Friday, June 8, 2012

Bethesda's Hot New IP: The Dishonored

There's usually one game demo-ed at E3 that blows people away, and this year it seems to be THE DISHONORED, from ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM and FALLOUT developers Bethesda Softworks.

Let me start by saying that I trust Bethesda to deliver quality. Buggy quality, but quality nonetheless. SKYRIM is possibly my all-time favorite video game, and though I had some issues with it, FALLOUT 3 had me hooked for months. I love their open-world approach, their impeccable aesthetics and the fact that they take their time delivering quality, rather than churning out sequel after sequel just in time for the holidays. 

That said, THE DISHONORED represents a departure of sorts for Bethesda. It's not an open-world action-RPG, but an open-world stealth-action game! Oh wait...did I not mention that I'm a complete stealth-action addict?? The SPLINTER CELL and DEUS EX series ARE up there with THE ELDER SCROLLS at the top of my my list, so the idea of combining the two is giving me goosebumps and the return of an eye twitch I thought I left in New York when I moved out West. 

But enough about me, let's talk about the game. According to ripten:

The story of Dishonored follows the standard conspiracy and revenge, in which the main character, former bodyguard Corvo Atano, is framed for the assassination of the Empress and must hunt down the parties responsible and clear his name. The game is set in an open-world environment that is fashioned after Victorian England but is teaming with Steampunk-esque enemies. When it comes to combat, first-person melee combat with swords, daggers and occasional firearms is the order of the day. Supernatural abilities such as freezing time and summoning plagued animals to attack your enemies round out your skill sets. The game is focused largely on stealth action and the trailer shows off plenty of fancy swordplay that will be employed during the game.
Steampunkish, Victorianesque, Bioshocky
As Inside Gaming Daily relates, Bethesda have put together an impressive design team, who have serious ambitions for the game:

Harvey Smith (he of lead designing Deus Ex 1 and 2) and Raphel Colantonio (Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, Arx Fatalis) are the lead designers on this ambitious and hugely stylish game set in a notionally steampunk-tech-level world already reasonably far apace into its own industrial age—carriages, cobblestones, fey snooty top-hatted nobility, and the looming specter of rat-born Plague, yes…but also smoke-belching factories, exotic electrical intrusions, stilt-legged, ‘meched-up armored constables-cum-executioners tottering around the city streets, the age-old furball between Technology and that other technology called Magic…and quietly (insidiously?) lubricating it all, that oh-so topical, allegorical (and, it would appear, damn-near all-purpose) precious fuel, whale oil. It also boasts a compellingly evocative world-that-might-have-been-somewhere setting, and some of the best, most thoughtful game-character/vehicle modeling ever created—simultaneously dramatically exaggerated, unflatteringly, warts-and-all ‘realistic’, and painstakingly, anachronistically crafted (of course that’s how the chassis suspension would be on a heartless Neo-Victorian noble’s personal armored carriage—it’s so obvious!)
Excited yet? I am. But don't take it from me, watch this trailer: