Eurogamer 2012 – Dishonored Demo Impressions

If you live in Britain, then Eurogamer is the place to be every September if you want to sample the latest games. And lets face it, you do. Well I’m no different so I checked it out representing Analog Addiction. Eurogamer is a big expo with a lot of games and some very queues, I wasn’t able to sample every game but don’t worry, I sampled some of the best. Next up is Bethesda’s Dishonored. 

Dishonored places you in the steam punk boots of the legendary shamed ex-bodyguard turned assassin to the Empress, Corvo Attano. But Corvo isn’t your average assassin, he is able to command the supernatural, he is able to become the ultimate assassin out for those who conspired against him. It’s this set up that makes Dishonored sound so interesting. That said, I was disappointed when I played it.

The demo tasked me with capturing a guy called Anton Sokolov and no, it’s not the guy from Metal Gear Solid 3. All I had to do was capture him alive. How I did it was entirely up to me. What annoyed me about this was that I had no clue what the hell I was doing. I wasn’t allowed to restart the demo even though when I got to the booth it was already well into the demo. My second gripe was when I had to capture Sokolov, the prompt said to hold the RT button to render him unconscious. The button seemed to have a mind of its own as Corvo ended up giving the guy and extra ventilation hole if you get my meaning. Then after a reload, I was soon carrying the good doctor across the rooftops to smuggle him out of the city.

The first try, (I died a few times on purpose to make up for the time), I experimented with the magic namely the “blink” ability which was pretty cool. It’s good for getting out of the way and for getting to vantage points quickly and ably. My only gripe with it is that the marker for your destination extends vertically and doesn’t go too far which made me zoom into a wall a few times because I was confused about the actual location of the thing. My favourite power that I sampled was by far the ability to stop time. There was this instance where I was cornered by enemies that allowed me to use this ability. Using time-control is really fun and I can easily see myself using it the most.

I think the biggest problem I had was the hand to hand combat. It’s clumsy, it’s like Skyrim’s combat for comparison. Combat revolves around blocking and clubbing the enemy with your knife. I say clubbing because it didn’t see that I was cutting them with a sharp knife, the enemies just seemed to shrug it off as if I had slapped him in the face with a cushion. It felt awkward and heavy and puzzles me as the developer behind Dishonored, Arkane Studios have emphasised the way you go about your mission in Dishonored. The stealth works really well, possessing people and animals is such a cool approach to a stealth game. Hiding under tables, in the shadows etc functions beautifully but the hand to hand combat feels as if it was made by the combat team behind Skyrim in a similar way that the Dues Ex: Human Revolution developers, Eidos Montreal handed off the boss fights to an external developer. Now of course this was a demo, I have no way of telling how old this build of the game is, but its worrying that I had so much ease and enjoyment with the stealth and so much disappointment with the clunky combat. Surely a famous ex-bodyguard supernatural assassin would be able to handle himself.

But enough of that. Like the other two features on Assassins Creed 3 and God Of War Ascension, I interviewed some gamers at the expo to see what they thought of Dishonored and whether they shared my opinion or not.

Interview

Maddie: “I quite liked it actually, I was a bit worried that it was going to be a bit like Assassins Creed actually but because of the whole magic element, it makes it very different. Because I failed in combat so much, I had options. So I could like, freeze time and kill them [enemies].”

“During the trial, some of its quite hard to work out. One thing I’ve tried to do ten times and because you’re not getting much hints, it’s a little bit frustrating. It’s something you’d have to get used to. Other than that, I liked it. The graphics are good, the gameplay’s quite intuitive with all the different combinations you can use.”

Antony: “I thought it was a good game, I struggled to get used to it due to lack of tutorial. But as I started figuring things out it became quite fun. With the powers that you’ve got, you can do different things. You can see through walls, you can teleport. You can do things other assassin games can’t. It’ll be interesting to see how things will end up, how the levels will cater to your abilities”.

Obviously, people had better confidence in the game than I did, which is a great thing. Dishonored is out next week for Xbox 360, PC and PS3. My thanks to Maddie and Antony for allowing me some of their time to give me their thoughts on the game.

Be sure to check out our review for Dishonored after release.

George Sinclair is an editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest reviews, previews and news. George would like to be a supernatural assassin but unfortunately he’s afraid of heights so running along building tops wouldn’t be his cup of tea. You follow George on Twitter and his blog on IGN

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