Given how busy last year's release calendar was, Arkane Studios' Dishonored might have easily slipped under your radar, but the stealth action title is full of ambitious ideas and promising pedigrees. With designers who've worked on the Deus Ex, Thief, and Arx Fatalis series, there were already plenty of reasons to be excited, and thanks to a new slew of details about the game's levels, powers, stealth gameplay, and Chaos system, and we've now got even more.
Here's the complete rundown:
- The game takes place in a steampunk-infused city by the name of Dunwall.
- You play as Corvo, a supernatural assassin and royal protector of the Empress. After you're falsely accused of her murder, you're tasked with taking whatever action you see fit, be it going on a murderous quest for revenge or working to clear your name.
- Structurally, the game is mission based, with a series of discrete levels and a hideout you visit to upgrade your equipment in between.
- Individual levels are designed to be as non-linear as possivle, with heavy sandbox elements. You'll have a great deal of freedom to explore the level, and you'll be presented with several different routes to your objective. The end goal is to ensure that no two players have the exact same experience.
- To help give gameplay the same dynamic feel, Corvo has access to a full suite of powers, including the ability to stop time, teleport, double jump, summon rats, and possess animals. Using all of these abilities in conjunction can lead to novel solutions, such as summoning and possessing a rat to sneak through a mousehole and around guards.
- While you're free to charge into combat guns blazing, Dishonored's stealth system will be very robust for those that take the time to master it.
- Eavesdropping on conversations will allow you to update your objectives without bloodshed, and using your powers in conjunction with stealth will help you navigate around enemies you'd otherwise have to fight.
- If you play your cards right, you can even complete missions without anyone knowing you're there.
- Rather than a standard good or evil reputation system, Dishonored will track the outcome of your actions via its Chaos system. If you take actions that significantly destabilize the world, the outcome of the story and future levels will change, sometimes dramatically, sometimes subtly.
All told, Dishonored is shaping up to be a rather ambitious undertaking. We're eagerly anticipating the game's release on the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360, currently slated for the second quarter of 2012.