Over the past year or two I've read a couple of books and watched a couple of films that personally I think would make epic video games.
Dishonored: The Good and the Bad
I would like to open this article with a statement.. Dishonored is my personal Game of the Year. With that in mind, I’ve collected my thoughts on this inspiring work of gaming to identify five issues and five truly brilliant aspects of this game to let you decide if it’s worth that Christmas money you got this year.
1. Dark Vision
This had a lot of potential as a power, it enabled you to see through walls and identify enemies thus allowing you to avoid or attack them. The problem with it is that it’s not very accurate or dependable, it will show you people in the next room but doesn’t exactly clarify the population of an entire floor. This would lead you to presume the remainder of the building is empty and cause detection, with a long range Dark Vision the process of skulking around would have been far more achievable.
This is more just an inaccuracy that annoyed me throughout the game rather than an actual issue. When you upgrade your mask to get the scope lens installed (something I highly recommend to my sniping companions out there) you can scope using the lens in your mask, obviously. The inaccuracy arises when you arrive back at the Hounds Pits Pub and remove your mask, you’re still able to scope without the mask on? As I said, not an issue, just an irritating inaccuracy I noticed.
The game will face you with many people from guards to civilians however there is no indication as to who are your enemies and who are your friends. Obviously guards are your enemies but the line is blurred in terms of thugs or other civilians. Thugs are sometimes on your side and don’t attack whereas other times they do? Civilians are the same, sometimes they just gasp and run and other times they attack you. I can’t quite figure out why they act differently and its cause a few irritating “Load last checkpoint” moments.
Dishonored has the opportunity to have some seriously intricate and amazing multiplayer formats that it seems to have been entirely overlooked. It has no multiplayer, none, not even a co-op mode (which would have worked amazingly!) The Head designers have been quoted stating they felt “no pressure” to add multiplayer to the game so I strongly encourage anyone reading this to go and pressure him for some in Dishonored 2.
The little treasure hunts offered by Runes and Bone Charms in the game are excellent little side missions and almost force the players to explore the rich world that’s been created. However, Bone Charms aren’t quite worth the hassle. Runes unlock the all important skills and literally dictate what your gameplay will be like, so spending an extra 20 minutes scaling a building to get one is worth the effort. Bone Charms offer minuscule effects and are often harder to reach than Runes. Things like “Rare chance for full heal potion” or “Climb faster” are just not seen or activated enough to be worth collecting.
Dishonored is about as scripted as a fight between a bear and a shark; anything can happen. The way YOU play the game will affect everything, from killing or not killing, from being a true ghost assassin or running into a room guns blazing. You can play the game however you want and develop a truly personal style to progressing through the game, which is something I think has been lacking from the gaming industry and something I welcome back with open arms.
The feel of Dishonored is only improved by its innovative graphics. Stepping back from the ultra-realistic race that games are all in, Dishonored flipped the bird at them and came out with some truly breathtaking graphics. A painted/cartoon graphic design presides over well animated gore and sunsets that all come together to offer that realistic feel in a completely new fashion.
Dunwall faces the player with a new environment and as such raises a multitude of questions. Are we on earth? What era is this? Who are they? What happens if I shoot that? Some are answered, others are left tantalizingly unanswered all through a well propelled narrative. The player meets characters that they’ll develop strong feelings towards and they can be expressed by murder or protection. There’s also an epic narrative twist that literally came out of nowhere. Unlike many modern games, Dishonored offers a brilliant tale that you play through just to push it forward and find out more.
When it comes to free running in first person, Mirror Edge shows us what not to do. Thankfully Dishonored has noted the do’s and don’ts and has developed mechanics that just work. You can run, slide, jump, and climb, giving you all the basics you’d expect, the difference is you can do it on literally anything you can think of. That streetlight? Blink on top of it, then jump down and assassinate that guard. That window, climb up the air vent and jump onto the ledge then sneak in. Dishonored gives you a remarkable open-world feeling on a much smaller scale than other games which is actually nice, you don’t have to trek through a desert for 10 minutes to find the next town.
Dishonored is one of the few games that makes you feel like what you’re doing is actually making a difference. It’s all well and good blowing up a Taliban missile depot or stopping an alien invasion, but your actions in Dunwall just feel more effective. Your cause is more justifiable and you as a player want to seek revenge for being dishonored. It riles your emotions and makes you feel a part of the narrative. Corvos’ story is important to you and so is Dunwall city.
I’m certain you will have your own lists of positives and negatives about this game from your own experiences so please share them below in the comment section, it would be interesting to see if anyone else feels the same about the scope lens as I do. Hope all our readers had a fantastic Christmas, roll on New Years!