Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 21, 2012

Dishonored – The Steampunk Game You Have To Own

Very rarely does a game get announced that I find I need to research, follow, and gush over. Some examples of games I’ve been this way with include Dead Space, Halo, and Gears of War, throughout their series’ run. I also have a warm heart for The Elder Scrolls series, which is why when Bethesda announced that they were working with Arkane Studios on a new game, my interest was piqued. After doing some research and checking out videos, especially the ones shown at E3, I am more than convinced this game will need to be in any gamer’s collection.

The new game I’m speaking of is called Dishonored. It’s a new FPS/RPG that’s being developed by Arkane Studios along with help from Bethesda. It follows the Steampunk aesthetic, which Arkane has notably stated and pushed. Steampunk is a culture of sorts, but mainly sticks out as an idea with a fashion statement. The whole idea behind Steampunk is this: take the Victorian age for its looks, clothing style, and such, and toss in modern technology. Add to this the fact that everything runs on steam power and you’ve pretty much got it down. There are airships, sky pirates, and much more all compacted inside this one idea. Steampunk has grown so much that there are even bands and musicians inventing their own genre of Steampunk music. But I digress.

Dishonored borrows from the look that Steampunk gives off. Arkane thought the idea to pull from the culture would not only be cool-looking, but it would help push the game’s boundaries a bit more. Since this culture and aesthetic hasn’t been explored too much in the way of video games, it allows the developers to truly create their own world with interactive environments and characters. This is one of the reasons you need to own this game.

Next up is the story. What is Dishonored about? Well, I’ll tell you. Dishonored follows the story of a man named Corvo Atano, who was once appointed as a legendary bodyguard to the Empress. The Empress gets murdered and her blood is on Corvo’s hands as he’s framed for the dastardly deed. This act forces Corvo to skulk into the shadows as he plans his revenge against Lord Regent who is the man behind the act of having him framed. What’s to be known about Corvo is that not only is he a master-at-arms, an exceptional marksman and swordsman, but he is also gifted with special powers. These powers allow him to many things from possessing other people and animals to vanishing into thin air to stopping time and much more. Over the course of the misdeeds laid out before him, Corvo has constructed a disturbing mask that’s since become his calling card when assassinations are carried out. The story is magnificent and the character Corvo is yet another reason why this game is going to be amazing.

Dishonored won’t be set in an open world format like The Elder Scrolls series, rather it will follow a series of linear missions. Players can still roam all over either The Isles or the Pandyssian Continent, though the primary setting of the game is a city called Dunwall. Being a first-person title, players experience everything through Corvo’s eyes. A lot of emphasis is placed on using stealth to complete missions, though Arkane has made it very well-known that the game will offer framework for players to tackle it in numerous different ways. A game that caters to your play style? Chalk this up to a winner! While the game’s enemies – even bosses – can be eliminated non-lethally, there’s nothing stopping you from running in with your swords shining. Something really cool about the game was explained by Lead Designers Harvey Smith and Raf Colantonio. They describe the game world as a “simulation,” which is a bit different than those we’ve encountered before. The way this works is as such: if the player encounters some thugs harassing an innocent citizen, they can be dealt with. However, the thugs themselves exist in the game world prior to the event, rather than just spawning at a designated time or place. If the player were to encounter these characters ahead of time, they can be disposed of and the harassment will never happen. In essence, the game world is a living, evolving form. That’s enough to blow your mind right there.

With all these powers, a gripping storyline, and a game world that plays out and evolves according to player actions, Dishonored isn’t going to be some game that flies under the radar. Dishonored will be a game that you will beat yourself over not picking up. Bethesda hasn’t let us down in the past, and Arkane Studios will quickly make a name for themselves with this release. I can’t wait to get behind Corvo’s mask and start messing with people using his powers. In the game you can even possess rats and scatter around through buildings to gain a scout’s view of different places. I think Arkane should make that the selling point of the game.

Seriously, though, Dishonored is shaping up to be one of the best-looking games to release this year. Its release date is set for October 9th here in the U.S. If there’s one game that will come out this year that will keep me up to grab it at midnight, it’s this one. What do you think?

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