Also, on Alan Wake as a “Tragic failure,” the longer it’s been since I played Alan Wake the more and more I find my opinion of it being positive and calling myself a fan of the franchise. Alan Wake wasn’t perfect, but I thought that the DLC episodes and American Nightmare were much more on-tone(American Nightmare particularly), and I really like the ideas the franchise has about the Dark Presence needing to be brought out through a creative expression. And I really really like the Poets of the Fall music they used. So… I’ve really come to like Alan Wake and I want Remedy to release another game in the series since I think they’ve learned what they should be doing with it.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The franchise itself might be good,but that still doesnt lift the original from the gutter.

      • Spammy says:

        I may like the Alan Wake franchise, but I’m not really in a hurry to replay the first game. That game was in development hell and it showed. Also, the last stretch before the tornado where you had to fight approximately a million billion Taken was a pain beyond belief.

    • Klay F. says:

      I agree with the Alan Wake assessment. American Nightmare played almost like the developers were listening to and correcting every one of Spoiler Warning’s criticisms.

    • Alan says:

      I’m genuinely confused by the several people piping up in support of Alan Wake: American Nightmare. I enjoyed the first game, flawed though it was. I enjoyed the slow build up and the overall story. I found the characters pretty convincing. American Nightmare drops you in the middle of the action, doesn’t really justify anything that is going on, the only NPC you encounter easrly on is blind or insane, and the game generally irritated me. After an hour or two of play (just got to the observatory) I put it down and haven’t bothered to try again. Is there something I’m missing? Should I give it another go because it gets better?

      • Spammy says:

        American Nightmare is more action-oriented and has little of the build up of Alan Wake, I’ll grant you that. It drops you off en media res and fills in the gaps with manuscript pages.

        What I enjoyed about it was the focus on how Alan’s writing was reshaping reality, brought to the forefront and made an actual part of the story rather than the background of it. Later in the game there’s also a discussion about the ethics and method of it, which I thought was interesting. The DLC doesn’t drag things out with something equivalent to the kidnapper subplot from Alan Wake. You’re after Mr. Scratch from start to finish.

        And I liked Mr. Scratch, when you collect pages (which is easier because of the wonderful minimap) you discover just how much of a well-thought out villain he is. The writers actually thought about him and it shows. Just as an example, there is a very good in-character reason why Mr. Scratch and Alan are dressed as they are.

        I also thought that they greatly improved the combat, they tweaked some things and added in a greater variety of Taken who actually have different abilities, it’s not just “Small and fast, medium, big and slow.”

        I guess if you enjoyed the slower, darker, tenser style of Alan Wake you’d be put off by the brighter, faster style of American Nightmare. But I think what I liked best about Alan Wake was the Dark Presence and dealing with it, and American Nightmare is about the Dark Presence’s messenger/herald, Nyralthotep Mr. Scratch.

      • Klay F. says:

        Why would it need to justify anything? Its The Twilight Zone in videogame form. It took almost all of the first game’s original ideas (enemies inflicted with darkness, transcript pages that alter reality, etc.) and made them better in every way.

  5. Jokerman says:

    I really liked Dishonored, more so in my second playthrough where i went 100% evil bastard and used all the powers i had….so much better.

    I agree that the WalkingDead was your best season yet, followed by Fallout 3 then Deus EX. Dishonored should be fun to watch Josh play because he is so damn creative….way more than i am, he gave me all sorts of (grenade in pants) ideas in Fallout 3…

    • Jace911 says:

      The party is probably my favorite part of the game, especially on a low chaos playthrough. There’s just something incredibly awesome about walking into the home of the most powerful noblewoman in Dunwall while dressed as the most wanted man in Dunwall (Who you actually are), seducing said woman, murdering her in her bedroom, and then signing your actual name into the guest book on your way out the front door.

      Of course in high chaos playthroughs you can also just walk in and summon plague rats to eat everyone but personally I get more entertainment out of subtlety than audacity. Unless it’s Josh.

      • I love that one too. It’s really the one that makes me feel most like a supernatural assassin.

        Having said that, I wish that allowed for more ways to dispatch that target, and preferably in a way that doesn’t involve a horrible fate.

        • Fawstoar says:

          The nonlethal stalker option I felt was a bit much… Arkane went a little overboard here with the poetic justice. That said, Chris (among others) was all up in arms over the nasty treatment of Dunwall’s women in his Dishonored Errant Signal, which in another setting might be a more appropriate criticism. However, Dishonored’s modified emulation of the Victorian era evidently carried the social stigmas of the time (in this case, towards women) with it.

          Now hear me out! This was almost certainly a poor choice on the part of the developers, who most likely used sexism as another device to make the setting appear more depressing and embroiled in conflict. This backfired, though, as Arkane didn’t have enough to say about the matter to warrant the inclusion of such a provocative theme.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        I really like what they did with that game mechanically, a low chaos playthrough did a good work of bringing back some of that Thief vibe (even though I wish the levels were bigger), and the setting was somewhat interesting if underused. The devs actually managed to make both the overt and covert playstyles viable and entertaining… and then they slapped a morality system on it. They may insist on not calling it a morality system but seriously, if high chaos playthroughs get punished by increased difficulty, everybody hating you and not giving you free stuff and the ending flat out states you made a mess of the entire country, millions will die in the ensuing plague and riots and Emily will be remembered as trying hard but ultimately failing… well, I’d say that it is somewhat hinting that there is a “right” way to play and the “wrong” way to play…

      • Jokerman says:

        Reminded me of Hitman. That is a good one for nonlethal, going lethal was not all that fun in that mission. Don’t get me wrong either, i really enjoyed my non lethal play through as well.

    • Piflik says:

      I have to say that I think The Walking Dead was the worst season of Spoiler Warning…not because it is a bad game, or because of the cast, but because I was constantly torn between folllowing the game’s dialog and listening to Shamus&Co…I think a game more focused on gameplay is better suited than one that is all about story and character interaction…

  6. zob says:

    I like Dishonored as a game. I also liked the way it inadvertently pointed out how stupid current generation of gamers are. It got criticized because some people are unable to handle too many choices.

  7. Phroenflame500 says:

    It’s going to be like the DXHR season and it’s pseudo-attempts at stealth all over again, but with !!magic!! instead of augmentations. Reginald Cuftburt just can’t spend a night not brutally murdering everyone.
    Still, I like Dishonored, it has some interesting world-building and has some interesting faults with that world-building. I await to see your insite on it. And my headaches at the non-stealth.

    • IFS says:

      Who needs stealth? Once you have agility one you can jump high enough from level footing to drop assassinate someone which kind of breaks the melee mechanics, but is also tons of fun.

      For the record I did stealth, I discovered the agility jump stab thing on accident and rarely used it, I was more fond of sliding into people’s shins to stagger them so I could one shot them in melee, although I still tried to avoid melee as much as possible.

  8. Trithne says:

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

    I love Dishonoured, but I can’t wait to see what Josh makes of it.

  9. Varewulf says:

    I adore that photo-edit so much. I love it. I truly love it. I want frame it and hang it on my wall.

    Oh, yeah, Dishonored’s a pretty good game. Should be interesting.

    My preciousssss.

    • Tzeneth says:

      Go Shamus and editing in the titles again! I love watching those title screens appear in Fallout 3. Also, I liked Dishonored. It wasn’t as good as I was hoping it would be but I still enjoyed the heck out of it.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      Yay, for the return of title cards. I understand that they’re a lot of work. But the effort does not go unnoticed. I feel they add a lot to the show in their few seconds on the screen. I feel bad about inadequately expressing my appreciation before.

  10. Thanks to a flat tire I missed an opportunity to go out to lunch with some of the developers from Arkane Studios. I really would have liked to discuss the game with them.

    Sadly, as much as I wanted to like Dishonored, I found the game’s setting to be just too sexist, and subsequently too depressing to tolerate.

    I don’t need a game to reinforce my misanthropy.

    • Indy says:

      To be fair, the game is aware of those parts of its setting and makes comments about them. Of course, if you have an adverse reaction to it, that is very little consolation.

      • Rutskarn says:

        No, I think it’s entirely fair to say the game itself is sexist.

        I liked the game. But there is something alternately disappointing and disturbing in how it deals with women, and not just as “part of the setting.”

