Can one of the years most anticipated games live up to the hype? Read on to see if Dishonored truly is deserving of its praise.
You take control of Corvo Attano, trusted bodyguard to the Empress returning from a mission to gather help to cure the rat plague. He fights to clear his tarnished name, overthrow those responsible for framing him and to rescue the kidnapped Lady Emily.
You work with the Empire Loyalists, a team who believe you are innocent and the only one capable of overthrowing the Lord Regent and bringing Lady Emily to the throne. With your name soiled, you’re given a mask to cover your true identity and are bestowed powers by The Outsider, a mysterious higher being with a cult following.
Your actions will affect how those around you react to you, whether or not they’ll be scared or friendly. This will also affect your story and the way it ends, offering multiple playthroughs for those who want to experience everything.
Much of the story is told through journals, books, audiographs and letters. Plenty of this information is important to the story and helps explain Dunwall.
You are introduced to many quirky characters but rather than being fleshed-out with reasons to care about them, they are one-dimensional and are mostly there to push the plot forward and give you places to shop.
Even characters hugely important to the plot such as Lady Emily and The Outsider are only briefly touched on. Their reason for being there being is clear but beyond that they seem redundant and only remain to fill out the also rather paper-thin plot.
The gameplay is where Dishonored shines most, encouraging stealth and the use of multiple weapons and magical abilities to creatively remove enemies and complete stages.
Your abilities includes several tricks such as possessing animals and humans, teleportation, being able to slow and stop time whilst your arsenal involves a crossbow which offers incendiary bolts for groups, sleep darts for stealth and normal bolts for discreet killing, grenades, a pistol and your trusty sword which is always equipped.
Creativity is where you’ll find most satisfaction from Dishonored. For example, you can stop time, place a bomb on a rat, possess the rat and run in to a group of enemies to blow them apart.
Powers and skills are enhanced with Runes and Bone Charms which can be found by using the talking heart that you carry around which beats as you come closer to these items.
The gameplay is very reminiscent of Bioshock as it is quite like using the wrench and plasmids again, but the ability to climb specifics areas of the environment add a new layer and allow you to stealth with ease. It’s been likened to Assassin’s Creed but it’s more along the lines of a slower Brink. You cannot climb walls, but you’ll find yourself climbing many crates and chains as you prowl through a stage.
The art style is also very reminiscent of Bioshock, especially in the character design where faces are almost caricature-like, giving an oddly animated appearance in a very serious setting.
Although the graphics aren’t the sharpest or most breath taking, the art style entices you to look in every nook and cranny, as you never know what you may come across in Dunwall, the fictional town Dishonored is set in.
The world of The Outsider is a sight to behold and really stands out next to the run-down ruin that is Dunwall. This world will see you jumping across floating stairways and platforms as you find your way back to the real world.
The strongest point of the audio is the voice-acting. Arkane Studios have managed to rope in several famous personalities to help bring characters to life such as Susan Sarandon, Chloe Grace Moretz and Billy Lush.
The constant chattering of NPC’s will keep you entertained with their varied conversations and they help bring in an extra layer of personality that is lost with Corvo being mute and never adding to any conversation.
Gunshots and explosions are satisfying and so are the sword combat effects as you parry and slice enemies, adding a layer of authenticity that never cease to amaze, unless of course you decide to do a no-kills playthrough where you may never once fire a pistol to take a life.
The game lasts roughly 6-8 hours if you don’t do many side-missions or explore but it can easily last twice that if you’re thorough.
There are no multiplayer or co-operative modes but there are 4 difficulty levels that test your ability as an assassin, and although Dishonored has set the bar in terms of gameplay for future installments, I’d like to see a sequel that takes our choices in to account in a similar style to Mass Effect.
|Stay classy, Russia. Although Rob said he did this too. Naughty.|
Mitchell is a freelance journalist and senior moderator at Playfire. You can find more of his work at http://mitchjay92.blogspot.co.uk/ or contact him at www.playfire.com/mitchjay1992.