An ambitious title that lets you play it your way
- -Interesting storyline and setting
- -Great art direction makes the world feel alive
- -Talented voice acting
- -Freedom to play how you want
- -Lot's of replay value
- -Gameplay is unique and solid
- -Weak graphics
- -A bit on the short side
- -Disappointing ending
Dishonored is one the most unique and ambitious games ever made, it implements bold ideas and succeeds in just about all of it's gameplay aspects. And while there may be a couple of missteps, the amazing gameplay experience makes them easy to forgive.
Dishonored takes place in Dunwall, a city based around industrial revolution "Jack The Ripper" era England, which is currently suffering from a rampant disease known as "The Rat Plague". You play as Corvo, the body guard to the Empress and her daughter, who is returning from an expedition elsewhere. Upon your return however things take a turn for the worst and the Empress is murdered and her daughter kidnapped, with you falsely taking the blame for it. Seeking revenge upon those who framed you, you become an assassin set out on a mission of revenge to kill those who framed you and to rescue Emily Kaldwin, the daughter of the murdered empress and the rightful claim to the throne of Dunwall.
How you do that however is entirely up to you. From creeping through the shadows, playing with enemies minds, going all out assault, or just about anything else, Dishonored gives you the power to play it however you want. This is the beauty of the game, and what makes it so bold, there is so much variety in how you accomplish your goals, it puts the power in your hands. Combat is very solid, you have a sword in your right hand and a long range weapon, power, or item in your left (all of which is your choosing of course).
All of your weapons feel powerful and are fun to use, your sword swings and cuts with ease, blocking is solid and good. Your cross bow is easy to aim and zero in on enemies, the pistol kicks and sends enemies back, grenades are fun to use, and all the other aspects of combat are great and varied. You also get a good arsenal of powers that are available at your disposal, from summoning a group of plague rats to devour your enemies, slowing down or freezing time, teleporting, possessing animals and humans, and more. Dishonored easily has some of the most unique and varied gameplay around, there is nothing else like it.
Visually Dishonored is weak in the graphics department and textures look a bit dated, especially the character models. However Dishonored makes up for this with it's superb art direction. The slums are dark and depressing, the sun reflects over the waters and casts shadows throughout the city as it sets, industrial factories bellow black and gritty smoke into the wind, neglected homes tell a tale of a once happy and promising place suddenly cut short in it's prime, Dishonored brings the world of Dunwall to life. It makes Dishonored all the more immersive.
Dishonored can best be described as "semi-open world", the game is level based, but each mission is quite large and fully explorable, each one filled with it's own side missions. It also allows you multiple ways to get to your targets. Do you climb upon the roof tops and scout for a window in? Or do you creep through the rat ways underneath? Or do you simply barge in the front door? It's all up to how you feel the best way to accomplish your goal. You can also choose who to kill or who to spare, aside from the main targets, you are free to incapacitate instead of killing enemies, or simply ignore them completely. Each of your choices has consequences, for instance choosing to butcher everything in your path will cause an increase of plague rats to appear, which means more plague in the area and more weepers (people who have advanced stages of the plague and have become deranged lunatics), which also means more innocents could be infected.
However this also means that your enemies will have a harder time dealing with you as they will be distracted by the dangers of the plague. Throughout the course of the story you will be faced with other decisions such as who to kill and who to spare, among several other choices. This also makes Dishonored a thinking man's game, as the choices you make might have a consequence.
The game will last you around 9-10 hours on average, this makes Dishonored a bit on the short side, which is unfortunate as it would be have been great to explore more of the world of Dishonored even further. However Dishonored does offer a good amount of replay value with it's many different play styles, various side missions, multiple endings, chasing down Runes and Bone Charms (both of which unlock and improve your abilities), harder difficulties, and just exploring all the aspects that the city of Dunwall has to offer.
Dishonored is a game that you will replay again and again, each time experimenting and getting a different gameplay experience than the last. Unfortunately, without spoiling anything, the ending is vague and lacking. It doesn't offer any real conclusion and leaves much disappointment, which is a shame because the storyline and world are so interesting and it would have been more satisfying to have gotten a more solid ending. Still this is easy to overlook in the grand scheme of things as the overall experience of Dishonored is so great.
It's not very often a game like Dishonored shows up, with it's unique gameplay, immersive setting, and ambitious ideas, Dishonored gives you a bold experience you won't find anywhere else. It's a game that you owe it to yourself to play.
Dishonored get's a 4/5