Have you been looking around the video game triple-a landscape and not seeing hardly anything both new and great? Though the usual sequels do their part to entertain, I can’t help but feel a bit of extra joy when a newcomer walks onto the scene. One such example is Dishonored, a game set to release sometime late this year. It’s been revealed publicly, but it has yet to get the following that it (possibly) deserves.
With the art director of Half Life 2, Viktor Antonov, and the game design of Harvey Smith–a man who co-helmed projects such as Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Invisible War–they do have a fighting chance, even in a year with Bioshock: Infinite, Mass Effect 3, The Last of Us, and The Last Guardian. Yes, I do believe that Dishonored may bring to the table something that these others may not.
Does Assassin’s Creed now have some competition?
Players will find themselves in the role of an ex-bodyguard of an empress. Having been framed for her murder, assassination is your only way out. With the ability to possess any living creature, you can do insane things like jumping off of a roof and entering the body of another, just in time to prevent that bone-snapping stop at the bottom. One of my all-time favorites, the double-jump, makes an appearance as well. In conjunction with a teleport move, players will find that they can leap and warp long distances to reach other buildings, and maybe even balconies whose open doors provide an unexpected entrance. For those of you who enjoy watching chaos unfold, you can summon a swarm of rats that will consume everything in their path, including you if you’re not careful.
Tired of corridor shooters?
It’s an open-world game, but closed at the same time. Based on the descriptions I’ve read, its structure should resemble the levels found in the Deus Ex and Thief series. You are given a large area, one which can be traversed any way you please. However, it is a self-contained area, meaning that you do have a focus. You can’t run off to the other side of the city to shoot some pool with your buddies like in Grand Theft Auto IV, but I don’t consider that such a bad thing. After all, because of its size, Grand Theft Auto rarely lets you enter any buildings at all. They often are open only because they’re for the specific mission that you’re on. While we won’t know until there’s more information available, Dishonored will probably let us enter many of the buildings within a given area, and with multiple ways to enter them, literally opening up new possibilities for ways to complete objectives.
The world of Dishonored has the architectural aesthetics of Half Life 2, but is also combined with a dash of the early 1900s. Yes, this combination will undoubtedly bring about accusations of similarity to the Bioshock series, but on the whole it has a much darker industrial feel to it. Bioshock’s worlds, on the other hand, look like places that were once beautiful but have since become rundown.
Despite the massive task at hand–pleasing gamers who are sure to be spoiled with some of the best games ever made–I want to believe that Dishonored will be that underdog that surprises, delights, and takes the FPS genre to a whole new level.
Dishonored is being developed by Arkane Studios. It is scheduled to be published by Bethesda Softworks for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 by late 2012.
Below you will find an interview with Harvey Smith and Raphael Colantonio, both Co-Creative Directors of the game: