Choose your own bloody adventure: Hands-on with Dishonored

Dishonored Hands-onIf there has ever been a good argument for developers to continue supporting E3, it is Behtesda and Arkane Studios’ Dishonored. Before the convention earlier this year, Dishonored was a curiosity. It was the second most interesting sounding title of what many considered a relatively weak Bethesda offering compared to previous years. Prey 2 was AWOL, Skyrim and Rage had both released, there was no Fallout news, and the highest profile title was The Elder Scrolls Online which is still a long way from release.

Dishonored, Boyles groundsIt isn’t a franchise title, Arkane Studios is not a well-known developer, and the game itself had only been seen a handful of times. But then came E3 and everything changed. The previously unknown game was suddenly a game of the year contender and it won several Best of Show honors (including ours). The most often comparison was BioShock, which seems obvious since Arkane helped out with BioShock 2 and both games use a similar ability and weapon offensive combination. But it was more than just a similarity in the gameplay, it was a feeling that you were seeing something special. Both games featured a rich and original world and both offered a mysterious and compelling story, but beyond that they both offered choice.

How you approach the world is entirely up to you. If you want to go stealth, you have several tools at your disposal. If you want to take on the world, you can do that too. If you want to be a prick to the citizens of the fictional town of Dunwall, you can get incredibly creative and then ruin their evenings. The choice is yours.

Dishonored, Lady BoyleIn the demo that Bethesda is currently showing off, you are tasked with entering an exclusive party and assassinating an aristocratic matriarch named Lady Boyle — there’s a catch though. The target and her daughters are all wearing similar outfits that include masks. The game randomizes which of the three ladies is the actual target, which means you have to approach the mission creatively and put in the legwork. You could always try to kill everyone, but that be somewhat like ordering a steak from a fine restaurant and then covering it in A1.

Almost immediately I noticed that my game was progressing differently from that of the people playing around me. My game took me through the courtyard of the estate where the party was held, and an optional sidequest offered me the chance to fight a duel with pistols. Throughout the game there will be optional events within main missions, which shouldn’t come as a surprise for this type of game.

Even entering the house can be completed in multiple ways. Assuming you take the main door, you then have options. If you wander around and explore there are other side-missions to partake in, or you can focus on optional objectives that will help with the main quest.

Dishonored, Seeing through the wallsI chose to complete the secondary objectives to help with the main quest. This sent me to the second floor to explore while dodging guards. It would be easy enough to take out the guards one at a time, but there is always the risk that the bodies could be discovered. So I decided to get creative.

The gameplay uses both weapons and powers, and you can bring these up on a selection wheel. From there you can map the weapon or ability to one of the d-pad directions. Using the ability to see through walls, I stopped time as a guard approached, then teleported behind him and went on to find a note that said who the target was. There were several areas to explore after that, and some were accessible through unusual means like possession of a rat that could then navigate the heating ducts to get to the basement. But that was for another quest, and I had an appointment to keep.

DishonoredDue to my limited time, subtlety took a backseat to speed. I found the target and eliminated her with prejudice, then had to run for it. Once outside it took a moment for the confusion to settle and the guards to mobilize. As bullets ripped by, I froze time to escape the grounds. I sprinted to the sewers and slid into a covered escape route, but came out and was facing tallboys, guards walking on mechanized stilts. These guards can quickly ruin your day, so I laid a trap on a nearby bridge, summoned rats to attack another guard, and threw a sticky grenade into a crowd to even the odds. The tallboy then came at me via the bridge and walked right into my trap. As guards closed in, I possessed a fish and swam to my escape route, a waiting boat.

I immediately wanted to replay the section since I thought of at least five different ways to complete the mission that I wanted to try. When I eventually have the chance, I will be sure to do just that. And then I will probably do it another way, and then try another and another. And that alone justifies making Dishonored not just a game to watch, but possibly the game to watch this year.

Gaming

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.
Gaming

Get caught up on all things 'Fallout 76,' including recent controversies

Bethesda's Fallout 76 takes the open world series in a new direction. With an emphasis on co-op, survival, and rebuilding a broken world, Fallout 76 is a far different game than its predecessors.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.
Deals

Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!
Gaming

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.
Gaming

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.
Gaming

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.
Gaming

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.
Deals

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.