Also available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows
Dishonored is a game that I've had people pestering me to play for several years, and they'd swear up and down that I'd love it, but then they'd mention stealth, and I was all "Nope, no thanks." THEY DIDN'T MENTION THAT I COULD SPAWN KILLER RATS TO LITERALLY EAT MY ENEMIES. THAT SHIT'S METAL AS FUCK. I'd have been immediately sold if they'd just mentioned that to me.
So in Dishonored, you play as Corvo, the empress's body guard who gets sent on a mission to surrounding cities to enlist aid in dealing with the Rat Plague. You get back from your mission with nothing but bad news, and immediately the empress gets killed. Well shit. Then it turns out there's a conspiracy to use you as a scapegoat in the coup, so you get arrested for her murder. Well double shit. Anyway, then some resistance folks help you break out of prison, and you go on this quest to undermine the conspiracy, rescue the princess, and have her put on the throne as the rightful empress. If you want to be a cool dude, you can use non-lethal methods to subdue your enemies and even your assassination targets. Or you could be a giant dick like me and literally massacre everything with a pulse. The ending I got was pretty dark, and everyone hated me, but I had an impressive trail of bodies in my wake.
So, in terms of gameplay, let's use an analogy to describe it. Imagine if the Thief reboot and Assassin's Creed had a baby except leave out the convoluted bullshit storyline from Assassin's Creed, and leave out the fact that Thief was completely devoid of anything remotely entertaining. That's pretty much Dishonored. You steal shit to get money, you kill as many or as few people as you want, and while it's generally advised you be stealthy, you totally can just sprint in and start shooting people in the dick with a pistol if you really want to. You get a decent array of secondary weapons in addition to your sword - a gun with regular and explosive bullets, a crossbow with regular and sleep darts, grenades, mines, and a small but useful array of magic powers. LIKE SUMMON A FUCKING HORDE OF FLESH EATING RATS, HOW BADASS IS THAT???
If you've not been able to tell yet, I absolutely adored the gameplay in Dishonored. The story was quite good as well. Not a literary masterpiece or anything, but it definitely got me invested in the game and motivated me to take brutal and merciless revenge on my enemies. The one element that was an EXTREME disappoint to me, however, was the voice acting. It was terrible. It wasn't quite early 90s FMV level of terrible acting, but it was pretty damn bad. It reminded me of some of the high school plays I've seen in my life. I was displeased.
One design choice that I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated was how open ended the game was within the levels. Yeah, within each mission, you're restricted to a certain area, but you have almost complete freedom within that area. Want to barge in the front door and fuck shit up? Go for it. Want to sneak in the front by sticking to the shadows? Do your ninja shit. Want to jump from rooftop to rooftop to get in? Fly and be free, brother. Want to use tunnels and sewers to get there? Do it. There are multiple ways to get to every objective, and there are a handful of optional objectives and side quests to complete in the game should you choose to do so. It gave a lot of agency to the player, and that's something I definitely appreciated.
Dishonored is not a perfect game, but it's damn close. The story, while not breathtaking, was quite good and well delivered, even if the voice acting was shit. The visuals, especially in this definitive edition, are good with a nice comic-ish feel akin to the aesthetics in Borderlands. The gameplay is absolutely rock solid, though, and that's where the game absolutely shines. Player choice is put in the front seat as far as how you go about completing your objectives, and you can be as brutal or merciful as you want to be. Dishonored is available on a wide range of both 7th and 8th gen platforms, so whatever you system of choice is, make sure you play this game.
My Rating - 5 Neps
I'm Mr. Deck
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach history at a high school in central North Carolina; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.