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Dishonored photo
Dishonored

Dishonored's Corvo goes on a live action killing spree


With great powers come total carnage
Apr 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Dishonored's combination of magic and weaponry made for a perfect mixture of making you feel like a total overpowered badass. Stringing together kills all while teleporting around levels like your Nightcrawler from the opening of X-Men 2 can be thrilling, but you probably want to make sure you're not about to kill anyone important while on your spree.

I liked Knife of Dunwall more than Dishonored

Mar 31 // Chris Carter
In addition to abilities and items, Daud can also buy "favors," which are essentially optional bribes and special level variations Daud can set up through his influence -- such as having someone "accidentally leave a door open" and so forth. Based on my playthrough of the slaughterhouse, Knife of Dunwall features the same open-ended gameplay as the full release. I had at least three events where I could have approached the situation in a variety of ways, one of which may even leave a few players uncomfortable, given Daud's more violent and criminal nature. Michael Madsen's solid performance and recognizable voice also helps add to the allure. The DLC is three missions long, and it'll take you around an hour to fully explore each stage -- and of course, multiple playthroughs and item hunting are encouraged. From what I can tell, Knife of Dunwall ramps up the difficulty a bit to accommodate for Daud's prowess in the shadows. Specifically, the new Butcher enemy, who wields a high powered circular saw, can be a huge problem in tight corners. Butchers do a ton of damage up close, can block bullets, and take a ton of damage. They have whaleoil reserve tanks on their backs, which serve as weakpoints -- but often times, getting a clear shot can be harder than it sounds -- especially when other enemies are running after you. One thing's for sure -- I hope there's more of these encounters in the rest of the DLC. After I had all of my parameters taken care of, determined to win, I evaded my pursuers, and completed the mission -- at which point an Arkane developer came up to me and said, "dude, you've been playing this for over an hour! You're the only person today that's beaten the demo." Yep, through my sheer force of will to conquer the mission, I had completely lost track of time. Another cool aspect of the DLC was content in further exploring one of the biggest parts of the game's lore: the whaling industry. I don't want to spoil one of the big surprises of the DLC, but there was one event that was so disgusting, that it was sicker than anything I had seen prior in Dishonored. It's clear that Arkane is putting in the same amount of effort here as the core campaign. For those of you who are worried that it was taken out of the game, an Arkane developer was able to confirm to me that they didn't start working on the DLC until the full retail game was finished. Daud has a large selection of Corvo's weapon-set at his disposal, like the wristbow, sleeping darts, and more, but there's also new weapons like the Arc Mine (a zap trap), Chokedust grenades (gas based stun grenades), and new abilities that can be leveled up just like Corvo. The major difference between the two playstyles is the fact that Daud's blink, when standing still, freezes time entirely -- even in mid-air. It sounds like a subtle difference, but using the ability really gave off the aura of a master assassin. It was a ton of fun to be able to stop and think mid-combat, planning my next route. Of course, I didn't use it all the time, and you can simply blink quickly, just like Corvo. Knife of Dunwall really didn't give me any hint of it being a cash-in during my hour long playthrough of the first mission. So if I enjoyed it, despite my reservations with Dishonored, odds are you hardcore fans out there will dig it. Daud could stand to be a little more unique compared to Corvo from a pure gameplay perspective, but I still enjoyed my time with him, and his deep backstory makes him much more interesting than Dishonored's silent protagonist out of the gate. The real question is are you willing to pay $9.99 for story-centric DLC like this -- especially when there's a second $9.99 Daud DLC pack (The Brigmore Witches) on the way?
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The three mission DLC has more sandboxes to play in
Shortly after launch, Dishonored sprung some mini-DLC on us with the Trials of Dunwall challenge pack. But fans wanted so much more than that. They wanted full sandboxes, more story, and more of the world to explore...

Game of the Year et al. photo
Game of the Year et al.

