Some huge buzz has been building behind Bethesda's Dishonored, and for good reason. With all its insane abilities, beautiful atmosphere and devastating techniques, the game could easily be considered one of the most original first-person adventures since the days of Bioshock.
The main focus is on Corvo, a former guardian of the Empress who finds himself framed for her murder by a shadowy group. Freeing himself from captivity, Corvo dons a mask and uses a number of abilities in the hopes of not only getting even with his captors, but also finding out who was behind the Empress' assassination. It's not an easy task, as hundreds of guards and magic-possessing higher-ups stand in your way, but, hey, you're not left to fight empty-headed.
In fact, Dishonored comes with a slew of ways that you can dispatch of enemies, whether you prefer taking them out in a non-lethal manner or going all destructive on them. (There are consequences no matter which path you take, one of the game's most interesting features.) Since we like talking about features in a game such as this, we thought we'd break down some of the cooler abilities in Dishonored, and how they can help you become a sneakier assassin.
Teleporting Across the Battlefield
One of the abilities you'll pick up early on in the game is "Blink", which lets you teleport to higher places, in case you can't access it through a locked gate. But believe it or not, reaching higher-up spots is just one asset to moving from one place to another at lightning speed. If you're detected by a guard, you can move to a higher spot and hide away, confusing them in the process. Or, if you're in the middle of a sword fight, you can move in behind them and strike from behind, provided you're quick enough to counter in their confusion. It's also useful when fighting groups of enemies, and you just can't run away without being detected. Just remember you have enough energy on hand when you use this, or you're stuck on the middle ground.
Your Crossbow Is Your Friend
Sure, you can use a sword to take apart enemies (more on that later in this article), but the crossbow is a weapon that shouldn't be trifled with. Get off a good head shot and an enemy will slump over dead, ideal for when you want to get through a clear path without him raising any alarms. But this is just one type of shot you can use with it. Along with routine crossbow bolts, you'll also have access to sleep bolts, which will help you if you're looking to keep people alive, merely knocking them out for a few moments and letting you pass without concern. But if you really want to be nasty, you can also use incendiary bolts. One shot of these into someone's body and they light on fire almost instantaneously, and perhaps even spark off among nearby enemies. If you really want someone dead, you'll use one of these for sure. Just be careful – they're lower in count compared to your other shots, even if you spend gold coins to get more. (Maybe save them for tougher enemies…?)
I Now Control You
One of Dishonored's better abilities is Possession, another dark art that you learn over the course of the game. Using this, you'll be able to take control of a number of beings in a stage, whether it's someone in a tall boy walker laying waste to his own guards (without him even knowing it), or one of the smaller creatures in the game, such as a rat or a fish. Though their offensive techniques may not be as strong as, say, an armed guard, they can get through smaller areas, in case you feel like sneaking into someone's stronghold without raising alarms. Just make sure you watch out for other rats – in groups, they can be rather nasty.
Sword In Hand
Though Dishonored is more about getting the upper hand on your enemy without direct detection, you're prepared for a fight in case one comes to you. With a sword in hand, you can engage in some terrific battles against enemies. What's more, you can block attacks to throw them off guard, then move in for a lethal kill, whether it's a full decapitation or a stab to the neck. Though you can't see everything that's happening like in, say, Assassin's Creed III, Dishonored features a splendid battle system. Even if you're low on magic or crossbow bolts, it's great to slice baddies up. Just remember – in groups, you'll get killed. QUICKLY.
And the rest, which isn't too shabby…
Along with Possession and Blink, other magical abilities open up for you over the course of Dishonored, which really make you a powerhouse against enemies. Wind Blast, for instance, activates a wind gust that can distract and, in some cases, blow away guards, clearing the path for you to continue. Dark Vision allows you to look through walls to see where your foes are walking around, giving you a clearer view compared to looking through keyholes. Bend Time lets you freeze time, as you get the jump on larger groups or try to sneak past them o you can proceed towards your intended target; and Shadow Kill gives you the opportunity to eliminate bodies, rather than throwing them into water or out of plain view, simply by vaporizing them. All of these use a good amount of magical energy, so make sure you have plenty on hand.
Kill your own way
Really, Dishonored has something for every type of action gamer, it seems. Action fans will love getting into sword fights and shooting enemies with a crossbow. Stealth gamers will find alternative paths and knock out enemies cold, in the hopes of keeping conditions from deteriorating too fast. It's got something for everyone, and, from what we've seen, is a worthwhile addition to your game library.
Look for Dishonored for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 9th.