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Anyone who remembers the golden PC age of the late 1990s – all Thiefs and Deus Exes – will instantly feel at home with Dishonored. But there’s more to the game than just nostalgia. Dishonored reinvents the stealth genre as much as it revives it, and it takes a while to get my head into the right gear. Our protagonist Corvo has the power to teleport by using his blink power, encouraging you to quickly jump between areas of cover, rather than waiting impatiently for the perfect moment in a patrol. It’s not stealth as a meticulous trudge, as in so many games, but speedy, fun and empowering.
When I was invited to Dark Messiah developers Arkane to see a “secret title”, I assumed it’d be The Crossing - the game that Raphael Colantonio’s company was developing with Valve in 2006, and got put officially on hold in 2009. Turns out something far more interesting is going on in Lyon. Something more in keeping with Arkane’s history of immersive, single-player, first-person role-playing combat titles. Looking at the talent behind Dishonored helps you to understand what it is. Co-created by Colantonio and Harvey Smith, the lead designer on the original Deus Ex, the art direction is courtesy of Viktor Antonov and Sebasian Mitton. Antonov was the art director for Half-Life 2, a game he describes cheerfully as his freak baby. Those European sensibilities have gone into making the location of the Kingdom, a heavily-modded retro-future industrial London that, according to Mitton, “avoids the clichés” of steampunk and Jack The Ripper.
I think I can jump onto another light fitting from here. I’m wrong. I slip, fall, and land inches behind a gold-masked Overseer looking out of the fifth-story window. I only have a split second headstart in getting over our mutual surprise at the situation, and I use it to stab him in the neck. A second after his body hits the ground, I hear carpet-softened footsteps coming down the hall. Panic. After mentally rejecting three even crazier ideas, I hoist the Overseer’s body over my shoulder and jump out of the window. Dishonored is mostly a stealth game, where you play a kind of assassin, in a somewhat steampunk city. Those floundering qualifiers are part of the fun: you don’t have to hide, you don’t have to kill anyone, and while the city of Dunwall mixes matchlock pistols with crackling Tesla tech, it’s a rusty, crumbling place that feels unique.
Another day, anotherDishonoredtrailer, and another demonstration of its magic murdering methods. In this trailer, the assassin protagonist has some fun with his prey by booby-trapping plague rats and sticking people in front of their own bullets. He can be kind of a jerk. (I'm starting to think he was never very honorable to begin with.)
I guess we should have seen this coming, but it kind of snuck up on us. Following on from this amazing Far Cry 3 Minecraft mod, someone has only gone and made a Dishonored one, which adds Corvo's iconic weapons and equipment to the all-consuming crafting game.
Dishonored is about tools. You’re the bodyguard of a murdered empress – nice job, by the way – and you’ve been framed for her death. So you’re trained in combat, but even you can’t hack through everyone you’ll face in this strange and tumultuous city. You’re going to have to rely on your tools, conventional and otherwise. Dagger, crossbow, traps. The basics are effective, but they’re not tools of brute force: the perfect application of each means using stealth or other trickery to get the jump on people. A single guard facing the wrong way can be silently backstabbed, but if that situation doesn’t present itself, Dishonored gives you the powers to engineer it.
There’s little chance Daud and Corvo would ever have been friends. One’s an assassin who killed an empress, the other’s a bodyguard who failed to protect one. Two inherently opposing forces, with blood and Outsider marks on their hands. Put them in a room without bladed weapons though, and they’d find they had a lot in common. Corvo is fighting to redeem himself in the eyes of the city. Daud accepts his damnation, and is just shooting for a little personal redemption. Both men get their chance.
Dishonored offers PC gamers plenty of customization options, including a field of view slider to ensure maximum comfort for your masked eyes as you stalk the streets of Dunwall. However, the highest FOV setting allowed by the slider is 85. You can go higher - thanks to the resourcefulness of the community, there's now a short guide on creating a custom FOV setting in Dishonored.
A new Dishonored screenshot and a piece of concept art have arrived on the Bethblog, fresh from Quakecon. The influence of former Half Life 2 artist, Viktor Antonov is clear to see in the concept art. The long, spindly legs of the mounted troopers are reminiscent of Half Life's towering striders. Check out the other recently released Dishonored screenshots to see more of Arkane's intriguing vision of a retro-futuristic world plagued by rats and powered by whale oil.
Emergent assassin sim Dishonored will be available to buy on October 9 in North America, October 11 in Australia and October 12 in Europe. It's exciting news. Over the course of the last few months Dishonored has gone from being a promising but mysterious shooter to one of the most exciting games of the year. Designers Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio aim to bring the tough close quarters combat of Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and the sandbox magic of Deus Ex together in one world. Half-Life 2 artist Viktor Antonov provides the backdrop, a gorgeous, sinister city called Dunwall. It's a crumbling, totalitarian warren influenced by the architecture of old London, plagued with rats and powered by volatile whale oil.
