Taking its inspiration from the gothic grandeur of Edinburgh and the tightly packed, often bewildering streets of London, the world of Dishonored is a heady mix of charm and disorder.
Bleak, chaotic yet strangely beautiful, the industrial city of Dunwall might have been dreamt up on one of Charles Dickens’ darker days. A distinctive, higgledy-piggledy skyline of blackened chimneys and spidery towers sits underneath skies of permanent charcoal. Everywhere you look are the details that make you feel as though you’re right there, standing on the city’s slimy cobbles.
Walls are covered with scrawled slogans that hint at the sort of reception you can expect when you run into their authors, while in the distance great whaling ships slip into the harbour to deposit their hauls. If you watch closely you can even see the fishermen buzzing around their catches.
Looming over all of this are the Overseers, the oppressive agents of the militant faction, the Abbey of the Everyman. If their electrified Walls of Light, ominous watchtowers and lethal, mechanical Tallboys remind you of Half-Life 2’s City 17, it’s because art director Viktor Antonov worked on that game. His vision for Dishonored is even more striking.