We don't like it when things sound too good be to true. For instance, we'll never forget the time IHOP's Nutella Crepes cruelly stabbed us in the back by boring a hole in our intestines. The world is a disappointing, briefly delicious place, so we prefer to approach it with caution. That said, Arkane Studios' Dishonored sounds so freaking amazing.
On paper. It sounds amazing on paper. We say that because, well, aside from a few paragraphs, there's not too terribly much to go on at this point. Skepticism senses tingling, right? But that's because you haven't read this next bit yet. (Unless you have. In which case, thanks a lot for ruining the effect, jerk.)
The game's being described as “the antithesis of an edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster ride.” Not in a bad way, though! It's simply not following in the combat-crusted bootprints of Modern Warfield 3: Honor on the Homefront, co-starring the explosions from Transformers 3. Instead, Deus Ex cybermind Harvey Smith and Half-Life 2 City 17 architect Viktor Antonov – among others – are silently slicing out their own piece of the FPS pie with a “a game about assassination where you don't have to kill anyone.”
In a nutshell, it's all about options. “The trick is that a single power doesn’t just do damage or heal you,” reads Game Informer's blowout. “You can combine them organically to create interesting effects. Stop time and knock a bunch of stuff off a table in one direction then book it in another, so the guards search for you in the wrong place. Summon a swarm of rats to attack one guard, but possess one of the rats and escape in the chaos. Every problem has as many solutions as you want it to.”
Meanwhile, Dishonored ties everything together with a pseudo-morality-system. That is to say, the game won't ever go ton-of-bricks heavy handed and say, “Here is an obviously good choice, and here is baby hugging a puppy while discussing his plans to grow up and cure cancer standing precariously close to a woodchipper. We know it's tough. Take your time.” Instead, a “behind-the-scenes” system takes into account the amount of violence you use over the course of the game and changes the world/story accordingly.
So yes, we like the sound of this quite a lot. And probably more than that. For now, though, Bethesda's only rolling up in its van and offering us all the candy in the world. Who knows where the van – or videogame or whatever – will actually go, though? Time will tell. Fingers crossed that this one's more “too good” and less ”to be true.”