One of the consequences of not really understanding how game technology works is that we talk quite a lot about the feel of things. So it was last year that the PCGamesN chatroom became briefly preoccupied with Dishonored’s modified Unreal engine, and how it really felt like Source. Like Half-Life 2 - Episode 4 of which Arkane were once rumoured to be working on - Dishonored’s look was lean and economic. Its energy was spent in all the right places.
Hopefully Arkane will manage the same with their new adopted platform, the tech with all the tessellated toads, CryEngine.
Zenimax human resources manager Ashley Pierce revealed in a job listing that Arkane are working with CryEngine - as are fellow Austin residents Battlecry, a sister studio at Bethesda. This despite the very capable first-person-focused engine developed elsewhere in the same stable - idTech 5. Nobody tell Carmack.
Rumour has it that Arkane have two projects on the go currently - that inevitable yet incredibly exciting Dishonored sequel Pete Hines likes to talk about, and the brand new Prey 2 they’ve taken on after Bethesda wrenched the game from the hands of its parents, Human Head. The latter is supposedly the System Shock follow-up that never was (unless it was BioShock or Dead Space, of course).
Whatever this turns out to be, it’s almost certainly going to be in development for PC and next-gen consoles - meaning Arkane will have the freedom to shape the tech into larger and even more densely populated areas than Dishonored’s.
It’s going to be a good time for multiplatform games, don’t you think?