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This article is about the video game, Dishonored. You may be looking for the mission, Dishonored.
General information
Developer(s) Arkane Studios
Publisher(s) Bethesda Softworks
Release date(s) NA October 9, 2012

FRA October 9, 2012
AU October 11, 2012
EU October 12, 2012

Genre Action-adventure, stealth
Production information
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Input method(s) Gamepad, keyboard & mouse

Dishonored is a first-person stealth action video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was released from October 9 to October 12, 2012 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Harvey Smith, known for his involvement in the Deus Ex series, and Raphael Colantonio, founder of Arkane Studios and contributor to such games as Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, are the lead creative designers for Dishonored.


Set in the plague-ravaged city of Dunwall, Dishonored follows the story of Corvo Attano, the last bodyguard to Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Framed for her murder and the abduction of her daughter, Emily, Corvo is falsely imprisoned by the Empress' Royal Spymaster and usurper, Hiram Burrows.

Six months later, on the eve of his execution, Corvo escapes confinement with the help of a shadowy group of loyalists who seek to eliminate those involved in the assassination of the Empress and restore Emily to the throne. He is further assisted by an enigmatic god called The Outsider, who grants him Supernatural Abilities for reasons equally mysterious.

Corvo takes on the role of fearful and infamous assassin as he pursues members of the coup one by one--but whether he is out for justice or revenge is another question. Dishonored features multiple endings, which are dependent on Corvo's actions and player choice throughout the course of the game.


Main article: Abilities
Main article: Missions
Dishonored (Corvo)

Corvo pursuing a target.

The focus of Dishonored is on affecting the world and the narrative primarily through Corvo's actions, and how he accomplishes each of his missions. Corvo has extensive variety of weapons at his disposal, as well as supernatural abilities. Assassination kills fill up an adrenaline gauge, and once it is full, players can increase his combat prowess. At the same time, Corvo can approach any mission with stealth in mind, sneaking through the environment without being detected.

Each of the world's environments focuses on verticality, enabling the player to experience the entirety of a level from sewer systems and waterways to rooftops. Players can use Corvo's free-running expertise to scale buildings, slide under obstacles and sprint across platforms, with certain supernatural abilities further augmenting his movements.

Many areas are open to exploration; hidden rewards and experiences await for more adventurous players to find.


Tallboys flames

A demonstration of the city life in high chaos.

Dishonored features a chaos system that tracks the game's world-state, and is directly affected by Corvo's choices during his missions. The more destructive his actions, the more chaotic the world becomes.

Some actions are less chaotic, such as killing a guard and hiding his body in a dumpster, whereas raising an alarm or killing a civilian in broad daylight provokes a greater response. The opposite is also true, and there are side-missions which, if executed properly, will lower existing chaos.

Changes in chaos level may result in in-game adjustments (such as altered rat populations or slight differences in dialogue). Noticeable consequences may also result, such as more guards appearing on patrols or characters changing the way they interact with Corvo. When chaos reaches critical levels, bedlam ensues: NPCs begin to attack each other, rats swarm the area, and the world through which Corvo moves becomes nightmarish.

How "chaotically" a player decides to play is entirely voluntary. Players can be extremely disruptive, sewing creating death and destruction, or take a subtle approach, even completing the game without killing anyone. Chaos is a measure of stability rather than morality, meant to highlight the plight of the crumbling city in which Dishonored takes place.

Artificial intelligence

Raphael Colantonio has described Dishonored's artificial intelligence as "analog AI," meaning AI personalities are structured along a spectrum, instead of on/off states, and adapt to the environment. For example, two conversing guards may have narrower "vision cones" and duller hearing than their patrolling counterparts, and are therefore less likely to notice Corvo than those on patrol. Light, mental state, ambient noise and other elements all affect how the AI reacts.