        • stratigo says:

          Perhaps they were going with thematic fidelity. Victorian england was one of the most sexist periods in human history, and if you are modelling a game society off that heavily, keeping with the themes you have is just easy and clear.

          • Rutskarn says:

            Except there are plenty of Victorian novels that have cool, badass female characters in them. Irene Adler leaps to mind.

            I’ve heard a lot of excuses for the sexual bizarreness in Dishonored, and none of them make a lot of sense–especially when the consequences are considered.

            If anything, it smacks of thoughtlessness.

            • Mormegil says:

              Things like the non-violent solution to the party quest were definitely a little (a lot) on the “I’m not killing anyone but I’m not sure how this is actually any better” side of things.

            • Indy says:

              The Mary Sue walked away with a greater appreciation with it but I can completely understand if it doesn’t work. It walks very close to the line.

              • Rutskarn says:

                And as I’ll no doubt get into, I don’t agree with that article. Or rather, I agree with it to a point.

                There’s nothing wrong with a game’s world being sexist if it has something to say. But what this game has to “say” is token and dismissive–and the game’s representation of women has some serious issues beyond that.

                • Indy says:

                  It has a feel of ‘leading up to a revolution’, which I think is a great way of showing that your setting doesn’t just stop once the story does. Other than that, though, you’re right, there’s not a lot going for it.

                • silver Harloe says:

                  There is a difference between the game’s setting being sexist, and the game itself being sexist, and this game isn’t doing a good job of highlighting that difference, leaving it in the latter category.

            • It’s even more disturbing because most of the real sexist parts of the game all come on right after the other, and can even go so far as to contract some of the things that go on in the story, as best exemplified by Chris’s video on the game:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRrM3RI0a4I

            • rrgg says:

              The more I consider it the less I think that you can really say that the sexism in the game was completely unintentional. It might be the factor that people pick up on the most but really it’s only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to all the “ugliness” presented in Dunwall. You have whaling, pollution, dog-fights, gangs, occultism, hedonism among the upper classes, oppression of the lower classes, rampant corruption in both the government and the church, and the whole thing is wrapped up in an awful, militaristic police state. Heck, even the people in the game tend to be really ugly.

              It seems as though the writers were trying to set up some intent that just didn’t really come through in the end. If I had to guess, it was probably along the lines of asking the player if they could still care about Dunwall in spite of all the ugliness that is presented. (For the record, I did.)

            • Phantom Hoover says:

              Since Leslee’s complaints do in fact seem to simply be that the game portrays a misogynist society I don’t think justifying that is making excuses for the real weirdness.

          • I absolutely despise the “thematic fidelity” excuse as a reason for having overt sexism and misogyny in a game world.

            I’m pretty sure that people in Victorian era London weren’t practicing magical body snatching and parkour.

            If a game set in a particular historical era can suspend disbelief with various forms of magic, why does it have to adhere to traditional gender roles and bigotry?

            • Aldowyn says:

              :/ It’s a ‘what if’ scenario. What if Victorian era England was based on magical whale oil instead of … normal whale oil and steam?

              If it makes sense in the setting, it makes sense in the setting. HAVING sexism doesn’t make a game sexist – you just have to handle it carefully. It’s a little hard to have social commentary on something if it just doesn’t exist. I mean, look at something like Django Unchained for slavery. Would you call that movie racist? (Most critics wouldn’t, from what I hear)

              • Nicholas Hayes says:

                This. Exactly this. The game contains sexist themes because the Victorian setting it is based on was sexist. It also has classist themes, and you could make a case for it being anti-aristocracy.

                Now, I can see how the sexism in it would annoy people. But I don’t feel the malice behind it – as Rutskarn says above, if it’s sexist it is definitely thoughtlessly so rather than maliciously.

            • I agree with your displeasure, but for different reasons. Here’s why I think you should be upset.
              I think the sexism is real in the game. However whether it was intentional or not, whether it is accurate to the setting or not, or whether it is useful to the story, mechanics, style, atmosphere, or anything else (or not) the point stands: Sexism was never touched on in the advertising. It is not a “feature of the setting”. If the developers want to include sexism (for any reason) or other generally offensive material (violence, nudity/sexuality, coarse language, etc) then they are free to do so, but they should tell us so up-front so those who don’t like it can avoid it. It is the fact that they assumed “everyone is okay with this, it’s not even worth mentioning” that is offensive, not (primarily anyhow) that they dared or desired to include the offensive material itself.

              The tactic of ambushing the audience with offensive content has been long regulated by the government in the case of violence and sexual imagery. If the media (movies, games, etc) doesn’t start self-regulating, the same thing will happen for the case of sexism.

            • Jace911 says:

              What’s even more odd is that the game subverts those same Victorian gender roles in the FIRST FIVE MINUTES with the Empress! As soon as we walk into the tower we’re presented with a woman in power who genuinely cares about her people and is more than just a figurehead, and then the game kills her off immediately. I get that she’s royalty and so she’s not exactly typical of the average Dunwall woman, but it’s hard to believe she would have taken power and then not instituted some sort of civil rights movement or something if gender equality in Dunwall was really as bad as the Victorian era.

              Although there is the six month timeskip after she gets killed and the Regent takes over, so maybe he undid all her work while you were in prison? I kind of wish the game had let you see Dunwall as it was before the Regent assumed the throne so you could contrast it with Dunwall after her death.

            • Phantom Hoover says:

              So were you pissed at Skyrim for portraying a world with racial tensions? At Deus Ex for portraying a world with vast and bitter class divides? Sure, Dishonoured’s handling of the subject may be dodgy, but that’s an issue orthogonal to the one you’re complaining about.

    • zob says:

      I do agree setting is pretty sexist. Dunwall is a place where almost every single male you meet has at least one of the following in their character definition: corrupt, murderous, betraying, violent, sociopath, dishonest, thieving, torturer.

      That’s a horrifying depiction of male gender.

      ps. That boat rider fellow looks decent.

      • Indy says:

        I can’t remember too much of Samuel’s backstory but dishonest is something that sticks out.

      • JPH says:

        I don’t think you understand what sexism is.

      • Vagrant says:

        Although you may have meant it as a joke, I agree with this. Everything in Dunwall is horrible. The world is full of sucky things. The Whales are being hunted to extinction. The worlds God is arguably evil. The women are treated like garbage. The men are garbage.

        Samuel is pretty awesome though.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Thats exactly it.I dont see the game as sexist,because everyone in this game is awful(except for the young princess).Its not just that women are treated badly,its that everyone is treated badly.You think the non-lethal resolution to the female villain is bad?Well the male villains dont get it any better.For the game to be biggoted,it has to paint one side in a better light,and it doesnt do that.It casts a negative shadow over everyone.

          Is that depressing?Definitely.Is it sexist?Not really.

          • Indy says:

            It is sexist to present the fact that there are no women in a position of power. Lady Boyle and her sisters are socialites and nothing more. The only woman with a great deal of power is the Empress, may she live forever. Sure, other women have some power like the matron of the brothel, there’s abstracted power like Granny Rags and there’s potential power like Lady Emily, but it doesn’t quite make up the difference. At least for some people. To me, though, the portrayal in game is handled well.

          • Keeshhound says:

            Representing both sexes negatively doesn’t preclude the game being sexist. If anything, it just further reinforces specific and rigid roles that each sex is ostensibly required to fill. The same thing happened in New Vegas with Ceasar’s legion. The women are treated horribly and used for breeding and slave labor while the men can aspire to combat roles and nothing else. It’s incredibly sexist against both.

            • Coblen says:

              Is it really sexist if it portrays it in a negative light.

              Ceasar’s Legion is portrayed as stupidly evil most of the time. It’s not saying look at how woman should be slaves and men should be warriors. Its saying look at how these people act, and are treated. This is horrible, don’t act that way.

          • Zukhramm says:

            Even if the game treats everyone badly, if it treats men and women badly in different ways, it’s still sexist.

            • Vagrant says:

              My point was less “there is no sexism” and more “the sexism is used to point out this world is full of shit”. I fully agree that it portrays less then ideal images of both genders. If I read the context of some things correctly its also classist and even racist.

              Instead of mangling this explanation I’ll give you a source here

        • burningdragoon says:

          Well if you really wanted to keep score, the men are garbage, the woman are treated like garbage and the ones who aren’t are also garbage themselves. So that’s 2 to 1 against woman, so sexist. Sexism is like math, right? >.>

          Though to be fair, a [accurate amount] of the sexism towards women is supposed to be noted as A Bad Thing and not just the setting being the setting.

