Dishonored Review

Dishonored is a 2012 stealth action-adventure video game developed by Arkane Studio and published by Bethesda Softworks, released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows.  Set in the fictional, plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall, Dishonored follows the story of Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. He is framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin, seeking revenge on those who conspired against him.


Positives:

  • Innovative gameplay
  • Good visuals
  • Good voice performances
  • Challenging gameplay
  • Immersive gameplay

Negatives:

  • Predictable plot
  • Lacks cinematics
  • Characters aren’t memorable
  • Music isn’t memorable

Campaign:  The campaign is lengthy and the missions can be challenging depending on players’ approach to completing their missions.  The campaign can be played on several difficulties to increase the challenge. The campaign is a bit linear there is room for exploration and other side missions. Although the world of Dishonored is an interesting one, it isn’t an original one.  Several games have dedicated themselves to plots revolving around betrayal and revenge.  There are some pretty interesting characters with their own lives, motivations, and backstories. Corvo is the main protagonist, who dawns his assassin’s mask to exact revenge on those who betrayed him.  The silent protagonist really does suck because as cool as a character as Corvo is there isn’t much depth to him. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay: Dishonored is a first-person shooter so falling into the game will be easy for many players. Although the core mechanics aren’t really different from other first-person shooters (movement, control, etc.) the gameplay is innovative. Players can choose to undertake missions either through battle ready, utilizing stealth, or do both. NPCs have a line of sight and as long as players don’t alert them they won’t attack. However, alerting enemies will most likely trigger alarms to summon more enemies. Not only are players gifted with weapons but also supernatural abilities that not only aid in combat but also transversing the levels. Enemies can be challenging both in close combat and long range. Weapons, equipment and abilities can be upgraded. Weapons and equipment are upgraded by in-game currency collected throughout the levels and abilities by the various Runes found on each level. (4 out of 5)

Graphics: The graphics are good but nothing special. It has that color penciled look and animation-style does have that comic book detail.  The environmental designs are pretty good and the backdrops do give the levels enough depth to be immersive. The lack of cinematics does take away from the story telling which could’ve fleshed out the characters more.  Helped with some of the more dramatic moments of the story. (3 out of 5)

Score:  Voice performances are actually pretty solid.  Honestly, the sound effects are pretty much on point.  The weapons have varying sounds that make them unique.  The loud speakers do feel repetitive, saying the same thing over and over and over again.  There could’ve been varying messages. The music is good but nothing really memorable, in fact it’s underused. (3 out of 5)

Replay Value: The game does have a decent level of replayable content. Every level has hidden treasures, unlockable upgrades, and information about the story in the form of books, journals, notes, and recordings so players can enjoy exploration.  Although the story itself is quite linear the multiple ways to accomplish a mission can make replaying them appealing them.  Of course, there are several difficulties that can effect enemy awareness, damage delivered, and the effectiveness of potions.  Players can replay their missions in order to accomplish them in various ways or to collect loot.  The game has downloadable content (Dunwall City TrialsThe Knife of Dunwall, and The Brigmore Witches) and although the Dunwall City Trials should’ve already been a part of the game it does give more content for players to play.  The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches are story based following the assassin Daud as the Dunwall City Trials  player must defeat waves of enemies, complete time-trial challenges, and perform a series of drop assassinations in which the player kills a target by dropping from a location above the target. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Dishonored is a pretty awesome game.  Although it does have it’s share of issues (lack of cinematics, predictable plot, and non-memorable characters) the game does have great gameplay, an immersive world, good graphics, good replay value, and good voice performances. Dishonored gets 4 out of 5.

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