Chances are, you’ve probably heard about Dishonored being a game keen to emphasise the vast amount of choice when approaching an assassination mission. Rather than trying to muscle in on Assassin’s Creed’s turf, the game is a first person title.
The game world is a strange mix of Victorian architecture and steampunk mechanics. Narrow foggy streets are patrolled by police on mechanical stilts. There are regular policeman too, although they’ve got something of a WWI German feel about them thanks to single-spike helmets and over-enthusiastic moustaches.
The task at hand was assassinating the female host at a masquerade party in a nearby mansion. Powers that I had at my disposal today included a psi-push, invisibility, possession, slowing down time, seeing through walls and naturally, unleashing a swarm of rats to devour enemies. Weapons include a crossbow with regular, tranquiliser and explosive rounds, pistols, sticky grenades, mines and long knife. The dual wielding of weapons and abilities will be familiar to players of Bioshock 2.
The strangest equipment on the menu has to be the beating heart. While wondering around the game you’ll be prompted to equip it to use a sort-of radar to pick up other hearts and runes. You can see them through walls and a marker indicates how far away they are. These pickups can then be used to buy skills. Seeing as I was trying to kill a target in a busy environment, I went for the Shadow Kill skill. The first tier of this turns bodies to ash if you kill someone without them ever knowing you were there. This eradicates the bothersome task of tidying up after yourself as the corpse just disintegrates into nothing, leaving you free to waltz straight back out the front door.
Starting off in a restricted area I needed to sneak past patrols to get into the mansion grounds one of two ways. I could go in like a tramp and crawl through a large drain or use my teleport power to get over the gate. Once inside, I was wearing a mask so guests thought I was a fellow attendee. A scripted gust of wind blew an invite out of a woman’s hand which I was all too keen to poach. Once I’d handed it to the guard I was let into the mansion’s back garden, free to mingle.