Dear Diary, I Played Dishonored!

Last week I mentioned that I had received Dishonored as an anniversary gift from my awesome boyfriend. I didn’t get to play the game too much last week due to finals, but this week I finally found the time to sit down and engross myself with it. Well, yesterday, I beat the nerve-wrenching and heart stopping adventure and, I must say, though the story was a bit short for my liking, the challenge in the gameplay made up for the slightly lacking storyline.

Now, let me warn you that these next few paragraphs may contain SPOILERS:

The game started off intense, I eagerly awaited the introduction while gripping the controller tightly in my hands. Grinning ear to ear, I loaded the game and it took me to the city of Dunwall, on top of Dunwall Tower, where the character, Corvo Attano had just arrived from a voyage. It was strange to me at first because the camera and motions were so sensitive, and after some getting used to (and turning down the sensitivity on the settings), I got the feel for the controls. The graphics were amazing and the scenery was truly breathtaking.

The first part at the top of the tower was a short tutorial of how to run and enter stealth mode. You meet the princess, Emily Kaldwin, and the Empress at the gazebo. That’s when Emily is abducted and the Empress is murdered, and you’re caught cradling her dying royalty in your arms. You meet Lord Regent, who accuses you of murdering her and sends you to be executed. That’s where the fun begins and you officially become a wanted criminal, where you are dishonored. It introduces you to most of the guards coughing and hacking, as you sneak by them, and you learn of the plague that has contaminated Dunwall. The character design in Dishonored resembles the characters in the Borderlands games, kind of comic-book like and slight cartoony features. Though most people complain about the significant difference between the artwork of the landscape and the NPC’s, I could really care less. After all, it gives the game it’s own identity.

The game, then, takes you through some more tutorial-like instructions as you navigate your way out of the prison and you meet Samuel, the man who helps you escape. Unfortunately, you don’t get to travel wherever you want or, at least I didn’t see of any way to say replay missions, unless after playing through them and clicking “Replay Mission.” You hide out a The Hound Pits Pub and all your further missions come from Admiral Havelock. You get to run around the safe haven, your hiding spot from the empire, and you get to upgrade your weapons and eventually, the famous Dishonored mask.

The game features a folding blade and a crossbow. You can also find pistols throughout the game, but the sword and the crossbown are found when escaping prison. You can buy bolts and sleeping darts for the crossbow, and of course, upgrade damage dealt, distance as which it can be dealt, and a few other upgrades to the weapons from Piero. The game also includes grenades, rewiring tools, and a spring razor trap which fires blades at enemies. You can also upgrade your mask to magnify (a zooming feature) so you can see enemies from far away. Grenades and ammo can also be upgraded. To do most of these though, you must find the blueprints scattered in the missions of the game.

After sleeping at the Pub for the night, you meet the Outsider who takes you through the steps of how to use your first power called Blink. It lets you teleport from one place to another, at a certain distance, and you receive the mark of the Outsider. You eventually get to unlock more powers and upgrade them after collecting runes from each mission. To find the runes you’re given a heart with a hole that glows when a rune or bone charm is near. I found this odd that they would use a heart, but after some searching around, I figured out the heart is supposedly connected to the Empress. These features reminded me of BioShock, which allowed for plasmids to be used in one hand and guns and offensive weapons to be used in the other, but Dishonored had it’s own twist to it, and instead of having to sacrifice innocent little girls to enable the powers, you must seek out the runes hidden in the missions.

My favorite power in the game was probably Possession, however, most of all the powers were beneficial in one way or another. Possession though, allows you to possess an animal (rats, hounds, or fish) and each has its own perk to being possessed. If you upgrade to Level 2 of Possession, you can possess humans. The advantage to this, if you’re really curious, is that when you possess an animal or human, you can walk right by guards and other animals and no one detects you.

Now the fun begins. During the mission you sneak past the empirical guards, civilians, weepers (the game’s version of zombies that have been infected with the plague), eventually other assassins, and rats. Yes, rats. They sometimes travel in packs and will swarm you if you get too close. There is a benefit to this though, when a guard (in my case, a guard that will not move and I didn’t want to kill him) would sometimes get in the way of the pack of rats and would be eaten alive, granting access to move forward. The game also offers up numerous hiding spots and nooks and crannies for you to slip into so as not to be detected. You can climb buildings, hide behind boxes, hide in dumpsters, hide in windows, on hanging lights, chandeliers, in vents, tunnels, street lights, rooftops, air vents, and my favorite, hidden passages in certain buildings. There is seriously nothing more satisfying then sliding back a hidden panel and slipping inside the hiding spot and shutting the door behind me. Another game comparison, Assassin’s Creed (which sometimes irks me to bring up now after all these casual gamers have gone berserk about it.) The stealth and slipping into the dark often reminds me of the “stealth mode” on AC, slipping into hay wagons and onto rooftops of the city.

Lastly, the game, much like Oblivion, BioShock, or L.A. Noir, the game features several outcomes to each mission and the ending of the game, depending on how you play, what you did (such as how many people detected you or you killed), and the choices you make (mostly being sparing lives and taking others). In Oblivion, choosing to murder people will end up with you being sent to jail. In BioShock, the choices with the Little Sisters determines the outcome of the end of the game, and in L.A. Noir, the choices and accusations in each investigation determines the ranking of the job. I also read a blog where someone said that Samuel’s demeanor and attitude toward Corvo changed after completing the game. I assumed it was due to how they played each mission.

I won’t go into too much detail with the ending of the game, for those of you who haven’t played it, and as far as the missions and storyline, I hope I didn’t give away too much information. For those of you who are thinking about playing it, I hoped this would at least give you a visual and clear summary of how the game works and what to expect. I will add that the ending left me feeling accomplished, my expectations were met, a few details exceeding those expectations too.

In conclusion, Dishonored was a very satisfying game, though lacking with the short storyline, it’s made up for this with its distinct personality as far as character design and scenery goes, and the fact that you can replay missions. I am going to replay the game so I can unlock the other achievements, such as playing through the game with only Level 1 Blink and not alerting anyone or being detected.

My rating?

9.6 / 10.0

This is ncdogg,
Bringing gamer news from a simple gamer girl.

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