Dishonored Demo Offers New Insights Into Corvo's Lethal Flexibility

Bethesda and Arkane Studios inject Dishonored with exciting new features and a powerful new enemy for their press demo at Gamescom 2012.

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Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks showed off their latest level for the supernaturally infused Dishonored at Gamescom, featuring a brand-new enemy and a relatively laid-back mission compared to those already revealed. While previous demos focused on stealth and traditional first-person combat, what was shown at Gamescom primarily dealt with tactful investigation of partygoers at a fancy estate, with little to no combat required in order to complete the mission.

The protagonist, Corvo, is on assignment to assassinate Waverly Boyle, one of the three sisters hosting a lavish masquerade ball. Theres a catch, however: because of the anonymous nature of the party, you aren't sure which of the three the actual target is. They are all identified as "Lady Boyle" when approached, but all three wear different colors of the same outfit. To identify the appropriate sister, you must talk to the other attendees and explore the estate to gather enough intel to identify the color of the target's garb.

The entire estate is labeled as a neutral zone, so unless you initiate combat, you are free to mingle with guests and engage them in conversation. You can kill party members if you wish, in addition to the mark, but be sure to dispose of the bodies, either by hiding them or by summoning a horde of rats to devour the remains. If a corpse is discovered, you are immediately suspected as the culprit, triggering a full-on assault from the Boyles' guards. That in itself wouldn't be an issue, but the presence of the overseer musicians, a completely new enemy type, makes things particularly challenging once they're alerted to your devious motives.

The overseers are militant followers of the religious sect known as the Abbey of the Everyman. They stand at the ready with an organ-like instrument that possesses the ability to disable all of Corvo's magic, making it particularly difficult to get the upper hand against a half-dozen incoming guards. They blend into the scenery, clad in bland, monotone armor that is initially difficult to distinguish from the surrounding fixtures within the estate. Unfortunately for Corvo, they are also invulnerable to gunfire.

In the case that you don't opt for a frontal assault on Waverly Boyle, you have multiple options when it comes to accomplishing your mission. In fact, one guest who's aware of your intentions to assassinate Waverly offers to whisk her away from the party, never to be seen again. The implications of this will have a lasting impact on the storyline, though the developers from Arkane studios wouldn't elaborate on exactly how it affects Corvo's overarching quest for revenge.

Side missions within the main quest are equally capable of affecting Corvo's future. Upon approaching the entrance to the party, you're presented with the option to hand a note from one of the corrupt Pendleton twins to an attendee of the ball. In fact, what you're potentially handing over is a note stating that Corvo will stand in the Pendleton brother's place during a preplanned duel with said party member. Participating in the duel will win the Pendletons favor down the road, but whether or not this is a good thing is yet undetermined.

Beyond replaying missions for the sheer sake of it, missions such as the one demoed at Bethesda's booth will essentially "roll the dice," which in this case means varying the color of the target's outfit between playthroughs. Carrying out the assigned assassination from various angles is valuable in terms of replayability, and is something that has been seen before in games like the Hitman series, but it was refreshing to see how gracefully Dishonored's structure removes the burden of entertainment from the player.

Arkane Studio's Dishonored is currently scheduled to ship in early October of this year on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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Discussion

43 comments
vadagar1
vadagar1

a thief game in the big brother universe :P

 

 

Danituga
Danituga

They could have done some video with the actual gameplay...

NeoMortiny
NeoMortiny

For those who are calling this a First Person Shooter, going by the current definition of an FPS, it's not. For those who compare it to Bioshock, it might be inspired by the same aesthetic style, but the gameplay is going to be very different. This game will be reminiscent of Deus Ex, whereas Bioshock was more Half-Life like. Don't let the spells and the setting throw you. The game is obviously structured like Deus Ex, 'multilinear' gameplay featuring a variety of missions each approachable in numerous different and interesting ways.

Arbalon
Arbalon

Gives me the same feeling as the Masquerade in Thief: The Metal Age did, lots of similarities for sure, I just hope you aren't walking around carrying a knife and everyone being fine with it haha.

KamikazeDonut
KamikazeDonut

Hands down my most anticipated game this year.

SunzyMan
SunzyMan

I don't think it looks that fun from what I have seen, obviously I would play the game before making a proper judgement but from the videos I have seen it already looks quite repetitive and get the feeling you are pretty much untouchable, I would have liked the look of it more if there was proper combat without all the special abilities, just want a solid FPS game with some challenge rather then the generic games that have become the norm now.

seanmcloughlin
seanmcloughlin

This game is going to be magnificent. Good old school thief style sneaking around mixed with the powers of Bioshock and the freedom of.... hell there are very few games that give you this much freedom and player choice. And the option to switch styles on the fly. Can't wait for this game and I know it will be very well received

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

Really impressive amount of options you are given, can't wait to play it!

ManatuBeard
ManatuBeard

hmmm Bethesda.... how many bugs are shipping with this game on the PS3?... I will wait 6 months after the release and check what has been patched by then.

