While developers Arkane Studios may not be the biggest household name however the company did work on the design, animation and art for a little game known as Bioshock 2. That makes this release a very exciting prospect indeed and after a first unveiling at E3 2011, at which point it received much praise, another year on and the game is looking quite fantastic indeed. So what's Dishonored about then? Read on...
You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the Empress. Framed for her murder and driven by revenge, you must become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. As you navigate a world torn apart by plague and oppressed by a government armed with strange new technologies, the truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city. The choices you make will determine the fate of the world, but no matter what happens your old life is gone forever.
Yes, there will be plenty of deaths too!
Dishonored is an open-world action game set in a retro-future envisioned by Half-Life 2 art director Viktor Antonov. As the developers have stated "There are six major active powers and four enhancements (passive powers), in addition to weapons and gadgets; plus there are 40 bone charms in the game that grant small supernatural perks. But no one can have all of these things in one playthrough." One power allows you to teleport from one location to another to surprise enemies, while another allows you to bend time and manipulate the environment. Imagine an enemy shoots at you, you pause time, move another enemy in line with the gunfire and restart time again. That's what makes this game so unique.
Gamers should take note that Dishonored is a single player experience only, there are no multiplayer modes. Having said that this isn't a short game either with a runtime of 12-14 hours for those rushing through the game, but about double that for those who like to explore and eavesdrop a lot.
Using the vision in the dark, note the people behind the walls.
Using Unreal Engine 3 Dishonored is a game which may not push the most polygons or visual effects, but when you see the game in motion, including the ability to slow down or stop time and move objects around it soon becomes clear how impressive this is. Of course the key element to this games visual success will likely come down to a solid frame rate - if the developers nail this then Dishonored should be something special.
Audio should also impress not only due to the musical score by composer Daniel Licht, but certainly by the voice cast. Susan Sarandon, an Academy Award winner and five-time nominee, will make her videogame debut as the former aristocrat, Granny Rags – an intriguing old blind woman now deranged after years of street life. Academy Award nominee Brad Dourif takes on the role of the inventor Piero, creator of the iconic mask worn by Corvo as well as a wealth of gadgets Corvo can use. Emmy winner and Hollywood-icon Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) can be heard broadcasting government propaganda over loudspeakers throughout the city of Dunwall, where the game is set.
Using the Windblast in Dishonored.
The all-star cast continues with John Slattery (Mad Men, The Adjustment Bureau) who takes on the role of Admiral Havelock, a Loyalist who helps Corvo on his quest, as well as Michael Madsen who brings his videogame voiceover experience to the role of Daud, a mysterious assassin. Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Hugo) portrays Young Lady Emily, the Empress’ daughter who is kidnapped after her mother’s death while Lena Headey joins the cast as Calista, Emily’s caretaker.
The more that is known about this game, and the more that is shown, it only becomes more and more impressive. In fact, this game has jumped from hardly being on my 2012 radar to one of the top games this Christmas. It looks fantastic, and if the gameplay is as impressive then this is a certain winner
Below is the debut trailer for Dishonored which shows what to expect from the game.