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Dishonored: seven amusing ways to fail completely and die

Buying this in October? Learn from Ed's mistakes

It's often claimed that the best games are those which give you multiple ways to succeed, letting you experiment with their systems rather than asking you to jump through hoops. A strange kind of over-compensatory mindset results, disdainful of simple solutions. Don't just open that door, damn it - pick the lock, phase-jump through the wall or convince the door to open itself, using your Codpiece of Speechcrafting. Do the obvious bloody thing, and you might as well be playing Drawl of Shooty.

I've always found this idea troublesome. One does not gauge a man's worth by how he performs in times of prosperity, and the same must apply to videogames. The best indication of a title's quality isn't how it's possible to win, surely, but how it's possible to lose: any specimen of the craft that makes failure and (generally by extension) death consistently entertaining is a definite cut above. That's why I like Dark Souls so much, I guess. I certainly gave it time to shine.

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Bethesda and Arkane's steampunk opus Dishonored is so many cuts above it's in serious danger of slicing its own arm off. Set in a sort of post-industrial-revolution Tamriel where despotism is the norm and whale grease the commodity of choice, it sees you deploying magic, gadgets and ninja athleticism to hunt down and slaughter various well-defended bigwigs.

I went hands-on with the game yesterday for 45 minutes, and took the opportunity to put my patented "failure = success" theory to the test. Repeatedly. Thanks to PR man "Nick" for at no point saying anything remotely along the lines of: "You suck at this game more than any man has ever sucked at anything to which 'sucking' is an applicable verb. You must never, ever be allowed to play it ever, ever again."

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