      • ACman says:

        And there isn’t a single woman aside from the Empress and the woman who isn’t portrayed as a servant, meek and powerless, or an upperclass tart.

        So I’m sorry Zob. Your indignation that all these powerful and varied male characters are portrayed in a less than favourable light falls rather flat.

        • zob says:

          It was a joke. I chose to feign ignorance of the ongoing discrimination against plebian women in Dunwall and instead focused on games portrayal of men thats fostering the stereotypes about the male (i.e. men are monsters). Punchline being Dunwall was designed to be a horrible place for everyone and people of Dunwall are horrible.

          And forgive me for pointing out but considering there are Slave mines in Dunwall, should we blame writers for being racists as well? You know, we are blaming them for being sexist because Dunwall is a sexist place.

    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

      I’ve been through mandatory military service, so I don’t find this stack to have much weight behind all the talk about sexism.

      • Phantom Hoover says:

        And your military service gives you deep and incontrovertible insight into social issues because…?

        • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

          Being required by law to potentially die violently – for absolutely nothing in exchange, and ultimately no real say in it – only because of what bits I was born with seems like a somewhat worse deal than not having a fictional character sharing your sex be a big damn hero in a computer game.

          You know, for all the “sexism” of women doing unexciting menial labor in generally safe conditions, has anyone even noticed the numbers of men Corvo kills or braindamages (because that’s what rendering people unconscious through choking and hits to the head does)? For all intents and purposes, I was one of those guards for a time, so I’m not impressed with this crying about “sexism against women”.

          And the few VOLUNTEER women in the army were disproportionally numerously represented in the sick/injured/malingerer formations, and have lower physical standards.

          • Alan says:

            This is an interesting blend. Just a teasing hint of “there are more important things to worry about” to balance out the “I had it worse” and “others have it worse.” It’s all built on top of the common appeal to authority mixed with some relatively blunt mansplaining, but it does carry an interesting dash of “I am an authority.” And is that an subtle undercurrent of “talking about sexism hurting women must mean you don’t care about sexism hurting men” I detect?

            • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

              You got an argument there somewhere or are you just throwing buzzwords around like it’s going out of style?

            • Even says:

              I don’t know what your angle is, but he’s right that there is certain hypocrisy on how some of the systems in Western society work, when we’d rather that both genders be treated equal. It’s still a fact in many countries that men are the ones who get conscripted and not the women. There’s no equivalent mandatory service for women by law in most if not all cases.

              And the strikes do make a point about the factual differences in the average male and female anatomy and how they affect some of the same systems.

              Whether that’s reason enough to be upset is up for debate, but you rarely see these things get mentioned and seemingly at best handwaved because “women got it so much worse”, which isn’t that much more appealing of an argument. There’s no denying they do have it worse in many other areas, but if we’re to ever reach true equality (if it’s even possible), then these things need to be also addressed.

    • Thomas says:

      How sexist are we’re talking here? (Preferrably unspoilerish because I may or may not play the game next month depending how this conversation goes?)

      Is it Witcher level of sexism? Because I had to stop playing that game because of it (although mainly for allowing the player to quasi-violate someone if they so chose)

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well the only female villain you get is a blatant slut,and the rest of the women you meet are all maids and such.The low-chaos resolution to the female villain is selling her into sexual slavery.

        On the other hand,like pointed above,all men are thieves,murderers,schemers,and voyeuristic pigs.And low-chaos resolution to one of the male villains is selling them into the slave mines.

        So basically all of the people in dunwall have it bad.

        • Thomas says:

          I think that might be enough for me not to get it :( At least it’s not one-sided like the Witcher, but the whole point was I found the game to repulsive to play when it allows that sort of option in it.

          Seriously, when my criteria for playing AAA games is ‘you don’t get to rape someone/choose to have someone raped’, it’s worrying that there are at least two blockbuster games I can#t play now.

          What the hell game industry

          • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

            Implied sexual misconduct is a no-no, but mass murder is just dandy?

            And secondly, writers have no duty to make their fictional setting a social justice paradise, nor does censorship of adult themes actually help anyone.

            • Alan says:

              Can you point to the part where Thomas was calling for censorship? I’m guessing not, because it’s not there. You’re imagining it. Thomas does not want rape in the games he plays. Why is doesn’t want it is really irrelevant. He asked if it contained content he might not want, heard that it might, decided he may not play the game. That’s not censorship, that’s being an informed consumer.

              It’s entirely possible to discuss sexism, rape and similar topics in media without calling for censorship. Criticizing it is not censorship. Asking for it to not be included is not censorship. Encouraging other people to not purchase it is not censorship.

              You’re so eager to be the righteous defender of free speech that you’re inventing censors to battle.

              Oh, and props for calling rape “sexual misconduct.” That’s an… interesting euphamism. I’m sure it’s really popular at the men’s rights meetings.

              • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

                He’s not at least directly calling for censorship, but…

                What the hell game industry

                …Would imply that he feels the “game industry” has some duty to not include things which may offend an individual person.

                calling rape “sexual misconduct.”

                No rape can be confirmed from the scene in the game, and the man is painted as a different kind of crazy.

                I’m sure it’s really popular at the men’s rights meetings.

                There’s at least two baseless accusations in this, including the “accusation” that I go to such meetings, and the accusation that men’s rights group call rape “sexual misconduct”.
                And that supposedly being a men’s right activist would somehow invalidate what I say.

                • Thomas says:

                  Okay, firstly, whilst I am not calling for censorship, (the ‘what the hell game industry’ is because this is two games whose creators don’t understand the power of the thing they’re using), here is a good reason why, as a developer, or a writer or a filmmaker, you should really consider what value rape is bringing to you game, and make an informed decision on those thoughts.

                  It’s not something many people know or think about it, because only affects a small portion of people who’ve understandably don’t like to discuss it. Rape victims can get flashbacks of the incident through triggers like seeing it appear in a fictitious material.

                  There are good reasons to include sexual violation and important themes, moreover we live in countries where speech is reasonably free and it’s important to preserve people’s right to be idiots. But you should be aware of the cost and make your choice because of that.

                  ———————–
                  Anyway yeah, it’s a strange thing, but sexual violation is way worse than mass murder in a fictitious setting. I can point to countless scandals, films, books, games etc where rape is given far more weight than murder. Apart from anything else, count the number of revenge flicks where the hero kills the big bad and count the number of revenge flicks where the hero violates the big bad. I don#t understand why, maybe because there’s never a good reason to rape someone, whereas there arguable is for killing people, so we desensitise to death and not sexual violation. Maybe it’s because their aren’t people who’ve had to live with the consequences of personally being killed.

                  Me personally, I’ve spoken to victims in the course of activities in my life and just having those conversations is one of the most horrific experiences I’ve gone through and have absolutely no desire to play a game where the protagonist is messed up enough that they can inflict that on someone else. This is a personal thing because of those experiences and I’m not expecting other people to have that same emotional connection or be bothered by a game in the same way I am.

                  • Thomas says:

                    I feel a bit icky now, I didn’t think that the talks had affected me that much, I hope you don’t mind if I leave this conversation where it is now and don’t come back probably

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    “Rape victims can get flashbacks of the incident through triggers like seeing it appear in a fictitious material.”

                    Yes,and those who have been in wars can also get flashbacks when seeing such things in a fictitious material.But do we get outraged because of those?

                    But let me give a bit of a broader perspective here:Since my cat died,lots of things have triggered my memory of him.One of those things includes lolcats.What Im saying with this is:Any tragic event that scares you mentally,whether it was a fall,a fight,a car crash,a serious injury,rape,war,or whatever will have a chance to give you flashbacks whenever you encounter something similar,whether real or not.So why should we tiptoe around just one of those,and say that the rest is ok?Why is “your pain” worse than “my pain”?

