Boss battles are part of a regular trope in video games, most games have them, but Arkane Studios’ Dishonored doesn’t. The game is something that is quite unique as our interview here with co-creators of the game suggests. However, in another interview Kotaku, Harvey Smith, one of the co-creators mentioned the reason why the game doesn’t have boss fights.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he said. “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.”
The game is not horror oriented because they simply didn’t want to go that route. It would have been nice to fight some scary bosses but the theme of the game is completely different.
“Horror is not our focus, per se, but it adds some gravity to the situation like hiding in the dark, trying to avoid setting off an alarm, in the time of plague and oppression,” Arkane’s Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith revealed in an interview with us.
So there you go. The game manages to be unique in its own way and does not borrow a lot of elements you normally see in videogames nowadays.