Fantastic! To say the least, although the abundance of evil bald men is slightly amusing if not intimidating. I have to admit the in-game graphics aren’t quite as amazing as I would have thought (still good though!), but the gameplay alone is outstanding and the quirky, lop-sided graphics grow on you after a while.
Luckily for me, a bunch of vouchers and discounts at EB Games (Australia) got me the special edition for 5 dollars. Wonders what discounts can do is it not? Anyway, included in this was a tarot card deck which I have no clue how to use but looks cool nontheless and a redeemable code for the Arcane Assassin Pack, giving me a bone charm to make me friendly status with white rats, some extra gold coins, an in-game statue (of me!?) and a gutter feast bone charm…. Don’t really know what to make of the last one there.
Any-who after several hours of gameplay, here we are…
Let’s start off with the difficulty of this game. Now, there are four different levels of difficulty you can choose at the beginning of the game, beginner, normal, hard and very hard. Naturally the former is easy and the latter is hardest. Being the average gamer and not really liking the thought of having my head done in the first couple of seconds I picked normal difficulty, because no game is good without somewhat of a challenge. BUT! Mark my words here and now, just because you didn’t pick the upper tier difficulties doesn’t mean you’re going to have an easy time. Enemies still don’t take long to take you out, bullets will definitely put a hurting on you. Mind you, if you execute your assassination skills correctly, you should have no problem! As I soon found out, there are enemies, then there are civilians and then there are thugs (who will kill you if you provoke them, as I found out the hard way). At the start I found it hard to distinguish between friendlies and enemies, requiring me to be more cautious. I want to stay on the good side of these townspeople.
The mission objectives are pretty standard in accordance to an assassination game. Assassinate the target, duh! There are also a numerous amount of optional objectives involving searching archives and whatnot. It’s also interesting to note that once you finish a mission, you’ll be granted with a screen that tells you how well you did or didn’t do. There are points to be given for stealth objectives and rambo objectives. This just goes to show how non-liner this game is, also when you proceed towards the objective in-game, expect many different routes to take to get to your objective. I didn’t know this till after I killed the first guy and started exploring, there was a multitude of ways to gain access to the area. There is just enough choice in the game to make you feel like you are in control but not so much that you have no idea what you’re doing, every option seems good enough so you don’t feel as if there could be an easier way or a quicker way. Everyone goes about their killing business differently.
As comes with the difficulty, health is scarce. You can buy health once you save the old man from the thugs or you can scavenge from empty buildings and such, you should be able to find a few. Some other things that are findable are the Runes and Bone Charms, these improve the assassin and your powers. Mighty handy if you ask me, they’ve sparked a new collecting addiction in me. Given any mission I will go out of my way to find these runes and charms. Runes are essential to boost your power. A really unique and neat addition to the game, not every day you have a supernatural assassin knocking on your door asking for runes.
The powers are also very interesting, there are a few passive ones and a few offensive ones, they all help in their own way. The Dark Vision power is super helpful in situations where you’re not sure where the enemy is. Blink can get you places you wouldn’t think possible and the other ones, well play for yourself and you will see, they’re all useful in their own way. Strive to collect all the runes to upgrade all the powers to become the ultimate assassin!
The story of Dishonored is that of a betrayed bodyguard of the empress. The once renowned Lord Protector has been stripped of his title and bestowed with the gift of The Outsider. It’s actually very personal when it comes down to the characters whom have betrayed you and set you up, as the player you’re thrown into the role of the betrayer and shunned by the Lord Regent, you must fight your way to righteousness.
This story is actually really great and really intense, it gives a chance to uncover more about the characters past life and present life and how things became so bad. As the player you become deeply involved in the story of the game as you progress. Although you don’t have to be 100% into the story to enjoy the game, it’s there to guide you, not to force you. I like how it’s something that hangs in the background, not so far away that it doesn’t matter, but close enough to impact you and make you aware of what you’re apart of when you play Dishonored. This game doesn’t force anything onto you, even the story reacts to your actions, giving you the ability to make your own story.
You can cause major collateral damage or be sneaky, either way the townspeople will react differently to you, thus making you the hero or villain of your own saga.
To begin with one of the first thing I noticed was the developers ability to make everything look realistic and cartoony at the same time, remarkable! The game is beautiful in it’s dirty, grimy type of way. The city is shattered but still manages to be captured down to the cobblestones. Sun shafts are magnificent and although maybe a little bit exaggerated, emit a warmth that you don’t see a lot throughout this game. If water is pouring from above, it causes a slight blur in your vision, not enough so you’re like “Oh my god waterfall!” but enough to remind you that theres water falling, it is a sensual calming type of thing. Also when you are swimming, the water actually feels like you’re in water, the gliding effect for the character and the slightly blurred vision. Along with the actual city being beautiful, even more stunning is the view of distant architecture. Creating a city is no easy task, but Bethesda have done a marvelous job in authenticating the city and its surroundings.
One thing I did have a problem with and noticed almost straight away is if you look down, you don’t see your feet, nor if you turn around in circles. In fact, the only part of yourself that you ever see is on the cover of the game and your hands in-game. Slightly disappointing as the no feet part makes me feel like an invisible ghost, but in combat the opposite is true. Similarly with carrying objects, it looks like it’s floating and you’re carrying something in Forge on Halo, it just floats there, no hand contact. Also, the water graphics are amazing, but they managed to make the beer look like solid blocks. It doesn’t even go down when the character you’re watching drinks it, it just disappears in chunks.
This game has made a good name for itself in the stealth genre. It’s highly dependent on taking out targets silently or one by one, or by ranged for that matter. I question its re-playability however, even though there are open-ended ways to complete your task, it’s unlikely that a second play-through will be very rewarding unless a DLC is involved, but I could be wrong. The thing that makes this game stand out is that the player is given a task and then left up to his own methods to complete it. It’s great for player choice! A game worth playing for the thrill seeking stealther and the avid collector but lets leave it at that.