Imagine if Deus Ex and Assassin’s Creed had a lovechild. That’s Dishonored in a nutshell, and it’s definitely something special.
You play as Corvo Attano, a former bodyguard on a mission to clear his name. Wrongly accused for the assassination of an empress, Corvo must join up with a team of loyalists and eliminate various targets in order to restore the empress’ daughter Emily to the throne.
The city of Dunwall has been overrun with a rat-spread plague. It is a place where both magic and technology live side by side. There are both slums and upper-class areas throughout the city, and those infected, known as Weepers, wander the sewers. In this society, the plague is used as means for the government to do as they will.
The game has two different play styles: stealthy and slow-paced or chaotic and bloodthirsty. Each style results in a different ending to the overall game, and these differences affect how other characters treat you when you need them the most. This first-person perspective game, similar to a shooter, has many different options besides a pistol. Grenades, magic powers, and a crossbow are quickly interchangeable in a tough situation.
The journey is mostly linear, with each level featuring an assassination target and side quest. There are plenty of decisions to make, and the organic way they play out creates an amazing atmosphere. Stealth is one of the aspects of the game that heightens the experience. Even if you take the violent, aggressive route like I did, you’ll be peering through keyholes, searching for gaps in the walls to hide, and creeping up behind guards to cut their heads off.
Corvo gains his powers from a mysterious figure known as “The Outsider.” By collecting runes and bone charms throughout the levels you can customize your Corvo to your play style. Teleportation and night vision are a few examples that allow you to play stealthy and smart in high volumes of enemies. There are a variety of powers that Corvo has, six active and four passive ones, that allow you to personalize how you play.
Graphically the game is reminiscent of Bioshock, with physically exaggerated characters and a dark mood. Like Bioshock, Dishonored uses its atmosphere to provoke the player to continue the story.
The Victorian steampunk style and political intrigue hooked me from the beginning. The game’s sense of style was especially effective during the mission “Lady Boyle’s Last Party” where Corvo must infiltrate an upper-class masquerade on a large estate.
Dishonored has great replayability. The variety of gameplay styles and the different endings allow you to explore the impact that one man has on the fate of an empire. The creativity and quality allows you to take sweet, sweet revenge and delivers a story that will leave you feeling satisfied that you did.