|Screenshot from Dishonored (in which crossbows can reportedly be loaded with nonlethal "sleep bolts")...|
One article we read mentioned that the stealth system in Dishonored was originally based directly on inspiration from Thief, until the developers made various changes to implement their own ideas, which include a creative array of supernatural powers and abilities. These can be purchased using runic whale bone artifacts, and include the ability to slow time, knock enemies down with gusts of wind, or see through walls. There are also "earthier" nonlethal solutions: Following in the footsteps of the 1980's arcade machine "Tranquilizer Gun," the player can load crossbows with "sleep bolts" that act like tranquilizer darts to put enemies into a deep but non-lethal sleep.
|Screenshot from Dishonored|
|Some nonviolent NPCs|
One of the designers also said they had to make special efforts to preserve a scene near the end of the game, in which players who went on indiscriminate killing sprees ran the risk of being betrayed by a key character who otherwise would not have turned on them. (Apparently they were under pressure to cut the scene due to fears that gamers who like going on indiscriminate killing sprees would be upset with the game if their actions turned out to have negative consequences.) The Wikipedia article quoted the Dishonored developer as stating: "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. It doesn’t match our values... What we wanted was to let you express yourself in the game, but to have the world react to that, at least in some way."
Dishonored is definitely a title we'll be playing as soon as we can. One caveat in the meantime is that we're not so sure about just how little violence you can actually get away with (as opposed to the infliction of fatalities)... The Gamer.com article that introduced us to the game mentioned that some of the non-lethal solutions one may be obliged to use to complete the missions were "horrific," despite the fact that they didn't result in a kill...