Linearity, for a lot of gamers, has become an ever-present design problem in today’s gaming world. The experiences of blockbuster, AAA titles can be summed up with words like straightforward, confined and dogmatic. They are rope-a-dope tales with express instructions on how to win, who to follow and in which ways to advance.
I’m looking directly at the modern first-person shooter right this very second.
Dishonored, the upcoming first-person stealth title from Arkane Studios and Bethesda, looks to buck that trend. The game touts openendedness instead of linearity, and it sports a look that suggests choice rather than dogma.
In speaking with the PlayStation Blog, Harvey Smith, Co-Creative Director on the project, explained Dishonored‘s core gameplay principles.
It’s a matter of falling back on values. We generally like the first person perspective – to give you that ‘you are there’ thing. We like RPG upgrade systems. We like analog AI, so enemies are not necessarily aware of you or unaware of you – they’re uncertain. They may have heard you, but they’re not sure, so they go and investigate. Surfing the edge of awareness, basically. We love highly mobile games; we don’t like games where you’re heavy and stuck on the ground and you have big weapons and you can’t get on top of buildings as they’re just props. We really want you to be able to flit up there like a flea.
When asked about today’s gamers who may be used to linearity, here is what Smith offered up:
I have a great deal of faith in those people. When we release a game like this kids sometimes come to us and say ‘this game blew my mind; I didn’t know games could do this; I only played very linear games before’. That’s what we like to hear. I actually have more faith in the 13-year-olds as they’re playing things like Day Z or Dwarf Fortress or Eve Online. They’re hungry for highly interactive, non-dogmatic experiences, I think.
I know I’m hungry for non-dogmatic experiences, what about you?
Dishonored will launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms on October 9.
[via PlayStation Blog]