We had our first glimpse of Dishonored a few months ago now, not much was told to us, and the screenshots that we did see didn’t really give us an insight into how the world worked. All we knew at that point was that it was a stealth based First Person Shooter-type game, an original IP (something that’s getting increasingly rare these days) and had at least some emphasis on some sort of magical abilities. Needless to say our interested was aroused, just with those couple of screenshots!
So when we saw the full cinematic a month or two later, we were salivating at the images. The Half-Life 2 inspirations were apparent, as were some slight nods to Assassin’s Creed, but what we were most interested in was the fact that Dishonored was an original IP. It was ambitious to say the least, but can Arkane Studios pull it off?
It was a dreary day in London, somewhat mirroring the city within the game – a city that we would come to know as Dunwall – and we had been invited to take a look at what Arkane Studios had to show us of Dishonored, the game that we had been wanting to see more of ever since it was first announced. The trailer that had been released a couple of weeks earlier has us talking with fond memories about the art direction in Half-Life 2, the first time you come across the Combine.
That’s exactly what the enemies within Dishonored feel like, and with Viktor Antonov at the helm, the art director behind the aforementioned Half-Life 2, it’s easy to see why. These guys here, however, are like the Combine turned up to eleven. The most iconic of the lot of them are the enemies that you see torching the place in the trailer; the Tallboys. These are the enemies that walk around on stilts, high above the rest of the population, in an attempt to stay far away from the plague infested rats that are scurrying around at street level. It’s always a good vantage point to see if there are any citizens that need purging of the plague up ahead too, fight fire with fire; and lots of it.
During a fight with the Tallboy we got to see, which takes place in a flooded area of Dunwall, we also were able to take a look at some of the intricacies of the combat system that Arkane Studios have put in place with Dishonored. When it was first revealed, the game seems like much more of a stealth based game, but how you play it is entirely up to the individual with the controller in their hand. If you want to play it stealthily, you can, or if you’re the type of person who likes a little more bite with their bark, you can go in all guns blazing, switching things up by using a combinations of weaponry and one of your special powers that has been granted to you by The Outsider. The combat system is extremely in depth, so you truly can make Dishonored into whatever game you want and have something truly amazing to look at while you do.
Another mission we got to see was called the Golden Cat Bathhouse. In this mission the main character, Corvo Attano, had to kill Morgan and Custis Pendleton, twins who are corrupt members of the Parliament you’re trying to take down and supporters of the Lord Regent. Clearly people with hearts so black had to be taken down, and so Corvo has to get down to it, again, using a combination of stealth moves, powers and good old fashioned weaponry.
If there’s one thing we took away from the excellent preview of Dishonored it’s that we’re in for a treat when the game hits our shelves, the level of control that the players are allowed when it comes to the combat is truly mind-boggling. It’s easy to see that it’s going to be something that’s difficult to get a grasp on at the start of the game, but once you get into some of the more difficult sections you’ll be taking people down like the steampunk assassin that you are. If the full game is just more of what we got to see during the presentation then this stands in good stead to be the next major new IP; look out Assassin’s Creed, Dishonored is here.