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Steampunk

Preview: Our first look at Dishonored

Apr 26 // Abel Girmay
Dishonored (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Developer: Arkane StudiosPublisher: Bethesda SoftworksRelease: 2012 At its core, Dishonored is a first-person action game in the same vein as Thief and Deus Ex. There are a number of ways to approach given situations, leaving it up to the player's imagination and creativity on how exactly to complete them. Sure, Corvo is a supernatural assassin, but if you prefer a pacifistic approach, the game is tailored to allow for that. From the grunts to the story critical targets, Arkane claims to provide non-lethal options for dealing with all of them. To demonstrate this, the developers demoed the same mission twice from two extreme approaches. The first was very stealthy and quiet, while the second was balls-out loud and aggressive. In our demo, Corvo has two members of parliament on his hit list, a pair of twins called the Pendleton brothers. The mission begins with Corvo on the roof of a building near his target's location; this starting position for the mission isn't random. Outside of the main story, players will have plenty of opportunities to take on side missions and other peripheral activities. Depending on how many you complete, further options for how to approach your next story mission are unlocked. In this -- and all missions -- you can gain access to different starting points depending on your play style. [embed]226459:43502[/embed] As Corvo makes his way down into the building (a brothel called The Golden Cat), we come across one of many runes. Runes are mystical objects that act as currency for upgrading powers. Though the world of Dishonored is very much steampunk, magic plays a huge role. There is a whole metaphysical and supernatural component present in the city of Dunwall, mostly personified by the Outsider. An amoral being, the Outsider is neither a god nor devil character, just a being who recognizes important people in history and grants them a portion of his power to see what they will do with it. Having been visited by the Outsider while in prison, Corvo has supernatural abilities that allow him to teleport, freeze time, and posses living creatures. Apart from runes, you can also spec out Corvo with bone charms. Bone charms are applied buffs that grant bonuses from extra weapon damage to increased effectiveness with certain powers. There are about 50 variations of bone charms, and though players can only initially equip two at once, towards the end of the game you can equip upwards of eight. Being careful not to be seen, Corvo eavesdrops on a conversation between a few of the working girls. Apparently the younger Pendleton is in the steam room, located in the lower levels of the brothel. Through a nearby balcony, Corvo blinks down to a nearby river surrounding the building. Spotting a narrow entrance via a sewer system, Corvo posses a nearby fish, and swims into the compound. Blink is essentially a teleport that allows Corvo to move across distances silently. Possession is just what it sounds like: you possess people and animals but only for a limited amount of time. Possession in Dishonored is full bodied as well, so your entire self goes into the target. You don't leave your body behind when you take control of another. It's a bit weird to think about, especially when you see a full-grown man basically implant himself in a fish, but hey, magic is just crazy like that. Also note that you can't abuse these powers for an easy victory. Powers in Dishonored are governed by a traditional mana system; although some of it will always regenerate so you have enough to blink once, you will have to carry a stock of potions and elixirs to keep your mana up for possessions and other higher-tier abilities. Both abilities have great uses for stealth, but also work well in combat situations. Since the mission areas have a lot of verticality to them, Blink is particularly useful for navigation and in combat is a great way to make an escape or flank enemies. Possession perhaps leans much more to the stealth side as we didn't really see it demonstrated in combat scenarios. While you can posses an animal at any time, human targets must be unaware of your presence if you want to take control of them. Furthermore, if a body that you are possessing dies, you go with it. After swimming for a bit through the sewers, Corvo finds a clearing and leaves the fish's body to continue on. Finally, we find the steam room where the first Pendleton brother is. There are just two guards standing in the way. Both are actually set up pretty well, so if we want to remain hidden, they both have to be taken out at the same time. It's here we are introduced to the spring razor, a mine that sends razors, shrapnel, and other sharp objects flying when tripped. While there is no crafting or weapon-building system in Dishonored, players can collect components that can be crafted for them in between missions. As soon as the first guard sets the spring razor off, we blink behind the second and stealth kill him. With nobody left between us and the target, we asses our options. As previously stated, there are a number of ways to take out each contract. In this instance, we could simply walk in the steam room and shoot Pendleton, possess the brothel girl he's with, and frame her -- leaving her to deal with the consequences -- or set up the scene to look like a murder suicide. For the less violent player though, there is the option to erase Pendleton's identity and send him to work in the silver mine he has enslaved so many others in. To take this moral high road, you will have had to come into this mission fully prepared, with all the related side quests done, and all of this mission's alternate objectives completed. Rather than go for all those elaborate schemes, Corvo simply locks the door to the steam room, and blasts the steam way up, roasting both Pendleton and the brothel worker. Brutal, to say the least, but damned effective. And with that, the stealth portion of our demo was up. We did get a look at the same mission, but with a much more aggressive play style. Even then, however, you will still have to slow yourself down at least long enough to learn your target's location. These change dynamically with each playthrough of Dishonored, so it won't do you much good to go on a rampage from the beginning. Also, it seems that all the useful information you get from the game is gleamed from conversations you eavesdrop on. Maybe it's just this mission, but if there is one fear I do have early on, it's that eavesdropping will be as prevalent -- and often boring -- as it has been in the past action games. Anyone remember the first Assassins Creed? While the first, stealth-heavy portion of Dishonored looked really cool, the totally aggressive nature of the second was considerably less interesting. While it is neat to see Corvo blink around enemies, getting quick kills and easy headshots, it had that same feeling of past stealth games, like the situation had devolved rather than evolved into something exciting. The whole demo was hands off, though, so we have yet to see how a brute force approach really plays out. All told, there's no denying that Dishonored is something to be excited for. This quick look at the game already has me anticipating a hands-on demo (please be at E3!), and it's sitting high up with the likes of Borderlands 2 and Assassins Creed III for my most anticipated games of this year. With the talent behind the game, you'd do well to keep your eye on it too.
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Locked up for a crime you did not commit, and accused of killing the empress you swore to protect, you are left to rot in prison for your unjust conviction. Your only saving grace is an amoral mystical being who endows you wi...

