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'Dishonored' Game: " To Kill or Not to Kill?"

Update Date: Oct 11, 2012 10:03 AM EDT

What is it that makes us distinctly human? What separates us from animals and angels? What ability both empowers us and dooms us?

It is the power of choice. We can choose to be selfish or giving, to go right or left or to be good or bad.

Now, the normally ultra-violent world of video games has given us a game in which the player, though wronged, can chose to reclaim his honor by going on a revenge soaked killing spree or through a Jedi-like non-violent path.

In the new video game Dishonored The hero (or antihero) in this interactive fantasy, Corvo, has been wrongly accused and jailed. And you can go on a killing spree in your quest for revenge. Or you can use stealth and guile. "You can literally play this game about an assassin without killing a single person," says Harvey Smith, Arkane Studios' co-creative director. "We allow all these non-violent alternate resolutions for some players who like that."

The game is a first-person shooter, and you are armed with pistols, knives, swords and magical powers. Whether you kill or not is up to you.

The game is set in a fantasy version of Victorian England and has a steampunk flavor to its environment.

Many game reviewers have extolled the joy of replaying the game with different strategies. "Some games allow you a great range of choice, and some games allow you very little. You basically follow a trail of breadcrumbs and unlock the next cinematic story moment," Smith says. "But we just had faith that players were hungry for something different."

I am sure many gamers will relish the ability to play once as the avenging Angel-of-Death and then again as a benevolent, Lone Rangeresque character.

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