Last year Deus Ex: Human Revolution was released to surprisingly good review scores, not to mention fans loved the game as well. However, there was one universally disliked part of the game, the boss battles. You could spend the entire game sneaking around killing almost nobody, but occasionally you would come up against bosses you had to fight and kill. These battles tended to break the games’ immersion, and it was the one dark spot on an otherwise great game.
Dishonored will not be making the same mistake as there will be officially no boss battles in the game. During an interview with Kotaku, Dishonored designer Harvey Smith explained why they made this gameplay decision:
“We also, we faced some of that on Deus Ex I think. The thing is, we’re very conscious of tropes in video games that are kind of lazy, frankly. Or dogmatic is the better word perhaps. You know: here’s a boss, he reveals his weak spot, you gotta hit it three times and then three times again, whatever.
So roundabout way of answering, I guess, is that we never really felt the need for boss monsters. And it seems like a dogmatic feature. And sometimes it’s brilliant, right? One of my favorite games of all time was Shadow of the Colossus. If you count those as boss monsters, then wow—way to take that whole feature and make it your whole game and do something utterly brilliant. And it’s one of the best 100 games of all time in my opinion. But in our case it wasn’t the focus, and we are kind of careful about avoiding those kind of dogmatic tropes that video games are built on.”
To me this is actually really great news, as I was one of the people who really thought Deus Ex: Human Revolution could have been the perfect game without the boss battles. That is not to say that boss battles can’t be done well, I think Shadow of the Colossus and Red Dead Redemption both did boss battles in ways that supported the game and story as opposed to taking you out of the moment.
I really hope Dishonored can live up to all the potential because the game looks amazing,not to mention it is one of the few games this year trying something entirely different. Dishonored will be released October 9th on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.