The Many Lives of Corvo Atano

Written by Joe Martin

September 3, 2012 | 08:18

Tags: #dishonored #dishonored-preview

Companies: #arkane-studios #bethesda #bethesda-softworks

The Many Lives of Corvo Atano

A Dishonored Preview

I got to play Dishonored recently, getting a full hour with one level from the game in which I tried several approaches and enjoyed several desperate failures...

The first of Corvo Atano’s many lives starts brusquely, ends quickly. He hops off the boat as quickly as he can, dashes up the dock and with full-force collides into a pair of guards. They immediately recognise his mask and start to sound the alarm, drawing swords and - since it seems like there’s only one thing to do, Corvo waves his hand.

Everything stops.

Smiling, Corvo delves his into his arsenal. He’s seen this done before, all he has to do is grab his crossbow and put one round in each their faces. Where is it? Oh, there i--

The Many Lives of Corvo Atano
Click to enlarge

Too late. The guards sweep back to life and cut in close. His mask flashes warnings and screams for him to gulp a restorative, but he’s too busy running. He’s doing that right until the moment a bullet catches him in the back, sending him to the cobbles with a sickening spin.

The second life of Corvo Atano unfolds a little more delicately. He creeps up the stone steps only after listening closely to what his man, Samuel, tells him - that once he’s off the streets and into his target’s mansion then the masquerade party will let him hide in plain sight. Armed with this advice and having learned his lesson, he creeps along the docks more slowly and inches his way up to the street. It seems like the only thing to do, really.

Uncertain which way to go, Corvo II ducks into a nearby house. It’s dark, derelict and vaguely dangerous...but a staircase leads up and he follows it. A crazed and plagued beggar jumps from the shadows, but armed with nothing but frenzy he’s hardly a threat. Corvo II doesn’t even slow down until he finds an open balcony which affords him a view of the night. The glow of lights and susurrus of distant revelry mark his destination on the opposite side of the canal - but how to get there when the streets are full of guards?

The Many Lives of Corvo Atano
Click to enlarge

Corvo considers his arsenal again. He decides to Blink.

Peering around the edge of the building, Corvo II spots the nearest accessible rooftop and, focusing fiercely he -i]blink[/i]- moves there through sheer will. A scramble over the tiles, a leap to the next rooftop and -blink- soon enough he’s -blink- made it to the other side of the canal using just the tips of the -blink- lamposts. Below him, at street level, the gate to the mansion grounds is just a few feet away. Getting inside would be simple, except...

Except for the guard patrolling the street below him, standing high on angular metal stilts and armoured all over. Oblivious, his head is just a few feet out of reach and with a longer sword there’d be no trouble at all. Maybe the crossbow would still do the job anyway...but maybe not. Corvo II stops and thinks it over, but there’s only one thing for it - he drops straight onto the guard’s back, blade in hand and hopes desperately he can finish the fight before it starts.

He swings.

He misses.
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