With Arkane Studios belonging to Bethesda, i don´t think they would spend money in a new game engine just for this game. I am sure they just recycled the same engine that produced buggy Skyrim.

soheil_m
soheil_m

Environments are reminds me of Bioshock , but I don't care cause it's gonna be a perfect game !! for sure a perfect GAME !! I'm waiting for this one ...

dapperbandit
dapperbandit

Can't wait to see people cosplay that creepy upside down baby mask

Fayt1986
Fayt1986

really hope we get one of the demos befor release.

Joeguy00
Joeguy00

Does anyone ever think "It's those creepy time robots from Doctor Who!" when they look at some of the pics.

itchyflop
itchyflop

wow !!! its almost art work!! ingenius design and weirdly creepy

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

My excitement for this game increases with every new bit of info. It's starting to sound pretty awesome now.

Gwarpup
Gwarpup

Problem with these kinda games that give you god like abilities, is.. They give you GOD like abilities, and there's no challenge.  Enemy AI just cant begin to counter you.  For example, Bioshock or Prototype, Incredible Hulk, Fable and many more.  It's just boring knowing you can just Superman everything in a game turning it into just an interactive movie.  The only way to counteract this is to really make super relentless and devious AIs that can do like your doing but they never do.

edgewalker16
edgewalker16

 @SunzyMan Also, take into account that the videos where you see his powers are being done so with unlimited (or a very high amount of) energy.  Needless to say, we won't start out that way.

cjf187x
cjf187x

 @SunzyMan If you want a FPS, then you should be chatting about Black Ops or Medal of Honor.  This isn't a FPS.

doc-brown
doc-brown moderator staff

 @s_h_a_d_o Oh wow...that's what I get for editing a story so late at night! That should be corrected now. Thanks for the heads up.

BIOJECT
BIOJECT

 @Gwarpup For all we know, most of these abilities have either a cool down or limited use before they need to be refilled.

IEpic_rOxIS
IEpic_rOxIS

 @Gwarpup well if u really want the game to be challenging just put the settings on hard 

 

Biscuit__Head
Biscuit__Head

 @Gwarpup in a way your right but what'd be the point coz for example prototype, if there were two of James Heller and then he acted the same way as you would then there wouldnt be a winner or a fight at all because it would be boring you'd want to know the feeling that even if you are the shittest gamer ever that you have a chance and when you do beat them you feel fucking great!! but i do see your point also

SunzyMan
SunzyMan

 @cjf187x Fair enough, but it's set in a first person perspective, you use weapons for combat, you shoot things, would be like saying Call of Duty isn't a first person shooter because you can use grenades and knifes rather then guns.

seems a fine line between what's fps and what isn't depending on what the publishing team wants to market it as.

 

 

I guess "Just want a solid game with some challenge rather then the generic games that have become the norm now" would be more accurate.

seanmcloughlin
seanmcloughlin

 @nameaprice If you have a PC to run it then I would go with that, it's what I'll be using. It will make aiming a lot easier especially for that blink/teleport power. Don't want to be missing where Im aiming at with analog sticks. Also power switching will probably be easier on PC with hotkeys

ManatuBeard
ManatuBeard

 @doraemonllh1989 We will have to wait and see...

Games nowadays are not beta tested enough, and publisher's pressure with release dates don´t really help (just look at the new Darksiders II bugs/glitches).

How i miss the PS1 era... graphics weren´t great, there wasn´t as much choice, but games were not as buggy as they are now, and even more important, they were GREAT FUN!

JJB03
JJB03

 @BIOJECT  @Gwarpup well it did say in the article there is an enemy type that disables all of your magical abilities when discovered, so there are obviously a set of different enemy types that may counter ways of play, but the whole point of these games is too feel empowered in fact I think thats the premise of most games.

Gwarpup
Gwarpup

 @Biscuit__Head I hope your right and I think when i see these games, maybe it won't be TOO EASY.. But then end up crossing the line and it being a joke.  IE. Bioshock.  The never dieing, rez at rez booth and all enemies retained ALL their damage, so you would just rez until you wittled anything down.  You never had to do better.  Games reward people too easy these days, they don't give the joy of a good payoff from finally acheiving a challenge.  And Difficulty would be fine if they had a good difficulty setting, the real easy games Im talking about didn't really do anything to increase the difficulty.  There should always be an easy setting, but Normal should be something of a challenge at least.  DIablo 3 is another, oh what a bore it is to play through the whole game on tutorial level with every character to get to a decently challenging game.  

 

angeloti83
angeloti83

 @SunzyMan  I agree with you, this seems like a bioshock spin off to me, only easier... that`s what i can get from the videos. Not interested... and actually I rather wait for BIOSHOCK INFINITE.

Jamoid
Jamoid

 @ManatuBeard ok fair enough, sounds like you really do have your reasons! i completely agree that the "release now, fix later" mentality is pretty damaging to the gaming industry, i guess i was just lucky to play skyrim on the pc, where the bugs were generally just funny.

 

i still find it easier to be forgiving of bugs in big sandbox games as opposed to more linear, scripted games, but i can see where you are coming from.

