“Step into the boots of a one man supernatural army as you cut your way through the unjust, restoring honour to your name.”
Its the dead of night, and your mission is to infiltrate and kill a man, your weapons are set in the beginning, you have a task to do, and you can go about it any way you wish, as long as the job is done. You can handle things from a distance with precision, or wade in there and get your hands dirty. A quick teleport to a safe vantage point above everything else, you can see your path, three guards block an entrance, you spy a sewer tunnel off to the side, and to your right, another path. You cannot see where it leads, but you see a swarm of rats feasting on a corpse, tearing it down to its bones. You have made your choice, and rush forward, a silent instrument of death, to do what you have been tasked with.
No you’re not playing Hitman, you are playing Dishonored, one of the biggest game releases of this year, everyone has been waiting for this and here it is at last. Developed by Arkane Studios, Dishonored is a first person stealth game with a non linear path through it, dictated by your own thoughts and actions throughout its story line. Thankfully Sabotage Times were graced with a review copy, so with a lot of high expectations, and a freshly loaded flintlock pistol, we silently snuck in to see what this game is about.
Dishonored has you playing as Corvo, high protector and personal bodyguard to the empress, being framed for her death and the abduction of the princess, Corvo must fight his way through enemy after enemy to clear his name and restore the rightful princess to her place. To this end, you have pistol, blade, and supernatural powers granted to you by a mythical being known as “The Outsider”
Stealth is encouraged...meaning a combination of teleporting, looking through walls and freezing time were my bread and butter.
Now this game's biggest selling point is the mechanic of choice, you can choose how you handle each and every mission and situation differently. If you are detected you can fight your way out, teleport away, freeze time and drop a proximity mine before legging it, anything. Stealth is encouraged however the choice is yours, and your powers are to customise to whatever play style fits you best. Personally I went for stealth, meaning a combination of teleporting, looking through walls and freezing time were my bread and butter, allowing for quick and easy movement from cover to cover (Plus the occasional throat slitting whenever you feel like it) Alongside this in terms of customization, the game contains 40 “Bone Charms” a collectible that you can obtain and equip to improve your character in certain ways such as less damage taken or increased duration of a power.
The control scheme works quite well, the teleporting can be finicky from time to time however this is helped by a mechanic that changes the aiming reticule to let you know if you will climb over a ledge onto safety. This works well in slow stealth however in fast paced moments, there can be a few panic moments and failed teleportations that can leave you pretty fucked, but on PC that should not be too much of a problem.
You can upgrade your powers by finding runes scattered throughout each level, sometimes taking on mini missions for them which are all interesting and varied, and the locations to find them in work as a great mechanic to explore the world, you may even find some alternate paths to your main objective on the way.
This game has been hot on everyone's radar all year round and with good reason, add this to your collection, you owe it to yourself.
The worlds setting is particularly interesting, futuristic steampunk is something that needs to be done well to be successful and in Dishonored it really shows time and effort to create an atmospheric experience. The sound is brilliant as well, adding more and more to this world you can find yourself drawn into. An interesting mechanic involved in this game is the rating system for each level, known as Chaos Points, something that is adjusted according to the actions of your character during gameplay, the game allows you to play however you wish, but your stats, actions and achievements are reflected in this rating. Thankfully I’ve found that if you keep the death count reasonably low the game does not penalise you too much for it, which is thankful whereas in games like Hitman, being glimpsed is pretty much your be all and end all.
Quite simply Dishonored is an amazing game, atmospheric, enjoyable and varied. The replay value of this game is staggering due to the ability to replay any mission in a multitude of ways. This game has been hot on everyone's radar all year round and with good reason, add this to your collection, you owe it to yourself, if you don’t, I’d advise watching your back, because you could be Corvos next target.
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