Gamescom 2012: Dishonored is Eurogamer's Game of the Show

Plus other honorable mentions.

Gamescom is over! Well, it was actually over a while ago now - Tom P, Wes and I have just emerged from a sausage-induced slumber and realised that in the haze of pork, thimbles of beer and video games we never got round to naming EG's Game of the Show.

Somewhat pleasingly, it hasn't been the most straightforward of choices. We're supposed to be in a bit of a cross-generational slump right now, as a fairly mediocre E3 attested, and at Gamescom it was easy to think that we'd get to see that slump depress a little further in what's traditionally a less spectacular show.

That really wasn't the case. Capcom dazzled with the announcement of Remember Me, an IP it'd taken when the French developed project was without a publisher and was, somewhat fittingly, known as Adrift. Ninja Theory's DmC was its sparkling jewel, though, and it looks increasingly likely that this reboot will have those early critics munching their own words.

Sony, meanwhile, wouldn't be content with announcing just one new IP, instead offering four surprises. There was Rain, the artful PSN game from Sony's Japan Studio who'll also be producing the charming, hand animated Puppeteer. Until Dawn, a schlocky Move exclusive game from Supermassive, looked to have its tongue firmly embedded in its cheek, but it was Media Molecule that really stole the show.

The Vita's had some of the PlayStation's hottest brands in the shape of Uncharted and Resistance, but it's never really had Sony's hottest developers (I'd happily excuse Studio Liverpool from that crass generalisation, but well... God, it's too soon and I'm welling up just thinking about all that). Tearaway changes all that with a top-tier developer working on a bespoke portable experience.

It's a bloody charming one too, and it puts paid to the myth that as the current generation winds down we're running out of fresh ideas. Gamescom as a whole did that, too, with exciting indies such as Hawken or brilliant mash-ups like Marvel Heroes or Dragon Commander showing there needn't be a quiet before the next-gen storm. You may have had to look a little harder for it, but the thrill of the new was as present as ever this year.

Eurogamer's Game of the Show Gamescom 2012: Dishonored

Dishonored gameplay video - the stealthy way

Which might make it seem a little odd that Eurogamer's Game of the Show at Gamescom wasn't anything particularly new to any of us - it's been over a year, in fact, since we first saw it. And there's even something a little retrograde in what it's trying to achieve, conjuring as it does a heyday of gaming that bubbled excitingly as the century turned.

But it doesn't matter that Dishonored leans on older classics, and nor does it matter that at this point in its lifecycle it's a known quantity. Few other games bring together so many different elements so very well, and few have the ambition that's displayed by the team at Arkane. What's most impressive, though, is how the towering ambition that many of us felt could cripple the game looks like it's well on its way to being realised.

Dishonored's a stealth game, but it's a uniquely empowering one - you're free to skulk in the shadows, but you're also free to turn the game on its head at any point with its bewildering array of supernatural powers. Teleport through the streets, possess your way through a throng of security or spoil a party by introducing a swarm of flesh-hungry rats. Here's a game that's happy for you to play on your own terms rather than fussily enforcing its own, and for that reason it's one of the brightest prospects of 2012. We'll have a handful of more impressions for you this coming Monday.

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