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|Index||12 reviews in total|
It had been a long time since I'd played a good story-driven FPS.
'Dishonored' designed & developed by Arkane Studios and published by
Bethesda caught my attention from the word go. It had been doing rounds
with gameplay & cinematic trailers for some time now. I don't know what
exactly caught my attention; was it the unconventional graphic
style/art direction? Or the name Bethesda, who gave us the ever-amazing
'Skyrim', attached to it? Or was it the very Bioshock inspired
gameplay? I just had to see for myself; and "SEE
The first thing you'll notice about the game is that it felt a lot like Bioshock and I'd like to quickly add that it's not a bad thing. A few minutes into Dishonored and you'll know that the gameplay only remotely resembles Bioshock. There is a good chance that you'd find the design and art direction more akin to Bioshock though, coz Arkane studios did previously work on the same in Bioshock. Comparisons aside, Dishonored puts you in the shoes of the royal assassin 'Corvo Attano'. Framed for the Empress' murder, a rage-impelled Corvo is propelled through a plethora of brilliantly designed levels for getting revenge armed with both mordacious arsenal of guns/arrows/grenades & supernatural powers. The plot really drills forward with enough twists and turns to strangle yourself in. "Set in the fictional industrial city of Dunwall, modeled after Victorian London, Dishonored follows Corvo Attano, a legendary bodyguard to the Empress who is framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin to seek revenge on those who conspired against him. Attano is aided in his quest by the Outsider, a powerful being who imbues him with magical abilities." Wikipedia
On another note, I don't understand why all FPS games are going the RPG way these days. Even veterans at id adopted some role-playing elements for their last IP 'Rage'. I do understand nobody prefers just run-n-gun FPS games now and even I, myself wasn't so thrilled playing Serious Sam 3! Recently almost all FPS games are ridden with RPG elements. It's a boon to games like Dishonored and I promise I'll get back to that, but I miss those story-oriented linear games of the yesteryear, ala 'Return to Castle Wolfenstein'.
I have to say the graphics is stellar, courtesy of a modified Unreal Engine. The amount of textures and special effects floating around is impressive to say the least. It almost feels like a living painting: the sunbeams, the water, the caricaturistic character models, everything seem to just liven the Dishonored world beyond anything. It just screams how gorgeous a game could be rendered using the Unreal engine. I was very impressed with the load times especially when it renders the whole of a mission in just one load. There are usual flaws like minuscule texture loading issues and invisible walls but it never hinders the experience. It is not a sandbox game and hence the invisible walls but consider Dishonored a playground where you can play according to your choice. You can either go guns blazing in all 9 missions and kill everybody in sight which will cause a 'High Chaos ending' or go about stealthily and cause a 'Low Chaos' ending. The sheer number of alternative routes to complete a mission in this game will boggle your mind and here Dishonored shines. The game encourages you to play without killing a single NPC/Enemy. Yes, it seems it's possible to complete the game without any fatalities but it was tough for me to use those immensely satisfying powers and weapons. My fingers were almost twitching to use a spring razor or an explosive arrow. At its core Dishonored is still an FPS/RPG, just like Bioshock. Instead of Adam and Plasmids you have Runes and Bone Charms and yes it changes the way you play the game drastically.
The music and ambiance added plentiful to the already gratifying experience. From the eery 'Drunken Whaler' theme to the grim sewer ambiance everything rocks.
Clocking at 9+ hours I played and reveled in Dishonored and yes I am happy to say that it deserves the best new IP awards this season. Dishonored promises great and varied level design as well enemies, an interesting plot, good gameplay innovations and gorgeous set-piece moments. Revenge as it seems can be very satisfying. All thanks go to Arkane Studios for this sweet sweet game. This is exactly how a good game should be!
I think this game should be praised more for its immersive and
compelling story rather than being a game itself. But of course I'm a
huge fan of the revenge genre.
Still I think everything was done right from the intro to the ending because this just one of those games I would say gets you more interested into whatever is going on in their world rather than interactive gameplay, which definitely complements the whole revenge thing because revenge definitely needs a solid story.
