A cold wind blows through the city of Dunwall. A rat-spread plague has hit the visually unique kingdom and threatens to turn it into ruins. To make matters worse, the good willed Empress has been killed with you framed as the murderer. Luckily, you may just have the skills to get yourself out of this. And if you don’t, perhaps you will be given them.
It’s almost difficult to think of Dishonored as one would a regular game. While it’s story isn’t much better than that of most games, I found it much more engaging. The world, the story, the fates of every character, Dishonored made sure I had a hand in all of it. Giving me as much control as I wanted to have over every situation.
Much of this is thanks to the game’s unique freedom of movement. Dishonored grants players numerous movement-based powers throughout the game to make traveling through the open areas of Dunwall a breeze. It’s interesting how the game allows you to be over-powered, without making you feel over-powered – it makes you feel skilled.
And of course, what is an assassin without his arsenal? The unfamiliar set of tools that Arkane Studios gives players is another thing that makes this game so different from others. Wielding a projectile weapon in one hand and a sword in the other gives players endless possibilities when dispatching baddies. Not to mention the magic-like powers the player is given, which I wont get too specific about, these are better left as a surprise.
The kingdom of Dunwall is so refreshing. The game is not trying to look realistic, it looks more like a painting. But manages to make you feel as if living in this painting is entirely practical. When hopping from mission to mission, I found myself wanting to explore everything to its fullest, and couldn’t wait to get to a second play-though.
Each character is acted out wonderfully and is easily understood, actors put the appropriate inflections on their lines. My only complaint would be that while a good number of the guards in the game have unique dialog, there were more than a few moments when I would hear a line repeated. While in most games this would not be a complaint, just a nitpick; the difference is Dishonored was very close to making me feel completely immersed throughout the whole game and then I would notice “Hey, the guards I encountered earlier had that conversation…”
Dishonored’s narrative is the main push for the player to keep moving, semi-predictable plot twists aside, the players are given motive to get to the endgame. It gave me a nagging sense of urgency as I went through each mission, one that I often don’t feel in games.
Additionally the game has two endings. Based on what decisions the player makes throughout the game, some publications went into more detail with what each ending entails, but I’ll leave that for you to discover.
While not going into too much detail may seem lazy of me, saying too much about Dishonored feels criminal. Although the game has been out for a few weeks from the writing of this article, that gives you no reason to not pick it up. It’s a game that begs to be experienced rather than summarized. It’s fantastic. We should all encourage Arkane with our money to make another convention-bending thriller.