We all have played games that promise us open worlds and the freedom to pursue any mission in a variety of ways. Well, most of the time there are a couple of options given to the players under that banner, nothing more. False promises, I say. But then, there are those games, and there is Dishonored.
Dishonored is a game that has it all figured out right from the beginning. Be it the storyline, the characters, the artwork, the combat system or the missions, Dishonored comes across as an embellished title that leaves nothing to be desired. It burgeons towards the finale with a quick pace, leaving the gamers spellbound and completely entwined in the alleys of Dunwall and the life of Corvo Attano, the protagonist with supernatural abilities. So, are you ready to experience all of that and more? Well then, let me describe this beautiful journey to you!
What Makes Dishonored Tick?
There are several aspects of Dishonored that make it a great game, beginning to end. Dishonored has one of the most captivating environments that I have seen in some time, with accurately modeled Victorian England themes underlining the city of Dunwall. The characters and NPCs play a crucial role in the game and contribute to making the city believable and a part of your journey. All these factors together make Dishonored a world that will stick with you through your progress and after that. I felt that Dishonored’s game environment was as engaging as Borderlands’s, a powerful statement considering the vastness of the latter’s world.
Dishonored features a brilliant combat system, complete with knives, guns, crossbows, gadgets and supernatural abilities (Read insane supernatural abilities that will give you goose bumps). The best part is that these abilities are actually necessary for completing some missions with frightening precision.
Use your ability to possess animals and sneak past guards, hidden in a rat’s body. Or, use the ability to stop time when someone fires a bullet at you, possess his body, move him in front of the bullet he fired, get out of his body, unfreeze time and voila! Watch him get shot with his own bullet! The combinations are actually limitless, giving you access to a new experience every time you go through the story.
Speaking of the gadgets, the one that appealed to me was the heart, given by The Outsider, a divine character in the game. The heart leads you to runes and bone charms that help in unlocking magical powers and makes the game a superb experience altogether. It also talks to you, telling the darkest secrets of a person to which the heart is targeted.
Sure, it looks eerie and creepy, but hey, it is a fun gadget, so red, so soft, so squishy.. let’s not get distracted.
The Real Honor of Dishonored
While the above aspects were enough to make Dishonored a spectacular title for me, the crux of the game is something else altogether. The cherry on the cake, the jewel in the crown, the trump card of Dishonored is the freedom given to gamers for executing each and every mission in the game.
As Corvo Attano, you have complete control over your will and actions, within a mission and outside it. The beauty of the game lies in how it responds to the actions of the players over time. For instance, I once chose to complete a mission Rambo-style, get in, kill all, get the objective, get out. Sure, with the powers at my disposal, I could do that easily. But in the end, it just made guards more alert and responsive to any activity around them, making the subsequent missions harder for me to burst through.
The crux is that the game is smart. While it did give me an option to do whatever I like during the missions, it adopted counter strategies to make things difficult for me in future missions. Ultimate result, I was scratching my head to outsmart it in every mission, making my experience memorable and challenging.
The character development, complete with skill trees and supernatural abilities, is the responsibility of the player in the game. You need to invest skill points in different abilities and this investment would change the game experience widely. Time control, possession, blink, summoning army of rats, windblast etc. are some must have abilities that you should invest in for having a lot of fun.
I particularly enjoyed calling a plague rats strike on the guards and see them little creatures devour guards in instants. And I could always possess them for partaking in the big feast myself.
I think Dishonored is one beautiful game that gives you the freedom to be whatever you want to be, a silent assassin who gets the work done without killing or a killing machine who eliminates anything in his way, or anything between those two shades. The beautiful graphics, rich character play and story, combat system and the spread out supernatural powers together make this title a must have.
The only reason why I wouldn’t give a 10 to Dishonored is the presence of certain AI glitches that can royally screw up your efforts to go unnoticed. Couple that with bad level design in a couple of missions and you would see yourself repeating that mission, hoping it does not glitch again. Taking a point off for inconvenience, 9/10 is my rating for Dishonored. I hope you have fun with the game and give time to a wonderful storyline and the different paths to completing missions. Till then, happy gaming and thanks for reading!