Journey kills at the Game Developers Choice Awards


More than half of the awards, including Game of the Year
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
Game of the Year, Innovation Award, Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game. That’s 6 out of 11 total awards, and the game was ineligible for two of them (and I’m still not sure why ...
Dishonored's initial plan photo
Dishonored's initial plan

Dishonored was originally to be set in medieval Japan


Don't call it steampunk. Or do, but it's not meant to be.
Mar 28
// Steven Hansen
Arkane Studios’ Sebastien Mitton gave a talk at GDC in which he revealed the warmly received Dishonored was originally set to take place in medieval Japan. Mitton continued, “We thought medieval Japan was not goo...
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Single-player lives

Single-player games still alive says Dishonored dev


All this negativity is just a phase
Mar 27
// Raz Rauf
With so many online multiplayer games such as Halo and Call of Duty becoming successful franchises, console online gaming really took off this generation. In doing so, the demise of single-player games has become a hot topic ...
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Dishonored

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall DLC out April 16


Step into the murderous boots of Daud
Mar 13
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has today announced the second bag of add-on content for Dishonored, titled The Knife of Dunwall, is slated for a worldwide April 16 release date. It'll be available for systems across the board, enjoying release on ...
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Awards

Journey wins big at the BAFTA Game Awards


The Walking Dead and Unfinished Swan win two awards each
Mar 06
// Alasdair Duncan
Looks like the folks at thatgamecompany might need a new trophy cabinet after Journey picked up five BAFTA Game Awards last night at the ceremony in London. The PlayStation Network title won awards for Artistic Achievement, A...
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Dishonored's 'Dunwall City Trials' DLC gets a trailer


Complete with a rap and everything!
Dec 06
// Jordan Devore
Dishonored is one of those games that's mesmerizing to watch someone play well, and this trailer for the impending Dunwall City Trials add-on is no different. Releasing across all platforms on December 11, the downloadable c...
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Bethesda: Dishonored sales 'exceeding expectations'


Success paves way for franchise
Nov 27
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has told Destructoid that Dishonored, the critically acclaimed stealth-action title released last month, is performing above sales expectations, and the publisher is definitely pleased. While it declined to reveal ac...
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Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials DLC coming December 11


Ten challenge maps and new Achievements
Nov 27
// Jim Sterling
Bethesda has announced that Dishonored will be getting its first downloadable content offering on December 11. Dunwall City Trials is a series of ten challenge maps designed to test you on stealth, combat, and agility.  ...
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Dishonored has three bits of DLC on the way


Bethesda announces expansion content for murder simulator
Oct 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
More content will be coming for Dishonored, according to Bethesda. They've confirmed plans for three expansion products, the first arriving in December. "Dunwall City Trials" will include ten challenges for players to attempt...
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Dishonored region-locked in Russia, just like Borderlands


Bethesda acts without honor
Oct 12
// Jim Sterling
Eastern European gamers are being diddled again, this time by Bethesda. Hot off the heels of Borderlands 2's controversial Russian-version region lock, it's become apparent that Dishonored is also using a locked version in Ea...
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Here's how to customize Dishonored's FOV even more


Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
Some people have specific tastes when it comes to their field of view in games. Being able to customize this setting from within a menu is always appreciated, but it's still not something I would expect to see in every major ...
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XCOM or Dishonored? YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE!


Two hot games, one launch day
Oct 09
// Jim Sterling
If there's one thing my Twitter feed has been telling me this week, it's that gamers are desperately choosing between XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Dishonored, two good looking games that, in their own ways, stand out among the gen...

