When Dishonored was first announced, it had the makings of a spectacular game. The reveal trailer showcased a mix of stealth and supernatural abilities, in a fittingly dark, rat-plagued society. Playing as the protector turned convict Corvo, Dishonored allows players to accomplish missions and objectives through stealth and shadows, or brute force with pistols, crossbows, and daggers. Framed and left for execution, Corvo finds himself allied with mysterious forces that grant him with supernatural abilities that he uses to vanquish his foes.
Here is flydrs take on Dishonored. Possible minor spoilers ahead.
Dishonored is a first-person game, with no option to enter into a 3rd-person perspective. While this isn’t condemning of the game, it is a surprising that a 3rd-person viewpoint wasn’t included, especially considering many similar games allow players to toggle between the perspectives. First and foremost, however, this is a game that gives players the ability to make choices. Players can approach missions as an assassin whose goal is to avoid detection. The supernatural abilities that corvo picks up along the way greatly aid this stealth approach, such as the ability to see enemies through walls, or the blink ability which allows Corvo to teleport over certain distances. On the opposite end of the spectrum, players can rush in hacking, slashing, and shooting their way to the next target. Of course, on harder difficulty settings this can be problematic, but with the right strategy and abilities, even the hardest enemies can be dispatched.
Aside from the general stealth vs. kill everyone approach, the player also has quite a bit of freedom in navigating across the different locales to reach their next assassination target. The number of routes that can be taken is impressive, as well as the manner in which Corvo gets there. The possession ability allows Corvo to take control of different creatures like a fish or a rat, which are alarmingly abundant. These creatures once possessed, can travel through and reach areas that were previous inaccessible. Enemies will not be completely unaware of your presence, however, and will even attack you in rat form, for instance. There are also different paths that can be taken, aside from the possession ability. The blink ability, especially in conjunction with the agility ability, allows access to rafters, rooftops, and other areas that allow a sneaky entrance. The level of freedom that players have in a relatively linear game is indeed impressive.
Graphics and visuals don’t make a game, but any shortcomings in this department are going to be noticeable, especially a game like Dishonored where other games have set the bar pretty high up. Make no mistake, Dishonored is not a bad looking game, and there is an attention to detail that is noteworthy, but overall the graphics and visuals fall short of other titles at this point in the PS3 and Xbox 360’s lifespan. As was mentioned, there is a nice level of detail, from the insects scurrying about, to the rain effects. At the same time, however, the character models could use a touch-up, and other effects like the blood need improvement. In the end, the graphics are not something that should deter fans from Dishonored, but one would be remiss to not mention the visual characteristics of the game.
The way in which you play Dishonored ultimately effects the outcome of the game. The more people that you kill, the greater the rat plaque becomes, and thus effects the ending of the game. To that end, the game can be played in two distinct ways, a stealth run and the eliminate anyone and everyone path. Missions can be replayed, which is a nice feature. Whether it be wanting to make it through undetected, or finding all of the special items in a particular area, the ability to replay a mission is a plus. Absent, however, is the new game + option, which might turn off some fans. In addition, there isn’t an online mode, which isn’t surprising given the nature of the game, but certainly takes away some replay value. While there hasn’t been any concrete details on DLC, it’s likely there will be something added to the game in the future, which will help to bolster what the game has to offer and entice fans to keep playing. Overall, given the fact that you can play through the game a 2nd time to see alternate ending, and experiment with a different play style, Dishonored has decent but not exceptional replay value.
Dishonored is a solid game that fans of stealth / assassination games should pick up. The various powers that can be acquired are definitely fun to use, and the choices the player has to take on each mission are noteworthy. Sure there are some hiccups when it comes to the visuals and the lack of a 3rd-person option, but these are certainly not condemning of the game. The replay value of the game is a bit limited compared to other titles that have recently come out, but future DLC should help tighten up that aspect of the game. Fans looking for a quick fix should definitely rent before buying, and enjoy what Dishonored has to offer.
8.25 / 10 – Good, not great.
Here is some older gameplay footage to give an idea of the style of the game. Since it’s an older video, there won’t be much in terms of spoilers. Enjoy!