What We Liked:Great suite of abilities encourages creativity, Spacious environments riddled with pathways and secrets, Manages to draw you into the world around you giving a completely engaging experience.
What We Disliked:Some elements of the stealth could be better.
Dishonored Released today across Europe is one of this years highly anticipated games, Dishonored. Developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda, it is a strategic action adventure set in a world where sickness and death go hand in hand. Arkane Studios have masterminded the fictional world of Dunwall as the setting for [...]
Released today across Europe is one of this years highly anticipated games, Dishonored. Developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda, it is a strategic action adventure set in a world where sickness and death go hand in hand. Arkane Studios have masterminded the fictional world of Dunwall as the setting for the adventure, where the citizens are subjected to an iron rule. We have spent many hours exploring the world of Dunwall to see if it lives up to the hype.
In Dishonored you become Corvo Attano, bodyguard and trusted friend of the Empress and her daughter Emily. Returning from anofficial mission, which the Empress herself sent you on, you are greeted warmly by Emily. She obviously loves you and the feelings are returned as you greet her more like a daughter than a friend. Emily takes you to her mother the Empress to report on the success of your mission. While delivering your report some men are noticed moving across the rooftops, disappearing and appearing again. Sensing danger you quickly arm yourself, ready to protect the Empress and her daughter as you have been tasked to do, but you are soon over run and the Empress is fatally wounded. The princess has also vanished, taken by the assassins. The palace guard having heard the skirmish come running only to find a dead Empress in your arms. Accusing you of her murder and the disappearance of the princess, you are arrested, and so begins your journey to regain your honour and find Emily.
Graphics and Gameplay,
Initially, each level sees Corvo travelling to a different district of Dunwall in order to incapacitate an influential member of the makeshift government. The Loyalists openly squabble over how Corvo should go about doing this, and their differences of opinion foreshadow the incredible freedom Dishonored affords you in choosing how to complete each objective.
A dark figure grants you special powers early in the game, and you can add to that arsenal of arcane ability by finding runes throughout each mission using the heart you receive from this figure. You can slow down, and ultimately stop, time. You can teleport from rooftop to rooftop, or appear behind an enemy before putting your blade through their neck.You can also possess the bodies of rats and even humans when fully powered up. You can unlock the ability to see through walls, or turn enemies to ash the moment they die. With no bodies in your wake, it’s easier to skulk around each level. Your crossbow can also be loaded with darts that cause your targets to sleep, or you can sneak behind them and choke targets into unconsciousness.
There isn’t a huge number of powers to be unlocked, but the game comes to life when you begin to learn how to stack them on top of each other to kill or incapacitate people in unique ways – stop time, fire knockout arrows at multiple targets, leave the room, restart time, and watch them all drop as the arrows hit their targets. With the ability to teleport around a level and simply avoid all the enemies, or re-wire defensive devices so they attack your enemies and not yourself, there are multiple ways to finish each mission, along with options that kill your targets or leave them alive but removed from the equation.
While the game takes great pains to remind you that you can kill everyone you see or use stealth to reduce the bloodshed, it’s clear that stealth is the “light side” option. The fewer people you kill the lower the chaos of the city, and the better the outcome of the game. The decision to leave someone alive or dead could have unintended consequences down the line as well and, in a subversive twist, most of the non-lethal story options end with an outcome that’s worse than death for your target. Still, if you want to “save” the city, stealth is the way to go. The city itself has been modelled on Victorian London with a certain and distinct style of graphics that adds to the overall feel of the world you find yourself in. The main problem I found in all of this is that the stealth aspect of the game is problematic at time with no way of telling when a guard will spot you or not. But another way of looking at this is, in the real world people don’t just walk up and down on a predetermined path and so Dishonored actually has very clever AI.
Dunwall and the environments have been designed in such a way that there is just so much to see and discover around every corner, it is definitely a unique place. You get the sense of how chaotic and desperate the world around you is, it gives the feeling of the past with elements of the future mixed in.
Arkane Studios have taken no short cuts in this department, sporting a famous cast for Dishonored, including Susan Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Carrie Fisher, and Chloë Grace Moretz. One of the things I found refreshing was you don’t have an annoying track playing in the background to distract you from the task at hand. Dunwall is full of scene setting sounds including a voice coming across speakers throughout the city, reminding the citizens of the laws and progress of the plague that has gripped them. All of which adds to the players experience dragging you deeper and deeper into the game.
While Dishonored has a few minor problems such as certain elements of the gameplay, and a storyline that has been the setting of so many games before it. Woman gets taken man must save her, type of thing. It does offer a unique player experience with a vast amount of ways in which you play the game, that will have you coming back to the game over and over again. It has elements of pure genius mixed with some very intelligent AI, that will test your skills and get your grey matter ticking. Arkane Studios have made a title that leaves the player salivating for more, which I hope they will expand on in the future. Dishonored should be on your bucket list and is a must have title.