Dishonored is a weird cross between Bioshock and Assassin’s Creed. The game takes place in the dystopian, Victorian-esque, steam punk city of Dunwall, which runs on all things whale: oil, bones, etc. You, Corvo, return from a voyage only to witness the murder of the empress and are blamed for the ordeal. Rescued, you are given a chance to save Dunwall from a political conspiracy, rescue the Empress’ daughter Emily, and take revenge. The game’s fiction is intriguing, but it lacks realization. The world is interesting to explore, but the story itself won’t shock and awe you. The voice work, at least, is excellent.
What Dishonored lacks in story, it makes up for in gameplay. Each assassination mission takes place in huge, open world environments allowing you to explore and tackle your task any way you want. You can creep through the city undetected, or run through it on a bloody thirsty rampage. It’s up to you and it even affects the story, kind of. For your missions, you’re given a plethora of weapons from your trusty dagger to your handy crossbow. You’re also blessed with magic given to you by a mystery man known as the Outsider. These powers allow you to manipulate time, warp around, and more. Your equipment and abilities can also be upgraded through various means. It’s unique, customizable, and well thought out.
The city of Dunwall is dark, eerie, and teaming with corruption. The design choices of splicing different genres together make it a fantastic looking game. There are blemishes here and there, but it looks and runs great for the most part. Being able to save anywhere is also a plus, allowing for multiple tries for that perfect kill or escape. The game will take about 8-10 hours depending on how you tackle the missions, but either way it offers great replay value. Story, again, isn’t the best and the latter half of the game feels a bit flopped together and anticlimactic. And unfortunately the music isn’t very memorable either.
Dishonored is an awesome game set in a unique world with amazing stealth mechanics. Gameplay wise, this is a win. There are a few smudges in its overall design especially in the story department, but nonetheless it deserves a look. If you like Assassin’s Creed and Bioshock and can’t wait for either new release, well, this will surely tide you over.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on October 19, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down. Check out the supporting video review on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.