Product Type: Bethesda PS3 games
Newest Review: ... Dishonored will definitely hit the spot if you haven't played a Bethesda creation before, however if you've played quite a few of thei... more
Kirkwall, a city like every other
Member Name: Danscomp
Advantages: Poetic justice, multiple approaches available
Disadvantages: Bland graphics, simple plot
Dishonored is a game that immediately underwhelms. On the PS3 the graphics are dated. Colours are washed out, water is unconvincing and detail missing. In fact, it looks a lot like Half life 2 at a time when we expect much more from a full price title.
The game world of Generica (My own name for it, I'm afraid) could stand a whole more fleshing out. Compared to the bustling cities of GTA4 or Assassin's creed 2, Dunwall is positively deserted. The game cries out for setpieces that never happen. I was looking forward, for example, to a level on a whaling ship where you might get the option to free a captured whale or sabotage a vessel - or feed an assassination target to an enraged humpback.
No such luck. The missions are all fairly simple in scope. Navigate from here to here. Remove this person/s. Get back to the boat. The voice work throughout is standard, with the exception of Chloe Moretz, playing the contested daughter of the empress.
But if you stick with it, you'll find a game worth playing underneath.
Dishonored succeeds when you don't follow the default kill 'em all path, which feels a decidedly inferior experience to playing as Etzio Alditore in AC2. Rather than simply off the assassination targets in the game, you have the opportunity of removing them while leaving them alive. Sounds lame, but this typically involves a fate worse than death.
You are (sort of) rewarded by keeping the body count down by having less rats and zomb.. sorry, weepers walking the streets. Unfortunately, there does seem very little point in spending thousands upgrading your pistol or gathering grenades, spike traps and incendary bolts if you're not going to use them.
Thankfully, there is plenty of scope to buy and upgrade powers in support of your non-killing ways. Teleporting from building to building, slowing time to get a choke in or a few sleep darts off. Using possession as a means to surmount obstacles is a great touch. Combined with a few other maxed out powers, you can realistically go after the trophies where you remain unseen by everyone.
The game's plot does liven up a little towards the end, and the very last rain-soaked level gives a tantalising glimpse of how good this game could have been.
Maybe next time, Arkane?
Summary: There's gold in the water - but you do have to look for it.