Today we will be looking into the latest offering from Bethesda and Arkane Studios, Dishonored.
Dishonored is a first person, action-adventure game that can be played in a stealth fashion, a straight forward attacking style, or a combination there of. For the purposes of my play through for the review, I employed the combo of the stealth and attacking style. I wanted to try the full stealth play through, but apparently I’m not patient enough for that, so that is the combination is what I went with.
As the game opens, Corvo Attano is returning from a mission seeking help from other cities to help with the plague currently ravaging Dunwall. Corvo is the most trusted bodyguard of the Empress, and was specifically selected for this mission. During his return, we get to see a lot of the sights and receive a brief tutorial after being introduced to to the Empress’s daughter Emily. Naturally, after meeting with the Empress and giving her the bad news, all hell breaks loose and the Empress is killed and Emily is kidnapped. No surprise, Corvo is framed for the crime and sentenced to death.
While sitting in your cell, one of your final meals is brought to you, complete with a note from Empire Loyalists and a cell key to aid in your escape. After dispatching with with several guards, we find our way into the sewers to track down a stash of supplies and a guide to take you to the base of the resistance group. Once there, you have to run around and talk to a number of people. I’ll be honest, this can be rather boring and tedious, along with reading the various notes and exerts from books laying around.
There are also numerous valuables laying around, whether they be items that transfer to coins when you grab them, or just piles of coins. As expected, you can use coins for weapon and equipment upgrades, ammo, and other items.
Once finished with the tour of your new home, it’s time to take a nap. C’mon now, any game that incorporates a nap is good for some bonus awesome points. While napping, Corvo meets The Outsider. The Outsider kind of looks like Johnny Depps character in that vampire movie he did recently. Anyway, The Outsider brands you with his mark, and gives you the Blink power, which lets you quickly move across a short distance, either across the ground(and over open spaces) or even up walls. He also tells us about Runes and Bone Charms. Runes are used to purchase and upgrade super powers and Bone Charms can be carried to provide bonuses such as increased powers. The Outsider also gives you The Heart, which will lead you to Runes and Bone Charms while on missions.
Once that is over, the Loyalists send you on your first mission to eliminate High Overseer Campbell. Before and during the mission, you encounter options for side missions, such as finding Granny Rags, who enlists your help against a local gang. She rewards you with Runes. What a kind, crazy old woman. And yes, she is bat shit crazy. She may also be just about blind, not entirely sure at the moment.
While I could continue to regurgitate through a few levels of gameplay here, I won’t. In all honesty, this is one of the hardest reviews I’ve had to write recently, primarily due to the great review written by our friend Eric W, which you can read here. It’s a wonderful, in depth piece about the PC version. Based on Eric’s thoughts about the PC version and what I experienced on the Playstation 3, I feel confident in saying that no matter what platform you select, you will be pleased.
There’s not a lot to complain about with Dishonored. It’s a good story, the visuals are high quality, dialogue and voice acting are very good, and I’m not normally the type of guy that nitpicks that kind of thing. The main issue that comes to mind is that it is a little on the short side. Sometimes this is a good problem to have, as usually when we’re left wanting more, it speaks to the quality of the game. That is the case here, and I have little doubt that we will be treated to some quality DLC in the future.
With that in mind, I’m going to cut this review a bit short and call it a night. Dishonored gets four stars from me. A few weeks ago, I said that Sleeping Dogs was the best game I had played in 2012 so far. Dishonored has topped it and placed itself atop my Game of the Year list for the moment. Do yourself a favor and add this to your gaming collection, it is well worth your money and your time.
Dishonored gets a five out of five: EXCELLENT.