Dishonored is a game that’s difficult to put in a nicely defined genre cubicle. Officially it’s a “first person action game”, but it also has some RPG elements, a sniff of adventure, and also stealth appears to play a not to be underestimated role. As of October 12th you can check it out on PC, PS3 and X360. Three weeks to go, time to see what we know already and can expect.
The story puts you in the shoes of Corvo Atano, a bodyguard of the Empress, who is falsely accused of murdering her. Thanks to the Outsider, of whom he gets magical powers, he can take revenge on the Lord Regent and the others responsible for this conspiracy, and clear his name. He’s not alone in this but will receive help from several other characters. An added twist is that the motives of the Outsider to grant you special powers are eqaully dark as his name already suggests. Yes, it seems we can expect quite a lot from the story. The voices shouldn’t disappoint as star actors like Susan Sarandon, Michael Madsen and Carrie Fisher have been hired. The conversations you’ll be able to overhear aren’t only present for atmosphere but will also give you information that can help you, like where your targets are and what they are doing.
One of the biggest assets Dishonored wants to show off is the player’s freedom. This isn’t limited to being able to go where you want with thanks to the freerunning-capabilities of Corvo, it’s also the idea that there will be multiple ways to attain your goals. It would even be possible to not kill one single person, including your targets. In one of the mission walkthroughs we for instance heard two targets can be handed over to a slave trader who will put them to work in the mines. All your actions will influence the story, but not in such a way that you’ll have to choose a fixed way of working. An example; become too violent and a character that supported the mission will betray you out of discomfort with your actions. The influence of your actions will be visible through a chaos meter and as you do more and more certain actions like triggering alarms, leaving the dead in plain sight, chaos in Dunwall will rise and this has consequences for future missions, like more soldiers wandering around, or a new outbreak of the plague.
The setting reminds a bit to that of Bioshock, it’s an equally dystopic and obscure city, called Dunwall. Not only you get dropped in a police state of the worst kind, there’s also a plague that heightens panic and suspicion. Victims of this plague, called Weepers, weep tears of blood and aren’t all too friendly towards humans. Next to these Weepers, it seems Corvo’s enemies will mostly be soldiers armed with swords and pistols, but also tougher characters appear like the Tall Boys who patrol on long mechanical legs and have a strong armour.
To take them on, your arsenal will have a knife and crossbow, but also a sword and pistol as well as gadgets like grenades, smoke bombs and mines. Next to that there are of course the aforementioned magical powers you got from the Outsider. According to the makers the idea is that these powers will be mighty weapons, but they don’t want to make the game too easy. Their solution is the mana system in which you will have enough (and automatically regenerating) mana for the smaller things like Blink (short distance teleportation) and Dark Vision, but for the more advanced stuff you’ll require mana potion. Examples of such advanced stuff are Bend Time, Possession, Wind Blast, Devouring Swarm (rats!) and Shadow Kill (killed enemies return to dust so they don’t need to be hidden). Also some other characters will have these supernatural powers.
During his missions in Dunwall, Corvo will collect different objects like Whalebone Charms. These deliver certain advantages as support to other skills like being able to jump higher, swim faster, have more potent magic, and so on. New powers will be attained by collecting Runes and The Heart will keep track of your goals, beat faster once you get closer to a target, and can give extra info on certain characters but that would result in certain consequences.
The total playing time should be between 14 and 24 hours, depending on how relaxed you play. It won’t be possible to get everything in one go,something that should increase replay value just like the possibility to make different choices.[Gallery not found]