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Choice, story drive Dishonored

Nov 30, 2012

By Alexander Cattani - G4 Canada

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DishonoredWhen I first started playing Dishonored it was apparent I was in for something unique. Dishonored is by no means a ground-breaking title but it does enough to deserve one’s attention. Mixing stealth gameplay with supernatural elements it is a great, albeit somewhat flawed adventure.

Developed by Arkaine studios, Dishonored follows the story of Corvo Attano, a former bodyguard for the Empress of Dunwall. When Corvo is framed for the murder of the Empresses it is up to him to clear his name and bring the true culprits to justice. Thus Dishonored begins.

The story is broken up into about nine missions. Most of those missions take place in and around the city of Dunwall, a steam punk, plague-ridden town that has seen better days. To me, the city is the mainstay of the game.

Fleshed out with a deep back story via collectable text, it really seems the developers have done a lot to give Dunwall its own history and lore, more so than some of the characters. I didn’t really find myself getting attached to them or really caring about them. I definitely liked some more than others, but none of them really stood out.

Dishonored I also never really felt a connection to the main protagonist Corvo either. This could be due to him being a mute. The narrative in Dishonored isn’t the finest you will come across. It has its share of predictable plot points but remains enjoyable. Nonetheless, a deeper narrative would have benefited the overall experience.

Storyline aside, Arkaine Studios has crafted an enjoyable and rewarding action-stealth game sure to please any fan of the genre.

There is a big emphasis on choice in Dishonored. Things you do in Dunwall will have ramifications. The more chaos you cause the more security you will come across in the city. If you choose not to kill and instead take out your foes quietly you will see fewer officers perusing the streets. You can even complete the game without taking a single life, if you so choose but where is the fun in that?

Your behavior in the game, whether it is murderous or pacifist will also affect the conclusion. Player choice isn’t new in games at all but Dishonored does it in a way that really makes you feel like you are affecting the world. Since each mission has multiple ways of being completed I found myself coming back and trying the alternative methods for each. The freedom the player is granted truly is pleasing.

Dishonored The release plays well. After you are visited by the outsider early in the game you are granted special abilities. These powers variety from a short range teleport also known as Blink, the ability to slowdown time, the ability to see people through walls, and even the skill to summon a group of ravenous rats to attack your enemies. Currency in the form of Runes can be collected to further upgrade or purchase new powers. Weapon upgrades and items are obtained by spending coins which you also gather throughout your time in the city.

The controls could have felt a little tighter. At times they felt loose and would’ve benefitted from weightier game play. For example, what I thought would be a perfectly timed jump from one ledge to another was met with me falling to my death. Though this isn’t a major flaw it would have felt nice to have a little more heft to your maneuvers.

Dunwall is a well-crafted city that has many ins and outs to explore. My only gripe with the city is that it’s not a totally open world. The city is broken up into sections, with each mission taking place in a different section of the city. If the all the sections of the city were interwoven together, exploring it would be much more fun. With this said it’s still a blast to sneak around the streets.

Dishonored The visuals in Dishonored are exceptional. The inhabitants of Dunwall have a cartoony ascetic to them and the environments look excellent. The industrial atmosphere of the city fits the setting well and reinforces the overwhelming sense of melancholy and gloom which lingers throughout.

I’m glad a game like Dishonored exists. It is fun, rewarding, executes stealth game play brilliantly but most importantly is not afraid to take risks. With multiple ways of completing each mission and future DLC already in the works, Dishonored will keep you busy. People who enjoy action stealth owe it to themselves to pick this one up.

 

Dishonored Dishonored
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Bathesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)
Official Site: http://www.dishonored.com

Rating: 8.5 / 10


 
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