Couldn’t go to E3? Arkane Studios feels your pain. So they’ve posted their behind-closed-doors demos of Dishonored online, and when you watch, you’ll know why the game is getting so much buzz.
On my personal radar, Dishonored has gone from “What are these guys smoking?” to “This looks incredible!” over the last year. These demos show you why.
Dishonored puts you in an alternate reality set in a Victorian type era, as an assassin gifted with incredible supernatural abilities. These powers can definitely give you a huge advantage over enemies, since you can do things like stop time, possess animals or A.I. characters (including the ones you’re sent to kill), teleport, and summon deadly swarms of man-eating rats. Use your abilities wisely, combining them in creative ways, and you can be unstoppable.
The world of Dishonored, a city named Dunwall, is gorgeously detailed and completely interactive. It’s also filled with living, breathing A.I. characters who go about their lives and react to your presence realistically. How you choose to carry out your missions will change the course of the narrative, including the ending.
You can play in an all-out brutal style, using your powers to kill every enemy in your way, with as much violence as possible. Or you can play in stealth mode, using your powers to sneak around Dunwall, remain unseen, and strike in silence from the shadows. Those powers look unbelievably fun to play with; I think teleportation is my favorite, but possession is really cool, too.
Both of the videos below show a play-through of the same level, but in different ways. The first video shows off how one might play in stealth mode. As such, it takes significantly longer to play this way, and the devs recommend it for those who like a more thorough play style that encourages exploration. The second video takes the direct approach, getting the job done much faster and with a lot more blood — including that of several innocents. The second vid ends with a look at what it’s like to fight “Tallboys,” enemies that patrol plagued quarantine zones on enormous stilts. They look sort of like the great-grandfather of Half-Life 2‘s Striders.
Note that these videos are NSFW, due to language and bloody violence.
Dishonored is coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on October 9th in North America, and October 12th in Europe. Based on the level of polish seen in these demos, Arkane shouldn’t have any trouble hitting those release dates.