                    And Ill expand on this even further by saying something about a trend Ive noticed a while back:When the big earthquakes hit japan,everywhere around the world you could see people saying “due to tragic events,this and this and this”,and some comedians censored their jokes because “it was so recent”.However,interestingly enough,not a full year before that a big earthquake hit my country.Not as big as the one in japan,but still a pretty big one.But,being a country not plagued by earthquakes,we werent as prepared.So half of one city was leveled,and numerous people lost their homes,and some even their lives.The hypocrisy of this is:Not a single part of media outside the immediate region reported about it,and so I saw plenty of earthquake jokes.What this told me is “If you arent big enough to make it into the news,your pain will be mocked by us”.

                    Let me connect this to the first part of this already long post:On the news youll hear much more often about the tragedy of rape victims than about the tragedy of war victims.So naturally,people are saying how rape is the ultimate crime.But thats not true.Saying how any crime is more traumatic than the other is just diminishing the horribleness of the crime.To me,thats just hypocritical.

                    Of course,you should have some tact when addressing any of those subjects.Thats why spec ops is a great war game,and modern warfare 3 is pure crap.

                    As for how dishonored dealt with this….Ehhh?Lame would be the best way to describe it,I guess.

                    • Shamus says:

                      While I agree with what you’ve said, the rape thing is a little tricky because it sort of pops up unexpectedly. I would HOPE that people going to a war movie know what they’re getting into. But rape ends up in buddy cop movies, steampunk adventures, webcomics about World of Warcraft, etc. It’s not that rape is worse than genocide, it’s that you can usually tell by the blurb if you’re going to bump into genocide, but you can’t tell when rape will appear in a story.

                      People bump into these things, suddenly feel horrible instead of entertained, and then express that misery.

                      Them demanding rape being banned as a subject is unreasonable. But so is “Pfft”. Get over it.” (Not suggesting this is your position at all, I’m just outlining the two extreme sides.)

                      So the two sides needle each other into outrage.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Oh,Im all for more information behind the ratings system.Theres nothing wrong with giving info to your customers.But at the same time,censorship should completely go away.

                • Alan says:

                  Poor widdle multi-billion dollar game industry, so persecuted by someone saying he doesn’t like some of what they produce. Quickly, rally the anti-censorship troops!

                  People criticize industries. That’s part of the feedback loop of capitalism. Suck it up.

                  Oh, and do you hear that, Thomas? Feel free to play The Witcher. The scene you’re thinking of isn’t rape. If it can’t be confirmed, it’s not rape; at worst it’s “sexual misconduct!” Just ask one of the many victims of “sexual misconduct” in real life!

                  СТАЛКЕР, my apologies, I didn’t mean to imply that you were a member of a men’s rights organization. And while I did intent to show that your statements were invalid, the men’s right line wasn’t part of that. I just meant to imply that your euphemism was stupid, in much the same way that a lot of men’s rights arguments are stupid. I’ll try to do better in the future.

                  • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

                    People criticize industries. That’s part of the feedback loop of capitalism. Suck it up.

                    And people criticize people – in this particular case, about oversensitivity and double standards. Suck it up.

                    your euphemism was stupid

                    But it wasn’t an euphemism.

                    in much the same way that a lot of men’s rights arguments are stupid

                    And which arguments are those, and how are they stupid?

                    • Shamus says:

                      “And people criticize people – in this particular case, about oversensitivity and double standards. Suck it up.”

                      Except, I made this site so we can talk about and criticize games, not so we can criticize other people.

                      My take on this:

                      The setting of Dishonored would be less of an issue if this problem wasn’t so pervasive. We’ve got so many games where the story is driven by men. Every single woman in Dishonored is a victim. For a female looking for a little power fantasy, this isn’t very… empowering.

                      If we had more games where women could get their power fantasy fix, this would be a non-issue. But we don’t, and so each new MAN-fantasy grates on the nerves. It’s just like how I’m always bitching about there being too many stupid cookie-cutter shooters.

                      And then Leslee expresses this displeasure suddenly SHE’S the problem? This never leads anywhere good. Since the female market is so horribly served because publishers are busy chasing the twenty-something males, this frustration is going to continue.

                    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

                      I made this site so we can talk about and criticize games, not so we can criticize other people.

                      I think the original argument of sexism doesn’t really have all that much to do with the game itself – and that it’s extremely one-sided either way – and that the indignation seen here is quite extreme, especially relative to what is in the game.
                      And I probably should’ve said “people criticize arguments in relation to the topic” or something like that, but I don’t want to go all EULA style when posting.

                      As for the power fantasy issue, I think the gameplay of the game is more significant than the sex of the character, especially when the sex of the character does not affect the gameplay in any way (and the character has no spoken dialogue or 3P perspective).
                      And the variety among male protagonists in most games is ridiculously limited by itself, in all aspects, from looks to personality. The lack of female protagonists is merely a symptom of this creative cowardice – just like the problem with cookie-cutter shooters. That’s hardly sexism.

                      …Unless there is some significant, critical difference between male and female power fantasy, in which case no game that applies to one group can apply to the other, which in turn would render any criticism by the “opposing” group mostly irrelevant. Which I think is a ridiculous notion.

                    • Shamus says:

                      “I think the gameplay of the game is more significant than the sex of the character, especially when the sex of the character does not affect the gameplay in any way (and the character has no spoken dialogue or 3P perspective).”

                      You’re basically saying that women should just shut up and play as a male character and like it. Evidently some people DO think that gender matters. Some people think story doesn’t matter. I think it matters a lot. So it goes.

                      The “sexism” thing is tricky, for all the same reasons that “racism” is tricky. We’ve got a word that means, “Any variation between male and female” and “hatemonger who thinks of women as property.” The word is used both ways, which leads to insane conversations like this:

                      Woman: This strategy game refers to the player as a “he” in the menus. This game is sexist!

                      Developer: There is no way I’m a sexist!

                      Because that they’re really saying is:

                      Woman: This game is [not properly recognizing male / female differences]!

                      Developer: There is no way I’m a [hatemonger who treats women as property]!

                      This variation in the understanding of a word short-circuits the debate, puts people on the defensive (or even in your case, on the offensive) and instead of talking about what we value in videogames and how they can be made better, we end up arguing gender politics.

                    • Thomas says:

                      -over sensitivity- I shouldn’t have checked back, I got the thoughts out of my head and figured I’d see if you responded, and now I have rage. This would be such a stupid thing to break confidentiality on, but man I want to sit you down in front of someone midflashback and let you get to hear a nice personal reencountment of someone going through an event so torturous to them that decades later, they’re still struggling to live an ordinary life and then here you describe it as ‘sexual misconduct’ and sit through games wehn that sort of behaviour isn’t burnt on a pike.

                      Okay it’s a subject you knew nothing about and you said something silly, thats fine, thats what we all do. But when you learn that stuff like this can actually make people experience the feeling of being raped again, you do not double down and say it’s not big.

                      I could repeat words that make me flinch everytime I’m reminded of them. You do not get to call this over sensitivity

                    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

                      You’re basically saying that women should just shut up and play as a male character and like it.

                      No, I’m saying that unless the sex of the protagonist notably affects gameplay, sex is an irrelevant factor AND that the majority of video game protagonists are nearly indistinguishable from each other anyway of which the lack of female protagonists is a symptom, rather than a separate issue.

                      For example, Half-Life, Portal and Portal 2 coop wouldn’t play any different even if you swapped the characters around, and the only way for sex to matter in any way at all in the Cod of Duty games would be to set a character as a member of an all-female unit (which they damn well should do, although I don’t have any care left for CODs).
                      Hell, just by their nature, most games should have a robot as the player character.

                      Most games do so little with their protagonists to begin with that just writing varied male protagonists would be a huge leap forward.

                    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

                      Thomas
                      an event so torturous to them that decades later, they’re still struggling to live an ordinary life and then here you describe it as ‘sexual misconduct’

                      But I don’t describe it as such, as I have already clarified in a previous post.

  11. Halfling says:

    I have not played Dishonored so it will be an interesting view for me.

    As to Walking Dead being the best season? No way. There was lots of quality commentary but not much funny/trolltainment(See ME1, F3, New Vegas, Deus Ex) which I believe is what makes Spoiler Warning enjoyable. Though the sweet spot seems like half way in between interesting commentary & insane trolling for the viewership at large.

    Of course I am the person who points at the Dead Money DLC as the best part of Spoiler Warning as it was just gut bustingly hilarious for me by the end. I suppose people’s experience may vary.

    • Kobold Artificer says:

      I thought the Fallout 3 season was best. But that’s probably cause I was playing Fallout 3 at the time, and their opinions mirrored my own.

