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Dishonored is an upcoming first-person Neo-Victorian/steampunk stealth/role-playing video game being developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is scheduled to be released in October 2012 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.
The player controls Corvo Atano, a former legendary bodyguard to the Empress who is not only a fine swordsman and marksman, master-at-arms, and cunning infiltrator, but also possesses great supernatural power
Corvo seeks vengeance against Lord Regent, who framed him for the Empress assassination when she died in Corvo’s arms. The game is not presented in open world format, but instead in a series of linear missions. The player can roam The Isles as well as the distant Pandyssian Continent, though the primary setting for the game is the steampunk-esque city of Dunwall. Corvo Atano is voiced by Josh Holloway.
Also, part of the game involves an entity referred to as “The Outsider”, voiced by Billy Lush. The ambiguous being is described as part angel and part devil, and it is supposedly responsible for all magic in the world. Its motives and nature are shrouded in mystery.
The protagonist, Corvo, made contact with the being whilst imprisoned; the Outsider offered him the chance to exact vengeance on the people who framed him by giving Corvo its mark, gifting the disgraced bodyguard with magical powers. According to lead designers Raf Colantonio and Harvey Smith, the Outsider walks among the mortals of Dishonored’s world.
The game is played in first-person, with an emphasis placed on stealth action and the utilization of gadgets as well as the environment to eliminate opposing forces. In the Game Informer cover story, it was mentioned that every enemy in the game (even bosses) can be neutralized non-lethally, if the player so chooses. Lead designers Harvey Smith and Raphaël Colantonio have described the game world as a “simulation”. If the player encounters thugs harassing an innocent passerby, they can be fought off, but the thugs themselves exist within the game world prior to the event, rather than simply spawning in at a designated time or place. If the player encounters the thugs ahead of time, they can be defeated and the mugging will never take place at all.
Corvo has access to swords, daggers, crossbows, and guns, including powerful but slow pistols and muskets. His supernatural powers include the ability to freeze time for a certain period, create powerful gusts of wind, possess any living creature, summon plague animals such as rats, and teleport short distances.
All pre-reviewers have emphasized on the amount of freedom of choices offered to the player for each mission.
The game features six active powers, four enhancements (passive powers), and 40 “bone charms” that grant the player supernatural perks such as increasing the duration of rat possession. Only three bone charms can be active at any time. Smith and Colantonio stated that it is impossible for a player to accrue all of the powers and abilities in a single playthrough. Mana is necessary to use the abilities and only partially regenerates after use, enough to allow the use of powers like “Blink” and “Dark Vision”, but mana potions are required to recover larger amounts of mana, restricting the use of higher cost abilities like “Possession” and “Bend Time”. Magic is assigned to the player character’s left hand and weapons to the right hand.
The main supernatural powers are unlocked and purchased using Runes, and each can be upgraded. Announced powers include: “Dark Vision”, which allows the player to see enemies through walls, their field of view and an abstract representation of sound made by the player; “Blink”, a short-distance teleportation ability; “Possession”, that allows the player to inhabit and possess other characters from rats and fish to humans temporarily; “Devouring Swarm”, which summons a swarm of deadly rats; “Time Bend”, that freezes time; “Wind Blast”, a gust of wind; and “Shadow Kill” that turns dead enemies to ash preventing their discovery. The player also has access to weaponry including a sword, grenades and pistols. Coins must be collected to upgrade weapons and gadgets.
Stealth is based on occlusion, hiding behind objects and architecture and avoiding the enemies’ cone of vision, with lighting also a factor in player visibility. When hiding behind an object, the player can lean around the sides to view the immediate area and eavesdrop, and as long as Corvo’s body remains hidden, enemies will not see him. The player can also look through keyholes to gain insight into closed rooms. Enemy AI will respond to sound and can be distracted by the player creating a sound in one place to lure a guard away from their position.
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