Dishonored Hands-On Preview [QuakeCon 2012]
When I was able to get my grubby little paws on Dishonored at QuakeCon earlier today, I had every intention of trying to be gentle. I worked my way as quietly as possible through the balcony, snuck past a few guards and sheathed my weapon before walking right into the masquerade. It was brilliant plan really. All I had to do was find Lady Boyle and take her out. No one else had to suffer.
Sadly, my brilliant plan came to a screeching halt as I was trying to drag her unconscious body towards her better half waiting in the cellar who promised to get her away from here (and more importantly out of my hair). One of the maids figured that cleaning the cellar was the best use of her time during a busy masquerade and walked just in time to see the entire thing. At that point, any chance of walking out here was gone. I was going to have to cut my way out.
The demo Bethesda and Arkane Studios had on display threw me into a mission about halfway through the game where I needed to infiltrate a masquerade. The skill wheel was a bit more fleshed out than it would normally be at that point in the game, since theywanted to give us the chance to try out a few different options. Most of the options seemed to be geared towards a stealth run, but I was always welcome to run in flashing my sword if I felt tempted.
After taking Lady Boyle out of this planet, I had the opportunity to re-enact their stunning escapes trailer from last week. Since any idea of pacifism was abandoned when I left a throng of bodies behind in that cellar, I attempted to charge headfirst at the guards. While I may have had noble intents, I quickly found myself overpowered and cut down. After a few stifled laughs from the guys from Bethesda and Arkane, I tried again using my skills a bit more responsibly.
It’s a bit hard to explain in words exactly how the carnage played out on screen since it was dangerously close to seeming straight out of a slasher film. I possessed the body of one guard which I used as cover to get behind his friends. After letting go of him, a quick stab through the neck followed by manipulating time allowed me to make short work of his friends. Before the rest of the guards could get close, I jumped over a fence and into the river. I possessed the body of the nearest fish and swam my way to safety. It was every bit as incredible as it sounds.
Even at this early stage, everything just felt right. The combat was brutally visceral, the skills felt well implemented and the world seemed to breathe around me. I was able to find two different ways to enter the party, and I know I’m only scratching the surface of what was available. Taking a quick peek at the others around me, their screens looked completely foreign. We were playing the same game, but I had no idea exactly where they were or how they got there.
PC fans will be happy to know that it looks like the PC version is getting special attention if the options screen is any sign of things to come. FOV, sensitivity and shadow options were all easily accessible, which is a great sign that this is more than a port.
I was only able to get my hands on with Dishonored for a brief period of time, but I’m already trying to find time to check it out again on the show floor.
Hands down, this is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest titles.