It's easy to understand why brutalism has been such a potent source of architectural inspiration for games. The raw forms - solid, legible and with clear lineation - are the perfect material for level designers to craft their worlds with. Simultaneously, these same structures are able to ignite imaginations and gesture outwards, their dramatic shapes and monumental dimensions shocking and attention-seizing.
By the time the Nintendo Entertainment System launched in the mid-eighties, brutalism was for all intents and purposes dead. Nevertheless, the ghost image of these structures has remained and been recreated in virtual worlds like a kind of collective screen burn. According to The New Yorker we are "in the midst of a full-blown brutalist revival" while The Guardian claims the architecture is "back in style", with Instagram photography and coffee-table books fascinated by structures ranging from cosmic communist monuments to abandoned bus stops.
The idea of concrete as bleak and depressing is a well-worn one. Dishonored's Coldridge Prison uses the architecture as a symbol of corruption and oppression. For many, brutalism is a pejorative to refer to any kind of unearthly urban structure. A striking hulk of towering concrete that commands discipline, Dishonored's prison represents the ice-cold system in opposition to the warmth of humanity. Brutalist architecture has a history of being seen in this alienating light, despite the reality of its progressive and humanist ethic.