On October 9th Dishonored will be released for the PS3, Xbox, and PC amid a packed season of fall blockbusters. Resident Evil 6, Assassin’s Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, Halo 4, and Black Ops 2. Any of those games ring a bell? With all these sequels for such big long-running franchises, it isn’t surprising that a game like Dishonored would get lost in the mix. If it hasn’t received any of your attention yet, then I’m here to tell you why the game should be one of your most anticipated fall releases.
1. It looks like a combination of all your favorite games
2. You can play the whole game without killing anyone
Lots of games tout the claim that you can play through them without killing anyone, just merely knocking them out or stunning them. Eventually, though, you’re probably going to encounter a boss that can only be taken down from a few well-timed bullets or rockets to the face. Developer Arkane Studios has said that you can play the entire game without killing anyone—even your assassination targets. To me, Metal Gear Solid perfected the concept of non-lethal kills but Dishonored sounds like it could trump that series. While Corvo can kill his targets and make it look like an accident, there are actually side quests in the game you can beat that will cause a target to be “taken care of” without dying at all. Not only will the non-lethal approach prove more challenging but it will extend your play time immensely as well.
3. The Powers
You can bend time. You can teleport. You can possess rats and fish. You can possess enemies. You can freeze time right as an enemy shoots you, possess his body, then move it in front of the bullet, unfreeze time, and literally have him shoot himself within seconds. Need I say more? Your powers can be used as a helpful means of traversal and as a powerful weapon. People who watch previews might think that having access to so many powers at one time might cheapen the experience, but fear not. Only a certain numbers of powers can be active at one time and the stronger ones will consume more mana making you think before you go too crazy. Dishonored will also feature multiple difficulties which will also heighten enemy awareness, make you less effective at combat, and also make recovery potions less efficient. Players also won’t be able to max out every power over the course of a single game so multiple playthroughs are required to fully experience how each power can alter the approach to combat.
4. The setting and the voice cast.
Dishonored’s late 1800s/early 1900s London inspired setting is dark, industrial, and creeping with cool. The game takes place in the city of Dunwall that has been hit by a plague that is also infecting people. While the poor rot in the alleyways, the rich hold themselves up in elaborate buildings and host opulent parties. Assassination targets will take Corvo through several sections of the city and each one seen so far looks unique and full of ways to take people out. The setting and atmosphere also provides a great building block for weapons and costumes. While some people might not be impressed by the voice actors, I certainly am. Carrie Fisher, Brad Dourif, Susan Sarandon, Chloe Moretz, Michael Madsen, and more all provide voices to the game. While the cynic in me says that maybe the paycheck was good enough to nab their voices, the hopeful part of me says that the script was strong enough that the cast loved the idea of being attached to Dishonored.
5. It’s Published by Bethesda
While this might not be the best reason for some (especially PS3 owners), I have to have a little faith that Bethesda’s influence might help Dishonored. If anything, Bethesda has proved themselves to be quite good at creating open worlds with infinite possibilities (bugs and all). Hopefully this talent will spill over into Dishonored and make what looks like a mostly linear experience into something bigger. Most missions in the game take place in a contained area with enough openness to give it that sandbox feel. And when it comes to atmosphere, Bethesda has always done a great job. Whether it is Tamriel or the Capital Wasteland, the company knows how to fill a world with interesting life. If the fusion of Arkane Studios and Bethesda is a good one, then Dishonored will be quite the ride.
I will admit that for the longest time, Dishonored flew under my radar. I heard and saw some cool things out of E3 from the game but didn’t know if it would be able to rise above the competition. After spending time soaking up videos and previews, I now know that Dishonored is going to be a must have title for me this fall.