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whatshot Dishonored PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Dishonored
Reviewed by
Staff Writer
on
Dishonored PS3 Review. Dishonored is the thinking man's first person shooter but throw those guns away as there are so many more interesting ways to take on your enemies.
Rating:
4.65

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.0
Sound 9.0
Value 9.1
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher:
Bethesda
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak
Review Date:
Oct 2012

9.3


Dishonored 

Welcome to the highly anticipated open-world first person adventure game from Bethesda called Dishonored that places players in a pseudo Steampunk universe in a chaotic Victorian city. Set in an alternate reality that has some parallels with games such as Assassin’s Creed, Deus Ex, Bioshock and even a touch of the supernatural, Dishonored is easily one of the most ambitious first person adventure games to date that thankfully doesn’t box the player into a carefully scripted chain of events. Rather, additional control is given to the player as they embark on a political story of murder, intrigue, revenge and redemption. Unfortunately this land is cursed and the rats of the city carrier this dangerous plague which has seen many citizens of the Dunwall fall victim to this disease.

Co-designed by Harvey Smith of Warren Spector’s Ion Storm Studio, Dishonored transforms players into the Protector, one of the most trusted bodyguards of the Empress called Corvo. However upon his early return to the kingdom, he is framed for the murder of the empress and the kidnapping of her daughter which places him in custody. With a new regime put in place, led by the newly appointed Lord Reagent, not all the citizens of this kingdom are pleased with the outcome with a small group of individuals setting themselves up as freedom fighters. By freeing Corvo from prison, he agrees to bring justice to the murderers and hopefully return the rightful heir to the kingdom by becoming an assassin.

Armed with a strange mask to install horror amongst his victims and a variety of strange new technologies, Corvo embarks on a mission of revenge that even takes him down the path of the supernatural. Mysterious forces have also chosen Corvo and have given him the tools to use ancient magicks to support him with his cause. Conversely, the creators of Dishonored have given the player their own moral compass to follow. This means that your decisions will influence the way the story plays out and whether you want to use cold blooded murder or take the role of something nobler, it is entirely up to the player. However depending on whether you employ order or chaos into the world of Dunhall is a two edged sword because the more chaos you cause (e.g. bloody murders), the higher the chaos becomes in the city.

The game starts with the player returning from a mission for his Empress early. During this time, you are given a small tutorial on the control system of the game that has been mapped flawlessly onto the PS3 controller. Here you interact with characters such as playing hide and seek with the Empress’ daughter, talk to other nobles and then attempt to defend the empress from mysterious assassins who seem to come out of the shadows. Defeated, broken and battered, you are imprisoned for a crime that you did not commit, however your salvation to freedom is just around the corner.

Although the game starts as something of a renaissance/Steampunk game, a strange dream takes you to a place of magic where you meet this strange individual who bestows supernatural powers on your character. These powers are the twist to Dishonored and create this interesting premise behind magic and technology. My favourite “magic” in the game is possession which allows you to possess animals and even humans. At first, you can only possess animals which is quite fun but as your skills increase in witchcraft, so do your powers. Another interesting spell in the game is the ability to freeze time which allows you to get into all sorts of mischief such as placing traps around your enemies or conveniently placing grenades next to them. As you un-pause time, you can see your mischief unfold.

Combat is a key aspect of Dishonored and the game gives the player a plethora of ways to dispose of your enemies, whether through melee, ranged or magic attacks. Weapons range from traditional swords to more whacky Steampunk inspired weapons and even guns and grenades. You can also use magic to enhance your combat abilities. As the moral compass is entirely up to the player, it is up to you how you want to take down your opponents, whether you want to slice their throats, shoot them or just knock them out, it is entirely up to the player. If you want to keep with the stealth aspect of the game, you do need to hide the bodies because if a guard sees an unconscious or dead person, this will raise the alarm. Just be warned that stealth can sometimes be quite frustrating as the guards have a knack of catching you at the most inappropriate times. Missions are quite diverse in the game and range from simple assassinations to something more complex like searching for a particular item for one of the NPC’s. You also have this “Q” like creator at your disposal as well who helps Corvo create a variety of gadgets and weapons for his missions.

Needless to say, there is quite a large amount of diversity when it comes to missions and how to complete missions. For example, early on in the game, one of freedom fighters asks you not to hurt her uncle who is in the city guard and when you do come across his character, it is up to you on whether you want to the noble approach or something more sinister. Even getting to your intended mission destinations can be achieved in a variety of ways such as hiding in the shadows, using the rooftops or even going in with guns and grenades blazing. NPC’s interact with your character quite differently and when you have the mask, guards will immediately attack, whereas citizens will flee. There is even a masked ball area in the game where the guests actually comment on close your character looks like the assassin Corvo. It's these subtle touches that makes Dishonored such an impressive game.

As you interact with the gaming environments, your powers are quite basic at the start as they allow you to teleport or even see through walls. There is however a cost to use these powers and in order to inherit more powerful spells, runes must be found though the city of Dunwall. Runes are an interesting premise in the game as they are not seen by normal people. Rather, you have been given a magical heart that helps point you in the right direction to where the runes are scattered. The heart has its own personality and divulges secrets of the various areas where you visit. Combining spells with items and weapons is quite reminiscent of a traditional RPG's as opposed to a first person shooter which Dishonored borders on. Apart from runes, you also have bone charms that are littered through the gaming environment and serve as temporary boosts for your abilities. From deep level design, great customisation for your character and a variety of choices on how to solve the game, Dishonored is easily the most original action game of the year.

Graphics/Audio

Graphically, Dishonored is quite a cinematic experience and from the very first level, you immediately know that you are in for an amazing adventure. Using the Unreal engine, Dishonored carefully creates this engaging interactive world that melds well with story and gameplay. The city  of Dunwall looks like this amazing Victorian city with twisted Steampunk technology. Characters are well animated and costume designs create this authentic world of diversity and exploration. Just be warned that the game can become quite bloody. The only downside to the characters is the zombie-like appearance of their faces which verge on creepiness, especially their dead eyes. The lighting is gorgeous in the world of Dishonored as are the water and magic effects which work hand-in-hand with the gameplay. To complement the graphics, the voice acting is quite professional, sound effects enhance the gameplay and the musical score suits the title from the humble drama of the streets to the high action on the rooftops.

Final Thoughts

Dishonored is the thinking man's first person shooter but throw those guns away as there are so many more interesting ways to take on your enemies. With a great protagonist, interesting characters and well-written story, it's games like Dishonored that really make you sit up and take notice. It's original and gives almost total control to the player on how the story and game will play out. With elements of RPG meets first person shooter, Dishonored is the game to all fans of both these genres and beyond. Highly Recommended!





 

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