It wasn't too long and not too short, because the game is pretty straight forward in what you have to do, and has a few RPG elements in it. Especially if you decide to be good or bad.
Oh and Michael Madsen should be added to the cast because his voice acting was awesome!
Story: After being framed for the murder of the Empress and the
disappearance of Emily, you and and group of loyalist set out after the
people who framed you.
Sound: Music fits perfectly. Enemies make sounds when being knocked unconscious or when being killed. Great sound.
Graphics: Adds a unique feel to the game. Some textures are lacking. Water effects look great.
Gameplay: You can kill people with either a sword, a gun, or a crossbow. You also can purchase grenades and upgrades. You can collect runes to get or improve your powers. You can summon rats to eat people, or slow down time. There are several creative ways you can kill people. You can freeze time when someone fires a bullet at you, you can possess that person and move them in front of their own bullet. Only downside about doing this is both possession and freeze time need to be level 2. Some blood splashes on your screen when killing somebody. You can either go balls out and kill everybody, or you can play the game without killing a single soul. There are also some mini missions inside the major mission.
Length: Varies. You can rush through, or take your time and explore every nook and cranny.
Replay value: Moderate. You can either play a whole game killing everybody, or you can play a whole game without killing anybody.
Overall: A very fun game with a good story and moderate replay value. Worth buying.
Dishonored is a solid and satisfying game. The game play is absolutely
brilliant and the environment is awesome. This game is a testament to
the faith of hardcore gamers waiting for a game that will never
Dishonored tells the story of Corvo, the Lord Protector of the Empress of a huge plague ridden empire and her daughter. When the Empress is murdered and her daughter abducted, Corvo is framed for her murder. Now he must fight, with the help of his new found allies, against the very men who framed him and with deadly stealth, prevent them from taking over the empire.
So everything in this game was great although I think it would have been better if it was a third person game like Assassin's Creed or Prince of Persia. However that is only my view. Finally, the guards seem to be everywhere and the problem with that is if you're trying to sneak past one guard the odds are that you will be spotted by another guard who suddenly appears behind him. It seems trivial but trust me it can be f***ing frustrating at times.
So to wrap up this is a game well worth buying as it has a fulfilling story and shows that video games will soon overtake Hollywood movies completely.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Setting: You are Corvo Attano, former royal protector of the empress,
and wrongfully framed for her murder for which you find yourself in
jail. Set throughout in the fictitious Victorian-era city of Dunwall
and its surrounding isles, you have two goals in mind: to bring justice
(in any way you please) to those who murdered the empress and conspired
against you, and to restore order by instating Emily, kidnapped
daughter of the empress, at the throne.
Set in an alternate, plague-ridden industrial revolution, this game is visually staggering, and the atmosphere constantly foreboding. It is a very personal experience, and the freedom to think and act creatively during the highly diverse missions allows for a multitude of approaches. If you find the game boring or repetitive, you should therefore ask yourself: am I exploring all my options?
This game is about moments. Moments that at times are so dark, picturesque and mysterious that I on several occasions stood mesmerized in awe of what was unfolding around me. For example: standing on the rooftop while observing an electrified, whale-oil powered wagon dropping plague victims into a pit, accompanied by a shrill musical vignette, sent chills down my spine. And, equally astonishingly, such truly evocative moments are not forced upon you through cut-scenes, but subtly just happening whether you observe them or not.
Dishonored is not for the purist. It shamelessly, and seamlessly, blends a variety of influences and genres into a game that in many ways evades category. It is dystopian and sinister, but also remarkably clever, satiric and witty. But even if you consider yourself a purist, whether for role playing games, first person shooters, or any other category: if you open yourself up to the experience, take your time to explore the environment and familiarize with the characters, you will realize that this game is much greater than the sum of its parts, and allows for a truly immersive experience. However, if you focus or expect too much of any one aspect of this game, like gameplay, plot, combat, characters, or weapons, you will miss out. This is not because it does not deliver on these things in my opinion it even excels at many of them - but it is so much more than that. It is like exploring a living painting, or finding yourself in an dark and twisted interactive novel from a grimy, less fortunate era.
