The latest Gameinformer's cover article. This seems to be something we have to keep our eyes on. After reading it, I fully expect it to be unlike anything we've seen so far.
-You play as Corvo, an assassin in a quest for revenge, after a long false-imprisonment. The game takes place in a crazy version of "17th century inspired" London.
-A first person RPG, "simulation" assassin game. From the minds behind Deus Ex, DE Invisible War, and Thief: Deadly Shadows (all of which were unique and great imo). My Impression is the game is a mix of Deus Ex, Thief, Assassins Creed, and a little Bioshock. The pictures especially remind me of HL2, which is no coincidence. Viktor Antonov, HL2's art director is the man behind City 17 look and feel. The stealthy assassination gameplay will be different for everyone. Using different powers and tactics yields much different results. "Players have both a timing-based parry and a dedicated block button for defense, and lightning-fast dagger strikes complemented by crossbows and other weapons on offense. As in many stealth games, though, a stand-up fight is your last resort." Your actions will have consequences. "You'll be notified when your actions have raised or lowered the level of chaos." There will be non-lethal ways to deal with things. You can complete missions like a butcher, or a ghost.
-Powers: Rat Swarm: You can bring forth swarms of rats to attack foes, or posses them to flee from a battle. A picture indicates you will be able to possess other animals such as dogs. Bend Time + Possession: You can say stop time as an enemy opens fire with a gun, possess him, and move him in front of his own fire and enjoy. "All projectiles are fully physics modeled." "Many powers have multiple upgrades to choose from, and you won't find nearly enough runes on a single playthrough to get everything."
-Gadgets: Razor spring traps, sticky grenades, and different types of ammo like sleep darts. "Thievery will allow you to improve your loadout with upgraded tools or passive buffs like increased carrying capacity."
-Charms: Players can only find 12 or so charms out of the 40 per each playthrough, each being random. These minor buffs give you things like a mana refill when you drink from a fountain, or a health boost from eating certain colored rats.
-"Enemies will enter from believable locations, such as a back door of a mansion." They will not spawn randomly.
-Taking your time and listening to the conversations going on around you can give you clues on side missions. There will be plenty of random events you can intervene in, or skip all together. "The levels are designed to encourage vertical experimentation; any surface at a 30-degree or shallower incline can be mantled onto, and chains and ropes can be climbed." Exploration everywhere throughout the maps leads to goodies and side missions.
-The Hound Pits pub is a hub between missions and a base for the local resistance organization. Here you can upgrade powers and gadgets, get briefed on the state of the world, and receive new missions.
-The Outsider: Is a supernatural being behind all of the game's magic. It's part devil, and part angel. The developers cite Lovecraft as an influence for it.
-Some pictures that were also in the magazine, here.