Dishonored (Arkane Studios)
Systems: PC, PS3, Xbox360 Release Date: October 9th, 2012
ESRB: M for Mature
“The raw hunk of meat that used to be my enemy makes a sound, and I know where the mouth is. And I think the word he’s trying to say is ‘please’. Pity, not vengeance sends my arrow flying into his skull.”
― Suzanne Collins
You’ve just returned from an important expedition you have enough time to play with the young princess you’ve watched over for years before the Queen that you’ve sworn to protect and possibly love is killed before you. the next thing you know your being blamed for her death and soon you’ll meet her fate as well. that is until a mysterious stranger know only as “the outsider” shows up and gives you powers to take your vengeance ..or not. what follows is a bloody rampage against your enemies as you fight to bring down the corrupt government that has taken everything from you.
over all the premise and world of Dishonored is fantastic and really interesting. had they released it as a book series I’d be eagerly awaiting the next compelling chapter in the series. as for now tho I’m disappointed, for all the hinted at lore and the expansive world your only given a teasing glimpse at what could be. your quest takes prime priority and that involves Killing every guy that played a part in the queens murder.
which brings me to the biggest complaint I have in Dishonored, holding back. your given super natural abilities that allow you to be a god assassin. you can teleport take control of rats, leap between building, even stop time. all masterful tools at silently killing everyone in your path. now Dishonored is a stealth game but to kill even a handful of guards will garner you the “bad” ending which to me wasn’t so “bad” but more on that later. while you can apparently play Dishonored without killing anyone I found the game to be much more enjoyable being the viscous specter of death. I silently and ruthlessly hunted down everyone in my path and the game gave me the ability to do that in spades; there was nothing I couldn’t over come with the right use of abilities and weapons. For those of you out there that want the good ending, be prepared for loooots of waiting and sitting in the shadows for the enemies to bumble past.
going back to the teasing glimpses at the world of Dishonored there are two major plot devices/characters in the story that are not only not given enough explanation but also no closure. these two characters are “the outsider” and the mystical whales that are the fuel source and in a strange way the gods of the dishonored world. as far as the outsider is concerned all you really know is he’s ancient and he gave you the powers you needed to succeed. other than that he only returns to mock or make vague comments about your actions, and by the end of the adventure you are no more clued in to his motivations than you were at the beginning, some might call this mysterious but I call it Lazy writing.
the other character is the mystic whales, much like the outsider they play an important role to the world around you. spoken about in reverence and then occasionally talked about in a few of the many ‘written’ books throughout the city, you’ll only glean almost the same information you did about the outsider “they are older than old, and they fuel everything” add in that their bones power up your abilities and once more no further involvement or explanation and we have a case of the developers getting to wrapped up in “Corvo’s” (the main character) story and not the world he lives in. for a pseudo RPG stealth action game Dishonored teases to much at a world that is beyond its main character.
to say some good things, the exploration in Dishonored is really enjoyable and there are plenty of collectibles and lots of different pathways that lead to the goal at the end of every level. without spoiling anything the good ending seems out of place in a game that is steeped in shadows, blood and Oil, while the bad ending feels right in the setting. doing first person parkor right while not being as in depth as “mirrors edge” was an interesting feat but it can be slightly marred by the disorientating teleportation during combat.
Overall I suppose I’d say to rent dishonored if you can. it is an enjoyable game and some gamers might really enjoy the stealth parts tho there are better games in the genre.
[ – ] Story: alot of good things that ultimatly go no where, an interesting look into a dark world that gets to caught up in being a “blockbuster” that it forgets to explain some of the most important parts.
[+] Graphics: decent graphics make everything look dark moody and just unreal enough to not be uncanny valley. the alleys are dark and the blood is flowing
[+/- ] Gameplay: being penalized for being an assassin in a game about being an assassin was a bad choice, the environments and how you interact with them is great and should be looked to for future games, also combat is pretty clunky.
[+] Replayablity: there are a few collectibles in the game and going back to get a different ending or just to take a different route through the story is worth a play through or two.
[ – ] Opinion: I had high hopes for dishonored and found them dashed at a game that ended up being to shallow to satisfy the premise. worth a play through but not a buy unless you must have everything arkane/bethesda works on.
I rate Dishonored a solid 2 1/2 Kupo!