Variety in methods of infiltration and assassination.
Nice controls and good gameplay.
Fairly good graphics. Might seem cartoony, but they're fine.
Fun tools and weapons to work with.
Gruesome kills and gore.
The ways you can neutralize targets.
The fact you can choose to be non lethal or lethal.
Not enough non lethal tactics or weapons.
I don't like Corvo's in game design. He's too skinny. He looks better on the cover.
The fact that I generally don't get all of my powers upgraded by the end of a session; and I don't have enough runes or bone charms. Which is why I wish there was a new game plus or something for Dishonored 1.
You can't take down Tallboys non lethally. You have to evade them if you're playing a session non lethally.
Save slots. I'm more a fan of checkpoints.
This is a wonderful game that has a lot of variety, tools, methods of assassination and infiltration and take downs. There's just so much to the game. Even though I have personal dislikes such as the save slots, limited non lethal tactics and weapons, difficulty to get your magic set fully finished and upgraded and inability to take down Tallboys non lethally. In all, this is a great Victorian era like distopian setting with a lot of variety, a great atmosphere and awesome ways of dealing with your enemies.
As a stealth game, I think this is probably one of the standard ones in
terms of story but it makes up for it in it's art style and it's
gameplay. I'll describe the gameplay in detail later but if it sounds
like your thing then this is a very fun game. However, if you're like
me then you'll see how close the story came to being good but fails.
The plot is that Corvo, the Empress of Dunwall's bodyguard is searching for a cure to the plague. When he reaches there she gets assassinated shortly afterwards and he is blamed. He breaks out of jail and is saved and taken into hiding by the people who I guessed within 10 minutes of meeting them would betray Corvo again. Either way, your mission is to clear your name and work your way up the ranks to topple a government, alone in a ridiculously short amount of time. However you are also given supernatural powers of your choosing, this can be used to determine the way you play the game.
The gameplay can be best described as taking the level design of a Hit-man game, adding in bits of Assassin's Creed and on top of that something like Bioshock or The Elder Scrolls. Needless to say there is a lot of variety in the ways to kill people, I mean do you trick their plans to poison someone into accidentally poisoning himself? Do you break into their safe and broadcast all over the city their crimes in a confession tape and leave them to everyone else? The supernatural powers are fun to use, I used possession and teleporting all the time and I did like some of the weapons as well, this game does offer plenty of variety in how to play it, maybe sparking interest in replaying the game. Either way, the swordplay is excellent, probably the best I've seen in a while and the powers alone are worth replaying by mixing around.
Okay, what didn't I like? The Story. I could guess that the people I was helping were going to betray Corvo by the end, partly because I honestly didn't think it made sense to take him on board otherwise and even still, the game is about 4 or 5 levels long without the betrayal. That and I think this premise could work, even with the silent protagonist. If they built on Corvo's relationship with Emily, if they conveyed his determination without gameplay, if they explained why he is getting the supernatural powers above all others, then this probably could have been a solid 10, give or take. But as is, the story is not very good.
I'd say if what you're looking for is a game that has variety and could easily replay missions and come out with something different then I would recommend this game, it's story has an extreme drag factor to it but I'd say if you want a stealth game with variety, then while this doesn't deliver on the same level as, let's say - Hit-man Blood Money, I'd say it is worth a look.
One of the better games in the stealth/action genre. It has excellent
design philosophy and quality - close to the standard set by half-life
2. Compared to Metro Last light, this has better gameplay mechanics,
especially when stealth is considered. Its a very good port. Controls
are very smooth, FOV is adjustable, you can pause any time, cutscenes
can be skipped, alt-tab works well, levels load fast, and there is a
nice old-fashioned manual save system. It even resumes reliably from S3
sleep. The writing is above average. Although linear, levels are well
designed with multiple routes to objectives. Voice acting is good, but
American - I would have preferred europeans in this victorian
industrial setting. The graphics are technically average, but
artistically very nice. All the textures are based on watercolor art
instead of photos - it looks lovely.