Ever wonder what the PC games of 2012 would be like if they were text adventures? Of course not, no one in their right mind would ever wonder that. In related news: I wondered that! So, rip out your GeForce GTX 680, plug in your dusty 10" CRT monitor, and stuff your programmable eight-button mouse in a stocking, because this week we're going to imagine five of this year's games the way all PC games used to be: as text adventures. This year, Dishonored invited us to sneak, stab, and slide-kick our way through the grimy, rat-infested Victorian-punk streets of Dunwall. The architecture and atmosphere were unforgettable, so let's forget about them while we take a look at Dishonored: The Text Adventure!
Dishonored's last DLC, the Knife of Dunwall, followed the story of Daud, the assassin who went all stabbity-stab-stab in the wake of ruthlessly slaughtering the Empress. Look, everyone mourns in their own way, right? In this case, it looks like the fella will be receiving some sort of closure soon—Bethesda today unveiled two new pieces artwork for the next DLC, The Brigmore Witches, ahead of the release of more information tomorrow.
I became lost in the sprawling city of Dunwall a total of 14 times after receiving the teleporting Blink ability. The culprit wasn’t entangling level design or oblique objectives. It was curiosity – a hunger for the unknown rivalling Corvo Attano’s desire for revenge in its intensity. From the moment salty ferryman Samuel Beechworth deposited me on the silty, moonlit shoreline of Dunwall’s outskirts, I sensed it: the compelling need to uncover the beating pulse of this once-mighty industrial city.
Bethesda recently announced the existence of Dishonored. It's being co-created by the man behind Deus Ex and Thief, Harvey Smith, with a visual style from Half Life 2 artist Viktor Antonov. GameInformer have the first details and a screenshot. Dishonored is about assassination. You play as Corvo, legendary bodyguard to an Empress. Gadgets, supernatural abilities, skill with weapons and stealth makes you an exceptional killer, but it's up to you to choose the means by which you dispatch your targets. A 'chaos' system will measure your approach, recording the amount of carnage and collateral damage you cause as you carve a path through the steampunk world. GameInformer call the chaos system a "behind-the-scenes element that affects story decisions without punishing the player or pushing them to play one way or another."
Yesterday we asked you which of my three daft approaches to Dishonored you wanted to see blown out into a full video diary series. Each take on the game had its supporters, but the clear winner in both the comments thread and the Facebook poll was 'oh dear, what a terrible accident'. The idea is to complete every mission in the game without leaving a trace of Corvo's involvement - hence the name of this series. That doesn't mean that there can't be evidence, but that evidence needs to point to other people: essentially, there needs to be an explanation for events that's simpler and more believable than "a teleporting, man-possessing, rat-summoning magic ninja did it."
So, you've played Dishonored a few times. You had a mostly (or entirely) non-lethal run, followed by a decidedly more lethal run (to see the game's bummer ending), and maybe, for good measure, a combat run where you just got into deliberate, chaotic sword fights the whole time. Well, unfold your sword and clutch your weird mechanical heart, because it's time for another trip through Dunwall with the Ultimate Difficulty Mod. The mod presents you with some new challenges by shaving down your leaning ability to a sliver and by vastly improving your enemies' perceptions and combat prowess.
Aren't you sick of hearing how good Dishonored is yet? No? Then read our Dishonored review again just to make sure. Wait, you want to hear even more praise for Arkane's stabtabulous supernatural stealth-em-up? Perhaps interspersed by images of men being skewered in multiple ways, eaten by rats, and then forced to walk into their own time-suspended bullets? Sounds like you should have a look at Dishonored's launch trailer, then.
A new batch of sinister Dishonored screenshots have arrived. It looks as though the shooter's open levels will have a few seedy nooks and crannies tucked away behind those grand facades. Many of the pictures are high res versions of some of the shots Arkane showed in the recent Dishonored developer diary. They show some of Dunwall's less reputable establishments, a bit of rooftop combat, and a man being disintegrated by a pair of tesla coils. He does not look happy.
There's a bit of Bioshock in the abilities of Dishonored protagonist, Corvo. These new E3 screenshots show a few of them, including a telekinetic power that sends enemies sprawling backwards, and another that commands a horde of rats to swarm a foe. You can see these in motion in the recent Dishonored trailer. The screenshots also give us a better look at the exaggerated, caricature style that Arkane are applying to the citizens of Dunwall, but can you guess which one is the mad scientist?