Cab: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC
Coin: Arkane Studios
I was seriosuly excited when I saw the first trailer for Dishonored.
Stunning settings, gruesome actions and a massive overtone of Bioshock to the whole affair. On top of all that there was a freaking crossbow. So when I purchased this game from my local retailer of such items, I had a little air of excitement about me. And when the shiny Blu-ray disk entered my console and I began to play, I wasn’t at all disappointed.
The first thing I noticed was how amazing the game looked. The stylised design of the characters made for a great visual experience and the settings were just as awesome to look at as they were to explore. However, as most of us have learned from previous titles: we need more than just flashy visuals to make a game.
Thankfully, Dishonored delivers gameplay in spades.
It may sound macabre, but it’s hard to explain how good it feels when your blade finds the neck or head of a guard in your way. The game features some insane death moves! In comparison to the weak melee combat of first-person titles such as Skyrim, I really liked how the connection between the weapon and enemies felt real. Jamming a blade into an enemy makes you almost wince and is infinitely more realistic than repetitively hitting one like a piñata until they finally fall. Another great thing about the gameplay in Dishonoured is that it’s instant. There’s no waiting to level up before you can hit the cool moves. You can commence the brutality from the second your character leaves his cell!
I will say that, for me, the story was outshined by the gameplay. I found that I finished the game out of the sheer enjoyment of playing, rather than any real interest in seeing how the story progressed. I do like how events would change slightly depending on the decisions you make in-game, such as when you get to the last area in the game and the guy in the boat says how he doesn’t like what I had become (you can guess my approach to each target) and shoots his gun to alert the guards to my arrival. Thanks, friend!
This does, however, give the game some replayability, which is always a plus. I wouldn’t say it made it any harder as at this point in the game as Corvo is far too overpowered for it to matter whether they knew he was there or not. This here is my one real gripe with the game. I believe I could have finished the game simply using the knife, gun and blink – your teleportation skill. This is great when you go from roof to roof, ledge to ledge just taking out guys like they’re not even there. But once you have this amazing ability there’s no real need for anything else.
The upgrades for weapons were simply useless, in my opinion, and the powers you can gain just made you invincible. If the difficulty increased during the game, then each power would have made sense, but for my second play through, where I chose no upgrades except blink level 2, proved their uselessness. Is debatable as to whether they make the game more fun but a walk in the park to me isn’t considered as fun.
There are three main ways to play through Dishonored. The first is to be stealthy and strike from the shadows. The second is to go all guns blazing and mess stuff up. The third is complete avoidance. There is an trophy awarded for going through the game without killing a single person, which I found interesting, if difficult to resist the carnage!
The twist in the game was predictable but gave me even more satisfaction when acting out the mindless rampage that followed. Sadly, this is the only part of the story that made any difference to me, which highlighted the disappointment in it being so predictable.
Whilst Dishonored has positioned itself as a new player in the stealth universe, I found it to be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying action games I’ve ever played.
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International man of mystery. And gamer.