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Dishonored Hands-On: The Best Game Of 2012


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Steven Burns

We get hands-on with Arkane Studios intriguing Deus Ex style adventure game. And it is awesome; here's why.


Published on Aug 15, 2012

We're not sure enough of you are excited for Dishonored. Luckily, Bethesda recently gave us hands-on with a large portion of Dishonored, giving us even more ammunition to tell you just why you should be interested in Arkane Studios unique game.

Dishonored’s look sets it apart

About as far from the grey military shooter look as you can get, Dishonored’s style perfectly suits its setting. Comparisons to BioShock are valid, but there’s a far more painterly style to the world Arkane has created.

If it all looks a bit familiar however then it should be no surprise that Viktor Antonov, the genius behind Half-Life 2’s amazing world, helped to create it.

If you think it looks good here, then wait until you see it moving. In fact, don’t wait; check out the video below.

Killing everyone can actually be a bad thing

Dishonored may see you cast as a supernatural assassin, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to head out and kill everyone you see. Well, you can, but it won’t be forgotten.

Kill too many people and more environmental hazards will appear, such as the flesh-eating rats that carry the plague that is afflicting the city. It will also change the ending you receive, and not for the better, we’d wager. 

The opposite is also true as well: it’s possible to go through the whole game without killing anyone. Even the targets that the game picks out for you can be reasoned with. 

The freedom of choice is endless

The greatest aspect of Dishonored is the choice that it offers players. Completing a mission requires a mixture of cunning, skill and imagination on the part of who’s in control.

After sneaking into a lavish masquerade ball by hopping a high wall and stealing an invite, we assassinated the target by seducing her, finishing the mission away from the guards.

Playing again, we could have possessed a fish, snuck in through the sewers, and killed her in the toilet, and a million different ways in between.

Dishonored's story seems genuinely intriguing

For those that haven’t heard of Dishonored yet, its story is as novel as its setting. Taking place in an alternate world that resembles a plague-ridden Victorian Britain, the player takes control of Corvo, former Lord Protector of the Empress.

We say former, as he’s been framed for murdering the Empress and kidnapping her daughter, by conniving nobles keen to seize power. 

Vowing revenge, Corvo is backed by a group of rebels who give him missions and equipment. His greatest ally however is The Outsider, an otherworldly being that gives supernatural powers. Which is pretty handy when you’ve got to kill a lot of people.

Corvo’s powers of persuasion are legendary

Again similar to BioShock, players will be able to customise ‘their’ version of Corvo. By finding runes scattered around the world, Corvo can augment his supernatural abilities, which loosely fall into lethal/stealth categories.

‘Blink’ is one of the most fundamental, enabling players to teleport short distances. Others, such as the Force Push-style Windblast, are more offensive.

Combining these powers is pretty much a game in itself, with some impressive feats available to those with the imagination to match the power, but you’ll have to choose wisely: not all are available in one run-through. 

Could it all go wrong?

In all honesty, it’s very difficult to find anything bad to say about Dishonored. Having played over two hours of the game, we’re confident in saying that it is – barring a legendary screw up between now and October – one of the best games of the year.

The only thing we can think of that even constitutes a slight worry is length: we’re going to be gutted if all of that creativity leads to a short game.

That said, we’re absolutely convinced that won’t be the case. So really, our only real worry is that the game will be so good that it will make other games seem insignificant next to it.



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Game Details
Xbox 360
Release Date:
Bethesda Softworks
Arkane Studios
Action Adventure
No. of Players:
Summary: Dishonored could well be one of the best games of the year, and at this point it's hard to see why it won't be.
Anticipation Rating:
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