Dishonored
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 9

Step into the stealthy boots of a master assassin and eliminate your foes through violence or cunning in this immersive first-person title. Eliminating your enemies with deadly gadgets or supernatural powers is a blast, but playing as a silent shadow that is never seen is arguably even more fun. Dishonored might not have the most original storyline, but the amount of freedom it gives players makes for a very memorable experience.

Gameplay: There is a lot of freedom to be as violent or stealthy as you wish.

Graphics: Great art style and plenty of attention to detail.

Sound: Stellar voice acting despite some repetition

Summary 8.7 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Dishonored

Developer: Arkane Studios | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks | Release Date: 2012 | Genre: Action / Adventure / Stealth | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Dishonored opens with Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles, returning to the industrial city of Dunwall from a foreign voyage. Dunwall is suffering from a rat plague ravaging the city, but despite Corvo’s efforts, aid is not forthcoming from the other nations. Unfortunately, things go from bad to worse when the Empress is assassinated in front of Corvo, and her young daughter, Emily, is kidnapped by the assailants. Framed for the murder and kidnapping, Corvo is thrown into prison, where he awaits his execution. However, just as all hope appears to be lost, Corvo is contacted by a group of loyalists who provide him with the means to escape. Afterward, Corvo becomes an assassin for the loyalists as they plan to overthrow those who have seized control of Dunwall.

As a former bodyguard, Corvo does not lack skills when it comes to disposing of enemies. Still, after being contacted by a being called “The Outsider,” he becomes even more formidable. The Outsider grants Corvo some magical abilities that would be the envy of any assassin, and from there, you are unleashed on Dunwall like some Steampunk Batman, complete with a scary mask and deadly gadgets.

Initially, Dishonored is a game about reveling in how much chaos you can cause for your foes. The game makes it clear that stealth is an option, but lobbing grenades at enemies, skewering them with crossbow bolts, or siccing a horde of rats on enemies is simply too much fun. Most missions provide Corvo with a target to eliminate, and players can then decide how to accomplish this. Cutting a bloody swathe through every person who gets in your way is usually the fastest but won’t exactly endear Corvo to anyone. It also results in “high chaos,” which manifests as more rats and plague victims, called “Weepers,” getting in your way as the game progresses. Persisting on this path also results in a rather grim ending to the game.

After having a field day with all the ingenious ways to kill enemies during our first playthrough, we decided on a much more subdued second playthrough. This time, we challenged ourselves to complete each level without ever getting spotted and not killing a single person. Doing so turned Dishononored into a completely different game that was also much more satisfying. Areas that could previously be breezed through with a few gunshots and some explosions were now deadly gauntlets where one misstep could spell disaster. It also took a lot more ingenuity to eliminate targets with non-lethal means compared to simply waltzing in and slitting their throats. While certainly not for the impatient, playing the game in this manner revealed just how much thought has gone into the design of the levels to provide players with freedom of choice.

Dishonored is played from a first-person perspective, and the adventure takes Corvo through grimy apartments, rundown hotels, sewers, and streets. Depending on your playing style, Corvo might also spend a lot of time skulking about on rooftops. Due to the rat plague, most of the city is abandoned, and the deserted streets are filled with patrolling guards and checkpoints. Each chapter is set in self-contained areas, although Corvo does revisit a few locations during his adventure. Unlike other stealth games, not every mission occurs during nighttime, making it easier to appreciate the visuals. In addition, the game encourages exploration thanks to optional quests, such as finding all the paintings on a level or seeking out interesting lore books.

Along with very distinctive character designs, the environments are also beautiful in a rundown and ramshackle kind of way. The game runs on Unreal Engine 3, which provides lovely vistas and close-up details. Still, we also encountered some hideous character deformations when dead or unconscious characters ended up stuck in the scenery. Thankfully, this was the exception and not the norm, and overall, Dishonored is a great-looking game.

Arkane Studios definitely considered that stealth players would be spending a lot of time lying in wait, so they paid a lot of attention to the audio. As a result, dishonored features a stellar voice cast that includes the likes of Lena Heady, Susan Sarandon, Michael Madsen, Billy Lush, and Chloë Grace Moretz. Even Carrie Fisher lends her vocal talents to the game with a special cameo. However, Corvo himself is a silent protagonist, and some of the dialogue by ordinary guards patrolling the streets can become very repetitive. Nevertheless, it’s fun eavesdropping on people and learning more about the world of Dishonored through the lengthy ambient dialogue.

Initially, Corve is armed only with a pistol and sword, but his arsenal quickly expands. Loot can be grabbed during missions, which can then be traded for new equipment or upgrades at The Hounds Pits Pub, which serves as the hub for the game. Here, Corvo receives mission briefings and can prepare before setting off on them. In addition to his gear, Corvo has access to special skills and passive abilities. His powers are unlocked and upgraded using the runes that can be found hidden on each level. These powers include the ability to teleport for short distances, see through walls, bend time, and even take control of animals. Each power can be upgraded if enough runes are found, so, for example, the Possession ability can be used on humans, too.

Passive perks are granted by “bone charms,” which can also be found and equipped. Their effects are minor but still useful, such as the ability to regain mana by drinking water or possessing rats for longer. Tracking down these runes and bone charms is made easier thanks to a unique mechanical heart gifted to Corvo by The Outsider. It’s incredibly creepy to use but shows the distance and direction to the items and can even be used to hear more information about the people or places you see.