    • Nytzschy says:

      The Fallout 3 and New Vegas seasons have some of the best moments, in addition to “Fawkes and the Hound” being the best pun ever, but overall I found I enjoyed this last season the most.

      Of course, I might be confusing my enjoyment of watching an LP of the last couple episodes of the game without commentary after getting really into it with Spoiler Warning, but even re-watching the Fallout 3 season I find myself occasionally getting pretty bored and even dreading the inevitable re-arrival of the dark brown smear that was Dead Money.

      I would like to post-emptively apologize for the long-ass sentence I just made the reader read just now.

    • Ofermod says:

      The Walking Dead was actually my second *least* favourite season, after the first Mass Effect (which doesn’t really count). I can’t really explain what it was, but it just never really resonated with me. Possibly the lack of combat to break up the dialogue/story. Or the reasons stated above, which I fully agree with. I don’t know, but I’m hoping Dishonored will be what I see as a return to form. Which it should be. I mean, it’s Reginald Cuftbert in a pseudo-stealth-based game with a morality system.

      Ah. Maybe that’s it. The Cuftbert just doesn’t translate to Lee very well.

      • lurkey says:

        The same here, only second least after “Deus Ex”, which I never even finished watching (found game boring and commentary too gushy). “Walking Dead” is meant to be played, not watched – watching removes its strongest point, emotional connection, the gameplay doesn’t allow liberties such as going into shop, turning invisible, looting everything right under the nose of unsuspecting shopkeeper and pawning her own stuff right there, insightful commentary is seldom funny and entertaining, and in the end the season was like crew’s take on Skyrim – safe, vanilla and kind of dull. So far, nothing could beat New Vegas season for me.

    • Aldowyn says:

      It’s all about balance. Spoiler Warning is about finding a balance between trolling and analysis, and that balance is different for every game. It just turns out that for The Walking Dead, the balance was shifted WAY towards analysis.

      And I think adding Chris to the cast has in general shifted SW towards analysis, which is good for some and bad for others.

      But as others have said, New Vegas struck a REALLY good balance there.

      • IFS says:

        Yeah New Vegas is my favorite season, and while I’m not sure how I’d order the rest of them I think my least favorite would be Bioshock, and I found Alan Wake to be boring to watch in a lot of places, although it was interesting in others.

        • Tse says:

          Yea, the New Vegas season was awesome. Same goes for the game. I think the goofy things Obsidian put in, coupled with Bethesda’s horrendous engine, made it the best season. I don’t think a Skyrim season could come close to it.

  12. Tvtim says:

    The only problem I could see with playing this and/or Skyrim is that there are literally thousands of these playthroughs on Youtube. When big, new games are released there end up being literally hundreds of different videos on that new game; at least it’ll have occasional above-average discussion about the game going on in the video instead of the usual random crap we have to hear from the commentator.

    At least it’ll be worth watching from you guys. =/

    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

      These things aren’t really about what’s being played, but who’s playing. I can watch LPs about games I don’t really care about if it’s from someone whose videos I enjoy watching, and similarly can’t watch LPs of games I like if it’s from someone whose videos are wank.

  13. Kobold Artificer says:

    Dishonored was ok, the setting and lore was interesting, and the mechanics were fun. But all the characters felt really half-baked to me.

    And the laughable betrayal twist felt really stupid, as you could see it coming a mile away. On top of that Corvo as a character would have seen it coming a mile away. During that bar scene, I was doing everything I could to not drink that beer but I couldn’t avoid it. It felt soooo dumb.

    • Indy says:

      I disagree that Corvo would have seen the twist. After everything else has gone to plan, he has no reason to mistrust anybody. The presentation to the player made it quite blatant, though.

      And I agree that the characters weren’t quite brought to life. They had a great advantage with the heart but nothing makes me believe that these people have existed for more than thirty minutes.

      • Artur CalDazar says:

        “he has no reason to mistrust anybody”

        Was he not listening to the phonograph things when I was? Was he not reading the diary entires I was?

        I see through his eyes, hear through his ears. He, a person with first hand experience of betrayal from superiors and colleagues not too long ago, should have seen it coming if I did.

        • Jace911 says:

          It would have been interesting if Corvo’s reaction to the drink offered to him changed depending on how many of those you listened to/read. If you find enough that he becomes suspicious of his allies, he politely refuses the drink and they go “screw it” and, I dunno, shoot him or something but the wound turns out not to be fatal. Or maybe someone whacks you on the back of the head.

          • Kobold Artificer says:

            How about if you refuse the drink then you have to walk over to pick up Emily (to take her away from these people) and, while you bending down to take her hand, boat guy comes up behind you and injects with a syringe of watered down poison.

            • Jace911 says:

              Or when you refuse the drink someone just shoots you with a poisoned crossbow dart? I certainly bought enough of them from Piero, they’ve got to have some lying around.

    • Honestly, I agree with all of that. That twist was so stupid that anyone with a brain could’ve seen it coming.

      • rrgg says:

        Er, heh heh.

        I wound up putting all of the diary entries and stuff into my inventory next to the whaler song with the intent of reading them later.
        Whoops. . .

      • Zekiel says:

        Erm… (scratches back of head while looking embarrassed)

        Maybe I missed some phonographs (I definitely heard some), but while I wasn’t exactly surprised by the twist, I didn’t think it was completely telegraphed.

        I probably wasn’t paying attention enough.

        • That’s the problem. It’s not telegraphed at all, yet you still see it coming. If only because the game couldn’t possibly be that short.

          Confession: I had heard of an “obvious plot twist” before I got to it. When it saw what was going on, I was liked “No. They can’t be that dumb.”

          • Indy says:

            I’m going to admit some six days later that I thought the game might be over after getting the Bad Guy. It was based on two things: first, I was playing very slowly and had already spent several hours on the early levels and second, I thought reusing the first level as the second was a demonstration that this game had a very limited development cycle. Boy was I wrong.

            Saying that, when I sipped, I knew something was going wrong.

        • Galad says:

          Glad to hear someone else had the same reaction as me. I totally didn’t see it coming (probably because I read at most the first three lines of any phonograph), but when the twist finally happened I thought “not again..”

  14. StashAugustine says:

    Gorram, now I have to play it. Oh well, better than having to force myself through Skyrim.

  15. Karthik says:

    Oh, this is going to be lovely. Dishonored has some excellent elements (world-building, setting, lore and level design), some bland elements (characters, motivations) and some very fun game mechanics.

    I’m going to enjoy arguing that all the fun powers and gadgets being lethal despite the low chaos route leading to a stabler city is a point in favor of the game.

    My only request to the spoiler warning team is to keep references to Thief at a minimum. Also, here’s hoping you don’t pull a Mass Effect 3 and go into a funk. ME3 Spoiler Warning was a little too negative and soured my mood every time I watched.

  16. Dude says:

    I felt that way about Dishonored. Been there, done that, played Garrett, played Hacker, played Looking Glass Studios.

  17. Jace911 says:

    If there was ever a game made specifically to allow Josh to play as Reginald Cuftbert, Dishonored is it.

  18. Indy says:

    Dishonoured is a great example of a game talking about games, although it’s a bit more subtle about it than Spec Ops: the Line. NewDarkCloud made an article about how the apparent morality system doesn’t actually ask you to distinguish between right and wrong. Low Chaos offers torture, theft and slavery so why is that portrayed as any better than murder? The answer is that the focus isn’t on the crimes you do but rather the reaction that others have. For instance, decrying the Lord Regent causes the people to rail against him while killing him causes the people to rail against you.

    Cloud showed his article to Dishonoured’s lead designer, Harvey Smith, and they had a conversation about it. In it, they talk about how the reaction-less narratives of protagonists in other games and compare such to other mediums like films and books as well as a few other things. They cover a lot of ground in that conversation. I also find it amazing that the lead designer was so willing to involve himself in these discussions and was so aware of what his work was saying and its short-comings.

    • Karthik says:

      I’ve been vocally arguing about this since I played the game: Dishonored does not have a morality system. The game (and by proxy, the devs) do not judge you based on the morality of your actions. Killing/sparing your targets does not affect the chaos system in any significant way. Basically, Harvey Smith is correct.

