- Difficulty: (Normal)
- Play style: (Stealth)
- Console: (PS3)
Dishonored is a fun game, the problem is that I just don’t care about anyone in the game while playing. It places emphasis on game mechanics and gameplay rather than focusing on the story. The game begins with a rushed introduction to the characters and plot. You play as Corvo, the protector of the empress, and her daughter Emily. As soon as you take control of Corvo and meet the empress, she is murdered and you are thrown in jail. It is now your duty to rescue Emily and extract your revenge on the people who framed you. Because the story is quickly thrust upon you, it is hard to find the desire to save Emily. She is just an means to an end. You have to save her because the game demands it. Not because you feel like Corvo needs to save her. It is also hard to feel connected to Corvo, because he never speaks. There is also a lack of satisfaction when you assassinate a target because of a lack of character development. Dishonored reminds me of those old Super Nintendo games where the story is delivered in the manual and the game is just that…a game.
It’s a good thing the game is fun to play and look at. Instead of a photorealistic environment, Dishonored goes for hand drawn art, trading the traditional virtual environment for a painted canvas. From the first mission, Arkane Studios let’s you know that the game was designed with multiple paths to complete your objective. If your job is to assassinate a police captain, you can reach him from the rooftops, sewers, underwater, or walk through the front door. I skipped an entire level in a later mission by sneaking along the outside of a building and teleported into the target’s bedroom. The branching pathways means you can play through the missions multiple times and experience something new each time. The game also gives you the choice of eliminating your target the old fashion way (killing them) or taking a non-lethal approach. In the first mission of the game you have the choice of killing a target OR branding them a heretic, making the person an outcast of society.
To help you complete the mission you have powers that you can upgrade using runes and bone charms which improve character attributes when equipped. Depending on which powers you decide to upgrade, you can spec your character to be a killing machine or a stealth agent. I choose the stealth route, trying to keep as many people alive as possible while completing the objective. Where Dishonored differs from other stealth games is what happens when you are discovered. In most stealth games when you are caught it is near impossible to fight your way out or run away. Not so in Dishonored. There were times where I was caught by a guard but I was able to fight free and make an escape. You are equipped with a crossbow, hand gun, and a sword to help you when you are on the defense. You also have powers to help you if you are more into action, including a power that summons a swarm of rats to devour enemies. While you can fight your way out of tight situations I did find the combat hard to manage when facing multiple enemies. There isn’t a lock on mechanic, and I often found myself swinging wildly hoping to hit someone and kill them before they killed me.
Dishonored is a very odd game when you think about it. If the gameplay wasn’t up to par I wouldn’t be able to recommend this game to anyone. The lack of strong story elements and inconsistencies with close quarters combat keep the game from truly standing out. However, since the game is fun to play, thanks to blend of stealth and action, it is worth a buy.
What We Like:
- Balanced mixed of stealth and action
- Branching pathways
- Visual art style
What We Didn’t Like:
- Lack of Story
- Difficulty managing enemies in close quarters combat (CQC)