Regarding controls, Dishonored plays like a standard first-person game, and abilities or weapons can be accessed via hotkeys or a radial menu. Playing stealthily is extra nerve-wracking in first person, but the ability to peek around corners is useful. Enemies have a cone of vision, which can be seen when using the Dark Vision ability, so remaining hidden is a matter of staying out of their sight. Additionally, players can sneak up behind enemies to pickpocket essential items, such as keys from them, or stealthily choke them into unconsciousness. Sleep darts are in limited supply but allow enemies to be taken down non-lethally from a distance. However, this leaves players with the task of hiding the body where either other guards or rats can’t find it. The latter is especially important for players who want to do a no-kill playthrough.

Many open-world games promise players unlimited freedom, only to see them having to do the same repetitive tasks. Dishonored feels like a breath of fresh air in comparison, and even with the self-contained levels, the possibilities feel endless. The overarching story of betrayal and revenge might not be that original, but being able to choose how things play out makes for a nice change. It is also good to see that playing as a deranged killer has some consequences instead of players getting hailed as a hero no matter what they do. It is not a very difficult game, especially when played in high chaos, but it is a lot of fun and very unique.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz dual core or better
  • Memory: 3 GB system RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
  • Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 512 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
  • Sound: Windows compatible sound card
  • OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7 (enhanced for 64-bit OS)
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz quad core or better (enhanced for multi-core processors)
  • Memory: 4 GB system RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
  • Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 768 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
  • Sound: Windows compatible sound card

Related posts

I Walk Among Zombies Vol. 1

I Walk Among Zombies Vol. 1

I Walk Among Zombies Vol. 1 is a zombie-themed visual novel with a bit of a twist. Instead of having to fight for his survival against the undead, the protagonist discovers that through some twist of fate they are completely ignoring him. This allows him to indulge in immoral activities, not just with his zombie neighbor, but also another survivor he finds. Overall, the game has a decent story and plenty of uncensored sex scenes, but it is also rather short and ends in a cliffhanger. Gameplay: The story is engrossing, but the frequent non-consensual sex scenes can feel a bit overdone. Graphics: Great looking CGs as well as backgrounds. Sound: The voice acting and soundtrack is decent, but not spectacular.

CLANNAD

CLANNAD

At first glance CLANNAD appears to be a typical slice of life visual novel featuring the adventures of high school delinquent Tomoya Okazaki. However, its engrossing storylines and fascinating characters make it a title that is hard to put down. Completing the multiple storyline branches takes a long, long time, but the excellent writing and emotional impact makes it worthwhile. The game is a must have title for fans of the genre, but thanks to its compelling storylines will definitely appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: CLANNAD features multiple routes that lead to different storylines based on your choices. Graphics: The art style takes a while to get used to, but the overall quality is very good. Sound: The game features a stellar selection of tracks and very good Japanese voice acting.

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe isn’t the easiest of point & click adventures, but it is very entertaining and clearly made by people who love the genre. As Skinny the skeleton, you must navigate a neighborhood filled with crazy characters in an effort to save your friend’s soul from eternal damnation. The game sports some some beautifully detailed visuals and every scene is filled with references and homages to pop culture. If you fondly remember titles such as Day of The Tentacle, Sam & Max, and Discworld, then The Wardrobe should not be missed. Gameplay: Feels like a classic point & click adventure, complete with the high difficulty of the puzzles. Graphics: Beautiful and detailed visuals that are hand illustrated and digitally colored. Sounds: Nice tunes and decent voice acting.

Die Young

Die Young

Die Young is an impressive open-world title in which you play a young woman named Daphne trying to survive the dangers of a remote Mediterranean island. It is extremely satisfying to explore the vast island and slowly piece together the story. Seeing everything that Die Young has to offer should keep players busy for ages, and apart from a few technical issues, the game comes highly recommended. Gameplay: Exploring the vast island is a lot of fun, and there are many things to see and do. Graphics: Die Young is a great-looking game once you max out all the visual options. Sound: The game features a decent soundtrack and sound effects, but some of the voice acting could be better.

Flight Control HD

Flight Control HD

If you haven't already had enough of this game on mobile devices now is your chance to experience it on your PC. It is quite an addictive game if played in short bursts, although once you have gotten all the achievements and topped the leaderboards there isn't much left to do besides chase your own highscores. Gameplay: Easy to grasp, but things become tricky very quickly. Graphics: Looks good in high definition. Sound: Very little in the way of music and sound effects.

CATch The Stars

CATch The Stars

CATch the Stars is a charming and minimalist puzzle game that challenges players to move stars in the correct order to complete constellations. The puzzles veer towards the easy side, but the soothing soundtrack, beautiful silhouette backgrounds, and wallet-friendly price tag make CATch the Stars worth a closer look for fans of the genre. Gameplay: The game concept is easy to grasp and even the introduction of new mechanics doesn’t complicate the formula too much. Graphics: While it only features four different backgrounds, the whole look and feel of the game is very charming. Sound: The piano soundtrack is a perfect match for the relaxing nature of the game.

Leave a comment

four × five =