Dishonored Preview: Cloak and Dagger

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Dishonored Preview: Cloak and Dagger

rats. Big, evil ones that prowl in packs and can rend a man’s flesh from his screaming bones. But killer rats are the least of your worries in the dark world of Dishonored, an imaginative action-adventure from Arkane Studios and Bethesda coming to PS3 later this year. The game nimbly blends inspirations from a pantheon of modern classics: The oppressive atmosphere and paranoid politicking of BioShock, the graceful bloodletting of Assassin’s Creed, the murky morality of Deus Ex, the stealth and shadow of Thief. This is a game about skulking in dark places, eavesdropping on secret conversations, setting up the perfect ambush and beating a hasty retreat.

Dishonored for PS3Dishonored for PS3

You play as Corvo, an elite royal bodyguard wrongly accused of assassinating the Empress of Dunwall. Locked in a prison and left to rot, you’re sprung by a shadowy benefactor and set loose to claim your revenge in whatever manner you see fit. Though Corvo is a convincing protagonist the real star here is the city of Dunwall, a crumbling seaport perched over a vast and malignant ocean. Dunwall’s decaying decor is the handiwork of the man behind Half-Life 2’s iconic City 17, and the attention to detail is palpable: Steampunk carriages slide down cobblestone streets as stormtroopers patrol atop giant biomechanical stilts. It’s old and new, weird and familiar, beautiful and grotesque all at the same time. If you liked BioShock’s Rapture, you’re gonna love this.

Dishonored for PS3Dishonored for PS3

Touched by an amoral deity called the Outsider, Corvo now wields an array of supernatural abilities, everything from teleportation and time dilation to summoning hordes of voracious rats and pushing projectiles back at enemies. One supernatural talent enables you to enter the body of a fish or rat, handy for infiltrating a building via a drain pipe or access panel. In combat, Corvo has little to fear, being a master swordsman and pistol marksman. Exotic ammunition types (explosive bullets, tranquilizer darts) and gadgets such as grenades and proximity mines further expand the possibilities. As in Deus Ex you can strike openly, spilling beaucoup buckets of blood in the process, or pull your punches by quietly choking out enemies and tucking their snoozing bodies safely away.

Whether you coldly kill adversaries or show mercy will have consequences on the game’s story — the Outsider himself is curious to see which path you follow. It will also factor in the moment-to-moment gameplay: snuff out a guard and his buddy might alter his patrol route to cover the gap, potentially disrupting your carefully laid plans. But whichever way you play will be the “right” way to play — Arkane’s goal is to put players in full control of the game’s pacing.

Dishonored for PS3

As you unravel the conspiracy behind the Empress’ assassination and an apparent military coup, you’ll meet a host of sketchy characters, from members of a secretive resistance movement to spoiled aristocrats and plague-stricken townspeople. Some will become targets of your wrath and will need to be dealt with accordingly, while others will provide valuable information or services.

If Dishonored sounds like your cup of tea, check back early tomorrow for the next episode of Official PlayStation Blogcast and an interview with co-directors Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio. Have questions about the game right now? Sound off in the comments and I’ll pass along what I know!

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11 Author Replies

  • Some games do have bugs, bugs that manifest on a studio’s AAA release titles for three out of four years in 2008, 2010 and most tellingly in 2011. but we are not going there this year with your latest title are we Bethesda… No, this year we won’t have a freeze-ridden glitchy mess that almost ruins what is elsewise an incredible, breathtakingly beautiful world with such incredible awe inspiring canon that pulls you so far in emotionaly that when it ends on that final dlc your world ends for that momwnt too…No, because this year you are going to QA the game so the inherant beauty that makes your games shine that much more brightly than say EA’s(sorry bad example, EA is easy to out better), correction Ubisoft’s awesome AAA offering would seem bland in comparison. What I’m saying Bethesda is that we want so much to trust you to be able to pay for & play your game come shipping day, but we need to know that the 99% awesomeness that makes up the most part of your gams will not be ruined by the 1% BS that is lack of proper QA, detecting the probs that yearly have made your games stop.

  • So, what’s the lag going to be like?. This is Bethesda and their PS3 track record is less than stellar.

  • Great to see a new IP to get excited about. Looks like a nice mix of Bioshock, Assassins Creed and Deus Ex… Which is a good thing. Surprised this is a 2012 release as I had not heard anything about this game until now. Makes a nice change from Bioshock Infinite’s teasers being released 3 years before you actually get to play the game.

  • Game looks REALLY good and the story seems to original as well. I like the idea of combining several good games into one. I look forward to the game, revenge does solve everything…because peace is a lie.

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