Bethesda, Bethesda… You do know how to tease us. Back at E3
last week, we had the chance to see in action an exceptional first-person
adventure game that Is going to take the crowd in one swift move: Dishonored.
The new gameplay demo showcased at the Bethesda closed room
theatre was a full-on playable game, set in a new sequence of the title, in a
brothel that goes by the name of The Golden Cat Bath House.
Contrary to what most of us felt, from the trailers and
screenshots, the game is no Assassin’s Creed. Yes of course in the end, you
play as this professional killer named Corvo, who happens to be hooded
sometime, but this adventure is in first person view, with its own highly
distinctive visual style and offers even more depth in terms of gameplay.
Moreover, the French developers – Arkane Studio – stated
that the more people are killed by Corvo and the more the environment change:
the plague seems to spread more, the presence of rats increases and people
behave differently around you. Roughly speaking, your actions directly affect
For example, when you choose to save a character during a
mission, it may intervene again in the story and help you in a few levels
later. Similarly, it is possible to start levels in different places (streets,
roof or underground), depending on how you played before, and the choices made,
like talking to a particular character.
Further explanations about the powers were given to us, as
well as the weapons and different HUD gauges displayed on the screen. These
represent respectively the magic and life levels of Corvo.
In the story, there are also two science-themed characters,
Sokolov and Piero (inspired by the figures of Rasputin and Tesla), which
indirectly help the player by providing refills of magic and life. These take
the form of elixirs that you can collect throughout the levels.
The runes or passive powers – known as Bone Charms - are
spread across the stages. They can temporarily boost certain active powers like
taking possession of an animal in twice as long as you could normally. The active
powers are twelve in total, unlockable gradually and accessible via a spell
wheel that appears at the press of a button.
Among the most notable powers are the Devouring Swarm (a
bunch of rats that feeds on the enemy), Time Bend (temporarily slow down time
for the opponents), Windblast (a powerful gust of wind that pushes the attackers),
Possession (slides into the body of an animal or an enemy to take control of
him), Dark Vision (look through walls and spot energy aura of characters) or
Blink (a Teleport spell).
In terms of weapons, players can count on a dozen that you
can buy upgrades for, from the handy revolver, dagger, crossbow or even ground
based traps and snares.
Aesthetically speaking, the game has improved considerably
in the past ten months of its announcement, and trailers don’t give enough
judgment to the quality. The graphics are much polished and a detailed work on
the lighting engine is quite impressive.
All of this was nicely presented through a mission set in a
brothel (The Golden Cat Bath House) richly decorated with paintings and
draperies. The goal here is to kill the twin Pendleton brothers, small
aristocrats eager for thrills in the company of beautiful streetwalkers. The Good
news - and this is one of the highlights of Dishonored – is that there are
always several ways to accomplish a mission.
The developers stated that it is possible to finish the game
without killing anyone except the targets specified in the script, by giving
you two different approach of how to handle a mission: a stealthy one or a
brute force method.
If you opt for stealth, you can enter the building in
different ways, such as teleporting on the rooftops and through a window or
taking possession of a rat and then go through the sewer system. Once out of
the body of the animal, then you sneak around in hallways and get rid of some
guards quickly. Feel free to then carry the body and hide them from the view of
Alternating travel and teleportation method, Corvo is able
to reach before the locked Sauna room door behind which is the first of the Pendletons.
One of the possible ways to deal with him is to go in the room next door and retrieve
a valve to place in the heating pipe. Deadly fumes spread into the room where
the target dies almost instantly.
For the second twin, located a few floors away, it is even
simpler: an expeditious method, and vicious enough to join him and is quietly
to take possession of his body, then control it so that he goes out on the
balcony, then get out of his body and finally to simply push him to an instant
Dishonored seems to promise an exceptional adventure that
has an amazing world of stealth and violence, and a highly original aesthetic feel
to it that will make the lack of multiplayer totally worth the solo experience.