Weekend Reading: Getting Stealth Right
Dishonored manages to blend great stealth with an impressive story
Stealth is a tricky thing to get right for most video games and this has led to a disappearance of high profile stealth-based franchises, like Thief or Hitman, while a lot of other titles decided to employ the mechanic in a limited manner, like the recent Spec Ops: The Line.Fortunately, things are slowly turning around, what with the resurrection of franchises like Deus Ex, Hitman or Splinter Cell, and the appearance of new ones, like Dishonored or the Batman Arkham titles, which emphasize more or less sneaking around.
Dishonored is one of the latest games to employ stealth and this has been tricky endeavor, as highlighted by the developers at Arkane Studios themselves, who admitted that they went through different iterations before deciding on the final state of the system.
After playing the game quite a lot for my upcoming review, I can wholeheartedly say that Arkane has hit the stealth jackpot, managing to deliver a system that feels natural and that isn't challenging for beginners.
In case you've yet to try it out, Dishonored relies on cones of vision for enemies and, as long as you're not within their virtual sight, you won't get detected.
While this may sound tricky to implement, one of the first supernatural powers unlocked by the protagonist, Corvo, is called Dark Vision and practically allows him to see through walls and to observe his opponents' cones of vision, reducing the mechanic to its bare bones and simplifying it so that any player can understand how it works.
When combined with the impressive story and the big emphasis on choice, as players can decide from how they explore the city of Dunwall to how they eliminate their various targets, as Dishonored delivers an impressive stealth-based package.
Hopefully, the other stealth games that are scheduled to appear in the near future, like Hitman: Absolution or Splinter Cell: Blacklist, will also be able to deliver some great experiences.
Look forward to our review of Dishonored on Monday, October 15.