Review: Dishonored

Oct 07 // Jim Sterling
Dishonored (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Arkane StudiosPublisher: Bethesda Release: October 9, 2012MSRP: $59.99 Dishonored tells the tale of Corvo Attano, bodyguard to a beloved Empress in a kingdom beset by poverty and plague. After returning from a diplomatic mission, the Empress is assassinated, her daughter kidnapped, and Corvo framed for the crime. After months in captivity, Corvo escapes his captors with the help of a coalition of loyalists, who set him up to become their assassin, dispose of the usurping regent's conspirators, and return Princess Emily to the throne. In many ways, Dishonored tells a classic story of conspiracy and revenge, playing it safe by sticking to a rather formulaic plot. Relying on familiar archetypes and well-worn tropes, the narrative doesn't do much to surprise the player. However, by sticking to established territory, Arkane has diverted its energy to telling the story very well, doing a remarkable job of painting the fictional city of Dunwall as a real dismal and oppressive place. The plague-ridden, poverty-stricken streets are beautifully realized in all their misery, painting the picture of a desolate realm that may not even be worth saving. All this in a world that isn't made up of browns and greys. Bright skies and colors abound in Dishonored, yet still the game remains so perfectly murky. The crapsack world of Dishonored is invoked by its characters, especially the unquestionably vile people you're sent to assassinate. From religious hypocrites to cowardly noblemen, the villains of Dishonored are rotten to the core, as ugly outside as they are inside. It is true that most of them play to the kind of tropes we've seen in many "corrupt regime" storylines, but rarely do games present them with the same level of energetic nastiness seen here. Not since Snake Eater's Colonel Volgin have I encountered enemies so deserving of justice. Subtle? Perhaps not. Incredibly rewarding when one of these horrible monsters gets a blade jammed in the trachea? Without a doubt. [embed]236085:45281[/embed] Played from a first-person perspective, Dishonored provides players with ample opportunities to be a rampaging murderer or a stealthy professional. A range of weapons are at Corvo's disposal, from conventional swords and pistols to deadly mine-like traps or rewire tools that turn enemy weapons against their masters. Early in the game, Corvo is also granted magic abilities by the mysterious Outsider, allowing him access to short-range teleports, wind blasts, or a miniature army of rats that swarm guards and eat all evidence of dead bodies. Weapons can be upgraded by finding coins and spending them at Piero's workshop. Piero can upgrade your mask to include optical zooms, make crossbows and pistols more efficient, and craft stealthier boosts or better traps. Magic is upgraded by finding runes scattered throughout each area, located by equipping a magical (and gruesomely detailed) heart that pinpoints each location. Although the heart makes finding the general location of each rune easy, getting to the exact position can be tricky, as a few are deviously well-hidden. The heart also finds bone charms, a limited number of which can be equipped for passive abilities, boosting Corvo's various attacks and defenses. Using magic and equipping charms feels very similar to the Plasmids and Gene Tonics in BioShock, one of several very clear similarities. The loot and health regeneration system are also nearly identical -- certainly not a bad thing, especially if you're a fan of 2K's now-classic shooter.  Though a master assassin, Corvo does not necessarily have to kill anybody. In fact, despite having a variety of deliciously effective murder weapons at his disposal, the former bodyguard will never be put in a position where taking a life is necessary, even if it looks like there's no other choice at first glance. A dream game for fans of pacifist runs, every single encounter is designed with player choice in mind. You can murder absolutely anybody, be they enemy or civilian. Conversely, you can become a ghost, wreaking revenge on a psychological as opposed to physical front. The player is given magic powers and weapons that aid either approach, with a crossbow that can fire regular bolts or tranquilizers, and skills that could see Corvo possess a rat and run right under a guard's nose or toss a sticky grenade right into his face and watch him explode. Of course, one can always take a balanced approach -- using stealth to slaughter foes one by one before taking out the remains in bloody combat. It's impressive just how well Arkane managed to bring both stealth and combat up to snuff, with neither element mechanically deficient or dominant. Trying to become a ghost and remain totally unseen is definitely the more challenging approach, but that doesn't mean players attempting such feats are powerless. There's a solid balance of lethal and nonlethal powers, and they all work exactly as intended. The stealth system is quite clever, especially since players can't just hide in shadows and expect not to be seen. True environmental awareness and judicious use of teleportation or possession will be required to get through each level unseen, as is the regular hiding of unconscious or dead guards. Combat, meanwhile, is a more slow-paced and tactical affair than your average run-and-gun experience. Corvo always holds his sword at the ready and can equip anything from offensive spells to pistols, bows, or bombs in the other hand. His firearms need to be manually reloaded after each shot, encouraging careful, well-timed firing. Similarly, enemies are good about blocking and dodging melee attacks, so learning when to defend and counterattack is essential. This deliberate and almost graceful approach to battle means that even murderous players will at least need to be clever and pick their fights wisely. It's more than possible to survive a fight with five guards at once, especially if you're summoning rats and blowing tornadoes around, but you need to have a confident knowledge of Corvo's strengths and limitations before engaging anybody. Just rushing in, blade swinging, will lead to frustration.  The emphasis on choice is not paid mere lip service, either. Each chapter of the game holds a true multitude of options for navigation. There are always several ways to infiltrate any territory and multiple methods of dispatching a target. Playing through a mission more than once really opens one's eyes to how impressively versatile each level is and how natural this versatility feels. It's not like there's one violent route and one stealth route, all but signposted with obvious air vents and the like. Stealthy routes are so seamlessly integrated into the environment that some of them are practically camouflaged. Only with astute observation will players find new ways into buildings, which is exactly how it should be. Dunwall regularly feels like a real city that's being exploited by the assassin, rather than a mere videogame level designed blatantly around stealth mechanics. Even if that's all an illusion, it's one that works. Environmental design is impeccable in this instance. With regards to taking out the principal targets of each mission, there are many ways to murder them, and always at