New IP’s this late in a console cycle are extremely rare and being successful are even rarer, but Arkane Studios looks to break this trend with their game Dishonored. Dishonored is a stealth action game, giving players the choice to either slink around the shadows or in killing every one in sight. Dishonored in set in a Victorian era London, but Dunwall is not what it seems to be. Dunwall’s citizens are being terrorized by a rat plague that has been killing its citizens. The rat plague is obviously caused by rats that eat their victims and turn them into flesh eating monsters.
In Dishonored, you play as Corvo Attano, the bodyguard of the Empress and her daughter Emily. When the Empress is assassinated, Corvo is framed and sentenced to execution by the Lord Regent. Faced with death, and mysterious group aids Corvo and helps him escape from prison to save Emily and the Empire. Soon after Corvo is contacted by a mysterious figure only known as “The Outsider” and receives powers to complete his mission.
The city of Dunwall has an interesting art style on it that may not be for everyone. Personally I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t impress me either, and I know I’m in the minority in this. Powered by the Unreal Engine 3, I think Arkane could have made some of the textures, and character models look better.
Dishonored has been greatly advertised as being a “chose your own path” game and while it is generally true, players can chose how to approach each mission, but towards the end of the game, the choices are reduced to kill or not kill. While this is not a huge issue for me, it is annoying when a game doesn’t deliver what it’s advertising and essentially becomes very linear. These linear parts were boring and felt like a chore compared to the assassination missions of the beginning of the game. However during the assassination missions, Dishonored does give the player a choice on how to take care of each target. During one mission I was tasked to assassinate two men, and while I simply could have killed the two men, I was given another possibility to let them live, but still successfully complete the mission. Finally, although I complained about the latter half of the game being linear, and having simple choices, the “kill or not kill” part actually effects gameplay in later missions. Kill too many guards, and you’ll have more plague victims to deal with. Knock out guards, and have fewer victims. It seems simple when I write it out here, but it really has an effect on the later missions as plague victims prove to be a challenge.
Speaking of how to take care of foes, the combat of Dishonored is well done. The sword and gunplay works well. It is clear that Arkane intended for this game to at least be played through twice; once a stealthy playthrough and one with lots of action because both approaches are equally rewarding. There’s as much satisfaction in sneaking through an enemy guard patrol as there is in going in and slaughtering them all in a brutal fight. Either way presents a challenge as the enemy AI is exceptionally done. While sneaking through, if you are caught, the guards are realistic. The AI is not relentless. If you manage to get away from the guards, they will be on alert and look for you, but they will eventually give up and return to their normal activities. On the other hand, if you fight the enemies they prove to be a challenge but not impossible if the player uses his resources correctly.
Dishonored is definitely an interesting game. The mission design is open world at the beginning but it gets progressively linear throughout the game, which hurts the “fun” factor because the best parts of the game come from taking your own approach to every different assassination. The story isn’t very engaging, and the art style may not be for everyone but the gameplay really saves this game and that warrants a “rent” in my opinion.
Did you play Dishonored? Disagree or agree with my opinion, let me know in the comments below. Thanks for Reading!