Dishonored (2012)

Video Game  -  Action | Adventure | Fantasy  -  9 October 2012 (USA)
8.5
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In the plague-ridden capital of a steampunkish kingdom, a coup occurs. Empresses' confidant, falsely accused of her murder, is left for dead. A mysterious man appears to him with a message: "The fate of the kingdom now lies in your hands".

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Title: Dishonored (Video Game 2012)

Dishonored (Video Game 2012) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Granny Rags (voice)
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Callista Curnow (voice)
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Alternate Street Speaker (voice)
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Admiral Havelock (voice)
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Piero Joplin (voice)
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Daud (voice)
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Empress Jessamine Kaldwin / Corvo's Heart (voice)
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The Outsider (voice)
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Lord Treavor Pendleton (voice)
Kristoffer Tabori ...
Lord Regent Hiram Burrows (voice)
Zach Hanks ...
Morgan Pendleton / Custis Pendleton (voice)
Anna Graves ...
The Boyle Sisters / Weeper (voice)
...
Lord Overseer Campbell (voice)
Jodi Carlisle ...
Madam Prudence (voice)
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Storyline

In the plague-ridden capital of a steampunkish kingdom, a coup occurs. Empresses' confidant, falsely accused of her murder, is left for dead. A mysterious man appears to him with a message: "The fate of the kingdom now lies in your hands".

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9 October 2012 (USA)  »

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$25,000,000 (estimated)
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Quotes

The Outsider: What will history tell us? That the daughter of murdered empress ascended the throne up a mountain of corpses, carried by an assassin named Corvo? No, they'll say that little Emily Kaldwin the first come to power in an age of terror and corruption, and that she did her best in a world that is not kind to little girls, or Empresses. But whether the stories told mention you by name or not, she will remember that you were there, Corvo.
[High Chaos Ending - Save Emily]
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User Reviews

 
Almost, but not quite
11 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

Dishonored is a first-person, stealth-based action game. It also contains some RPG elements... and some parkour for flavor... and a sandbox-game feel... and it's also an exploration game. In the end, it just might be trying to be too much.

The game is set in a steampunk-ish, Victorian universe. You fill the shoes of Corvo, personal bodyguard to the Empress. Victim of a political maneuver, you suddenly turn a wanted criminal and it's your job to right a few wrongs and bring peace to the people. Like that chap in that video used to say: consequences will never be the same - depending on how you act, people, the city and the story will shift one way or the other.

The general setting of the game is absolutely brilliant. The world this story takes place in is beautiful, credible and the atmosphere throughout the game is memorable. The plot and narrative are also a big part of this title, and, while being a wrongfully accused fugitive is not necessarily the most creative idea around, it's certainly executed well enough to keep you engaged and invested throughout the entire thing.

Aesthetically, Dishonored went for the very unique, very stylized route. Reminiscent of Team Fortress, Borderlands or the Fable series, the art this game employs is gonna be a love or hate thing for a lot of people. For this reviewer, the "cartoon-ish realism" works great. I feel, considering the theme and plot, an even more somber, darker palette and design would've been a better fit, though. Also worth mentioning, the music and voice acting is very good, indeed. Musically, definitely a refreshing change from the all too generic fantasy-themed background music so present in videogames nowadays.

Onto the juicy stuff.

The gameplay is not groundbreaking by any means. Segmented in missions and levels, objectives can be completed in a number of different ways. You might want to rely on stealth, non-lethal takedowns and evasion. Maybe killing everyone you come across is your cup of tea. Maybe not killing anyone at all. Maybe you'll be merciful with the main antagonists. Maybe not. The important thing is that how to complete each mission is up to you and different choices lead to different results.

Dishonored does a good job at making every choice, every path viable and somewhat distinct. This is something that a lot of games promise, but very few are able to deliver. However, this is offset by the fact that, through obtainable character upgrades, you are pushed to explore every level as much as you can, so you actually end up experiencing every possible path anyway, making the "choosing" kind of pointless.

The game also incorporates some climbing, a "blink" type of skill and a wide assortment of weapons and magic spells. Some of them are pretty cool, like being able to stop time or possess a person or animal, but it feels like they are there for the "wow" factor instead of really adding to the uniqueness of the gameplay. Combat abilities suffer from a similar fault in that they feel taken from other games as opposite to organic to this one.

There's nothing inherently wrong with Dishonored, but it tries too hard to be good at too much and it ends up not being great at anything. The roleplaying juice is not really there, since dialogue, lore and open-worldliness are limited. Not quite a pure stealth game either, since the mechanics, AI and abilities don't really point towards that direction. FPS/Action game? Probably not: weapons, moves and combat skills are also shallow.

It's been a long time since I wanted to like a game so much and wasn't able to. I feel it's a real shame, because the setting and style behind Dishonored alone are so finger-licking good.

Sadly, the entire thing is spoiled by how weak it is in every other department. Maybe it would've been better if it wasn't a first-person game. Perhaps if it committed to a more definite aspect, like adding more stealth mechanics, instead of trying to go for the character upgrades, the collectibles, the exploration, the choice and consequence system, the side-missions and so forth. The fact that the game is segmented in separate missions doesn't help, either: open-world was definitely the way to go here. Climbing and zipping through rooftops is super limited when all you can do is jump and grab a ledge. Likewise, stealth is extra bland when it's all down to hitting the crouch key and not getting into an enemy's line of sight. Stealth-kills are barely two or three different animations. The list goes on.

In a misinterpretation of the "less is more" mantra, this game tried to cram a bunch of features together, while at the same time managed to keep them all extremely under-developed and superficial.

In closing, Dishonored is a commendable attempt at creating an action game with a very unique setting that, sadly, falls short due to how much it tries to be at once.


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