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Dishonored Trailer - Dissected

Our oppressions - sorry, impressions - of the stunning new Dishonored footage

Look to the ground and you'll see flesh-eating rats scuttling around your toes. Look up to the sky and you'll find the sun's haze blocked out by a hostile police officer, towering over you on robotic stilts.

It doesn't matter where you cast your eyes in Dishonored's Neo-Victorian settlement of Dunwall - you'll find only oppression, gloom and pestilence.

Already, the Steampunk-stylised Dunwall is shaping up to join City 17 and Rapture as one of the great dystopian gameworlds - and if the latest footage to roll off the Bethesda production line is to be believed, it's going to be a lot more fun a place around in than your usual police state.

With that in mind, let's dissect the latest trailer before the robo-police arrest us for loitering.

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The four-minute trailer begins with a shot of Dishonored's protagonist Corvo looking a bit glum in a dark, dank prison cell. And glum he might well look, because he's been framed for the murder of the Empress he was once employed to protect. Bad times.

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Things begin to look up when he's visited by a mysterious individual known only as 'The Outsider'. Part angel, part devil, The Outsider's exact motives are unknown but on this occasion he comes up with the goods by giving Corvo the supernatural equivalent of a hacksaw in a cake. "Consider it a gift", he quips as he brands a strange emblem into Corvo's wrists. While it permanently excludes him from a job in HMV, it does grant him the command of magic, which will make escaping his cell a cinch. A worthy trade-off.

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Cut to: an establishing shot of Dunwall. This was at one time a peaceful and prosperous maritime city, which grew rich off the back of its whaling industry (whale oil is the main source of fuel in Dishonored's world). However, things changed when a plague of oversized rats arrived on the scene and decimated the population. The camera pans down to reveal several of the blighters gnawing on a corpse sprawled in the middle of the street. Grim.

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In an attempt to curb the rodent population's growth, Dunwall's government grew paranoid and oppressive and began controlling its citizen's movements through sheer police brutality. This here is one of the ruling classes' most effective crowd control mechanisms - a 'Tall Boy'. It's effectively an armed officer in an enormous exoskeleton.

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