Thursday, 4 April 2013


Gamespot Score: 9.0 (Editor's Choice)

My Score: 9.0

(+)Pros: - Excellent combat and stealth mechanics, - Enemy AI is competent and the game provides a good challenge, - Interesting abilities, - Allows player complete freedom in how they want to go around doing things, - Great story and interesting world, - Great art direction and graphical style, - Massive re-playability.

(-)Cons: - Short initial playthrough.

Gameplay time: -

Its been awhile since I have been so astounded by a non Japanese game. I love JRPGs more than anything else in the world, but once in awhile a game like "Dishonored" pops up and makes me go "Hey! Maybe the world of games isn't all just about JRPGs!". Borrowing a little bit from "Assasin's Creed"'s book, "Dishonored" puts you into the role of an assassin, but plays by a whole new different book, putting player choice and freedom above EVERYTHING else that the game has to offer. The game never stops making you feel like a complete bad ass, and "Dishonored" has once again restored my faith in the western games industry. If only these companies would stop making generic FPS games and go for something new and unique like "Dishonored".

In "Dishonored" you play as Corvo Attano, the personal bodyguard of the queen. After returning from another country to bring news to the queen regarding the plague that has been terrorizing the entire population, she gets assassinated by a group of mercenaries that possess strange supernatural power. Being a normal man, Corvo is powerless to stop the queen from getting butchered right in front of him. When the guards arrive and the mercenaries disappear, Corvo is the only man left at the scene of the crime, and he is pinned with the offense of murdering the queen. An unknown group helps him break out of prison, and offers him help in clearing his name. Now Corvo works as an assassin, using the skills he has acquired as the queen's bodyguards, he is more than enough to take down the political overheads that have been trying to rule the country by force.

Yeap, that guy is already dead.

Before we jump into the game play itself, let's talk about the graphics. It is absolutely beautiful. As I said in another game review (I'm sure it was "Darkness II"), I love comic/cartoonish graphical styles and the style in "Dishonored" was a sight to behold. Well made textures, great lighting effects and overall it was just stunning. The character faces had a little bit of a weird distorted feel to them, but that just ends up being the game's style and I think "Bethesda" did a fantastic job. Of course, looking beautiful alone wouldn't cut it, so let's get down to the gameplay mechanics, which are pretty key to making "Dishonored" a successful game, on top of the great story and beautiful visuals.

For one, it is a free-roam game, but not a complete sandbox experience like "Dead Rising" or "Grand Theft Auto". The game is split into 9 missions, and in each of these missions you will be visiting different parts of the city, in which you are pretty much just thrown there to do your thing. For the most part, the game feels and looks like a first person stealth shooter, but that's only a third of the game. The other two thirds include the outsider abilities, and the sword fighting. Despite being a stealth game, combat plays a huge role, as long as you are going for that chaos route. Sword fighting enemies are tough, and while it is just spamming left click to get slashes off your enemies, it IS difficult to hit some of the more powerful enemies as they evade your strikes, counter with their own, or just cross swords with you. Slashing, blocking and parrying take a good amount of skill to pull off efficiently and overall its just a very strategic affair.

Feast on them my little ones!

With a sword in one hand, that leaves your other hand free for ranged attacks, be it the abilities or the use of a ranged weapon. You have a gun and a crossbow at your disposal when it comes to ranged weapons, which can be used to take enemies down in the your preferred way. The gun is better for close encounters, while the crossbow excels at taking enemies down from afar. You have different ammo types for both which give you more variety when you are in need of the weapons of course. Abilities are also a great treat, as the outsider powers you get are really cool. You get to summon a swarm of rats to devour your enemies, blink around to do quick maneuvers, pause time and more. And while you are one powerful dude, the enemy AI swarms you with tons of smart enemies, making the game pretty challenging....which is why the game itselfs promotes stealth play.

When in stealth, enemies take more to detect you, and it takes quite a bit to sneak past an area filled with over 10 enemies. You can hide under tables, blink to higher areas...and so much more. The fact that the game presents you with so many ways to get around is already a godsend as there is no single SCRIPTED way to sneak past anything. This is pretty much the best thing in the game. While the game isn't a complete sandbox experience, you get a ton of freedom in going around accomplishing your missions. Would you choose to make a deal with thugs as they find an alternative easier route to get into the building you need to? Would you go in through the front door guns blazing? Or do you find your own alternative route? Do you take the vent? The rooftops? The sewers? How would you go around this group of enemies, or how would you take them down? The choices are ridiculous, and this pretty much gives the missions a massive amount of re-playability.

Plan your way around.

In a world with such an awesome lore, story, background, and having backed up by beauty along with some solid gameplay.....its a pity that the game is on the short side. 9 missions isn't a lot, and on average a single mission would not take any more than an hour, with the exception of only 1 mission. The shortest mission can be finished in 10 minutes! Overall the game would last around 5 hours or so, which is admittedly pretty short for what it is. Though that is just the first INITIAL playthrough, the entire experience is way more since you can replay the game MULTIPLE times (hell I'm still playing it). 

"Dishonored" is just an amazing experience overall. It shows off what a stealth/action game hybrid can really do. The sheer amount of freedom available allows you to do whatever you literally want, and with so many ways to do it, it never feels like any part of the game is a chore. While the main game is short, you can easily net 2 playthroughs, and depending on the kind of gamer you are, you can easily milk a shit load of hours of this gem of a game.

Happy gaming!