Dishonored - A second hands-on
Dishonored - A second hands-on
There's a bit of a challenge to playing Dishonored for preview. The game is all about the player experience - the team at Arkane Studios wants everyone to tell their own Corvo story, and they want those stories to be different. To facilitate that they've injected a massive range of variety into the ways a player can complete a mission, they've injected a wealth of extra story into the game and they've given everyone the tools they need to do things however they like.
So I'm playing the game to tell you all a Corvo story, and the odds are great that this story will be different to any other you hear - but at the same time, I don't want to tell my Corvo story. Because I don't know what Corvo's story is yet. Twice now I've jumped into someone else's Corvo story - and when I play the game for real, it won't be the same.
Still, that doesn't mean I'm not excited to play through the game. I begin outside a manor - my mission is to infiltrate the party within to murder the hostess. There's a twist to this mission though - it's a masquerade party, and everyone within is wearing a mask.
Worse, there are three women who share the name of my target - Lady Boyle - sisters, but only one of them is a sympathiser with those who framed me. Naturally, I'm only supposed to kill one of them - and I need to find out which one is which.
Oh, and I need to get into the party without an invitation.
Whoever said assassinating people was supposed to be easy?
The manor looms high to my right when the demo begins - it's night, and tallboys with bright spotlights walk around the streets, looking for any undesirable types in a city gripped by plague. I stay low and sneak across a cobblestoned path bridging a sewer. Looking into the water, I can see a fish - and after watching many a gameplay demo I knew Corvo could possess animals like Rats, Fish and Dogs.
I switched to the possession power and jump into the sewer. Swimming is easy, but I don't have long so I get about my business. I swim through a grate and the cellar door lies waiting for me to enter - and like that I'm in.
Of course, it's not that easy. Suddenly I'm trapped in a cellar - and all I have near me are a bunch of rats. I take a look around the crowded wine cellar - there are barrels everywhere, the rats in question... and a weird door that seems to speak to me. It's literally saying words - words I can't decipher... but words nonetheless. I peer through the keyhole of the door, and within lies a Rune.
Runes are the tools Corvo uses to upgrade his skills - for this playthrough I've been equipped with all the available powers anyway, but that doesn't mean I don't want to make my way through to this blocked off area.
I puzzle a way out of the cellar - there are multiple solutions to all the problems, but if there's anything I learned from my last hands-on with the game it's that I favour the "Blink" skill above everything else. A few quick teleports and I can reach a lever to get out. I find myself in the kitchen, a disgusting area infested with rats (as is most of the city, really.) I hide from the kitchenhands and possess one of the rats - the staff ignore the pests despite the fact that a plague holds the city hostage - and I sneak into a ventilation grate and down to the door I found before.
This is what Dishonored is bringing to the table - problems and solutions. There's a real sense of accomplishment when you play, because the game doesn't hold your hand at all. It gives you tools and tasks you to do things with them - but how you use those tools, and what tasks you complete are primarily up to you.
After I leave the door I find I'm trapped in the cellar again - I close doors behind me - and so after a quick few blinks I'm free to make my way up through the kitchen and into the party.
The masquerade party is an extravagant affair - massive catfish sit on tables next to giant fountains of booze and people wander around in excessive outfits - and it's not long before I see the first of the three Lady Boyles. There are multiple areas I can search for clues to find out which of the Ladies I have to kill - upstairs and out in the garden offer some solutions, as does the main party itself - but I'll skip telling you how I killed the right Lady... except to say that I did it without a hitch and made my escape before anyone knew.
After I escaped - I'll leave the details of that out as well - I found the city outside to be drastically different from before. Tallboys were all over the city, accompanied by overseers on the ground. Sneaking to my rendezvous point was tougher than anything I'd had to do so far in the mission - primarily because I'd previously been able to hide in plain sight, and now I definitely had to stick to the shadows.
And then I encountered the Weepers.
The city of Dunwall - where Corvo showcases his talents - is gripped by a plague of horrifying proportions. It's spread by rats, reminiscent of the Bubonic Plague, but where the Black Death featured symptoms like pneumonia and... well, buboes, the "Rat Plague" in Dunwall makes its victims cry blood. They're called Weepers because the city of Dunwall is evidently filled with *****.
This is further evidenced by the fact that Weepers will attack you on sight just for being around. Why do they attack you? I'm sure it will be answered in the game, but for now I presume it is because it is the shittiest action they can take before they die a horrible, horrible death.
The Weepers were quarantined to a condemned building - I didn't have to spend any time with them if I didn't want to - but unfortunately, the last rune in the area was contained within it - so I jumped on in carelessly, only to be confronted by those horrors.
I'd already gotten the impression that the game was dark (in tone as well as light source), but the introduction of Weepers ramps that into overdrive for me. The connection to the Black Death gives their suffering a tangibility that causes me to feel sympathetic even while I'm mentally screaming and stabbing them to death.
Why can't you be out already, Dishonored?
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Tue 02 Oct 12, 1:06pmZaraq
Posted: Tue 02 Oct 12, 1:06pm
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