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The Weekend Modder's Guide: Thief: Deadly Shadows


Apr 21
// Joshua Derocher
Thief: Deadly Shadows is the third game in the Thief series. You sneak around in the shadows to steal things, but did you know that this game also has zombies in it? Did you know that there are open-world areas with side...
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Dishonored unleashed a debut trailer full of Stilt Police


Apr 17
// Jim Sterling
We've seen some very pretty screenshots of Bethesda's Dishonored, but so far, nothing in motion. Those hoping for gameplay footage will be disappointed, since this is a CG trailer, but it's still pretty exciting stuff. Check...
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Dishonored is looking diabolically delicious


Mar 19
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda today unleashed some new screenshots for Arkane Studios' unique steampunk shooter, Dishonored. Decadence and devilry rule the roost in this selection of very nice looking images.  There's some concept art as wel...
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The DTOID SHOW: Mechwarrior, Sim City, & Baldur's Gate!


Feb 29
// Max Scoville
Yes, you read that correctly. Today's episode of The Destructoid Show is the closest we've actually come to the late-90's flashback episode I've been dying to do that gives me an excuse to buy a Rammstein shirt and some UFO p...
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Check out this insanely awesome steampunk fight stick


Sep 13
// Liam Fisher
I've been in the market for a cheap fight stick for a while now, but this custom one from Shoryuken forum-goer b15SDM has convinced me that opulence may be more important. After all, why get a basic no-thrills stick when you ...
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Metroid arm cannon gets steampunk'd


Aug 05
// Victoria Medina
Steampunk, while something I have never gotten into, is an interesting concept that romanticizes a bygone age of top hats, monocles and industrialization. It also gives rise to some unique takes on technology, like a steampun...

Hands-on: Fable III: Traitor's Keep DLC

Feb 25 // Max Scoville
Fable III: Traitor's Keep DLC (Xbox 360 [Previewed], PC)Developer: Lionhead StudiosPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosTo Be Released: March 1, 2011 (Xbox 360)/ May 17, 2011 (PC)MSRP: 560 Microsoft Points I spoke with Microsoft rep Patrick Perkins and he gave me the lowdown. Traitor’s Keep takes place a few years after Fable III, and you -- your character -- is happily ruling his or her lands. However, your life of luxury has become a bit boring, and you miss going on adventures.  Luckily, some vicious criminals break out of the nearby prison, Traitor’s Keep, and make an attempt on your life. So, being an exciting video game hero/heroine, you embark on a quest to get them back behind bars. Or kill them, whichever. Traitor’s Keep features three new regions to explore. They are Ravenscar Keep, Clockwork Island, and the Godwin Estate. Of course, like any good DLC, Traitor’s Keep also includes some sassy new outfits for your character, a new breed of dog, and new enemies for you to hit with things until they are dead. I got a chance to play a bit of Clockwork Island, and I’d love to tell you about it, but my reflections might contain mild spoilers. So, be forewarned.  Clockwork Island is home to a crazy inventor, who is one of the would-be assassins you’re in charge of tracking down. The part of Clockwork Island I was exploring was “The Neighborhood of The Future,” which is basically a warped steampunk version of a suburban cul de sac. Clockwork robots were milling around in front yards, watering flowers. Y'know, suburban robot stuff. It should also be noted that my dog was a robot dog. I don’t know if there’s any story behind having a robot dog, or if players’ dogs are magically transformed into robots in the beginning of the new region, a la Secret of Evermore. Either way, robot dogs are cool. At the end of the robot-filled cul de sac, I found a large gate leading to the inventor’s factory. One thing led to another; the gate became electrified, and the robots went all Itchy-and-Scratchyland on me because apparently this inventor fellow is a total ass.  After fighting the robots, I broke through the gate. The inventor came out in crazy steampunk power-armor, and I fought him. That was the whole demo. I was told that this DLC is slightly more difficult than Fable III. The idea being that if you’ve beaten the whole game, and you’re playing the DLC, you probably know what you’re doing. Also, I’ve received confirmation that there are unfortunately NO new prostitutes in the DLC. Fable III: Traitor’s Keep will hit XBLA on March 1st for 560 Microsoft points. A PC version will be also be available for download on May 17th, the same day as Fable III’s PC release.
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At the Microsoft showcase yesterday, I was put in charge of checking out the latest Fable III DLC pack, Traitor's Keep.  First, I have to make a confession: I haven’t played any of the other Fable games for more than twenty minutes, so I can’t give you the most expert analysis. However, I will gladly give you my two cents on what I saw. Read forth!

