Dishonoured is a stealth action-adventure video game developed by Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks. If you haven’t tapped into this game yet, do it now, especially since the definitive edition is out for PC, Xbox One and PS4. It’s only 18 bucks and definitely worth every penny. This game is fun, and completely flexible to different players, allowing you to approach missions using stealth, or a more hack n’ slash approach.
Dishonoured reminds me a bit of the Infamous franchise in that you can decide if you want to be a “good” or “bad” guy. You can choose whether to take down guards or even civilians, or you can play it stealthy and even try to achieve “ghost mode” (where nobody ever knows you were there). Whichever way you go, the story generally remains the same, but there are some big benefits to taking a non-lethal approach. First of all there will be less maids around (aka innocents), and also less people infected with the plague to block your path. The story will also stay brighter, and you will get a much happier ending. If you decide to go guns blazing, your “chaos” level will stay high, and you will get a fairly depressing ending. Either method can be fun, and it definitely gives the game re-playability. The game isn’t terribly long, but if you take a stealthy and more methodical approach, it definetly extends the gameplay. I blazed through it pretty quick, but my chaos level was generally at maxium, which allows you to finish levels much quicker without fear of discovery. Whatever method you choose, the game will be fun, and you’ll lose yourself in it… there’s no doubt about that.
The game combines weapon/stealth combat with supernatural abilities. Your character gains tons of cool abilities by collecting “runes” throughout the levels, which allows you to customize what kind of game you have, depending on the type of skills you purchase. You can slow down time, quick warp to areas, cause wind gusts to knock down foes, and even posses animals and humans for short periods of time. Some abilities are more tailored to stealth and some are more violent, so again which abilities you equip will depend on what kind of game you want to play.
The environments in Dishonoured are very unique in that they are somewhat realistic, but the textures close up are very painterly. Sometimes brick walls won’t even appear to have normal maps, but the albedo map is so beautifully hand painted that it looks incredible. The sets are detailed and look realistic and lived in, yet almost appear like a strange surreal-esque painting. The colour palettes are dark and moody, and the only criticism I have is that most of the environments look pretty similar. However the whole game takes place in the same city, so it’s hard to really fault Bethesda and Arkane on that. Overall it’s a really good-looking game, with an art style that remains unique to the series.
One major issue I had with dishonoured is the lack of autosave. If you want to play stealthily, you are going to want to manually save a ton, in case you mess up, or get noticed, or accidentally kill a civilian, etc. The game only saves in major sections, which is fine, but for a game like this when you need to redo sections at times, this can be a bit of a nuisance. Not the end of the world, just something to keep in mind.
Along with spells, you get a few different types of weapons in Dishonoured. You start with a blade and a pistol, and soon grow an arsenal including a crossbow, sleep darts, grenades, landmines, explosive bullets, and more. Most of these weapons, aside from the sleep dart, are meant more for a combat approach, and they can be really fun to play around with. However if you are going stealth style, the magical abilities are going to be more up your alley than your weapons.
Overall dishonoured is a short, action packed, unique game. Every mission has multiple routes, and whether you go stealth or action, or somewhere in between, every player is going to approach the situation differently. Dishonoured 2 comes out in a months time, so this is the perfect time to grab this game (especially the remastered version, since it has improved graphics and additional content). I honestly feel like this game is what the game “Thief” should have been; a stealth game that is fun and makes the player feel like they have a purpose. It’s fun, its cheap, it’s by Bethesda. There is no downside. Go buy it!