Arkane Studios' Dishonored is looking to be one of the best games this year. The first-person stealth-action game combines the best parts of Half-Life 2, Thief and Deus Ex into a single experience. It makes sense as people who worked on all those games are on board to help bring Dishonored to players.
Such a pedigree makes waiting for such a game really hard. The game has already received numerous trailers that detail the gameplay choices players can make. Will you utilize stealth to stay in the shadows or will you kill everything in your path in the name of vengeance? The designers say that such choices were their intention all along when they set out to create Dishonored.
The blending of a linear narrative with choice-based gameplay is a dangerous and tricky slope. It's refreshing to see a developer acknowledge this challenge without letting it bog down the design. Too many narrative-based games deal in the illusion of choice while forcing you straight ahead to the desired conclusion. Dishonored looks to have a linear narrative, but the real innovation lies in letting the player choose the means to the end.
At this point, it's hard to see Dishonored being anything other than game of the year material. Unless the potential isn't realized, it will be at least be nominated. It's definitely on my radar and should be on yours as well. Arkane needs a hit and this could be their ticket to stardom.
Dishonored launches for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 9.