Dishonored (PC, PS3 ,360)

Today I find myself yet again sitting behind my desk with nothing to do. So instead of the usual (watch Game of Thrones) I’ve decided to do something a little bit more constructive. Instead I decided to go to the steam-punk, industrial city of Dunwall. A city full to the brim of plague, rats and general nasty things. So everyone strap yourselves in and keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Here’s Dishonored.

Dishonored centres around Corvo Attano bodyguard to the Empress Jessamine and her daughter Emily. Upon his arrival back in Dunwall after a diplomatic mission away the Empress is assassinated and her daughter kidnapped. Corvo is framed for the crime and is sentenced to death. Just before his execution he manages to escape, with help from the rebellion who oppose to the rule of the new Regent Hiram Burrows (who masterminded the coup against the Empress). Soon after meeting the Loyalists, The Outsider (Some supernatural entity) visits Corvo granting him the use of his magic. Armed with his new powers and the resources of the Loyalists, Corvo now has the means to exact his revenge on those who framed him and rescue Emily.

The story flows like a river of bricks, being delivered in splutters at a time. With any kind of game like this there a plot twist at the end, but only those who have either spent much of their life living under a rock or were born yesterday will find it shocking. Most players will be on to it before Corvo has a chance to clean off his blade. I’m not saying that that story is participially bad, it’s just shallower than anything else Bethesda has put there name to. The game itself is short and isn’t really made much longer by the few optional missions. Although you can make it longer by playing the game twice, once to get the good ending, then again to get the evil ending.

The gameplay however is nothing short of fun. The game flows really well with smooth transitions between parkcour roof running, blinking across roof tops and finally jumping off a building to plant Corvo’s sword into the skull of an unaware guard. As I mentioned in my Awards of 2012 section, I enjoyed how fluid the gameplay felt. I also mentioned that there was a smaller number of techniques available. To explain what I meant I need to remind you of the first few shorts from the developers, they made a not of a few different ways to kill stuff. They went through about 4 or 5 and told us there was a whole lot more, turns out they were lying through there teeth’s. There only really a handful of ways to go around taking the life of those who see to bring you to justice. Not that that’s what’s upsetting me, I just don’t like being lied to, especially when it comes to me spending my own money.

One thing that it defiantly worth mentioning is the artistic merit of the game. With it’s unique character design and industrial steam-punk Victorian London overlay, it is a very pretty game. It just saddens me that the characters themselves seem so generic and lifeless, almost robotic. It just undermines the work of the graphic designers when boring characters are placed into such artistic surroundings. It would be much like gathering a bunch of hill billies and asking them to staff the Ritz.

Now for my final thought. Dishonored is a game I did enjoy playing, as you have read it was far from perfect, in fact it was no where near perfect. What it did get right however were the basics of how to make a fun game. It had the fluidity so transactions between each aspect of gameplay meaning that the gameplay didn’t jerk or suddenly stop. It was one smooth continual roller-coaster ride. This in itself is enough to warrant at least an recommendation, in short it’s not perfect, it’s fun and you should check it out. Even if it did spell it’s name wrong.

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