Graphics and Gameplay
The feel of it is very “Bethesda”. Powered by their go-to Unreal Engine, the graphics feel very much like a combination of Fallout 3 with a touch of comic-book style like we saw in Borderlands. And for some reason, you have to escape through a sewer. What is with Bethesda and those damned sewers? You play in first person mode, as with most of their games, and you collect food, ammunition, and health kits along the way. The game focuses on stealth while using gadgets and weapons to take out the bad guys as quietly as possible. Apparently it’s possible to complete every mission in the game without any lethal moves at all… but screw that. I want to kill stuff.
Between missions you have to report to The Hound Pits Pub in the city, where you can trade your scavenged loot for weapons and upgrades. For some reason, Lord Trevor Pendelton, one of the Loyalists that helped you escape, looks like a sickly Steve Buscemi. And once you are on a mission, Dunwall is your plaything. The city is built sandbox style, so you can roam to your heart’s content. You just have to be careful of the hordes of rats that can devour a person in under a minute, or the weepers, people infected with the plague that cry blood and can lash out violently at any time. Yeah, did I mention this takes place during a plague? There are bodies wrapped in linen in every drain and tunnel in this game.
Now for the fun stuff. You can unlock powers as you go. These include the following:
- “Dark Vision” – You can see through walls.
- “Possession” – The ability to possess creatures and humans for a short time.
- “Bend Time” – Slows or freezes time.
- “Blink” – Short distance teleportation.
- “Devouring Swarm” – Summon a bunch of killer rats.
- “Wind Blast” – A gust of wind. (Kinda fus-ro-dah, eh?)
- “Shadow Kill” – Turn your victims into an ash pile to prevent them being found.
These seemed kind of lame when I first started looking into this game a few months back. But after seeing some of the videos on the Bethesda website of how they were being used, I was intrigued. Like waiting for a guard to fire at you, then freezing time, possessing the guard, moving him in front of the bullet, then releasing your powers and watching him get plugged by his own slug. It’s freaking hilarious. And they have these energy fences that the guards like to throw rats into and watch them get turned into rat tar-tar. So getting a guard between you and the fence, then using Wind Blast to send him into it is pretty effin sweet.
You can also create a swarm of rats, freeze time, possess the rats and guide them to your enemies, then release your powers and watch everyone die. Being an assassin is awesome. But being an assassin with supernatural powers is next to godliness. The game has six active powers, four passive powers, and 40 Bone Charms that allow perks in the game. You can, for instance, use a perk to make time freeze or slow for longer, or possess things longer. You can only have three of them active at once, though. So choose wisely.