Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
North American Release Date: October 9th, 2012
European Release Date: October 12th, 2012
Trophies: Yes, 1 | 3 | 5 | 42
Corvo Attano has been framed for murdering the Empress. With no inquiry as to why this happened, he is hauled to prison and is sentenced to death. With Dishonored being one of the rare "mainstream" IPs, does it live up to the title or is it just a farce?
Dishonored is focused all on whatever your play style is. If you are a guy that likes to rush in and get things done, you can. If you like to be all stealth like then you most certainly can. Dishonored is an assassination game where you don't actually have to kill anyone, except the targets of course. Each level is designed with multiple, and boy do not underestimate multiple, ways of completing them. Many ways to get through them, many ways to go about either killing or sneaking. It's seemingly endless. Being stealth and killing everyone each have their consequences. Being stealthy is hard, and requires enough elegance so as to not knock over every lamp or structure and alert every guard in the next room of your presence (this happens quite a bit by the way). While being a heavy-hitting steroid junkie will be easier but gets harder down the line. Again, this all depends on how you play and that should be discovered sooner rather than later. I personally think this a great idea, and causes the player to think about what their doing instead of mindlessly blowing the heads off of everyone in every room within a 10,000 mile radius.
Sure this may be fun, but it is frowned upon. But still...it's fun to kill people.
There is a number of different weapons and gadgets that can be acquired. Swords, a crossbow, a gun and more. The ranged weapons have different ammo that can be used to complete the tasks however you want (for example, the sleep darts for the crossbow). You double-wield a ranged weapon and a melee weapon. Now that I think about it, this closely resembles Bioshock 2's weapon system, they even got the weapon wheel. I know Arkane Studios worked on Bioshock 2 as well, so it makes sense that they would carry some things over. And now thinking about it even more, they copied the way you eat food by just picking it up, and how you can find coins in the levels. Dishonored also has intractable items turn gold when you are close to them, much like Bioshock does.
Not only that, but I feel Splinter Cell was ripped off here too. The way you can either kill or strangle unaware enemies mimics that of the Splinter Cell series. You can even hide the bodies after word. The problem is, Dishonored has Darksiders Syndrome. All of these features copied from other games but nothing done to improve them in anyway. It's just the same thing in another game. If you're going to copy something, at least try to make it as original as you can in a sense, don't just blatantly do it.
Now, you can also use Powers in addition to the other weapons. There are many that can be bought and again, it all depends on your play style. To acquire these powers, you need to find Runes that are scattered throughout the levels and are given as rewards for side quests. Once you buy powers, you can then upgrade them (costing more Runes). It's a nice system but just closely resembles Bioshock's plasmid system. Other than Runes, you can find Bone Charms which are like perks, and help in various ways. Getting more health from food, etc. You can find these easier by using a "heart" given to you, and shows the Runes and Bone Charms as waypoints just like the Main and Side quests. This feature works strongly to help you develop your character into what you want which is always a positive thing.
Not only can you upgrade your powers, but you can upgrade your weapons and mask as well. Instead of Runes, these cost money. You are introduced to a few people that sell things like upgrades and ammo even throughout the game. Thinking even more, you get vials that restore health and mana much like Bioshock. Just something else to note.
Also, you can take possession of animals and humans. You ever wanted to become a rat or a fish? You're gonna love using the possession ability. This just adds to the many ways a mission can be completed.
You are Corvo Attano, wrongly accused for the death of the Empress and taken to prison with a death sentence. After getting helped out of prison by faceless and unnamed characters, he is taken to a town where everyone is on Corvo's side, and they help him (or tell him what to do) to cause justice. Right off the bat, the way you are accused is so cheesy that it made me laugh a little. "What's this? He's near the dead body? Off to jail with him then". It could've been written a little better than that. The story as a whole is interesting but it doesn't carry the game. The highpoint of Dishonored lies in the gameplay.
While playing you discover that this dystopian future is being attacked by a rat plague that threatens most people into paranoia. Along with this, you learn how corrupt this world is and how you just want to right the wrongs that have happened. You actually can experience the rats and how they feed on people a lot throughout the game, as you try to avoid them a lot or risk having your toes nibbled off. This gives the world a lot more depth.
My minions! Attack!
My favorite part of the game has got to be the sequence in which you are introduced to the supernatural powers. I won't spoil too much, but you wake up and are speechless at the world and what's happened. And then you meet a questionable character that is basically the "powers guide". It was a great sequence that made me jump with excitement just staring at various things.
In Dishonored you get quests. These can be both Main and Side quests, and are marked as waypoints on your HUD. The quest feature functions similarly to Bethesda's other works (see The Elder Scrolls). These quests have step by step instructions that tell you how to deal with your targets in each level. In some levels you kill the target while others are different. The Side quests are interesting though, in the way you acquire them. They appear as "optional" objectives, and are given to you by various NPCs. Some NPCs you need to find throughout missions' levels and others approach you before starting the missions. This are very random and usually can pose to be quite difficult but you always get a reward for doing them (if they are given, sometimes you get optional objectives that aren't given to you).
Dishonored has a style. An art style that almost resembles Team Fortress 2 in a way. The environments are dark but maintain that cartoon feel, and adds a lot of atmosphere to the game as a whole. The character models are also proportioned against reality with large hands being frequent but that just adds to the style. Dishonored almost looks like an oil painting. The graphics closely resemble the Bioshock games as well, but it would make sense since Arkane help with the art for Bioshock 2 that Dishonored would look similar.
As you can see, it looks a lot like Bioshock's art style.
The lighting engine is absolutely beautiful in Dishonored. When outside, the sun's light gets blocked by anything that's in the way, giving it a drastically realistic feel. I was looking at a fire escape once, and the sun shone through and was blocked by each little line that was in it, as well as leaves from a nearby tree. It was a beautiful sight.
The character models are usually clean and smooth when in animation, with a few exceptions. When Samuel gets out of the boat at the end of levels he usually jumps up and down (in that "glitch" motion). And when I say jump, I don't mean that literally. I mean where you see him go up, then pop down. Dishonored also does this weird thing where you can see an enemy's shadow beneath the floor. I noticed this when I was walking up some stairs and saw an enemy going in his set walking path and could see under the floor.
The level design is also great. With the branching paths you can take to complete the missions, and really speaks to who you are as a player. For the most part, the levels are different and well thought out, with guards and collectables scattered throughout. Some of the fun of Dishonored comes from finding each route you can take.
The trophies in Dishonored are difficult, and require many many playthroughs. Though, I feel Dishonored was designed in the way to encourage multiple playthroughs and lets you experiment with different strategies. But you need to finish the game without killing or alerting anyone (except targets), without buying any supernatural powers and more. Be ready for those if you are looking to get Dishonored's platinum.
Dishonored is a semi-open world action/stealth/fighting game. It takes inspiration from various other games and mashes them into itself (inspiration is used lightly). If you are looking for a somewhat unique game (except the features in it from other games) then I would recommend Dishonored. Unfortunately what it takes from other games isn't re-imagined in anyway, it's just there. But what Dishonored is is still fun and will keep you going back for more.
Dishonored relies on its gameplay, and pulls it off greatly. It loses points for the fact that it takes from other games but then just uses them, they aren't original enough to be praised for. That being said, Dishonored is still great fun.
Despite the corny accusation, you get immersed in this world with the amount of depth that is built up with the rat plague and corruption in general. The story however is rather weak and predictable.
Cartoony graphics work decently well, but the lighting engine is where the game shines (no pun intended). The stealth features work nicely as well, and it feels well made. It's also nice to see developers can take the time to design great levels as well.