The Ninjabot

Dishonored Review

Posted on October 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm by Justin Cavender

Dishonored, Published by Bethesda Softworks, is a first-person action adventure game, where the player’s actions decide the outcome of each mission. Using Dishonored’s unique combat system, you can face your enemies head on, guns blazing, or by using stealth techniques to attack from the shadows. Regardless of which method you choose, your enemies won’t stand a chance against your gadgets and supernatural powers.

The story is set in Dunwall, a plague infested whaling city with a steampunk style to it. Players take on the role of Corvo, the once trusted bodyguard to the Empress. In the first five minutes you are framed for her murder and the kidnapping of her daughter, Emily. Now the city is ruled by a corrupt and cruel government, armed to the teeth with industrial technology. A small group of citizens loyal to the Empress and her daughter, free you from prison and set you on your murderous path of revenge. Now it’s up to Corvo to assassinate high profile targets, clear your name, save Emily, and restore the government. In the end, you hope to discover the hidden truth of your betrayal and regain the life you lost.

There are several powers, gadgets, enhancements, and weapons to aid you in your quest for revenge. Additionally, there are hidden runes and bone charms acting as currency to increase your abilities, making you ridiculously powerful. At some point it starts to feel like cheating, but let’s not forget these bastards took everything from you. Using your abilities definitely adds to the fun factor in Dishonored. Players are really only limited to their imagination when it comes to killing people.

POWERS

  • Dark Vision – Allows you to see through walls and see your target’s cone of vision.
  • Blink – Rapid forward movement. This ability can also be used to jump higher.
  • Possession- Allows players to take control of animals and humans for a short duration.
  • Bend Time – Slow and stop time for a short duration.
  • Devouring Swarm – Summons rats to attack your enemies and feast on their corpse.
  • Windblast – A powerful attack used to knock back enemies.
Enhancements
  • Vitality – Increase your Health
  • Blood Thirsty – Build up Adrenaline to kill targets with one crushing blow. Heads will roll!.
  • Agility – Increases movement speed and allows Corvo to jump higher. Fall damage is also reduced.
  • Shadow Kill – Enemies turn to ash when they die. Great for keeping a low profile

Dishonored features nine missions to complete the story. After completing a mission, players are given statistics to rate their play style. Things to consider are how many times you were spotted, how many enemies you killed,  and how many objects you collected. Keep in mind there is no wrong way to play Dishonored. Each mission has several ways to complete the end goal. For example, players can sneak on rooftops, or crawl through tunnels to avoid detection. Players can also choose  not to murder their targets, but rather use non-lethal force to take them down. I’ll admit to murdering every single character on my screen. It didn’t matter if they were a soldier, maid, thug, or plague infected victim. If I crossed paths with another person, they were silenced forever. I should mention that by killing so many people, the city soon became overrun by rats. This isn’t really a huge deal, but can be a pain if you find yourself surround by a swarm of rats. They will chew through you rather quickly and your health will drop fast if you don’t kill them.

Gameplay

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed playing Dishonored. Yeah there were times when I thought a mission was a tad bit too long or even too short for my tastes. The very fact there are so many ways to play each mission sort of rules out that complaint though. Perhaps I went about things the wrong way and it took longer than I expected. I stuck to a very direct approach when trying to get to my targets. Not once was I swayed by a NPC to do things differently than my original assignment. Yeah I could have spared my enemies and gotten more runes or even developed the story better. However, I took on the role of a vengeful assassin and I was out for blood. I applaud Dishonored for giving me so many options in the course of a single mission.

The combat system is definitely interesting before an enemy sees you. Most of my kills involved me sneaking behind them and slitting their throats. In almost no time at all blink became my favorite power and I never stopped moving. Things could take a turn for the worse pretty quickly if and when a guard spotted me. Melee combat relies heavily on successful parries and blocks from their attacks. Blocking an attack will leave your opponent off-balance and easy to strike down. Honestly, combat is only wonky if Corvo is out of mana. Otherwise, just simply slow or stop time and you can chop heads off with the greatest of ease.

Graphics

I played Dishonored from start to finish on the PlayStation 3. I only have three complaints about this game and the graphics are one of them. I noticed some screen tearing which isn’t a big deal to some, but I wasn’t blown away by the graphics to begin with and the tearing didn’t help. Players should also adjust the brightness settings in the options menu before getting started. I noticed the game looked rather flat in lighter areas. Once I changed the my levels to a darker setting, there was an immediate improvement in the overall look to the game.

Replay Value

As I mentioned before there is no wrong way to play Dishonored. Depending on your character’s skills and powers, you can approach each level a differently. I challenge anyone to complete this game without killing a single person. It’s just not something I could ever do. I’m not certain when I will play this game again, but I will definitely choose my powers differently.

OVERALL   8/10

I would recommend Dishonored to any gamer looking for a challenge. There are some definite highs and lows I have addressed with this title. The ability to choose the outcome of the missions was a huge plus for me. Yeah I did pretty much run and gun, but my enemies almost never saw me coming. I mentioned earlier the graphics were one of three problems I had with the game. My second problem was the loading screen. As I ventured further into the city and changed environments, I was plagued by the dreaded loading screen. Had I played on my PC, the graphics would have looked better, and the wait times would have been virtually non-existent. My third and final complaint was the weak ending. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away, but the final moments were pretty underwhelming. Not really a deal breaker but it definitely let me down. After twelve hours of killing everything in my sight, I was ready for a payoff. Perhaps that was the whole point. Revenge won’t make you feel better.

Dishonored is available now on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

You can follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos

    Tweets