Art Design

Viktor Antonov, the game's visual design director, is best known for his work in Half-Life 2, designing much of the architecture and technology present in City 17. Antonov has noted that he wanted Dunwall to have a Lovecraftian feel, and drew some inspiration from Half-Life 2 at the request of the production team.[citation needed]

According to Antonov, Dishonored derives inspiration for its art style from books and artwork, as opposed to video games and films--this emerges in the game's stylized, oil painting design. The game's overall design was influenced by the now defunct Looking Glass Studios, the company where many of the game's developers (including Smith) began their careers.[citation needed]



A cartographer's map of the world of Dishonored.

The world of Dishonored consists almost entirely of water, aside from the Isles, a group of islands in the northwest region of the world. There is also the Pandyssian Continent, a giant land mass to the southeast of the Isles.

Corvo's tale takes place in Dunwall, the capital city of Gristol. The central hub to which he continually returns between missions is known as the Hound Pits Pub, a drinking establishment in a quarantined district.

Harvey Smith describes Dishonored's aesthetic as "retro-future-industrial", combing influences from 17th century England, modern Orwellian dystopia, and anachronistic technology. This presents itself as spindled armatures, walls of light, and buggy-like vehicles.

The environment is intended to be a storied backdrop and an interactive canvas, rather than a blank stage on which the action takes place. Stately monuments dot the city, while graffiti splashes red-bricked buildings. Prostitutes canvas neighborhoods where overturned dumpsters litter the streets, and corpses wait to be thrown into the sea. Dishonored's world telegraphs pieces of information about the world to the player, while also allowing them to interact with it in a meaningful, logical manner.

Downloadable Content

Main article: Downloadable Content

Dishonored has four primary DLC packs, each with different themes and content. Dunwall City Trials contains mission-based mini-games based on the world of Dishonored. Void Walker's Arsenal contains all in-game bonuses originally given out with pre-ordered copies of the game. The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches follow the story of Daud, antagonist and nemesis to Corvo, who must solve a mystery given to him by the Outsider before his time--and the Empire's--runs out.


Won / Received

Spike TV - Video Game Awards 2012

  • Best Action/Adventure Game[1]

The PC Gamer - Game of the Year Awards 2012

  • The Singleplayer Shooter of the Year[2]
  • The Best NPC Barks of the Year (Spoof award)[3]

The Edge Awards 2012

GameSpot's Best Games of 2012

  • Action/Adventure Game of the Year[5]
  • PS3 Game of the Year[6]
  • XBOX 360 Game of the Year[7]

Machinima - Inside Gaming Awards 2012

  • Best Environmental Design[8]

IGN - Best of 2012

  • Best Overall Action Game[9]
  • Best PC Action Game[10]
  • Best Xbox 360 Action Game[11]

Game Informer - Top 50 Games Of 2012

Official Xbox Magazine - Game of the Year Awards 2012

  • Best Original Game[13]

The Escapist - Jimquisition Awards 2012

  • Outstanding Game of the Year[14]

Yahoo! Games - Best of 2012 Awards

  • Best Action/Adventure Game[15]

Forbes - The Best Video Games Of 2012

  • Game of the Year[16]

CNET - The Top 11 Games of 2012

  • #1 Game in the Top 11[17]

Mirror Online - Top 10 Video Games of 2012

  • #1 Game in the Top 10[18]

CNN - The 10 best video games of 2012

  • #1 Game in Top 10[19]

Eurogamer Readers' Top 50 Games of 2012

  • #1 Game in the Top 50[20]

  • #1 Game in the Top PC Games of 2012[21]
  • #1 Game in the Top 10 Xbox 360 Games of 2012[22]

Ars Technica's 2012 Games of the Year

  • Game of the Year[23]

Buzz Focus - Reader’s Choice Awards: Best Video Games of 2012

  • Best Action/Adventure[24]
  • Best Game on PS3[25]
  • Best Overall Game[26]

zConnection’s Best of Gaming 2012

  • Game of the Year[27]

BAFTA Awards - Games in 2013

  • Best Game in 2013[28]


Spike TV Video Game Awards


Main article: Dishonored Videos

Pre-Release Images

Main article: Dishonored Pre-Release Images

External links


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