least one nonlethal option. There is really nothing stopping you from just barging into a conspirator's room and shooting him or her in the face (aside from guards and security, of course), but for those playing mercifully, there are alternatives. You could set a target's own trap against him or find a way to discredit him so that his influence in the empire is non-existent and any threat to the loyalist cause is terminated. I couldn't describe examples without spoiling some brilliant moments, but suffice it to say there are genius-level ideas on show. Nonlethal options invariably require more guile and patience, but they are among the most satisfying choices, often seeming more cruel and punishing than simply ending the target's life. Whichever approach is taken, it's the getaway that really hits the sweet spot. Once the target is neutralized, Corvo needs to leave the area and find Samuel the boatman to get back home. That feeling of escape, whether you snuck in and out or kicked the doors down and found yourself running with guards in hot pursuit, serve as the ultimate payoff for each mission, and it's a payoff well worth reaching. It's a rare game that manages to deliver psychological rewards so well, but Arkane manages it like an expert. Relief, leading to pure elation, is a dividend received with gratitude every single time. Although players are free to act as they wish, there's no doubt in my mind that Dishonored considers the nonlethal approach the "right" way to play. Not only is it more satisfying to take enemies out by giving them more fitting and ironic punishments, the game world itself makes the player feel more justified for doing so. NPCs will mostly treat Corvo better if he keeps his hands clean, and the ending will be less dark. This is a little philosophically troubling when you consider that simply murdering some of the characters is often less sadistic than the "passive" alternative, but Arkane gets around this by still allowing for some murders while keeping Corvo's soul relatively stainless. Player actions are not guided by morality but by a "Chaos" system that determines how one's behavior affects the game world. The more brutal your approach, the higher Dunwall's Chaos rating will be, increasing the amount of vicious rats or zombie-like "Weepers" that stalk the streets, attempting to spread the plague. Chaos is quietly monitored in the background, logging how many times the player kills or is spotted, how many dead/unconscious bodies are found, and whether or not alarms are sounded. The more Corvo's "Masked Assassin" persona is seen, the more oppressive the world becomes as paranoia grips the ruling classes. However, as noted, the player doesn't have to be passive at all times. Chaos ratings can be brought down from high levels by completing subsequent missions stealthily, and players are allowed to kill at least several people per mission without raising the rating. That said, there are rankings available for those who kill nobody or remain completely unseen during the course of the campaign, and it's incredibly fun to shoot for such distinctions. The biggest thing holding Dishonored back is its visuals. Artistically, this is a gorgeous game. The steampunk aesthetic and decadent European architecture is fantastic, as are the exaggerated character models that give everybody a stylistically unpleasant appearance that helps craft the thematically unattractive world. However, the actual graphics seem dated and simplistic, especially when the texture issues are factored into play. Many surfaces are littered with blocky artifacts, and some textures blur or pop in abruptly when approached. Similarly, character animations have trouble with body parts moving through each other. In its worst areas, objects can look like poorly compressed JPGs. While hardly a deal-breaker, these visual setbacks can be hard to ignore in several places. The sound design at least makes up for a big portion of any aesthetic troubles. Daniel Licht lends his vast talent to the soundtrack, producing subtle yet atmospheric tunes, and an all-star cast of voice actors do a solid job of bringing the characters to life. Highlights are Susan Sarandon, pulling a fantastically creepy turn as the deranged Granny Rags, and the ever-talented Brad Dourif taking on the role of awkward genius Piero. My one other, slightly more petty complaint is that I'd have loved to have seen more variety in Corvo's offensive and magical options. While the environment is rife with possibilities, I feel that when it comes to employing one's practical skills, things feel a bit too conventional and obvious. Out of all the spells, only the rats and wind are really useful for offensive players, while the weapons (bows, bombs, pistols and swords) are fairly ordinary. They're fun to use and very well implemented, that I cannot deny, but I do feel this is one area where Arkane could've really gone to town, and it's an opportunity sorely missed. Same goes with some of the stealth powers. Being able to do more with rewired machines or possessed characters could have really added some tactical depth to the ground-level action. To be fair though, the whole rat-summoning thing is one of the more disturbing and unique powers I've seen in a game, so there is at least that one horrifically nasty plaything. In any case, the conventional approach to the player's arsenal does little to undermine exactly how ambitious the rest of the game is. To truly appreciate Dishonored's campaign, it really should be played twice -- or at least have its mission replay menu utilized a few times. There's more than enough to experience that it's wholly worth playing both a high and low chaos campaign, and it's only when doing so that one gets a real appreciation for everything Dishonored can do. This is a game that set its sights high and tried to balance two distinct play styles. That it attempted this was noble, but that it succeeded so elegantly is inspiring. On the subject of replay, a note about length for those who find it of paramount importance -- you can blast through the campaign in about six hours, if you choose to do a simple kill-all run and don't bother finding items/performing optional tasks. A more realistic run will bring you up to around eight or ten hours, and could take even longer if you choose to go for the subtle ghost runs and nonlethal eliminations. Dishonored is that game of 2012. It's the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and -- more importantly -- brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane's aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn't all straightforward shooters and "me too" trend-seekers. Its level design is some of the very best, its willingness to let the player decide their own path is exhilarating, and the satisfaction gleaned from a mission well done leaves one hungry for more. Some dated visuals and a conventional arsenal do little to hold back what a truly beautiful, multifaceted, and ultimately invigorating adventure Dishonored manages to be.
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Honor before glory
It seems that once or twice a year we get some new intellectual property demolishing the idea that only sequels perform well, shaking up the market in some exciting way. Despite having no big franchise name attached, it catch...

