Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dishonored Review

Cover Art
     Hello everyone and happy Wednesday, hope your doing well.  Today I pulled a game off the shelf of never ending optional stealth games, not nearly as large the zombie shelf.  That things the size of a house.  Point is, that this little beauty from 2012 is Dishonored.  Winning multiple awards for its story, the steam-punk Victorian world, gameplay and so forth.  Dishonored puts you in the shoes of silent protagonist 433; Corvo Attano, the Royal bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles.  The games starts out with Corvo returning from over seas to the City of Dunwell after having been sent out to find a cure for this nasty rat plague that is sweeping the city.  So he returns to the Empress and her daughter Emily, talks a bit to this guy YOU KNOW is so totally the bad guy, then you see the other smug-faced ass who YOU KNOW is the other bad guy.  I like it when you go through a game getting to know the cast of characters then find one of them is the bad guy.  I love and I hate it, getting to like someone then finding out their Hitler is usually upsetting but at the same time you think "WHHHAAA!! Where did that come from!! Thats why that one thing happened and he avoided the conversation about his favorite cheese, it all makes sense now!!".  I don't like however, five minutes into a game knowing the individual to be the villain and then they are the villain.  Why not just stand on the roof of the town square and scream "I'm the classy British bad guy".  So, anyway, Corvo comes home, says hey without saying hey and then then greets everyone, the adviser (bad guy), the lord regent (bad guy), the Empress and her daughter, Emily.  Then, not ten minutes there, the Empress gets stabbed through the rib cage by a mysterious bunch of assassins who kidnap Emily.  "Well then", I think. "Things went bugga all to 'ell right quick, that they did" more British me thinks.  Then bad guy A & B show up AFTER the Empress is dead and her daughter kidnapped, what a strange coincidence.
A grenade explodes, sending enemies flying 
To top it off they say "Oh would you look at that, Corvo has killed the Empress, that lady that hes spent years protecting, and kidnapped Emily in the five seconds it took us to get here.  Take him away" .  Wouldn't it have been nice if he said, "No, I didn't kill the Empress, regain your senses you morons"  But since he decided to be a mute, he ends up thrown in prison accused of killing the Empress.  So then, surprise surprise, someone who believes he didn't do it gives him the key to his cell and he escapes prison.  He meets up with a bunch of Loyalists who think the last monarchy was better than the current one and says they will help you track down the men who were associated with your fugitive status. So after acquiring some trademark gear thats cool like a retractable sword and a one handed cross bow, Corvo gets some sleep before his adventure.  He wakes up in a weird land of floating memories that happened recently.  Then after hearing a strange voice, the Outsider appears.  The Outsider is a supernatural being that has god like powers, he likes Corvo for some reason and adorns him with his mark, the shiny symbol seen on the box art.  Corvo wakes up to see the symbol on his hand and realizes it wasn't a dream.  Now with an advanced set of tools combined with powers gifted from the Outsider, Corvo sets out on his quest to prove himself innocent, find Emily and avenge the Empress's death.
Corvo Attano
Throughout the game Corvo will explore many locations varying from the streets of the open city to the abandoned flooded district of bad town.  The symbol on Corvo's hand marks the power he possesses, through the course of the game he can find bone runes, via a beating heart he was given by the outsider, it also tells secrets about those nearby, that can unlock and upgrade the abilities granted to him.  These vary from teleporting across large distances, stopping time for a short duration, possessing a human, using the Force and sending a swarm of rats to devour someone.  The most useful and my favorite was the Blink teleport power, letting you hop over buildings and get out of tight situations.  As mentioned earlier there are many weapons used by Corvo.  His retractable sword serves as his primary offensive weapon, the crossbow his silent stealth weapon, having many different types of darts like sleep darts, regular and incendiary bolts. He also has a flintlock pistol, grenades and spring razor traps that shred a man if he steps into it.  All equipment can be upgraded, the crossbow and flintlock can be upgraded to shoot farther and faster with a larger clip size to add.  Ammo pouches can also be expanded for more space.
The mark of the Outsider
Whale charms give bonuses to the player, who can hold up to six once the upgrades have been bought.  These allowing silent steps, a less likely chance to be hit by bullets and so forth. A moral choice aspect is also present in the game, decided how to approach your enemy and targets influences the ending, which there are three of.  I went through the game rendering everyone unconscious or just avoided them altogether, not being seen the whole game.  I did this for a few reasons, one; it was the right thing to do, I also always helped people unless it involved cannibalism.  Two; despite all the nasty shit that goes down during the story, I doubt if I decapitated half the populace, saved the Princess and tried to reenter society, it probably wouldn't go so well. The same goes for the guardsman of the city who go from caring lawman to raping scumbags at the change of the ruler.  I get the game's intent of trying to make these guys more villainous so you don't feel bad about offing them but I mean, come on, even Metro 2033 managed to give the Nazis some humanity, strange as that sounds. There are a few ways to approach the game: there the "stay in the shadows" kind of gameplay, no kill or the "guns blazing kill everything that moves" gamestyle.  Or a combination of the two.  Sword fight relies on timing and parrying before executing the finishing move.  Bodies, dead or alive, can be hidden in spots like rooftops, dumpsters and other out-of-sight places.  This can be crucial in segments when wishing to remain unseen, also darkness is your ally, stick with it and you'll be no more than a shadow.  Between missions Corvo returns to Loyalist HQ to resupply and spend your hard earned coin on upgrades. Potions for health and magic used to charge Corvo's power can be bought and found all over the place. There are also a number of plague ridden zombie like creature called Weavers that feed off the plague.  The more people killed, the higher the chaos, the more guards, the more zombies and so forth.  Not much more to say about Dishonored, great game, would play again, still need to buy the DLC. Hope you have all enjoyed and I will be back next week with another post.  This has been Jacob Arnold, signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Jacob, it's actually about ethics in games journalism.