We've finally received some concrete details about Dishonored, the mysterious assassination and infiltration title from Arkane Studios. Apparently supernatural spells and mystical artefacts will help us sneak into enemy installations... which will be manned by intelligent analog AI guards. Dishonored has suddenly become extremely exciting, especially for fans of the Thief series...
NeoGAF, as usual, is riding the surge of new details revealed by this month's issue of Game Informer - and we've rounded up some of the pertinent facts.
Players assume the role of Corvo, a bodyguard to the Empress who's falsely accused of her murder. As you'd expect, he's not willing to go down without a fight, and sets out to restore his reputation and bring justice to the guilty party.
Magic will play a key role in the campaign, provided by The Outsider: a supernatural entity who is "part devil, part angel." These spells won't be overt elemental projectiles such as fireballs and ice blasts, rather, they will provide more subtle and innovative ways to deal with problems. For example, players will be able to summon a swarm of rats who pick apart corpses and make them easier to hide. Enemies and animals can be possessed, allowing you to scout positions or cause distractions. Enhanced speed and teleportation will also be available.
You'll have more conventional weapons at your disposal, such as "razor traps," sticky grenades and sleep darts.
With all of these capabilities comes intelligent enemies to fight. Arkane describe the artificial intelligence as "Analog AI," which means that foes will react realistically to different situations. When guards are talking and focused on one another, for example, their vision cones and hearing will be narrowed - with ambient light conditions and sound factoring into their senses.
Though Dishonored will be a linear game, there will be different ways to accomplish objectives and individual obstacles. To illustrate, Arkane suggest that you simply have to avoid watchtowers and guard posts in most games... but "in Dishonored, however, you could alternatively climb a building and use a combination of celerity (supernatural speed), your natural double-jump, and blink (a short-range teleport) to cover a surprising distance in the air and land on the top of the tower itself." This should grant it a serious degree of replayability.
Excited? You bet. Dishonored is slated for a 2012 release, and we'll keep you updated by the wire.