Review: Dishonored

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Dishonored is a game about stealth, lies, betrayal and dishonour. Here follows a review of the game.

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Console: Xbox 360

Developer: Bethesda

Release: 2012

Storyline
You are Corvo Attano, the Empress most faithful body guard. After you return from your journey, you have to deliverer her some bad news regarding the plague stricken world, a bunch of assassins arrive murdering the Empress and kidnapping her daughter. You are framed for her murder by the evil Lord Regent. It’s a typical story about politics and power, luckily you are not alone.

A small group dedicated to the truth (The Loyalists) help you to escape from prison. After some events you obtain magical powers from The Outsider and with that you have to save the Empress’ daughter, strip Lord Regent from his power and save the city Dunwall.

Gameplay
The game is divided in chapters, in each chapter you have several missions with primal and optional objectives. You can choose yourself how to solve each mission, but every action you do will have a consequence and will change your storyline (or ending) accordingly.

You can either stealth past your enemies, knock them out or kill them. If you choose to kill your enemies, your chaos level will go up and that will change the outcome how you will finish the game. A higher chaos will cause your city to have more rats, people will act different to you and the city will have more Weepers than normally. You can find runes on your journey that will help you to unlock more magical abilities such as blink, which will allow you to teleport from place to place, Dark Vision, which allows you to see enemies through walls. Keep your eyes open for bone charms as they will give you passive abilities which you can equip any time in game. You can also upgrade your abilities, weapons and ammo by trading.

Stealth plays an important part in this game. You can hide, so the enemies can’t see you and while hiding you can lean around or eavesdrop without being detected. Also you can look through keyholes in doors .

For gaining the perfect ending, you will end up using the reload-a-saved-game function a lot of times. Enemies easily spot you if you haven’t been entirely stealth and when you accidently kill one and fail to hide the body, enemies will be alerted. With the Xbox version this is a rather tiresome way of playing without any easy reload button. Also with this in mind you will have to save OFTEN, preferably in separate save files.

The game has a good atmosphere; you are easily emerged into a city of disease and political betrayal.

A good amount of lore (books, mission notes containing tips), and other goodies (health, magic, ammo, runes, bone charms) are spread throughout the game, so keep your eyes open for them.

Sound and Music
The voice acting is incredible well done in the game. It’s easy to relate to the characters. The choice of voices they have used and their use of language is very fitting to the game and its time. There isn’t much music in the game but it was more of an ambience sound fitting to the environments the Corvo was in.

Graphics
Character movement was a little stiff. The animations were okay but the Xbox360 had graphics issues with screen tearing since I play on a 1080p TV (while the Xbox360 runs at 720p with upscaling to 1080p).

But overall, the design of the world was well done. You saw the mess the dead plague had done to the city. The city Dunwell is based upon seventeenth century London, but is also influenced by late 1800 and early 1900 London because of the use of power.

The good and the bad
Good
+ It’s a compelling story
+ fantastic voice acting
+the atmosphere gives you great immersion to the game
+ very challenging gameplay

Bad
– (Xbox360) lack of a quick save and quick reload makes it frustrating
– graphical delays
– The controller doesn’t always directly respond to certain actions

Conclusion
It is definitely your type of game if you love to stealth around and assassinate people like in Splinter Cell and Assassins’ Creed. You need to be absolutely patient, no reckless shooting around in here.

It’s a good game, but perhaps you should get it for PC instead of Xbox360, because of the issues on the graphics level and that with the save and reload functionality.

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