Dishonored's E3 walkthroughs show the pros and cons of using stealth.
Dishonored developer Arkane Studios has released two gameplay walkthroughs originally shown at E3, giving players a direct look into the different approaches they can take when neutralizing their targets in the steampunk magical assassination game. The two videos specifically contrast the stealthy approach against the run-and-gun solution, with each tactic applied to the same mission of assassinating two corrupt politicians in a gaudy bathhouse named The Golden Cat.
The most apparent difference between the two approaches is how much longer the stealthy assassination takes - it's over three times as long as the more direct, violent playthrough, which clocks in at about four minutes. A ten minute difference for just one mission may not seem like much, but since the fastest possible run through the full campaign is about 12 to 14 hours, it's sure to add up. Co-creative director Raphael Colantonio points out during the more violent playthrough below that the game keeps track of your playstyle and will adjust accordingly, including the ending. Furthermore, a violent playstyle is more taxing on your mana and health, requiring more careful management of restoring potions. On the other hand, you can swarm your enemies with angry rats at will.
If you decide to instead go with stealth, there are a few powers and gameplay mechanics to help you along. Blink is a short-distance teleportation power that co-creative director Harvey Smith uses frequently in the above stealth playthrough. He also points out how helpful eavesdropping can be, including updating the waypoints for your targets on the HUD. And although Smith does actually kill the targets in the stealthy playthrough, he asserts that players can play the entire game without killing a single target - in this case, they can complete a sidequest to send the two targets off to work in their own slave mines.
Regardless of how you play Dishonored, you'll probably find something the developers didn't anticipate. Both Colantonio and Smith highlight a couple of tricks invented by players in their respective playthroughs. In Smith's case, players were able to save themselves from a lethal freefall by possessing a person midair. Colantonio was similarly impressed by players using Wind Blast to knock foes' projectiles back at them. You'll be able to experiment for yourself when the game hits stores in October 9th.