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E3 2012's Most Anticipated: Dishonored

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It's all in first-person, and Corvo picks his way past the guards, who are busy trying to move the hookers along, and stands in front of the Golden Cat. The developers stop and tell us there are 7-8 different ways to infiltrate the building, but they're going to choose something a bit different.

There's a river running alongside the building, and peering down into the water our hero spots a handful of fish. Finally. A quick delve into a pop-up menu and the possess power is selected. Corvo targets one of the fish and 'becomes' the scaly beast. In fish-form he's able to swim up an inlet pipe into one of the basement rooms of the Golden Cat, after which Corvo extricates himself from the fish's body and stands inside the building.

Zoom

Our first assassination target is inside a steam-room entertaining a young lady. The developer driving the game quietly grabs and chokes the lone guard - a pleasingly slick animation that sees Corvo dash forward and execute a quick sleeper-hold, before popping the unconscious body into a fireman's lift in one fluid moment. It makes the stealth fast and aggressive, like Splinter Cell Conviction.

What does impress is how light on his feet Corvo is, even when he's carrying a body. This means you can hide sleeping enemies pretty much anywhere in the level. During the demo we see the devs stash victims on ventilation pipes (which hang down from the ceiling), in shadowy corners, and even on window-ledges. Dishonored is a corpse-hider's delight - stick that on the box, Bethesda.

Not so our second quarry. Spotting him inside a locked room Corvo once again busts out his possession power and actually enters the body of his target. He stands up from the bed and walks him out onto the balcony. Ooh, it's quite a long way down to the ground.

Zoom

Corvo then snaps out of his enemy's body and stands behind him. While the second brother stands, disoriented (some enemies will feel nauteous after possession and throw-up) Corvo quickly switches to another power and unleashes a powerful blast of wind that knocks his opponent over the railings, sending him plummeting to the street below. A crowd gathers, and Corvo uses this to his advantage, leaping off the building and - just when he's about to hit the ground - possessing one of the by-standers to break his fall. Clever.

We're then shown a taste of a few other skills, as Corvo takes the fight to the streets. He opens up a portal in the middle of the road and hordes of rats pour out, swarming over rushing attackers. He picks more off with pistol, cross-bow and blade - switching between them quickly and smoothly. Even with this efficient combat, though, Corvo still looks as if he's going to be overwhelmed.

The developer switches to the possession power for the last time, targets a rat and... well, becomes one of about fifty rats, crawling over the street. How many games let you play as a rat?

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