This game is good, but some things prevent it from being great: The gameplay is solid, but we have seen it all before - it is very mainstream and not "realistic" - guards are as dumb as usual, and if I had to sneak past one, there was always a perfectly placed cover object etc, and I would roll my eyes. The game is also not very "large" - it was probably made on a modest budget by AAA standards. I also do not like the dark magic theme (though I do like the steampunk theme).
Overall, this is a quality game I can easily recommend.
Framed for the murder of the Empress of the Isles(Stewart, wise) and
presumed responsible for the disappearance of her daughter(Grace
Moretz, spoilt. At age 10, that's understandable. The aim to put her on
the throne is made questionable by that fact), you, Corvo Attano(seldom
speaking and never heard by the player, so little personality that we
the blandness of other characters ensures that's endemic),
the bodyguard of both, is thrown in prison. Sprung by The Loyalists, a
resistance group, you are tasked to remove the tyrant and the strongest
in his government, including the leader of the Overseers(an extreme
religious group, because those make easy villains
we never get a sense
of threat from the witchcraft they fight, but they sure are fun to use.
System Shock 2 and other works by Looking Glass Studios give us far
more even core conflicts), his physician, etc.
This has a number of similarities to the Thief series, albeit it gets key aspects very wrong. Guards do not always make noise, much less enough. You're not moving carefully between shadows, you're breaking the line of sight, something that is better done in Commandos 1-3. Why? Because bird's eye view and cone of vision. Too often, you're trying to avoid the enemies increasing the angles at which they can see you, until you luck out and/or give up on that one, even if it looked promising. Still, this offers emergent gameplay: you choose what to do and when, how to get past the, sadly here linear in order, obstacles. Distract by picking up and throwing only glass bottles, cups, fine china each is thus: one-use, loud, and easy to recognize from afar. In general, you know where to go, especially the direct path, which, of course, may be costly.
Defenses you have to bypass include stilt-walking, armored men known as Tallboys, Arc, (think Tesla Coil!) and Wall, of Light. Each of these run on tanks of processed whale oil, which, if hit with a projectile or just tossed, explodes. Remove it, and they no longer work. Rewire, and it turns against them! When you come upon the first of these, you can also bypass it by going further(at risk of being stopped), or even sneak through a small tunnel, less obvious to see, by possessing an animal, such as a fish. Doing so lets you, yourself, move to a new area and not merely recon it. There are 6 magic powers total(well, active ones. There are 4 passive ones. In the same menu. Ugh), including teleportation, thermal vision(which it seems to expect you to employ liberally), and a Wind Push(not telekinesis, no sir!). Gathering Runes, you can unlock both ranks to them in the field, and get halfway through them all before completion(the low replayability isn't helped by that), so as expensive as they can be, you still don't have to choose much more than the order and they don't have the weight they should, even though you, thankfully, can't undo these choices.
The Chaos system has the plague spread the more violent you play. This is an especially clever and well-integrated use of the classic device: the carrier rats literally feed on the dead. You can summon some, or use ones already present, to hide your victims, heck, the former is an attack! They'll come for you, as well, and being hounded by a pack of rats is tremendously creepy! So is facing the Weepers, humans with their minds gone from the sickness, they come at you Rage-zombie style, grabbing you and vomiting infected blood and saliva onto your face! Did I mention this really likes to disgust you? It gets to be white noise learning about the horrors of life here in the city of Dunwall, with its mix of steampunk and Victorian era, leading to many cool designs and visuals. You can listen to and read notes and excerpts from scientific papers, textbooks, diaries and, among other fiction, romance novels. The volume of lore and backstory, of sheer detail, is impressive.
