Dishonored is an interesting property. This open world, steam punk, stealth, action, power-based game claims it gives players choice and relentless strength.
In a way, that much is correct. The brief demo I was able to experience placed me in a small section of the city. I had one objective, to secure a target. Once the representative from Bethesda showed me the basic controls, he handed me the controller and told me to have fun.
From there I was left without any direction beyond the white objective marker on my HUD.
Initially, this felt great. One of the powers our hero has available to him is called "blink." Essentially, you can use blink to teleport to nearby locations. Place yourself over wide gaps, on rooftops or to objets just out of reach. It made exploration while closing in on my objective easy and fun. It also worked as a strong element in combat.
I had a whole slew of powers like that available to me throughout the brief demo. I could summon rats to eat my opponents, knock them back with a wind attack and see through walls. I could assign weaponry, traps or powers to either hand in order to make way through my enemies.
Sound familiar? Yep. This one is a lot like BioShock. In fact, I'm not sure anyone would be able to convince me that this game wasn't at least inspired by BioShock in terms of combat and power abilities.
Let that serve as a proper stance on how this game feels while playing. It feels a lot like BioShock. It's just that there's something off about all of those things as you try to employ them in moments of combat. When fighting enemies, they rush you and begin to hack, slash or shoot. The game doesn't handle that too well right now. Blocking and slicing never feels too good, and the powers are just a bit shaky in execution.
Granted, and this is definitely where I'll own up to something, I was with the game for a whopping 30 minutes. Had I more time to learn each power, perhaps combat might have felt much better.
Choice comes into play once you've decided to actually head towards your target. You're not told how to make your kill or grab your victim. You're just told to do so. In the sense of getting to your victim, attacking or sneaking past the enemies in front of him and actually carrying out the mission, the game is filled with choice.
It's overwhelming, but it's nice. Dishonored feels a little like a sandbox.
This build must, I'm convinced, be an early one. I was met with glitches during my playthrough. I was also met with some weird aural design. While fighting one particular guard, I managed to dodge his attack and stand by his side for a second. That was when he yelled, "YOU MUST BE HEAR SOMEWHERE!"
The game lacks polish in its current form. However, I assume Bethesda will work towards eliminating those problems between now and Dishonored's eventual release.
We'll be watching this one as it develops. Dishonored is slated to launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms on October 9th of this year in North America.