March 12, 2013 by misterblank22
Dishonored is a refreshing experience that offered gamers something different when it came out. The market is flooded with Call of Duty clones that sell extremely well and it looked like Dishonored wouldn’t stand a chance against the competition but the skeptics were proved wrong. You become immersed in the city of Dunwall where a plague is rapidly spreading along with extreme corruption. How you play determines the fate of Dunwall, if you kill your enemies instead of simply knocking them out you cause more rats to chew on bodies and spread even more disease.
In Dishonored you play as Corvo Attano a bodyguard for the empress of Dunwall Jessamine Kaldwin . Like any story the protagonist gets the bad end of the deal from the start. Jessamine is murdered in front of Corvo and her daughter Emily. Corvo tries to fight to save Emily but she is ultimately taken by dark men who form from smoke. Corvo is of course blamed for the murder or Jessamine and is sent to prison. After being tortured and a day away from execution a strange group contacts him with a letter and a key out of the prison.
From here on out it is your story, in a sense. What you are given through cut scenes or main dialogue isn’t too special, it will not blow you away. What will surprise you is what you find through notes or by talking to people. Take Samuel for instance, he is simply a boatman, he takes Corvo from point A to point B with little to say but if you talk to him in-between missions you learn about him and Dunwall. He told me a story about strange sounds he’s heard while out at sea along with faces in the water. I learned by talking to Emily and her caregiver that Emily thinks about Corvo a lot and on her bed was a crude drawing of him holding a sword near a castle. To add even more depth Piero, the four eyed man who upgrades your weapons, is trying to get a girl to love him. He first makes a horrible assumption that when this certain lady brings him coffee that she was going to sleep with him, after his awkward embarrassment he decides to watch her bathe through the keyhole in the bathroom door. I of course told him that I didn’t want to see anyone on their knees spying on people, Piero walked away with his head down and then I more or less barged in the room and startled the poor woman as she was in the bathtub.
The notes in the game give you a glimpse as to what the plague is doing to the poor people of Dunwall. I snuck into an abandoned apartment only to find mutilated bodies and a half decaying body of a mother with a note in her hand. She wrote that she watched her entire family die from this plague before she was left alone with the plague herself. Walls are written on with insane messages from infected citizens warning you or simply rambling. Depending on how you play Dunwall will be effected greatly. The plague may be cured or it may get even worse claiming more lives, it’s your choice.
If you loved BioShock then you will love Dishonored since it plays much like BioShock in a sense. You have magic in one hand with your weapon in the other. Magic ranges from teleporting to spawning rats that nibble away at guards. This magic is given to you by The Outsider and man who is part devil and part angel. He’s a soft-spoken man who appears to Corvo at various times, mostly after collecting Runes which allow you to level up. The Outsider gives Corvo a mechanical heart which beats when the player is near a Rune or a Bone Charm (Which gives the player small perks when worn).
One of the head designers of Dishonored helped design Thief Deadly Shadows and the similarities are blunt between the two in both gameplay and setting. Dunwall is much like the City; both are based in a steampunk Victorian/Medieval era. Notes, books and character dialogue help progress the story more than the cut scenes in both games.
Dishonored gives the player a large amount of freedom. For instance I had to infiltrate a party with the task to kill one of the three hosts who were all disguised. I could have simply slaughtered every single person in the mansion until I received the Objective Complete checkmark but instead I decided to be nice. I pretended to be a guest; I dueled a man for a friend and talked with guests. I possessed a small rat and scurried past guards into a vent to the upstairs which was off-limits. I played the stalker and went through the girls rooms reading their diaries and stealing their gold until I found a clue as to who I needed to murder. In her journal my target said she loved to meet a man who enjoyed music. Once downstairs I ran into a strange man in a mask who told me he knew why I had gone there. He rambled on about his love for Lady Boyle (Who I was about to murder) and how I should not kill her, he told me to send her to the cellar.
Once the masked man was done talking I found Lady Boyle, all dressed in white like her journal said, and I told her to come with me to the music room, she wanted a man who loved music so I played on that. She was very excited so when she turned her back to me I knocked her out, took her to the cellar and threw her into the talking mans boat and he sailed away. I snuck out and met Samuel who took me home. I still wonder what that man is doing with poor Lady Boyle.
Dishonored is the light in the darkness, it is a game that really shines when everything seems to be just shades of grey. It truly played the part of a new Thief game which filled me with joy. I fell in love with Emily and her innocence, even though she was subjected to pure corruption, murder and a stint in a brothel she was still blind to the ills of the world.