Bethedsa seems to have a fantastic eye for games, what with RAGE, Prey 2 and Skyrim all on the horizon, however perhaps one of the most impressive is all is the one which I have not mentioned, Dishonored.
Developed by Arkane Studios, Dishonored is an FPS which provides a mixture of action and stealth, with a little bit of supernatural thrown in for good measure. Set in a retro-future industrial world, centred around the city of Dunwall, which itself has been influenced by a 1666 London just as the industrial revolution was kicking in. In the game you play as a character known as Corvo who has been wrongly accused of murdering his employer and as you would expect is out for revenge and to prove his innocence.
In the demo, which we were talked through by Co-Creative Director Raf Colantonio, things started off in a dingy underground sewer, which looked exactly like you’d imagine it would. In this particular demo Corvo was on a mission to eliminate a dodgy lawyer who is causing all sorts of havoc in the town. There are many routes you can take to get rid of the lawyer, but in this particular case our path was already chosen for us, we were going to break into his quarters and kill him, although there was a few surprises along the way, even for the developer.
Like I say, our demo started in a sewer. As Corvo emerged into the light there were some enemies up ahead wearing face masks. Given that this is not a full out action game, in this case the developer decided to avoid them, sneaking around towards the lawyers headquarters. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before we came across a problem, a Wall of Light. Dunwall’s Wall of Light’s are spread throughout the city, stopping intruders from getting into certain areas while also letting guards get through. Thankfully by following the cable to the battery you can actually disable them or if you wish, even hack them by finding the blueprints, which in turn allows you to gain knowledge needed to turn them against the enemy.
Once Corvo had disabled the Wall of Light he came across a young lady being attacked by a group of thugs, at this point he proceeded to attack the thugs with his cutlass. Once the enemies were taken care of he then had a choice, attack the lady or let her go. The thing about Dishonoured is that you always have a choice, although the game does track what type of player you are, good or bad and there will be consequences if it’s the latter. So what happened to to the young lady? Corvo let her go of course, although unfortunately she was then eaten by a pack of rats right in front of our eyes. Nice.
Rats actually play quite a big part in Dishonored, as mentioned they can actually attack you if they are in a big enough pack, otherwise they will leave you alone. Also and perhaps more importantly, Corvo can actually posses rats, allowing him to get into small crawl spaces, which is quite handy for an Assassin as I’m sure you’ll agree. In this particular demo Corvo did just that, crawling into a small space in order to get into the lawyers quarters. At this point we saw a maid and were told that when in rat form you must avoid humans otherwise they will step on you, which makes sense.
Once the coast was clear it was time for Corvo to return to human form and sneak up the stairs, at which point we spied a guard harassing the maid. After a short discussion the maid left the guard, leaving him facing away from Corvo and making him easy picking. Once the guard was taken care of it was then time to find the lawyer and a few moments later, using Corvo’s ability to look through keyholes he was found.
Before talking about how Corvo took care of the lawyer it’s worth mentioning a few other neat features of Dishonoured. As mentioned, Corvo has the ability to posses rats, however he can also posses people and other animals, as well as having the ability to freeze time, which can make for an interesting combination. Corvo can also pick pockets, a trait that we witnessed in the demo just before he decided to cut the guards throat.
Anyway, so on to the lawyer, and after bursting into the room and taking care of the guards it was just the two of them face to face. Unfortunately the lawyer proceeded to pull out a pistol and fire straight at Corvo’s face, what was he going to do? surely it was certain death?..Well.. not for Corvo, instead he slowed down time, picked the bullet out the air and slashed the lawyers throat, job done. Interestingly the developer told us he had never actually seen anyone pick a bullet out of thin air before, which is very good to know, although he did mention that you could have possessed the lawyer and made him step in front of his own bullet. sweet.
One thing I failed to mention was that just before Corvo entered into the room to kill the lawyer he had actually hacked a wall of light, what this meant was that when it was time to escape the building after the assassination the guards pursuing him were fried as soon as they tried to go through it, clever huh?
Other than escaping a few guards in large modified armour suits this was just about the end of the demo, and boy did it leave an impression. Like I say Bethedsa certainly has some fantastic games up its sleeves, however this may just be the most fantastic of the lot.