Tag: arkane studios

This is a post about Dishonored, Monarchies, and Non-lethality

Posted on November 7th, by Jordan Rivas in Video Games. 12 comments

Spoilers ahead. Thanks for reading.

Corvo Attano, the protagonist of Dishonored, is not a good guy — but I tried to make him one. I’ve always tried to play characters honestly. I enjoy stories, and whether a game is labeled role-playing or not, I require honesty in order to be fully immersed.

Because video games allow agency within story and characters, I bare some of the responsibility for ensuring honesty in the narrative. I have some control over how Corvo behaves, and in Dishonored I also have some control over how the story concludes. That’s why when I started playing Dishonored, I was determined to choose non-lethality whenever possible.

I surmised that as a bodyguard, Corvo would value life enough to avoid killing whenever possible, and only kill with no other alternative. That was the premise, but it  fell away quickly, replaced by something more concrete, but subtle.

I realized Corvo is not a “good guy”, and that the cast of Dishonored is mostly deficient of virtuous characters. This makes the fiction more authentic, cynical; it makes the characters less sympathetic. It disrupted my motivations as a player, and my ability to relate to Corvo.

I ascertained I … Read More »