This does seem to lure you to the worse side there are too few stealthy options, and especially non-lethal ones. An explosive trap, a grenade, taking down someone by "landing" on them, none of these let you stun. For that, you have to use tranquilizer arrows for the not-entirely-silent, long-range(zoom with your mask, and snipe!) crossbow(which also comes with incendiary and regular ammo), or, much worse, be directly behind someone, and entirely unnoticed. With Splinter Cell: Blacklist coming out, we're reminded, by way of what the franchise masters, of how many options we can get: sleeping gas, shock mines, etc. This draws the eyes towards one of the weaker sides, which is being able to play this as an FPS. There are far less tools there than BioShock, and it just isn't as interesting. That is overall fine, as we have plenty of gold in that genre. And it does warrant mentioning that, if caught, you *can* fight and/or run to safety, and the combat has blocking and different tactics for not only you, also your foes.
The weapons can be upgraded over the course of this, giving something to work towards, albeit ultimately, you can get all(I think) of these in just one go. These include speed, accuracy and the like. The pistol can be made to take several bullets at once, and the carry capacity limit of 10 per ammo type can be expanded. You are almost never made to kill, especially not people, including targets. It would be nice if it let you figure these out on your own, instead of dumping them in your lap. And objectives regarding them to boil down to "eliminate and/or move this person". The settings are fairly varied, exploring the whole city. The cutscenes are purely in-engine, and from the one POV.
There is a lot of brutal, disturbing, gory content in this. I recommend this to fans of this sort of thing. 7/10
I was fortunate to be able to borrow Dishonored from a friend rather
than buy it although the names behind the game and the marketing had
made me want to get it anyway. The plot of this game sees you
imprisoned for killing the Empress the woman you were employed at the
highest level to protect. You escape the prison and join up with a band
committed to removing those who seized power after the assassination, a
band who have plans that can make use of your powers of stealth and
cunning. How you proceed is up to you you can kill everyone you meet
by stealth, incapacitate them and hide their unconscious bodies or slip
by everyone without being seen and complete the story with foes removed
but no actual blood on your hands.
The game plays very well in this regard because you can approach missions in different ways. I tended to go for stealth and non-violent removal of guards just to make life easier (I never had to worried about being spotted by those behind me if I left nobody behind me!) and it was only when things got dicey when I resorted to killing. I liked that dealing with the overall targets had the same options, so it was possible to hunt down information to discredit somebody publicly instead of just stabbing them in a room. The mix of styles allows for several playthroughs and I found it quite satisfying to play it how with a natural approach and then also try to do it as a complete ghost and then as a total killing machine each approach has its own challenges and this I enjoyed. I could have done with some more meat on the bone though, in particular because the game has elements of open-world gaming to it and could have done with more.
What I mean by this is that there are collectibles that help you develop your character (which is very much a sandbox thing) but yet the game works in levels and has a clear end point. You can replay levels but you reset to your level and power on your first playthrough when you do so. There are side missions (again open world) but they mostly fit in with the main story to the point where they do not feel like distractions they don't add much time to the game because in most cases they involve a slight change of route to do them. I would have liked more of this because the game is pretty short; I don't game for long periods but even playing for no more than a few hours a night, I was able to sneak my way through the game even doing the side missions it would have nice to have had more in the way of random encounters and more meat to those that did exist (the safes are a good example but their reward is hardly worth it). The lack of these distractions does tend to mean that route 1 is the clearest way to go, meaning a shorter game.
It is still well designed though and I liked the various ways of getting through areas, the gameplay was varied and for those that seek achievements, the spread of them is such to force you to play with or without magic, with or without killing anyone etc. Visually the game is a good idea with not so brilliant delivery. The semi-steampunk Victorian world of machines and old weapons is one that appeals to me and in any specific example I liked it. However as a full world I was surprised by how rather basic it was in design but also delivery. The graphics are good but not quite "this generation" good. Some of the rendering and details are poor although the slightly cartoony feel to the characters etc do help cover this as being deliberate. It still looks good and the key thing is it plays smoothly, but the delivery never quite lives up to the concept.
Overall though, this is an enjoyable stealth game with opinions in how you want to approach it, which adds life to the game. I was finished within a few weeks though (on limited playing time) and I am glad that I did not pay for the game. Probably one for a rental unless you are an achievement chaser and a stealth game fan, in which case there is probably more life from it. Enjoyable game just not enough to it to really be great.
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