Bethesda was showing three things at E3 2012 and, despite the promise of The Elder Scrolls Online and the old-school feel of the upgraded Doom, its best future launch is Dishonored, the first-person assassin title from Arkane.
Initially, the two co-directors of the game showed two very different ways of running through the Golden Cat level, which involves assassinations of a pair of nobles.
The first playthrough was stealthy to the extreme, using Corvo’s blinking and possession abilities to move from one shadow to another and then relying on the environment to actually kill the two targets before escaping without attracting the attention of the guards.
The second playthrough was based on all-out combat and a lot of violence ensued as Corvo used mines, traps, his crossbow, pistol and saber to take out everything that lived inside the Golden Cat before finally eliminating his targets and making his escape.
I had seen a video of Dishonored before, but the game looks even better up close and personal, with a mix of Victorian and modern styles apparent in the city and combat that’s very brutal and very personal.
I played Dishonored for a while after the presentation and I’m impressed by the wide arsenal of powers and gadgets that the player can use when approaching any situation.
The Blink power seems essential to the game at the moment and might be a little overpowered because it makes Corvo almost impossible to detect if deployed correctly and stealth fans will love how the developers have implemented field of view and sound mechanics to make it easy to understand which enemies might be tracking their character.
Stealth is a good choice, but after this preview I fear that Arkane made combat too much fun and that many players will opt for it just to see the way the various weapons work and mix them with the powers that Corvo can use.