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Dishonored Co-Director Says its OK for Games to be Critical of Players Actions

With the release of Dishonored: The Definitive Edition it’s a good reminder of just how good the game was. It also worked as a reminder though of how the game was affected by your actions. Be prepared for mild spoilers below.

When I played the game, I played it without trying to be stealthy. Stealth is just not my style, and I ended up killing more people than I probably should have. This is why the following quote from Dishonored Co-Director Harvey Smith makes perfect sense. In an interview with Kotaku he had this to say:

“if you played very, very darkly—you not only killed to get to your goal, but you also went out of your way to kill the maids and everybody else, then at the very end of the game, Samuel Beechworth, the old man who’s been driving your boat around, he basically says, ‘I despise you for what you’ve become.’ And he pulls a flare gun out, and he fires it, and he says, ‘That’s why I’m warning them that you’re coming.’ He betrays you. And we got so much pressure to cut that from the game. Because people are not used to video game characters being mean to them, or telling them you’re not a hero, you’re a bad guy. Everybody just wants to be told in a video game that you’re great, no matter what you do. If you slaughter everybody—you killed the maids, you killed the old people, you killed the beggars—you’re great, here’s a medal, you’re a hero. We decided that sounds psychotic.”

He goes on to say that Samuel’s actions are reliant on just how “psychotic” you acted. From memory, Samuel didn’t fire the warning signal but he did make it known that he wasn’t happy with the number of lives I’d taken. Which does have an effect on you before you enter the final mission.

On Dishonored 2, he also had this to say about the characters talking:

“Whether you choose to play Emily Kaldwin or Corvo Attano—it’s 15 years after the events of the first game, 15 years after the rat plague has been cured, and Emily is empress, and Corvo is aging and still the protective father—we carried it over so that you have a voice,” Smith said. “You hear Emily. She has one line, or she has monologues before the mission, she has lines in the dialogue. Same with Corvo.”

Will the monologues and lines of speech adapt based on your actions? From what Smith says it seems very likely, especially depending on the level of violence you use.

What are your thoughts on games being critical of your actions? Let us know your thoughts below.