Dishonored, the first person, open ended assassination-athon from developer Arkane, released a handful of screen shots to begin whetting appetites in preparation for its Spring 2012 release. With all the recent talk of Diablo DRM and poor 3DS sales, it’s possible that Dishonored might have slipped through the cracks for many readers. So before we get to the hand’s worth of pictures (less one thumb), here’s a very quick recap of what we know about the game so far.
It comes to us from the same studio that made cult classic Arx Fatalis, and did much of the ambiance work (visual design, sound, stuff like that) for the underrated BioShock 2. Harvey Smith of Dues Ex fame and Half Life 2 art director, Viktor Antonov provide the pedigree for this title, which so far looks like something of a cross between Deus Ex and a futuristic, first person Assassin’s Creed.
Pedigree would be nothing, though, without a solid product coming out the other end, and even in the early stages of development, Dishonored’s non-linear, semi-emergent gameplay looks exceptionally strong.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on the idea of the player fitting into the world, as opposed to the other way around. To illustrate this, Arkane has said that all characters, good, bad, or lukewarm, are alive and kicking from the moment you switch the game on until the moment the credits roll. There is no random spawning, and if you happen to run into (and brutally murder) an enemy who might otherwise have been harassing some buddies of yours a few hours later, then that event will now no longer happen or, more accurately, happen in a completely different way.
Freedom is the buzzword coming out of Arkane Studios, and the devs sure as hell want to drill it into the public’s skull just how much freedom the player is afforded in Dishonored. So, on the subject of being free, let us now free ourselves from the shackles of commentary and drift our gaze downwards to gander at Dishonored’s screens, totally devoid of text and comment so that one can be free to draw their own thoughts and conclusions.