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A Knife to the Back - What to Expect with Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:32pm 08/04/13 | Comments
We chat with Arkane Studios lead technical designer, Ricardo Bare, about their forthcoming narrative-specific add-ons for Dishonored. Read on for what he had to say...

Ahead of next week’s release of the hotly anticipated single-player add-on for Dishonored’s dark tale, AusGamers was given a chance to catch up with Lead Technical Designer, Ricardo Bare, to talk about the differences players will face while helming the Michael Madson-voiced Daud, over that of the silent Corvo, among much more.

AusGamers: How did you arrive at the powers Daud will offer players to use, and how do they differ to Corvo’s?

Ricardo: Our goal when we started working on this add-on content was to let players use Daud’s powers established by the original game. A little background: In the world of Dishonored there exists a finite number of individuals marked by the Outsider. Whenever we think about characters marked in this way (Daud, Granny Rags, the Torturer etc) we always imagine what their set of powers would be if they were a playable character, even if they never will be. So, in Daud's case, that meant several powers that are like Corvo’s, such as Bend Time, a few prowers that are close to Corvo's but with a special twist to them, like Blink, and then a few powers completely unique to Daud. For instance, Daud has a unique power called Arcane Bond, which lets him share power with his followers. As Daud gains power, so do his assassins. This pairs well with one of Daud's other unique powers, the ability to summon an assassin that will fight by his side.

AusGamers: Players obviously had the option to choose the powers and systems Corvo could utilise – are we locked into Daud’s or will there be an element of player-choice here, too?

Ricardo: Since The Knife of Dunwall takes place at a time when Daud is already an established assassin, we grant the player a few starting powers such as Daud's special version of Blink. However, beyond that the player has a lot of flexibility in deciding which additional powers to unlock and upgrade.

AusGamers: You mention seeing new districts of Dunwall, will players also visit familiar districts with this new character?

Ricardo: Yes. In The Knife of Dunwall the player will explore two new city districts as well as revisit two familiar locales from the original game. One of the familiar sites is Daud's own hideout in the Flooded District.

AusGamers: DLC can often go thin on the ground, can you reveal how much content players will actually be getting with The Knife of Dunwall? Is it possible to quantify in terms of play-time?

Ricardo: The kind of games we make means that play times vary wildly depending on the player and their play-style. We’ve also seen that people like to replay the content different ways making their experience much longer in length. That said, single play sessions tend to be in the ballpark of 3-5 hours.

AusGamers: As far as the main game’s narrative plays out, does this take place alongside Corvo’s adventure or after?

Ricardo: Yes. The Knife of Dunwall takes place between the death of Empress Jessamine Kaldin but before the fall of the Lord Regent. Everything happens concurrently with Corvo’s story.

AusGamers: “Accompanied by the ‘Whalers’”, will Daud have any control over his band of followers, or are they more of a support group for the sake of narrative and exposition? If it’s the former, can you elaborate on their role and how they can be utilised?

Ricardo: Both actually. At times Daud's assassins will have an important role in the story. For instance, we're excited to introduce a new character to the Dishonored universe: Billie Lurk, Daud's star pupil and trusted assassin who accompanies him during missions. But Daud also has a new power called Summon Assassin, which lets him call one of his assassins to his side at any point. These summoned assassins will follow Daud's orders without question. Need someone to distract that rat swarm? Throw an assassin at them while you run by.

AusGamers: Will we see the return of any speed-run challenges with this content?

Ricardo: No, The Knife of Dunwall is a campaign driven add-on which plays much like the original Dishonored campaign, rather than the isolated challenges of the Dunwall City Trials.

AusGamers: Have you made any technical changes to the game, in say AI or enemy behaviours? On a visual front?

Ricardo: This is purely a content add with new story, enemies, power, gadgets, etc.

AusGamers: It’s fantastic to see more narrative emerging from the studio for this rich world, can we expect more in the future? Is Corvo’s role in events over? Will Daud and Corvo lock blades again at some point?

Ricardo: The Knife of Dunwall is a stand-alone chapter, but also part of a larger story for Daud that is concluded in our next DLC, The Brigmore Witches. That's all we can say for now concerning any further connection between Corvo and Daud.

AusGamers: Finally are there any new enemy archetypes that have been built to specifically challenge Daud’s unique abilities and gadgets? Can you give us any examples?

Ricardo: We’re especially excited about the new Whale Butcher. A true Dunwall native, the Whale Butcher is a violent brute who labors in the Slaughterhouse District and wields a massive powered saw to slice apart the catches brought in on whaling ships. Going head to head with these guys is ill-advised. Daud will have to use clever combat tactics or stealthy evasion to overcome the tremendous frontal assault of an enraged Whale Butcher.

AusGamers: Thanks for your time today Ricardo, we’re looking forward to playing the new content and learning more about Daud and his followers.

The Knife of Dunwall lands on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 next week, April 16 -- stay tuned for our full review soon.
Read more about Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall on the game page - we've got the latest news, screenshots, videos, and more!

Latest Comments
Posted 03:16am 09/4/13
Could definitely play more Dishonored!
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