      The chaos system is not without its flaws, though. It’s still binary, it still doesn’t make sense that killing weepers raises chaos (they are active vectors of the plague), and it doesn’t make sense that killing the whaler assassins doesn’t raise chaos–since, ostensibly, they put down weepers in the flooded district.

      But the question of morality is only ever raised by individual characters in the game, and never by the game’s systems.

      • Dude says:

        You could say the same thing about Bioshock.

        Actually, if we’re gonna debate developer intent, we can say that about every single game we don’t like. CoD is not really a broshooter, then, but really, an often sarcastic, revolted look at violence. Gears of War is actually Tears of War spelled wrong. Sports games are actually telling us how we’re wasting hours of our lives cheering for strangers kicking balls on our television set, and how they’re no different than pixels doing the same thing. The devs are on our side of the fence, etc.

        I think a game should stand on its own merit without needing the kind of subtext Spec Ops has shown us to look for now. It’s okay to do it once or twice; after that it’s just another gimmick. Like a gravity gun.

        • Indy says:

          The difference about Dishonoured, then, is that it isn’t just about sarcastic awareness. It’s not just patronising the medium but trying to adapt it. It includes the Chaos system not only to raise awareness of excessive murdering but as a mechanic that the story reacts to. Of course, BioShock has the little girl system, which is (IMO) a much worse way to do its narrative-influencing choices.

          A game can stand on its own merit without carrying a deeper meaning. Dishonoured does stand on its own merit. The deeper meaning is just a bit of icing for those who go looking.

        • Karthik says:

          Sorry, I don’t follow your point (about intent).

          I didn’t invoke or say anything on developer intent. I was just clarifying that the game does not have an inbuilt sense of morality the way, say, the light/dark system in KOTOR or the karma system in Fallout 3 do. I thought the game made this clear.

          Instead, the chaos system is just another simulation parameter (albeit crudely handled) among dozens of other ones that affect the city. The intent of your actions in changing its value doesn’t matter.

          Dishonored does stand on its own merit. If someone (like the author of the blog post Indy linked to) conflates the chaos system with judgment of the player’s morality, then it’s their misconception to deal with. The game does not judge you on a good/evil axis.

          Re: Bioshock: This I do agree with. You’re right, a similar case can be made for Bioshock. IMO, and it’s been a while since I played, I’m pretty sure Bioshock (a) Did not react to your decision about the little sisters in any meaningful way, and (b) Changed the ending in a way that simply did not follow from your actions through the game. That makes a pretty good case for lack of reactivity and arbitrary moral judgment.

    • Well this would explain my recent boost in pageviews. :)

  19. hborrgg says:

    My vote is for Corvbert to slaughter everyone he can on each level, but only complete objectives using the non-lethal options.

    • StashAugustine says:

      I always wanted to do this in Deus Ex. Dialogue choices are all straight paladin goodguy, then murder eery living creature in the game.

      • baseless research says:

        I was actually thinking of doing a nice guy playthrough of Alpha protocol where I killed every npc but was very charming and nice to everyone main character (killing nasri and a few other guys obv).

      • Phantom Hoover says:

        I did a playthrough like that in HR; I followed it up with the converse of taking the most brutally straightforward routes for every quest, but making sure never to kill anyone. The highlight of this was when I apparently ripped an augmentation out of a woman’s skull (nonlethally!), gave it to a bartender, then beat him unconscious and robbed him in the middle of a crowded nightclub because he wasn’t going to pay me in full just because there were still a few bits of brain sticking to it.

  20. IFS says:

    Well I’ve been looking for an excuse to start another playthrough of this, I guess here it is! Looking forward to seeing Josh ignore stealth completely in favor of jumping and drop assassinating everyone (Which you can do from the same level as them if you have agility 1). Or perhaps he will lead rat armies across the city. Or stick springrazors on rats, possess them, and lead them to a target. Or even… well you get the picture.

    Anyways fun game with some discussion worthy flaws, I look forward to seeing it.

  21. Eric says:

    I liked Dishonored, but it was very much a “close, but no cigar” kind of game for me. Beautiful art and sound work, its heart was in the right place, some really fantastic level design, but the character progression, awkward story (silent protagonist did not suit the game at all), and kinda easy/exploitable gameplay hurt it quite a bit for me. I’m glad I bought and played it, and I’m glad it was made, but it could have been so much better with a few additional features and tweaks here and there.

  22. X2-Eliah says:

    Yay. Good that you didn’t pick skyrim – it would be a complete slog of a season. Also, in terms of talking points, Dishonored should provide enough fuel for conversation – praise and snark.

    So, er, I suppose we are going to see the high chaos run whith the ‘Corvo leaves the empire’ ending, eh?

  23. Eric says:

    I liked Dishonored, but it was very much a “close, but no cigar” kind of game for me. Beautiful art and sound work, its heart was in the right place, some really fantastic level design, but the character progression, awkward story (silent protagonist did not suit the game at all), dumb way of handling choice & consequence in story and gameplay, and kinda easy/exploitable gameplay hurt it quite a bit for me. I’m glad I bought and played it, and I’m glad it was made, but it could have been so much better with a few additional features and tweaks here and there.

    Will be interesting to hear your guys’ thoughts on it. There’s a lot about it mechanically to talk about, and as usual it’s the mistakes that are the interesting parts.

  24. Greg says:

    I’ll be interested in seeing this season, then, as I’d been somewhat intrigued by the concept of Dishonored but never had any intention of buying it (unless it’s on some ridiculous Steam sale). Most games you guys pick tend to either be games that I’ve played and enjoyed or games that I was somewhat interested in but never played; it works out well.

    That said, might I suggest Assassin’s Creed 3 after Dishonored, if you guys’ve played it? I just finished it myself, and it has massive problems of its own (mostly revolving around the present day plot, the DIAS gameplay and the disconnect between gameplay and touted moral lessons), but it also has some incredibly nuanced characters and a return to the Grey and Gray morality of the first game, where Assassins are probably still the better people but it’s far less of a good guy/bad guy struggle. I think it’d be interesting to see if the group’s opinions mirror mine, or diverge in some unexpected way.

    • Sleeping Dragon says:

      Oh we’re so going to have to disagree on this one, I’ve found extremely few redeeming qualities in AC3, too many disconnected mechanics (though I will admit the see battles did have a very cool feel to them), the presumed grey morality simply didn’t work as grey for me and too much of the “nuances” of the characters felt less like being torn and trying to work their way through treacherous moral grounds and more like them just turning to whatever the plot wanted them to be at a given moment. The one really, really cool thing which I found extremely promising was the handling of the first act and the twist at its end, but then it all went to waste imho.

      • Greg says:

        Yeah, I’m not sure how to argue this except as an opinion, haha. Like I said, the characters felt pretty real to me (Charles Lee was a bit too cartoonishly villainous at points but even that ended up working out I felt), and while some of their actions felt stupid (why am I not immediately killing this person? Why are they not immediately killing me?) the overall arc people went through really surprised me. Pretty much every character I can think of actually changes by the end of the story, which I can’t say about most video games, and those changes by and large make sense as a result of what happens to them.

        Also (to disagree even further!) the ship battles utterly broke my suspension of disbelief. I could buy Connor moving back and forth between New York, Boston and the Frontier and getting into giant one-on-many fights and still prevailing through smart tactics; I couldn’t buy him sailing all up and down the East Coast multiple times in the span of a few years and regularly using his single mid-sized ship to take out entire fleets while his crew ducks to avoid any damage from a cannon barrage. The entire time I was sailing I was thinking “This would be far cooler and fit far better if it was an objective-based boarding action simulator.” When we finally got a couple boarding actions was when I really liked it but even then, they didn’t do much with it beyond “kill some dudes here.”

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          Oh my point about the battles was that they felt really cool in and by themselves, it felt like the ship had mass, it felt like it was actually busy on the deck during the battles. That said they do fall under the “wasn’t this series at some point about like… assassinating dudes or something like that?” Still, if they managed to capture the feel of these battles in some other game where they would make more sense that would be a plus. I imagine the real reason the battles worked for me was because they were these really cool sequences that actually let me disconnect from what for me was tedious stupidity of the rest of the game.