ManatuBeard
ManatuBeard

 @jollybest1  @Neomaniac15 With all the money they spent (and still spend) in patches for all platforms and games i guess it would have been cheaper for them to get the unreal engine than using their own. At least the main problem of that one with the Ps3 is textures popping every now and then (but it is getting better and better with every new game).

jollybest1
jollybest1

 @Neomaniac15 Even the PC has memory leaks and crashes with Skyrim, Oblivion and Fallout games and the PC is far superior to XBOX when we talk about memory. Bethesda needs to work more on their engine and fix the bugs that are there on every game they release, no excuses.

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ManatuBeard
ManatuBeard

 @Jamoid Any game is difficult to develop for 3 platforms. Not all companies can invest a load of money in an engine that makes porting easy like Square did (and used it only for 2 or 3 games before moving to the next engine). But there are MANY companies that manage! Even 38 studios managed and they only released 1 game before going bankrupt.

Dying 6 or 8 times in Demon's Souls and re-doing everything annoyed me less than the random freezes or the horrible lag in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary or foggy areas,  sometimes it was like a slideshow!

I would prefer NOT to have played Skyrim in the state the game is.

I don´t agree with these modern policies of release now and fix later, and Bethesda is the one that is taking longer to fix things, a few more months and it will be a full year!

The only companies that made public complaints about the RAM architecture of the Ps3 are Bethesda and Square. But square only said that they will just lower the graphic detail of FFXIV because of that, the only one STILL struggling with it is Bethesda.

Look at the amazing games (and not all of them are exclusive) made for the PS3 we have, some of them have double the visual quality of Skyrim, so blaming the hardware won´t work. Some companies learn workarounds for the problems and we don´t hear them complaining, others release bugged games and blame the hardware for it because it is easier.

I sometimes read the official Bethesda Skyrim forum, and the amount of people complaining is impressive (mainly PS3, but XBOX players have their bugs too).

I honestly wish that Bethesda would change their policies and focus more on customer care (like fixing the game before even starting working on Dawnguard).

I find myself looking more forward indie or hardly known developers games than big companies. (Final Fantasy just means nothing to me now, 14 years ago it was pure magic!).

Jamoid
Jamoid

 @ManatuBeard that's a pretty negative stance to take really. i'm almost certain there are many many people out there that would rather have skyrim on the PS3 in it's current form than not have it at all. if they didn't release it because of PS3 limitations would you be one of the people complaining about that? regardless, many people would be.

 

it's an extremely complex game developed for 3 different platforms by HUMANS. that's a recipe for imperfection really. i think they did pretty well.

ManatuBeard
ManatuBeard

 @Neomaniac15 Then Bethesda shouldn´t attempt to make PS3 versions of their games if they can´t get their Creation Engine to work with it. I would rather not release a game than release a game i know has faults that i cannot fix. That only shows their greed. You only give me more reason.

There are more developers that have to deal with PS3 RAM limitations and have games that make heavy use of the HDD as extra cache and their games don´t have the problems that Skyrim has.

Since you know so much, can you explain me how some can develop without these problems for the PS3 and Bethesda can´t?

Neomaniac15
Neomaniac15

 @ManatuBeard You do realize that it isn't Bethesda's fault that the PS3 version of their games suffers from performance right? The design choices put into the PS3 and, in the case of Skyrim, the Creation Engine itself are usually the root of the problem. For Skyrim, the way RAM is used in the console and how that affects the Creation Engine is why PS3 get's it the worst. First, the Creation Engine. The engine's main function is keeping track of the numerous variables that pop up while you play. Buy something from a shop? It needs to track that. Kill a bandit? It has to make sure that bandit either stays dead or respawns when he's supposed to. Kill a dragon and take it's bones? it needs to queue up your next dragon encounter and remember that you took stuff from it and probably stored it inside your home. And it doesn't end there, for example, while you're up in Winterhold grabbing new spells from the College, the game is keeping track of Belethor's stock and respawn rate. It's a lot for the engine to have to deal with and this in and of itself is why you sometimes have issues with quests or items not appearing. But the PS3 has an added issue. All of this activity from the engine needs extremely high amounts of RAM to work properly, whether you're loading the next area or just playing a game. With the Xbox, the highest amount of RAM is given to the current process or function the system is doing. And if the console needs more RAM to do that function it can take from other processes or functions that the console doesn't need. The PS3 doesn't work the same way. Instead, certain amounts of RAM are given to each of the console's processes and functions regardless of what the console is currently doing. So as the variables and the memory go up in Skyrim, the console can't ask to borrow RAM from different areas. so you get those game-breaking crashes. Add in the fact that the system's Cell processor is made for super-computing and not gaming, it's no wonder a game like Skyrim suffers so much. The point is this: It isn't Bethesda's fault that Sony made their console the way they did, and it isn't Sony's fault that Bethesda made a game that essentially broke their system. If you MUST place blame on someone, then Sony is more at fault here for using technology that didn't need to be there, and by making a less than solid design choice. But this doesn't make the PS3 "bad" or inferior. It just means you need to suck it up and deal with what you've got and be thankful Bethesda even wants to still deal with the PlayStation after all the trouble it's had. Because programming for closed source technology is hard enough. add in the fact that the processor is the "round peg in a square hole" analogy and it was only a matter of time before something like this occured.