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Dishonored: The game publishers thought you weren't smart enough for

Arkane breaks down its world of magic, machinery and subterfuge...

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By design, Dishonored can be played as an all-action shooter or a measured stealth game, and it would be utterly unique on the shelves at Gamestation if not for the inconvenient arrival of Deus Ex: Human Revolution last month. It's taken a long time for the rich simulated worlds of Human Revolution and Dishonored to deliver on the promise made by the likes of System Shock 2 and Deus Ex way back in 2000.
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"Old gamers like us wanted to play deep games back in the nineties," says Colantonio, "so that's what we worked on, but there's been a drought for a long time. Was it because of the console transition? Because the market expanded? I don't know, but games became more interested in graphics and not necessarily chasing depth.

"Before Fallout 3 or Bioshock there weren't many games of that style that were actually big hits," he goes on. "Now that those games shipped and made a lot of money, it's encouraging. At the end of the day gaming is a business, so the people who want to invest and make money say 'oh, actually you can make money with these kind of games' and it opens things up for developers."

BLACK DEATH

Smith's most recent project - at least before his strange mini-lifesim for the iPhone, Karmastar - was Blacksite: Area 51. The game reviewed very badly and Smith addressed the critical response at the Montreal Games Summit 2007, not by attacking critics, but by declaring that the whole project was "fucked up".

"We got hammered so hard, and we deserved it," he told Wired magazine back in 2007. "With a year to go, the game was disastrously off rails and we went straight from Alpha to Final."

The post-mortem and Wired interview saw Smith leave Midway in a "mutual agreement", but working with Bethesda has been a very different story.

"Even since Deus Ex it's the first time that we've had the support of the organisation, the publisher. I guarantee if you talk to the average game publisher they would say, 'what the hell is the value of the console tracking an NPC on the other side of the map? That's ridiculous!' But it's not ridiculous.

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