Developer(s): Arkane Studios
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 & PC
Release Date: US – October 9th 2012, EU – October 12th 2012
There is one thing that I hate in games more than nearly anything else and that is invisible walls. Well thank god I am playing Dishonored because this game simply lets you find your own path any way you please.
Players take to the world of Dunwall – modeled after Victorian London, following Corvo Attano who was once a loyal bodyguard of the Empress. After her murder Corvo is set up and forced to seek revenge on the people who killed her with the help of ‘The Outsider’. The Outsider imbues Corvo with magical abilities that will help aid you on your quest for revenge.
With the powers that you have been granted players have a series of substantial decisions that need to be made, these decisions can effect how other people react and can shape your game slightly differently depending how situations are addressed. Put it this way if you don’t like the idea of killing loads of people in order to gain answers you are not forced to at all. On the other hand if you are a normal person and love just killing everything that crosses your path, that is totally fine too.
Just like most good games these days you have choices, what Dishonored does differently is it lets you choose the way you want to progress through the zone. Not just in terms of if you kill every person in the zone or if you just ignore them all, but how you can actually progress through Dunwall is truly unique. I’m a big fan of being high up and entering buildings through rooftops where there are fewer guards, others might like to simply kick down the front door and kill everyone and some might like possessing a fish and swimming through the sewers to find a sneaky entrance to a building. The choices are all there and you have hardly any restrictions to what you can do, I remember asking myself if a specific jump was achievable and at first it definitely didn’t seem so but with some perseverance I actually made it.
You have to figure it all out yourself, trial and error will come into play and sometimes you just need a little luck to stumble upon the right track. There are way point markers that show your objective but it shows you the building. The sense of freedom is amazing and its not just a huge open world game, the maps are in fact very small but the variety you have when choosing your path is like no other.
Whilst the story is interesting enough it never really grabs you but that’s okay because everything else in Dishonored is really enjoyable. The missions are always simple and straight forward but the difference in Dishonored is the way you execute your missions. You don’t necessarily need to do the dirty work yourself, you might find yourself wanting to kill a certain target but you just not wanting to get your hands dirty. There were times where people actually offered to kill my targets for me and even times when instead of simply killing my target you can sabotage them in some way which leads to their inevitable downfall.
If Dishonored has any real negatives it is the overall story. My problem is that the ending was possibly one of the most abrupt endings I have ever seen in my life. Which is a shame because I felt that the game began very strongly with an interesting narrative and some very unusual events to go with it, it just didn’t hold up towards the end.
There is one thing in Dishonored that I thought would annoy me but actually ended up working pretty well, that is the size of the maps/zones. There isn’t really a way to see the entire world you are in, you can find various maps around the game but only for specific zones. You will even find yourself revisiting these zones for additional missions and I actually got a little confused for a while, but as you start to grasp what is going on it all makes a little more sense. It seems to me that the focus was put into the zones themselves opposed to creating a huge open world, which is awesome because it allows us to find different routes and situations in such detail.
As expected Corvo has a number of various abilities that will help you with anything you could need throughout your game. There is one move that is essential and that is blink. It lets you teleport a pretty big distance in a flash and like all the abilities it can be upgraded to give more distance and other perks. You can literally run on the rooftops and dart around the map killing everything that moves if your that kind of person. There is actually a trophy/achievement for completing the game without any abilities but you can still use blink.
Other abilities such as possession let you at first take control of an animal or in most cases rodents, you can move around as this animal for a period of time allowing you to be undetected by guards or sneaking through tiny ventilation systems. There are around 10 different abilities in all and some are just essential to me personally, dark vision allows you to see enemies through walls and it shows their vision too. Some of the more basic abilities enhance your health, agility and other such things.
Corvo has a number of different kill animations that again show off how smoothly this game runs. In your left hand is where you spice things up, this is where you equip your abilities or another weapon like a gun or a crossbow.
Throughout the game there are collectibles, coins and other goodies to collect but to be honest its all about getting the money for upgrades and purchases. There is nothing that is ever too hard to find and you can find everything in a zone pretty easily.
At it’s heart Dishonored is a great game and it plays like a dream, it’s so nice to play something that feels this smooth in first person. The zones you explore all have great depth and are filled with some interesting characters, the only problem is the game has such an abrupt ending that it could leave you just wanting a little more. If you are a fan of games like BioShock or Deus Ex: Human Revolution then there is definitely something here for you, I would say this is a must play for all because you will just have so much fun.
[wpspoiler name="Achievement/Trophy Overview" style="wpui-green"]
You should know right now that if you want the platinum for this bad boy its going to require some skill and some times. It is at least 2 playthroughs unless you save often but that would be a pain. The harder trophies make you complete the game without killing anyone but key targets or being alerted.
There are some easy ones here and just from one play through normally you can get a good 50%. From taking possession of a fish to killing people with every type of weapon, there really are some fun trophies here and thankfully not to many that searching for hundreds of hidden items.