While a cinematic trailer for Dishonored came out this past April, Cat posted a gif from the game’s tumblr showing in-game footage from a first person view of an assassination done from the rooftop. If that little taste of the game wasn’t enough for you, the trailer released for this year’s E3 can be seen here, and contains some gameplay and aesthetic elements worth talking about.
One of the selling points of the game has been that they’ve hired the same art director who worked on Half-Life 2– Viktor Antonov. Easily one of my favorite worlds ever created, HL2 mixed eastern european architecture with the dystopian buildings of the Combine, creating a fantastic juxtaposition. There seems to be a similar direction here with the use of anachronistic technology such as floodlights, el trains, and mobile sentries inhabiting a broken down, industrial-era London. Some of the guards wearing white, kabuki-esque masks recall the white-masked soldiers of the Combine, though most of the clothing has a militaristic, steampunk feel. All of this falls in line with what the April trailer showed, and merely confirms how awesome that game’s setting will be.
While the gutted Big Ben that appears in the background implies something is amiss in jolly old London, it’s the repeated sight of corpses wrapped up in blood-stained, white fabrics that lets us know that things have gotten FUBAR. A couple of shots show packs of rats scurrying about the streets and even attacking what look like policemen; it recalls how rats transported the fleas that spread the black death that killed a third of Europe. Aside from the basic plot premise of a man accused for murder and then released to go on a killing spree, there hasn’t been a lot revealed about the story, so I’m curious to see as to how the plague plays into the game.
Let’s get into the meat of the matter though: gameplay. There are quite a few shots that seem to be taken from inside the game, and one of the more notable features is the complete lack of guns. The dagger is highly featured throughout the trailer and seems to be in line with what I’ve heard around the interwebs that there is a hint of Assassin’s Creed in the game. Multiple kill scenes with the dagger take place, which leads me to believe that there will be a focus on sneaking around (though that doesn’t necessarily mean stealth will be a game mechanic).
Right around the minute and a half mark, we get three different scenes that tell us a few things about how combat will work. The first is that of the main character blowing up a mobile sentry with a grenade-esque device- a rather traditional tool in the FPS genre. The third one shows what I assume to be an antagonist walking through an electric trap that promptly incinerates him into ashes, while the main character dual wields a hand-sized crossbow and a dagger. That indicates that there will be some more traditional shooting combat, but if developer Arkane wants players to focus on melee, it can make certainly design ranged weapons to be less appealing than stabbing dudes.
The middle scene is the most telling in that it shows the main character activating some time control power as he dodges an enemy’s gunshot. This power activation also appears at 1:05 when the character pulls himself towards the ground. While I was already getting a Bioshock feel from the trailer as a whole, these plasmid-like abilities make the comparison a little more appropriate. I’m excited to see what other abilities players will given, and generally quite excited for this game. Let’s hope E3 results in some more quality information about this game.