In the past few years new IP’s in gaming have seen a sudden decline. This is due to the “high risk” factor that publishers take when backing a studio behind such an idea. Yet Bethesda had no problem getting behind Arkane Studios new project Dishonored. The game has a gripping Steam Punk setting that allows gamers to see a new style of art in an industry that tailors to the realistic. While Dishonored isn’t the first huge Steam Punk game (Bioshock a more notable title with steam punk art) it does have a style distinct to the game.
As soon as you boot up Dishonored you will assume the role of Corvo. He is the personal body guard of the royal family and was sent on a mission to the outer laying islands. Upon returning Corvo makes his way to the Empress who is the woman in power of the surrounding islands as well as Dunwall City. The current situation sees the threat of a plauge on the horizon as well as political mumbo jumbo as everyone strives for more power. Once he reaches the empress after choosing to play with her daughter Emily or not. Baddies come to ruin your merry return and just like that you are framed with the murder of the Empress. Sentenced to death the player must find a way to escape the prision and extract revenge to those who assassinated the Empress, kidnapped Emily and framed Corvo.
Stepping into the world of Dunwall City you will be completely overwhelmed by the freedom that is given to you. With a non linear approach when it comes to attainning powers and weapons everything is unlocked however the player will have to choose how he or she plays. Do you bust out your COD skills and go guns a blazing or do you stick to the shadows like a thief in the night? Either way there is no wrong or right way to play this game and this is what makes the game so fun.
Aside from the confusion you might see from the first couple of missions on what to do, you will find that completing an objective can be done multiple ways. For example, one assassination attempt sees Corvo venture forth to an overseers quarters. Once there the possibilities to murder the classy chap are endless. From poising his drink, to sneaking up and slicing his throat or even taking control of his mind and jumping from the window. These are just 3 awesome examples of how to complete an objective. This isn’t limited to just objective based enemies either, you are able to do this with a number of different NPC’s throughout the world of Dishonored.
The stealth system in the game is actually the best thing about Dishonored. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop along with your supernatural powers. Peeking through keyholes to access, how to approach a situation. Disabling walls of light that will vaporize you in an instant, or even rewiring these booby traps to work in your favor. There is never a way to go wrong with every approach you take. When you do start up a stir however don’t expect just one or two guards to assault you a whole platoon is what you will have to take down during some of the frantic encounters this game has to offer.
While the PC version of the game is phenomenal to look at the brethren for the console side of the game is a different story. With some of the graphics suffering especially the boat you travel by before and after each mission seems a little more original Xbox/Playstation than a next gen polygon object. While these setbacks are minor. It has to be noted that going from room to room finding the same objects over and over is a little discerning. While the environments offer great detail as far as the artitecture is concerned. The items that make up each level get old. There is only a certain number of Whale meat in a can I can take. Looking at the bright side however, some of the scenes the game has to offer are very graphic and disturbing. Which in the setting is exactly what sucks you into the game. This is also found in the lighting system that Arkane Studios has developed. From disgusting sewers that have very little light, to running around the city with the sun peering down each level is filled with emotion and creates a painting in motion.
All in all Dishonored brings the Hardcore to gamers. Yet while every game sets up a tutorial system with hints at how to eliminate or getting around certain enemies. Dishonored allows the gamers to figure it our on their own which only adds to the experience. Don’t expect a long game sadly, as the game can be beaten in just a little over 7 hours on your first play through. While the game has a system that allows you to kill everything in site or save everyone. The system doesn’t really make an impact as some other games like Mass Effect or the Elder Scrolls series. While the replay ability is nice, the load times are a huge headache especially while playing on consoles. If it were not for these minor issues Dishonored would be almost flawless.