Let’s go back, back in time to the year 2012, the month October, the date 9th, Bethesda and Arkane studios launch Dishonored, for Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3. A brand new IP set in a fictional world of Dunwall, the story follows the main character called Corvo Attano, the bodyguard to the empress of the Isles.
Corvo is framed for a murder he did not commit and is forced to become an assassin, live in the shadows and kill with deadly precision. The original game had some great voice actors behind some of the noteworthy characters including Susan Sarandon, Carrie Fisher, Michael Madsen and many others. The game was well received by the press and scored a Metacritic of 91 on PC, 88 on Xbox 360 and 89 on PlayStation 3, with user score up to an 8.4.
Now back to the present and Dishonored is back, with a brand new engine, gone is Unreal Engine 3 and incomes id techs new engine ‘The Void Engine’, the question is, has Bethesda done it again, created a perfect experience a perfect code, a perfect launch on all Platforms.
Answer, not really the PC version has its issues and it seems the PS4 version is the better of the two consoles from what I have read online, but enough of the issues, let go back to the game shall we.
Sneak or not to sneak that is the question with Dishonored, for me, it has to be sneaky sneaky, even those two words remind me of the film Mr. Deeds and that damn sneaky butler, seems I am going off topic again. So sneak around is my choice, Hiding bodies, looking through keyholes and those deadly silent takedowns, all feel so satisfying.
‘Everything that made the first game is back, bigger and better’.
Playing Dishonored is like playing with a toy, experiment, get creative, let your imagination go wild and always remember you can go back and try again a different way, or try again if you die. At one point I think I reset over and over and over again, till I was happy with my run through, stealthy, but got caught, stealthy, but did not think out of the box, or just miffed with my other attempts and just went on a killing spree without thinking.
As the quote says, ‘Everything is bigger and better’ that is so right from the get-go, as you now get to play a whole new character ‘Empress Emily Kaldwin, or return to good old faithful ‘Corvo’, each having their own array of skills. Playing the new character adds new abilities like mesmerise, a form of hypnotization, Domino,as the name employs, the Domino effect, effect one, affect them all, also a signature skill used by Corvo ‘teleportation’ known as far reach.
With a new character comes all new nonlethal ways to kill, or kill if you like, like the new stun and choke, or the new drop down non-lethal, there are new weapons and gadgets to be played with, that can blind the enemy or watch them run around on a chemical high, a bit like drugs. Don’t forget you can also upgrade your arsenal to all new heights, even to the point where you shitty starting pistol becomes a semi-automatic powerhouse of a gun.
So as you have been upgraded has the enemy, well the whole idea of me starting over and over again was not just for me perfecting my kill or play through it was because they have been upgraded, they parry, dodge, kick, flank, even throw shit at you, not literal shit, rocks and stuff. They seem to have their own mindset, their own unique consciousness, you could say, as they would run at you with all shit blazing, without thought, or care for their self-worth, but they would also be good at what they do, drop your guard, and they would have their stab. Even if you ignored the new powers Emily has, supernatural by nature, and just went for pure swordplay, each and every kill, will, and does feel well earned.
Something that made may say WTH ‘what the hell’ at a segment of the game, was when I took out a guard and chucked his body somewhere safe and out of sight, then chucked myself out of sight as well, and another guard who was circling the area, recalled that there was a guy and ran to the bloody alarm, what is this new thing, awareness, yep, they have intelligence, some AI actually don’t do the same rotation all the time, they do different things, different routes, different viewing angles, so what I thought would be an easy kill turned into a blood nightmare of WTH, WTH reset, reset.
As this is a review, I have to look at not only the sneaky, sneaky side of the game but the outright AHHHHHH DIE YOU ********* side of things as well, and even though it was pure evil going, and a right kill fest, with more parrying that I care to withstand, you were able to get rather far within the game, but it’s not as satisfying as not being seen, and killing or using a non-lethal method to clear the stage.
Does the game get harder as you progress?
There are a number of new enemies thrown in for good measures from time to time, but they are far and few between, which is a shame, and the game does not progressively get harder as you progress through the campaign as you get more powerful and experienced. I was expecting bigger groups, more variation, maybe adding newer harder enemy types more often, but this was not so. Not saying that the campaign in any way was bad, I just wished there was more to it, more in the way, of testing the player’s abilities to the maximum, pushing you to a level where, if you are not good enough, you need to try and try again until you are or quit.
a game shit without a good story right?
Well some games yes, other games that sell just for its multiplayer features not so much, Dishonored being a single player at its core, a story is well and truly needed. So from the very start of the game, there are many items to interact with from books to paper clippings to even alarms on clocks, interaction with something is almost everywhere. When I first started I read each book that I found, no idea why, but I found it added to the narrative of the game and also filled gaps as and when possible.
This was a great added addition but did not answer the primary question, is the damn story any good? Yes and no, the game holds the same plotline as the original ‘Vengeance’, tracking down the ****ards that ****ed you over at the start, and the game holds your hand right through with information about settings, characters and backstories, plots and events, not only that, the character you play, states the plain obvious in game, but I guess in a way this is ok, as it’s her narrative and gives her a form of presence.
If you are anything like me and love stories listen and find side content in areas that will unearth more backstory to the already kill the bloody lot of them, the main story, there is by far plenty to find and do within this game.
So is the story any good? I wanted to kill the ****ards and that’s all that mattered to me.
I found the world of Dishonored to be, intriguing, I guess is the word I am looking for, after using thesaurus for some time to find the word, The world feels alive, and each and every AI Characters feels well designed and thought out, not copy and paste with a slight change here and there for good measure found in some games. Each area feels larger, but this might not be true, as I feel there is more to do, more option to play out than the original making areas feel bigger than what they actually are.
Exploring way to kill and traverse is one of the aspects in this game, but there is one core of the game you will be doing as well, finding those damn runes, why runes, well want to progress through the progression system? Well without these you got no chance. I found some to be very obvious to find, then some damn right, AHHHH, I hate this Fecking game, to find, I reckon I spent just as much time finding these at times than I did try to work out the best way to kill that overly large dude down there.
This game will have you exploring everything, offer a unique play through and gameplay elements to get you’re hooked, like a good hot chocolate, and I can tell you one thing, as it was at EGX and in the finished game, the Clockwork mansion is the Rubik’s cube level to be proud of, if nothing else blows your mind this section will.
I can fault this game and yet I cannot, there are areas which I was astounded with amazement, there were times when I wish there was more to the game, more elements that made the game harder as I got stronger. There is also the issues of the PC version not running too great on launch even for me, but after some fine tuning, I was able to get the game running well, P.S I am no FPS whore that watches the FPS and cries when it goes under 60 FPS, as long as the game is playable I am happy.
The core gameplay keeps to its original foundation and adds more to it, improves in many areas, and lacks in others, longevity is here and you can if you wish playthrough the game again as the other character, trying all new ways to kill, or even play through with the same character but in a different playstyle.
I am giving this game a 9/10 as even with its little issues I know Bethesda will be hard at working to fix them ASAP, and the sneaky sneaky aspect of this game I cannot fault, I love the idea of choice and this game offers many.