“Dishonored,” the upcoming console game from Arkane Studios, looks like someone dropped you in the middle of a steampunk comic book. The main character, Corvos, is a renegade after being framed for the murder of the empress who he swore to protect. The game follows his path to redemption, which can be anywhere from dark and vengeful to clean and pure justice. The game can actually be completed without killing anybody (although Arkane surely won’t make that easy). Either way, your experience in “Dishonored” will be legendary.
The game isn’t a sandbox experience, in that all the missions are linear and there isn’t a single world for you to explore. Some gamers might be put off by this, but the campaign Arkane has created allows for a huge amount of replayability and exploration. A player can either go berserk and kill everybody in the map or take a more stealthy approach by using Corvo’s skills and magic. One of the crowd favorites at E3 was the “blink” ability, which allowed Corvo to teleport a short distance, adding in an astonishing platforming and freerunning element to the game. Another favorite was the possession ability, where Corvo took control of animals in the environment reach new areas.
The games lead designer, Harvey Smith, has built a legacy of stealth-based games, including “Thief” and “Deus Ex.” The stealth in this game is perhaps the most interesting aspect of it, as it forces the player to use many of Corvo’s skills in combinations to avoid detection. On top of this, the steampunk environment provides another level of interactivity to the world of “Dishonored.”
“Dishonored” looks incredible. Releasing this October, Arkane’s combination of stealth, steampunk, and stabbing has all the components that could turn into a great game. October cannot come too soon.