          Now I’m going to delve into heavy spoiler territory for a here. The first act did a very good job of introducing the Templars by letting the player believe they were the Assassins. We were shown Ts from a sympathetic point of view and they were presented as actual cahracters, the group had a working dynamic and Lee was established as this smart and at least somewhat educated man, eager to prove himself worthy of fighting the good fight. Before the reveal I was pretty sure these would be the people to tutor Connor in the ways of the Assassin with Lee being a father/older brother figure, a sort of “your father introduced me into this group, now I shall do the same for you.” The reveal was, for me, the strongest moment of the game because it really struck me how different my emotional approach would be to the same events if I were on the side of the conflict that I thought I was. This was a great base to build on but not even half an hour later Lee is already this cartoonishly evil maniac and from this point onward the game failed to make me sympathetic to any Templar action because I never felt “our end is so awesome it justifies the means” but rather “we are being stupidly evil and somehow the greater good will spring out of it.”

          • MetalSeagull says:

            If I could rewrite the end of the game, I would have had Kenway sacrifice Lee in an attempt to lure Connor to the Templars, and had the fight between Kenway and Connor be the big round up to the story. Everything after killing Kenway seemed so anticlimactic.

      • Aldowyn says:

        Tries and fails is still better in my mind than doesn’t even bother.

        Of course AC3 fails as a GAME compared to AC2. Railroaded assassination and chase missions in an Assassin’s Creed game? *shudder*

        • Greg says:

          The chase missions are absolutely horrible, I have to admit. So many times I saw “Desynchronized: Target died” when I was chasing someone to kill them and simply shot them. So many times I snuck up on a target only for me to immediately break cover in a cutscene and for them to run away with a 30 meter head start.

          Seriously, who looked at that and thought “This is fun! The players are gonna love this!”

  25. Stephen says:

    Damnit Shamus! How am I supposed to be getting any work done when you go and do stuff like this?

    I still have to re-watch last season!

  26. AJax says:

    Spec Ops or Metro 2033 would’ve been more interesting choices but I liked Dishonored anyway so I’ll be looking forward to that.

  27. JPH says:

    “an over-hyped pile of crap like Assassin’s Creed 2″

    >:[

    • Indy says:

      I’ll agree with this. It was terrible in some ways but it did excel in others. Overall, I’d call it average. Over-hyped, but average.

    • Karthik says:

      Shamus and co value narrative consistency and cohesion with game mechanics over scale, grandeur or mechanics in isolation. I enjoyed the latter things about AC2, but the story and themes were a mess. I can see why he’d call it over-hyped.

    • AJax says:

      I’d love to see Shamus’ reaction to Assassin’s Creed 3. :P

      • Indy says:

        I know I’m not Shamus, but I’ll give it a go. If you don’t mind.

        The consistency of the mechanics has improved somewhat and the narrative at least tries to keep on point. I’d generally consider it better if I was just comparing Connor’s story with Ezio’s. The Desmond section was abysmal (except for the bit where I got a pistol and just one-shot everybody). Overall, I’d say it’s not different enough to be obviously better and if it’s a matter of subtlety, it wasn’t enough to be great.

        • Aldowyn says:

          it’s not ‘subtle’ at all though :/ The game throws it’s ‘gray’ morality in your face time after time after time.

          Your dad’s a templar! George Washington is burning down your village! Some of the Templars are Patriots! Connor isn’t afraid of collateral damage!

          Basically, Charles Lee’s EXISTENCE does more to drag AC3′s narrative down than anything else does.

  28. RTBones says:

    A couple days ago, I posted my hope that you’d do Skyrim next, given my current re-fascination with the game. I’m finding places and doing quests I haven’t done or seen before, which is a good thing. Yet, even as I posted, I suspected that Dishonoured would be the next title you’d tackle. This is actually a good thing as well (for me, anyway) – I bought Dishonoured a while ago, but haven’t played it yet. This just means I have an excuse to play along at home.

  29. Artur CalDazar says:

    Looking forward to Dishonoured.

    Maybe I will even be able to watch each video as it comes out!

  30. Deadyawn says:

    I think giving skyrim a miss is a good idea. There really isn’t much to say about it and the game is so long that either you’ll have to skip so much that you won’t do it justice or it’ll keep going on forever until it becomes pipe dream. Dishonored seems like a good choice. I’ll have to play it first though.

    • Amnestic says:

      I think Skyrim has potential as a number of short “one-shots” in which they follow one set of missions (thieves guild, Empire/Stormcloaks, Dark Brotherhood, etc.) from start to finish, then drop it for another game and occasionally just come back to it. Enough time to talk about stuff they liked/disliked about it, but doesn’t bog it down with filler episodes.

      I dunno, maybe “Happy Skyrimas from Spoiler Warning” this year? :p

      • Halfling says:

        That sounds like a great idea. Especially with how much serious games are serious stuff that has been going on with Spoiler Warning. Break it up with something a little more silly and fun.

        • GeekKnowledgeFailure says:

          I had actually been looking for a good opportunity to suggest something like that. Maybe a round-robin style season, with different members doing different questlines that they like. It’d also give an opportunity to show different play styles, builds, and equipment.

  31. SougoXIII says:

    Shamus, you’re going to make me finish Dishonored aren’t you?

    Actually wait, even Spoiler Warning can’t make me come back to that boring mess of a game.

  32. Dmatix says:

    Certainly looking forward to this. I think Dishonored is a great choice for a season: interesting mechanics (with plenty of room for hilarity), a fairly flawed storyline and Josh having to sneak are the making of a good SW season.

  33. Bubble181 says:

    Haven’t played Dishonored, no intention to, and I can’t keep up with watching all the Spoiler warnings anyway, but I look forward to the new memes and interesting sidestories.

    However, I decided to post here for a specific other reason: someone might’ve mentioned at one point or another that there were quite a few System Shock 2 (SS2) fans on here…And it’s (re)releasing tomorrow on gog.com.

    Just FYI.

    • Small Ivory Knight says:

      I saw that! I really hope that the GoG version of System Shock 2 will work with their Fraps recording shenanigans. I played it years ago, and loved it (OH GOD OH GOD THE PSYCHIC MONKEYS ARE COMING!). I’d love to see Shamus’ take on it after X number of years.

  34. Completely offtopic:
    Shamus, I’m curious on how your GUI woes are going.
    Have you looked at IUP it is a C GUI, uses the MIT license, and provides a “native” look.

  35. Spammy says:

    Hey Shamus! GoG just got the rights to System Shock 2! Now nobody on your site will have an excuse not to play your most favoritest game!

  36. Grudgeal says:

    I played Dishonoured at a friend’s. First thing I did after escaping was ask why you couldn’t take the hole card from your interrogation and use it to prove you’ve been set up. I mean, practically any hole card reader could have played it and blown the whole thing open from the get-go.

    I got a bit sour towards the game after that.

  37. Irridium says:

    So, sorry for going off-topic, but guess what’s coming to GoG?

    System Shock 2.

    No, seriously.

    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/02/13/many-questions-system-shock-2-comes-to-gog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rockpapershotgun%2Fsteam+%28Rock%2C+Paper%2C+Shotgun%3A+Steam+RSS%29

    Just felt like the fine folks here would like to know this. Especially Shamus.

    EDIT: And of course someone posts this before me :P Ah well. Looking forward to your Dishonored playthrough, by the way.

    • StashAugustine says:

      How are the controls on System Shock? I really wanna play it, but I’m afraid that the interface will slap me down if I try.

      • Irridium says:

        I honestly can’t remember that much. It’s been a long time since I played it. About 13 years or so. I don’t remember it being too bad, though.

      • Klay F. says:

        The interface is pretty similar to the original Deus Ex, with a few added bells and whistles.

        • arron says:

          It’s basically WASD with mouse, plus weapon selection keys, reloading weapons, health restore, crouch and jump. The rest is mouse driven panels for hacking, your PDA, research etc.

          It’s a slower paced RPG/FPS game when compared to most FPS, so unlike Half Life or Bioshock..the more complex user mechanics with PSI powers and character/inventory management doesn’t detract from the game at all.

    • Wedge says:

      I came here to post this, too. Hey Shamus, it’s not too late to change your mind and do SS2 this season…

    • arron says:

      It could easily form the basis of an occasional series like Half Life 2 did around the other games they were playing at the time. It’s probably going to last a long time – So to avoid people getting bored, doing an episode a week (say) would provide a interesting retrospective vs. the modern games like Dishonored that have been inspired by the mechanics in SS2.

