This year at E3, one of the most exciting games shown at E3 was Bethesda’s Dishonored. After showing an incredibly badass trailer a few months ago, we were excited to find out if the game would live up to the hype (spoiler alert: They never live up to the hype).
Demoing the game for us was Harvey Smith, the co-creator/director of the game. One thing that he was keen to point out was that the demo was being played live — not a prerecorded gameplay video like most demos of this sort.
We at Arcane are very passionate about a particular kind of game. A first person game that mixes story telling and strategy. It’s a game about player creativity and choice through a combination of the powers you choose, the pathway you go through the world, the AI simulation, and your own moral compass. Each experience feels like you authored it, every player does not get the exact same experience playing through it.
Now dear readers, you all know I’m a cynical bastard. But I’m going to be honest, this game looks good. The team is made of people who worked on Half-Life 2, Bioshock, the original Deus Ex, and Thief (Which my first thought from the trailer was that it looks like a cross between those four games.)
You play Corvo Atano, who is bodyguard to the empress falsely accused of her murder. As a masked assassin, you’re out for revenge and to set things right. The game takes place entirely in Dunwall: a steampunk city powered by whale oil. The city’s in the grip of a terrible plague during the course of the game, and a tyrannical ruler, the former spy master has taken control using strange technologies that you’re going to see in the game.
If you’ve followed this game, you’ll notice that all gaming sites that aren’t us are run by morons. Because they’ve wrongly reported that this is an open world game. It isn’t. The levels themselves are fairly freeform in how you progress through this (if you played Bioshock or Thief 2 you know what I mean), but going from one level to the next is strictly linear.
For the actual gameplay demo, we got to see two playthroughs. The first playing as stealthy as possible (aka the way that every person ever is going to play because who the fuck doesn’t want to be a ninja?), and the second time playing the same level and killing everybody.
I won’t go too into depth about what I saw in terms of gameplay, since there are videos on youtube, which will give you a much better idea of what it’s like than I can describe. However, this was my overall impression: If you’re a fan of Thief or Deus Ex style non-linear stealth gameplay, you should be excited about this game. This is the game the industry has been waiting for, and hopefully it can deliver on what it’s promising.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait very long to find out. Dishonored is coming to PC, Xbox, and Playstation 3 on October 9 (October 12 for you non-Americans but everybody knows that the entire planet is American). Unfortunately, my plane took off literally 45 mintues after the presentation, so I don’t have impressions for a hands on demo for you. I do, however, have pretty pictures. So enjoy.