Dishonored is a game that should not be overlooked. Bethesda’s steam-punk-inspired stabber has turned into one of the most original and exciting looking titles since its reveal last year.
The game attempts to fuse the best elements of Bioshock, Assassin’s Creed, and Thief, making for a unique experience with a distinct art-style, where players have to assassinate targets while using supernatural abilities to get to the bottom of a bigger conspiracy.
Dishonored is set in Dunwall, an industrial whaling city where strange steampunk-inspired technology and otherworldly forces coexist in the shadows. You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder, you become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card.
In a time of uncertainty, when the city is besieged by plague and ruled by a corrupt government armed with industrial technologies, dark forces conspire to bestow upon you abilities beyond those of any common man – but at what cost? The truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city, and the life you once had is gone forever.
Dishonored features a number of interesting elements which are set to make Arkane Studios’ game standout.
Dishonored isn’t entirely about all-out stabbing and action, as you also have to track down your target.
Detective skills are needed to find your hit, requiring conversations with NPCs, working the dynamics surrounding the situation, and calculating your options on how to perform the hit.
Enemies aren’t going to be push-overs, as the sci-fi world of Dishonored introduces a bunch of foes who possess powers which will cause a few concerns.
Some enemies, such as the Overseer musician whose musical box deactivates your powers, will make things a lot tougher during an assassination.
You can approach each assassination with your own style of play. Use shadow and sound to your advantage to make your way silently through levels unseen by foes, or attack enemies head-on as they respond to your aggression. The flexible combat system allows you to creatively combine your abilities, supernatural powers and gadgets as you make your way through the levels and dispatch your targets.
Choices, choices, choices
While not entirely open world, Dishonored does feature extensively open-ended missions, with each location featuring a number of ways and opportunities to try. You decide your approach for each mission, and the outcomes will change as a result.
Missions also have side objectives, giving you some distractions from stabbing faces.
Complementing the previous element of choice, doing certain side missions will open up options for other story pieces down the line.
By opting to participate in a small side quest, it can open up a relationship with a character you may not have even met if the missions weren’t done.
Excluding the choices of the open-ended missions, a level of randomness has been included in Dishonored, allowing for a fair amount of surprise with each play-through.
One mission in particular highlights this, where the player has to isolate one of three sisters as a target. The three sisters are all wearing different colour dresses, but this can change next time you play the mission. So, if you learned that the red dress-wearing sister was the target and took her out, next time around, things may be switched up and she could be wearing something else.
This adds a degree of unpredictability within Dishonored’s experience.
Harvey Smith, whose previous work includes the Deus Ex and Thief series, is one of the men heading up design on the project, putting some pedigree behind Dishonored.
Dishonored is scheduled for a 12 October 2012 release date on Xbox 360, PS3, and Windows PC – are you excited for Bethesda’s new IP?
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