A spoiled ninja
I love me some stealth games. So many games have you killing people that I just get deep satisfaction and enjoyment out of sneaking around enemies. Okay, so the killing part I still mostly still like taking part in, but boy is it fun being a sneaky ninja! Dishonored is a first-person action role-playing game, with a new IP(finally) from Arkane Studios, published by Bethesda, and packs a load of silent-sneaky goodness.
It all takes place in a big dolphin-punk (they use dolphin for fuel, it’s messed up) world that sort-of resembles the same art style Bioshock followed, but on land. You’re Corvo; He’s a guardian for the empress who dies immediately when the story begins and you’re framed for it. Stuff happens, and you’re free and out for revenge. What you want happens to line up with things that could benefit a group of revolutionists and you become the assassin going around taking out the necessary people of power for a greater good. It does takes you on some nice twists and turns, but don’t expect anything too ground breaking. They introduce the empress’ daughter at the beginning, Emily. They play Emily off as someone who is influenced by you, and what you do during your missions will affect her, well, ...crazy level. I feel like her presence in the story sometimes made it difficult to play how I really wanted.
It’s a game about choice. Right off the bat with the gameplay. You can choose to either play a sneaky character, being unseen for an entire mission, or run through like you’re a pimp-hat red mage from Final Fantasy reenacting Rambo. You’re ranked on how silent or chaotic you were by a ranking titled ‘Chaos Meter’ after each mission. I’m pretty sure it only has low, medium, and high. Mine stayed on low as I wanted the good ending. I think this little display of information made me play too carefully as I was figuring out the sneaking mechanics in the early missions. Later on I found myself playing more recklessly, but still sneaky, while still making it out with low chaos for every mission.
The skills that you can get reflect this freedom of choice; There's even magic, because why not? Most of the optional collectables have you getting runes that you can use to buy upgrades with. For the sneakers, you’re given things like a blink, which allows you to jump 5-30 feet ahead of you, or a passive skill that makes bodies disappear when you sneak kill enemies. For the rambo-ers, you can summon a swarm of rats or improve your sword-wielding abilities. The tools are meant to solve problems from other first-person sneaking games by almost making sneaking an easier and quicker experience. I found myself mostly abusing blink, honestly, but my style was very sneaky.
Missions take place in a giant open map with a main objective, usually an assassination. A few optional objectives are tucked away in other spots. These optional things usually end up aiding you for your main target, like providing a non-lethal way to take out the target, or give bonuses like more upgrade runes. A lot of the map is made very accessible with blink, and you will find a lot of different paths through any given mission. The level design has a very Deus Ex feel to it, which makes traversing through the big levels fun. This makes for good replay-ability because this game does clock in pretty short if you’re not doing all optional missions. It’s supposed to be 9 missions but it felt like 6, and I finished it in about 7 hours.
Overall a great sneaking title that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre. Great also for someone looking for something other than just another modern first-person shooter, as it’s a great game that doesn’t hold your hand. Just remember to save often.