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Dishonored: The Hand that Feeds


Sep 26
// Fraser Brown
Bethesda and Arkane Studios have released the second part of their series of shorts, Tales from Dunwall, fleshing out the intriguing setting of Dishonored. Where the first short, "The Awakening", revealed the origins of an&n...
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The freedom of Dishonored


Sep 13
// Fraser Brown
With Dishonored almost upon us, Arkane Studios have a third developer diary out which will no doubt cause you to salivate to such a degree that you drown, and are unable to play. How cruel. This one is all about choice, cons...
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Latest Dishonored developer diary is all about immersion


Sep 12
// Brett Zeidler
Arkane Studios has pulled the curtain back once again on Dishonored through an always welcome developer diary, this time talking about immersion in the game. It starts out with the title's Visual Design Director, Viktor Anto...
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Kill some rats in free iOS game Dishonored: Rat Assassin


Aug 31
// Allistair Pinsof
At long last, killing vermin in my rat infested storage unit I sleep in is going to pay off! Rat Assassin is kind of like Fruit Ninja instead you are slicing rats, not fruit -- the story of my life. If the idea nauseates you...
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New video highlights the basics of stealth in Dishonored


Aug 23
// Jordan Devore
While quite a bit more straightforward than the recent "Creative Kills" trailer, this video highlights stealth gameplay, a major element of Dishonored. You'll be able to visualize enemies' lines of sight and, unless I'm mist...
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Josh Holloway's six-pack abs aren't in Dishonored so STFU


Aug 06
// Allistair Pinsof
Dishonored has one hell of a voice cast but Lost's Josh Holloway is not on the bill. Due to some confusion over this on other news sites, Dishonored co-director Harvey Smith cleared this up for us (as well as BethBlog's Twitt...
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These new Dishonored screens will disturb you


Aug 05
// Allistair Pinsof
We got hold of some new images for the upcoming Dishonored, including some rather disturbing ones from the Lady Boyle mission I recently previewed. That baby mask is really something. I'm glad I didn't come across it during m...
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Dishonored's voice cast includes Susan Sarandon and more


Aug 03
// Jordan Devore
There's plenty to be excited about for Arkane Studios' Dishonored; now you can add the game's voice cast to that list, assuming award-winning actors are who you want bringing game characters to life. First up is Susan Sarando...

QuakeCon Preview: Dishonored is still amazing. Who knew?

