Bethesda and Arkane Studios bring us one of the most anticipated games this year, of course we talk about Dishonored. A title that promises a lot. This game was released on October 9 of 2012, for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms. This time we bring you the review of the PC version that is available on Steam. So buy or rent? We’ll see!
Dunwall city is quarantined due to a plague, rats everywhere infecting and killing more than half of the population, its origin is a mystery. Corvo Attano, imperial bodyguard returns after spending time away from the capital serving a mission for the Empress. Out of nowhere a group of assassins appear, the Empress is murdered in front of Corvo. Emily, the heir to the throne abducted by mysterious attackers. Blamed and jailed for a crime he did not commit, everything seems to be a plot to take power.
But there are still allies and loyalists to the late Empress that will help you escape from prison, including a mysterious individual known as “The Outsider” who will give you a supernatural gift. Using these new powers Corvo embarks on this revenge with several unique twists that will surprise you.
Dishonored is a game in first-person stealth action which presents a fictional world with a Victorian style of the early century with steampunk technology which uses whale oil for everything; from turrets, vehicles, street lamps, walls of light, etc..
A similar style to Bioshock‘s steampunk theme. Developers said that game was their inspiration, but do not get carried away just for that. The gameplay is very different and in no way can be compared as to which is better, both games are like water and oil.
While Bioshock is a first person shooter, Dishonored has a stealthy gameplay similar to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but much more refined that rewards the player and gives you different options in which you can complete a mission.
An example of this is the golden cat mission, there are at least 7 different ways to infiltrate the building and that’s only in stealth mode. Possessing animals or people, using sewers or roofs and the ability to teleport. This gives you a little idea of the amount and variety there is to complete a mission.
There are two game modes or choices for you to play, the stealth path and the blood path, both have pros and cons.
Bloody path will give you lots of fun, whether you electrocute enemies with walls of light, using swarms of rats, sending enemies flying away with your powers or even combinations of weapons and powers. This is called Creative Kills. Eg; summon rats, stop time, planting a bomb in a rat and possess it, go against an enemy and BOOOOM!
The stealth path is a major challenge, kill and hide the bodies so guards don’t find them sounding the alarm and calling for reinforcements, or even complete the game without a single murder which adds an even greater challenge to the game, the last game mode is rewarding and offers a great challenge.
The chaos system as the developers call it, changes things so radically, if you decide to take the bloody path there will be more people infected (weepers) and rats roaming in the streets, something I liked a lot is all the choices you can make, the game adapts to the way you play.
Although this is not an open world like Skyrim, Dishonored encourages exploration, such as picking clues, side quests, collecting runes or finding different ways to advance through the mission.
Reading books, notes and journals allow us to learn and understand more about the history and the environment around us, listening to conversations of different characters and guards give us clues and enrich the experience of what happens in the city.
The controls are not bad, very responsive. In my case i used an Xbox 360 control pad to play, I’m not very fond of using the keyboard and mouse.
Aside from steampunk technology the game combines supernatural elements as bone runes and amulets which are hidden everywhere throughout the game, these increase your paranormal abilities. The runes will allow you to acquire and improve these skills, Bone Amulets will let you get improvements such as speed movement, more health or mana recovered by using potions, etc.
The powers include “Blink”, a form of short range teleportation, very useful for climbing buildings, jumping and even in combat. “Bend Time” allows you to slow and stop time. “Devouring Swarm” gives you a lot of control rats to devour your enemies. “Possession” will allow you to take control of animals or humans for a short period of time. These are just some of the active and passive abilities you can obtain.
Something interesting is that you cannot get all the abilities or upgrade them all right at the beginning, which gives a balance to the game and lets you focus on powers that suit your style of play. If you prefer to take the stealth path Bend Time and Blink are essential, or if you like to kill anything that’s in front of you, Devouring Swarm and possession are a killer combo!
Something great are dynamic events, the characters can be in different areas of the building or your target can be one of several characters in certain missions, all randomly generated. This gives a unique replay value to this title after completing the story by the first time.
The graphics may not be something spectacular, but they are not bad. During the time I played, i never got to see a single texture in low resolution or pixelated, which speaks of the quality and the work they put into this area.
The amount of detail is to be admired, there are many messages written on walls and floors everywhere, only if you take your time to find them, you’ll get plenty of surprises and a couple laughs.
But that’s not all, the atmosphere is unique, an environment can be overwhelming by the contrasts between the houses of aristocrats with luxuries and plenty of food and the dark streets filled with rats and garbage, houses marked by the plague and embalmed bodies the guards thrown into the river, it can be really disturbing at times.
The game does not have a lot of music but does not need it, voice acting is top notch, environmental sounds such as dogs barking and sirens in the distance make you stay alert, makes you wonder if something that will attack you will appear behind you or if you was discovered by the guards, along with graphic details (see graphics) gives the game a dark and somewhat gloomy atmosphere.
The music in the credits is excellent but I will not say more, you will discover when you finish the game!
Although the different powers that your character has lets you use them creatively, combat in general is somewhat monotonous and without many options, block and counter attack can be tedious. I think this could and should have been better, more attractive to those who combat and prefer not to take the stealth path.
There is not a variety of enemies, except for the Tallboys the rest of the guards, thugs and weepers are very repetitive, bit more variety and different enemies or type of guards would have been welcome.
Trying to talk about all the amazing aspects Dishonored has to offer would be impossible in this review, a game that will give you at least 3 different gameplay runs to find the different routes, lethal and non-lethal, multiple endings, etc, this title certainly has a huge replay-ability.
If your cup of tea is a first-person shooter focused more on action maybe this game is not for you. But Dishonored is well worth if you like games that focus on stealth action, specially with a good story and a very pure style of play. Me? I loved it, simply amazing and by far one of the best games of 2012!
The game is available for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms for $59.99.
We give the game a 9 out of 10!