The thing about Dishonored is that it took us all by surprise. Going into E3 this year, it was almost an afterthought. Bethesda had pushed back Prey 2, with the exception of the Doom 3 HD re-release id Software has been in silent running-mode following the release of Rage, and there hasn’t been any news on the Fallout front since New Vegas released. There was the recently announced The Elder Scrolls Online, but at the time that was little more than an announcement seasoned with a handful of details.
And yet despite it all, Bethesda walked into E3 with a swagger befitting a publisher that knew it had something to show.
Beyond the name and a few scattered reveals, Arkane Studios’ first person assassin game was still something of a mystery. It was generating good buzz, but most weren’t sure what to expect. That quickly changed though, and Dishonored left E3 looking like it robbed a truck full of Best of Show awards (including ours).
You play as Corvo Attano, Lord Protector to the Empress and friend to the people of the Empire of Isles. When the Empress is betrayed, Corvo is blamed and sentenced to death. He soon escapes and begins a bloody quest for justice and revenge.
The setting is a highlight of Dishonored — an original world designed with a blend of Victorian-flair and steampunk, which plays out like a fantasy novel. But the real appeal of it is the gameplay, which combines traditional combat along with magic. As an assassin you move through massive areas, seeking the best way to your goal that meets your personal style — and your choices change the world around you as a result.
If you want to go stealth, you can use a teleport-like jump to reach hidden locations, or you can stop time to run by enemies. If you prefer to make it loud, you can attack foes with swarms of rats. If you want to go for style points, you can possess an enemy after they fired at you, freeze time, then walk the attacker into the path of their own bullet to take them out. If you prefer a more hands off approach, you can stop time near a rat, attach a grenade to them, then possess the rat and walk it into the middle of a crowd to cause a little chaos. There are a staggering amount of options, limited only by your own imagination.
Dishonored hits stores this Tuesday on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. But until then click on the image below to catch up on all the news from one of the most intriguing games of the year.