Review: Dishonored

Dishonored

 

I know, I know, this review is very late, but then again, I know a lot of people who are yet to pick up this game, so to you guys, this may be helpful! (The short of it: It’s great, try it.)

Dishonored is a first person, stealthy adventure/RPG game, set in a Steam-punk inspired era and world. You play Corvo, a guy who was framed for something, who then spends the game taking down people and attempting to get his life back. I’m keeping that broad so as not to spoil the fun. How you play the game is largely up to you, you can stealthily take people down, or none lethally silence them, whilst you get done what needs to be done. You have access to a range of weapons and methods, and also some strange and intriguing magical abilities/perks.

Although the game itself is fairly linear, it is very easy indeed to become completely immersed in the world, the attention to detail is excellent, the sound design compliments the dark and eerie feel too. Whilst playing, I can clearly see many many influences, Half Life 2, Bioshock, Deus Ex and Oblivion all spring to mind, but Dishonored still sits aside as a unique game.  It’s strengths being the combat, and choice of combat methods, the art style, and the way in which, at just the right moments, the main story takes a backseat and the focus becomes on the smaller side stories you create with each new mission.

The magical abilities are great advantages, but rather than leave that unbalanced, whilst using them, neither your health nor your mana regenerates ..powerful as they are, your resources are scarce, so missions require much thinking, and the game quickly becomes immensely challenging. I’ve replayed missions lots of times as I just get stuck, but to Dishonored’s credit, I still find myself returning for more.

Dishonored isn’t your “all bells and whistles” blockbuster, but it borrows from many, and all are good ones, the more I play, the more I genuinely hope people will buy this game and try it out, I worry that the majority of gamers have been reduced to buying sequels and very rarely try new franchises or indie titles, this rewards those who still enjoy a surprise.

My only gripes are with game mechanics; context-sensitive actions such as moving onto ledges and opening doors, require too much shuffling around for the right prompt to appear. Frustrating at best, fatal at worst. The AI is inconsistent in some missions,  spotting me a mile away some times, and in other contexts, I’m almost standing next to them and they don’t bat an eyelid.

Even with the weaknesses in mind, the gameplay satisfaction in Dishonored is something I haven’t felt, to this degree,  in a very long time, and I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend with the game.

General Scoring

Gameplay 9/10 Challenging, yet equally rewarding, a point off for mechanics fuss though.
Graphics 9/10 This game looks gorgeous on PC, and pretty impressive on console too, and the art style is very unique.
Sound 8/10 Good, but not amazing.
Music 7/10 Doesn’t really stand out as being present.
Story 9/10  Excellent, even with slightly predictable twists and turns.

Wildcards

Variety 7/10 Linear-esque, with samey missions, but the choices in mission completion methods, and combat, mean this is a solid game.
Achievements 8/10 For hardcore players only, this game is very difficult to 100%.
Art Style 10/10 Unique, and consistent across the world, a very stylish game with great attention to detail, art wise.
Value for money 8/10  A shorter experience than some games, but the variety of gameplay options make a 2nd playthrough tempting.
Immersion 9/10  A small game world, but packed full of detail.

Total Score: 84%

 

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