  38. Klay F. says:

    I hope you are ready to moderate the comments Shamus. This season is just going to be one long argument over sexism. While I’m sure people will continue arguing about it till the universe ends, I’m rather tired of the argument as a whole, at least as it relates to Dishonored. As you can see from earlier comments, people aren’t even debating anymore, just talking past each other.

    • Aldowyn says:

      I don’t think it’ll be JUST one long argument over sexism.

      Oh, I’m sure they’ll be there, unless Shamus blanket-bans it, but it’s not that hard to just skip past where it’s being discussed and get to everything else. You know, like you can do on THIS post?

      • Klay F. says:

        Okay, yeah, thats fair. I was being unnecessarily hostile there. But my point still stands regarding the argument itself. We’ve pretty much all already had this argument over twitter, and all we ended up doing was talking past each other, neither side willing to address the arguments of the other.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      That’s more or less exactly what I said on twitter as well, so, yeah, completely agreed. The season itsel will be amazing, but I fear the comments will be a homogenous cesspit.

    • TheMessengerOfHeavenSmile says:

      Pfff. You know, i have seen people arguing over sexism for very minuscule things, but when the most sexist game ever made was released and reviewed by the “journalist”, they quickly dissmised all the claims of sexism as people being bitchy about the new “characterization” that the protagonist has now (because they believe it didnt have before), or just being Japanophobes.

      Oh yes, you and everyone here knows what i am talking about. The game that was so sexist…….that no one could comprehend. We know there is something wrong with it by just looking at it…….but we just cannot tell why. Its like watching a lovecraftian horror, you try to best to describe it but there is just no justice to the mindfuckery that you see.

      I am talking of course….of Metroid Other M. And here is one valiant soul that survived and review ALL of it. And goes to state later on how the sexism is presented much later:

      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=13373815860B43920100&i_id=13373815860I43921400&p=1

      I am firmly convinced that there is NO WAY that Dishonored could be ANY worse. But we shall see as soon the Spoiler Warning team (and Errant Signal guy) shows it to us.

      Oh by the way, System Shock 2 for GOG.com. Finally, a game that uses the Pulp Villain SHODAN and the sexism to make a point.

      • Syal says:

        Checking the dates, looks like Retsupurae beat him by a day. (I think we all know those guys are bastions of sexual equality.)

        …that would have been a link but obviously I don’t know how to make links.

  39. burningdragoon says:

    Goodie, I’ll be able to watch this seasons since I wrapped up Dishonored myself a few weeks ago.

    Dishonored more or less wipes the floor with the two stealth factions in Skyrim anyway.

  40. Jeff R. says:

    I guess I’ll have to finish Dishonored now, then. (Probably twice; finish up my high chaos game and then make a try at ghost/nokill/low chaos)…

    I have to say I like the RPG seasons a bit more than the non-RPG seasons of SW, so I was looking forward to Skyrim. And now you’ll be set up to avoid RPGs for a long time, especially if talking about Sexism in Dishonored makes doing Tomb Raider next inevitable, and by then Bioshock Infinity will be waiting there…

  41. So far, I have not played any of the games (except the first quarter of AssCreedII) featured in Spoiler Warning. I’m not sure if my enjoyment has been enhanced or reduced by this fact, but I certainly feel like I “get more out of it” from an educational standpoint. Being able to vicariously experience the games in question (mostly aurally) while doing other useful things (like working at my job) essentially doubles my game-experience bandwidth.
    So, thanks for continuing to offer this service to fellow gamers who don’t have the time/inclination/money to purchase/play all the latest digimal entertainments. Keep it up folks!

  42. Scampi says:

    Ever again annoyed reading about Alpha Protocol-always again reminds me of my complete inability to run it any way or the other since the patch wasn’t available for the european version(or something like that). Considering FO3: I never considered it that broken-I had the common issues with it (like Sonora running off and having to get rediscovered again) but nothing really breaking the immersion for me (yes-it enjoys lots of absurd sillyness nevertheless…).
    But I had no problems with e.g. the Tenpenny Quest: I had no problem talking the racists out of the tower, getting Tenpenny to accept the ghouls and having them move in peacefully, getting the good karma for the quest. Now I have a Penthouse in a tower inhabited by friendly neighborhood ghouls. My verdict: sometimes silly, but not broken imho. Something I could never say about Oblivion, which appeared to be bland, boring, without any real feel of a world, where your actions would never make ANY difference at all. All the books in Oblivion? The prose and background? Wasted space, imho, since the world seemed like history was just frozen in an instant for the player to do random meaningless stuff. Not my type of game really. Never got into Skyrim at all and probably won’t since I still attempt (mostly successful) to not get any DRM or OL-clients infesting my system, and I count Steam as such.
    BTW: Bethesda seriously sucks at localization…what makes their games a lot worse in some other languages. It appears there’s a squad of special needs translators on Bethesda’s payroll who have something up their sleeves to prevent being replaced.
    Actually: it would make absurd amounts of text just listing all the text failures appearing since Morrowind. In RPG-titles, this is a serious hindrance, making Bethesda games way less stellar to play in countries where playing the original version will only come at the (prize + import shipping) kind of money.

  43. Scampi says:

    Ever again annoyed reading about Alpha Protocol-always again reminds me of my complete inability to run it any way or the other since the patch wasn’t available for the european version(or something like that). Considering FO3: I never considered it that broken-I had the common issues with it (like Sonora running off and having to get rediscovered again) but nothing really breaking the immersion for me (yes-it enjoys lots of absurd sillyness nevertheless…).
    But I had no problems with e.g. the Tenpenny Quest: I had no problem talking the racists out of the tower, getting Tenpenny to accept the ghouls and having them move in peacefully, getting the good karma for the quest. Now I have a Penthouse in a tower inhabited by friendly neighborhood ghouls. My verdict: sometimes silly, but not broken imho. Something I could never say about Oblivion, which appeared to be bland, boring, without any real feel of a world, where your actions would never make ANY difference at all. All the books in Oblivion? The prose and background? Wasted space, imho, since the world seemed like history was just frozen in an instant for the player to do random meaningless stuff. Not my type of game really. Never got into Skyrim at all and probably won’t since I still attempt (mostly successful) to not get any DRM or OL-clients infesting my system, and I count Steam as such.
    BTW: Bethesda seriously sucks at localization…what makes their games a lot worse in some other languages. It appears there’s a squad of special needs translators on Bethesda’s payroll who have something up their sleeves to prevent being replaced.
    Actually: it would make absurd amounts of text just listing all the text failures appearing since Morrowind. In RPG-titles, this is a serious hindrance, making Bethesda games way less stellar to play in countries where playing the original version will only come at the (price + import shipping) kind of money.

  44. Just doing a quick word search of the comments here tells me at least one episode could be spent on the subject of whether or not the game’s title should have a “u” in it. The OED aficionados would have a grande olde tyme over that one, eh wot?

    And before anyone brings up “aluminum” vs. “aluminium,” I’d like to point out that both spellings came from the Brits and the second was a revision because the guy who came up with the first (quite wrongly called ‘American’) version thought it didn’t sound regal enough. That’s well-reasoned and full of scientific insight…

  45. Yay! I was just thinking about how I missed the ‘shopping of Spoiler Warning from the Fallout 3 season! :D

    Hopefully you’ll go through with Skyrim at some point. I’d love to see Reginald troll and terrorize the world of Elder Scrolls!

  46. Jexter says:

    I think a Skyrim run might be worthwhile, but only if it focused more on mods rather than the core game itself. They tend to make the game a bit more interesting, and there’s a lot of them.

  47. Markus says:

    Another new season!?
    Damn, I’m still stuck in Josh scewing up Deus Ex: HR

  48. Neko says:

    As much as I like Skyrim, and would like to see the crew do a Let’s Play of it, your reasoning is sound. If there’s nothing much to talk about, it’s not going to work well as a LP.

    I’ve been a big fan of Elder Scrolls games for a long time, and there’s really not a whole lot to say about it. Except the awful UI. I could bitch about that for an hour or so. SkyUI helps a bit, but doesn’t fix everything.

    And I guess there’d be time to bring up the comparisons with Morrowind, a far superior game due to its lack of Voice Act ALL THE THINGS!.

  49. Jon Wood says:

    I’m not sure if I should be filled with anticipation or dread.

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