Aug 03 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]232470:44584[/embed] I’ve been talking up Dishonored since I first laid eyes on it during its big reveal at QuakeCon a year ago. I love the developer, the art direction, the world, and the ideas behind the game. Though, I worried Arkane wouldn’t be able to pull it altogether, making another heavily flawed classic like its previous release Dark Messiah of Might and Magic -- a game few love but the few that do love it dearly (I include myself in that group). Unlike the E3 demo, this new QuakeCon preview had higher stakes involved, more narrative elements, and worked as a great display for the lavish lives of Dishonored’s wealthy citizens. Halfway through the game you need to enter the estate of Lady Boyle and assassinate her, while guests and friends party below. You can either masquerade and find Boyle through dialogue and other clues or you can brute force your way, killing everyone on sight.  Though Dishonored is a linear game in a narrative sense, each missions gives the player numerous ways of approach and side goals to satisfy. Right from the start, I needed to make a choice as I stood on top on a boat in a canal far away from the party: Do I teleport from rooftop to rooftop, do I take to the shadows of the streets, or do I become a fish? Becoming a fish isn’t the most obvious option but I’ve seen enough Dishonored preview videos at this point that its advantages were clear enough for me. Through this method, I entered the party with minimal conflict. Those two maids? Don’t worry: I sent a horde of rats to eat them alive. I was later told it wasn’t necessary. Oops! Once within the party, I went to the courtyard to meet a contact and deliver a letter (an optional side objective). Turns out that letter was an invitation to a duel … with me. Being the savvy Dishonored player I’ve become, I used the Bend Time ability to slow time and get an unfair advantage in the pistol duel. The contact’s cronies shouted “witchcraft!” but weren’t hot-headed enough to fight me after killing their “friend.” They just kind of talked a load of crap about the recently deceased. It’s a small thing but this bizarre side quest and its outcome tells you a lot about the brutal world of Dishonored, where no man is in control for long. That includes me. Oh, did I forget to mention how I set off alarms at the party and repeatedly died in battle with the guards? Well I did, so returning to the interior of the building was no cakewalk. I made a hot mess of the situation. I would have reloaded to the beginning if this weren’t a scheduled demo, but I’m glad I didn’t. In other games, you’d be stuck in this awful situation, forced to make the most of a stealth game’s sub-par combat. Not the case here. Taking down the horde of guards wasn’t completely unreasonable, though it made the “normal” difficulty I chose feel like “very hard”. By blocking with my sword, throwing grenades, and firing my pistol, I was able to kill a good number of them but even that wouldn’t get me upstairs -- where Lady Boyle, my target, now cowered. After growing tired of dying, I changed my plans. I would enter the building, quickly teleport out of enemy sight, and possess a guard which let me walk past all barriers without setting off an alarm or being electrocuted. It worked. Now upstairs, I was free to loot the rich for coin, notebooks (some of these are lengthy, recalling Skyrim), and potions. The real goal was finding Lady Boyle, which wasn’t hard to do with my ability to see through walls. A couple minutes later, I killed my target in a brutal scene that was hard to watch. My mission had been done, now all I had to do was use the secret bedroom passage to leave the area and get back to my boat. Though a lot of this demo is missing context, there was still much to appreciate. The art direction, dialog, and presentation are of a caliber you rarely see in games. Most developers rather focus the time it takes to build a truly original world on making a multiplayer component. Most developers aren’t willing to show off demos that offer so many possibilities -- so many ways to screw yourself over. Arkane isn’t like most developers and Dishonored isn’t like most games. It will be an uphill battle convincing the mainstream that the game becomes approachable in time, but for us core gamers, we are in for a rare treat that blends action and stealth in a way we’ve never seen before. 
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[Destructoid is grabbing its rail gun and heading to Dallas, Texas this weekend for QuakeCon. Stay posted for game news, previews, and strange happenings from the infamous LAN room.] For a game as rich with ideas and exc...

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Blame Steven Spielberg for The Crossing's cancellation


Jun 27
// Allistair Pinsof
In a decision made out of desperation and geek enthusiasm, developer Arkane Studios (Dishonored) abandoned its groundbreaking The Crossing to work on filmmaker Steven Spielberg's EA game LMNO, in late 2008. In a recent interv...
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The PC version of Dishonored will have its own interface


Jun 20
// Jordan Devore
With the gap between consoles and PCs as wide as it is right now, it's become quite obvious when the power of the latter isn't leveraged effectively for multiplatform games. Worse yet are ports that can't be bothered to offer...
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Oh boy! Dishonored has five different pre-order bonuses


Jun 01
// Brett Zeidler
You know, I'm getting quite tired of all these exclusive pre-orders at every single retailer for every new game that comes out. It becomes a hassle if you pick a crappy one, because then you have to wait a couple months to pu...
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A couple weeks ago, I went to one of Bethesda's preview events where they have fancy sandwiches and water with lemons in it. This time, it was to take a look at Dishonored. I've heard a lot of people compare the game to Assa...

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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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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