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Paipa on Xbox Live Indie Games is a decent dollar game


May 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
I just played the demo for this XBL Indie Game, Paipa, and it's pretty fun. A steampunk-themed puzzle game where you're trying to keep Her Majesty's ship afloat. Her Majesty's ship that's on a non-stop flight to Mars, that i...
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Edge of Twilight developer issues statement on layoffs


Dec 03
// Jim Sterling
The long and tumultuous saga of Edge of Twilight continues. Yesterday, developer Fuzzyeyes told Destructoid that rumors concerning the game's cancellation were untrue, but it did confirm that there were severe issues at play....

Edge of Twilight NOT canceled!

Dec 02 // Jim Sterling
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Yesterday there were rumors that Edge of Twilight had been canceled, and today we bring news that is kind of good and kind of bad. Fuzzyeyes has stopped production of the awesome-looking steampunk game, but the news is not as...

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Rumor: Edge of Twilight canceled


Dec 02
// Jim Sterling
Edge of Twilight is a game we've been following a lot on Destructoid, but if recent rumors have any truth to them, the coverage may be ending without reward. The release of Fuzzyeyes' steampunk adventure game is in severe dou...
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Edge of Twilight is still called Edge of Twilight


Jul 23
// Jim Sterling
Don't panic, anybody! Edge of Twilight, the steampunk action game that Destructoid has been anxious for since forever, is still called Edge of Twilight. Developer Fuzzyeyes was apparently involved in a bit of legal nonsense, ...
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Edge of Twilight screens look all steampunky


Jun 30
// Jim Sterling
Every time I see an email in my inbox from Fuzzyeyes, I get all excited, because it usually brings some great Edge of Twilight news with it. Today we have a small handful of screenshots from the sweet looking steampunk action...
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Exclusive: Edge of Twilight: The Rift at Selann


Jun 13
// Jim Sterling
Edge of Twilight developer Fuzzyeyes likes Destructoid. Hot off the heels of our world exclusive E3 trailer, we have very kindly been granted permission to reveal the first piece of background story for Edge of Twilight, a fi...

Reminder: We're giving away this beast of a computer!

Jun 09 // Colette Bennett
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Just a reminder to those of you who weren't around when I posted this contest in the first place: the insane computer above is UP FOR GRABS in a contest here on Destructoid that ends on June 19th. It was custom made for the r...

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Remember that sick, sick PC that we posted about a few months back that was being specially created by artist Jake Hildebrandt for the release of Damnation? Well, it's finally complete, and you can see pics of it from every a...

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Neo Steam launches today with new promo and more


May 06
// Colette Bennett
Every MMO is a gamble in my opinion, regardless of who is behind its creation: a lot of them are pretty shabby clones of other MMOs. Neo Steam: The Shattered Continent, the first offering from Atlus' online portal, looks pret...
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Ignition and Tecmo announce Nostalgia for Nintendo DS


Apr 28
// Colette Bennett
Ready for something a little different for your DS? How does an adventure in the skies sound? Check out the description of Nostalgia, a new game from Ignition and Tecmo on the way this September:Set in an alternate-reality ve...
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Edge of Twilight truly blurs the lines between good and evil?


Apr 16
// Jim Sterling
Eurogamer has some pretty awesome-sounding details concerning the steampunk adventure Edge of Twilight, due for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. The game is said to be heavily story-driven, with the tale of amoral bounty hunter Lex bein...
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Edge of Twilight confirmed for 2009 release


Mar 06
// Colette Bennett
We talked about Edge of Twilight back in August 2007, when its steampunk art stylings first hit the internet and had people arching their eyebrows with curiousity. Despite the excitement over the tone of the concept art, the ...
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What would consoles look like gone Steampunk?


Dec 26
// Colette Bennett
I am a complete sucker for certain eras, no doubt more than half of the reason I was completely obsessed with BioShock for months on end. Apparently I'm not alone, as Something Awful did up a recent Photoshop Phriday with ele...
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Pac Gentleman: The 19th century sure had a lot of moustaches!


Nov 07
// Earnest Cavalli
If there's anything Boing Boing likes better than liberalism bordering on anarchism, and futuristic, fictional stories that actually reveal deep truths about the current state of the human condition, it's steampunk anything, ...
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TGS 2007: the Ministry of Mystic Machines


Sep 21
// Eliza Gauger
 EDIT:  You all seem very puzzled!  As much as I enjoy your hurt and confusion, allow me to 'splain.  This video is, as far as I am able to speculate, a demo reel for a fighting game that is based on an a...
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TGS 2007: The Diverting History of Mechanical Fellows


Sep 21
// Eliza Gauger
Kentia Hall is the infamous vault one can find behind and between the normal passageways at E3.  From descriptions by various E3 attendees over the years, I have gathered that Kentia is mostly regarded as a sad little de...

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