Anticipation and hype are often seen as the key ingredients in launching a new property in the ever-crowded games market; visibility of your product and positive word of mouth are vital to ensuring you can be heard over the background noise, but it can also be a tricky balance to maintain. Dishonored is the most high profile release from developer Arkane Studios and with a pedigree stretching back to Deus Ex and System Shock 2 it has a lot to live up to, rightly or wrongly. Thankfully the finished product is more than worth the wait. For a specific type of gamer Dishonored feels like a cool refreshing glass of water proffered up after a long trek through a desert of linear, scripted first person shooters. Prioritising freedom and choice it plays like a series of sandboxes, trusting the player to explore and daring them to experiment whilst still retaining the accessibility and streamlined nature that characterise modern games. It’s a heady blend of old and new and arguably one of the best games of the year.