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Dishonored Review

In the dark, dingy city of Dunwall all is not well; there's the plague, rats, death and murder at every corner; all is not well indeed. To make things worse, the Empress has just been assassinated and the heir to the throne abducted, although at least the suspect has been apprehended, or has he?

Corvo Atano, a once proud solider is in a bit of a predicament, which you'll find out soon after your join him. He's been blamed for the aforementioned crimes, thrown into a cell in Coleridge Prison and is due to be executed. It doesn't seem to matter to those in charge that he is actually innocent, but it's not up to them to prove this, it's up to you. Thankfully, just as Corvo begins to fear the worst, he manages to escape, aided by a group known as the loyalists. They, like Corvo, want to restore the rightful heir to her thrown, although our makeshift assassin will have to find her first, allowing him to clear his name at the same time. It certainly isn't an easy path to the end credits, but then you wouldn't want it any other way, would you?

Dishonored, a world full of stealth and/or high chaos, depending on the path you choose. A world full of magic, betrayal, blood and funnily enough, sleep. It's mixed up alright, more than you'd even imagine.

So Corvo is free and upon meeting the loyalists, you'll soon discover he has to return to the city of Dunwall in a series of missions in order to restore peace and hope. Of course, Corvo was never going to find it easy to blend in on the streets of Dunwall and the loyalists know this. In this respect, soon into the game he meets with Piero, a clever man who provides all the equipment and upgrades he'll need when eventually setting on his way to complete the various missions assigned to him. When Corvo first meets Piero he is gifted a mask which not only covers his face, but also provides zoom functionality. Later on Piero can also provide various upgrades both to the mask and other equipment, as well as providing ammo ahead of missions - he's a handy man to know.

In addition to meeting Piero, our protagonist also comes across a mysterious character who provides Corvo with the ability to learn rune magic. Each of the spells available will have to be earned by finding the various runes scattered throughout the game, although to aide him in this task Corvo is gifted a heart which beats as both runes and bone charms grow closer. While bone charms are handy, given that they provide up to three small bonuses to aid you in your quest, it's the rune magic which really helps set Dishonored apart. Rune Magic takes various forms, giving Corvo the ability to teleport; jump into the bodies of other living creatures or beings; blast enemies against walls with a strong force of wind and more. Each ability does require a certain amount of runes to learn, and can be upgraded once learned by collecting more runes.

Given that Dishonoured is a dangerous world, weapons also play a large part in Corvo's survival. Generally he is armed with his assassin's blade on his right hand; however with his left hand he can mix things up a little, arming himself with a crossbow, pistol, grenades and traps. The left hand can also be used for magic, allowing you to create devastating combos like cast a bend time spell, use the quick access wheel to switch to the pistol and shoot the enemy down before they know what's hit them.

Once armed and to some extent, 'rune'd up', it's finally time for Corvo to set upon his way to Dunwall to complete the tasks at hand. These missions almost feel like separate episodes, with each having varied objectives. The beauty of the approach developer Arkane Studios has taken is that you don't actually need to play through the mission in a set way. This means that although your clear goal at the start of the mission may be to assassinate someone, there are other paths you can take, some of which will probably make your life easier. It's not all about killing either, although you can go down this route, leaving corpses on the street for the rats to feed off and no doubt helping spread the plague that is already riddling the city. Taking the stealthy option is actually a lot of fun and very challenging. Guards often spot you when you make a sound, however utilizing rune magic and quiet feet, you can generally get through the mission without killing anyone. For instance, you can take possession of rats to sneak past guards into buildings or teleport onto the rooftops and avoid them altogether. If you do find yourself having to confront a guard, you can knock them unconscious rather than ending their life. Dishonored is all about choices and there are a lot of them.

No-one goes into a game expecting an easy path to complete the missions and Dishonored doesn't disappoint. There are certainly plenty of obstacles which stand in Corvo's way. Electrified fences need to be disabled, large towers which fire rockets need to be avoided and alert systems need to be silenced. You could say Dunwall has the best security system known to gaming, although you can use this to your advantage. Take the electric gate as an example; each gate has a panel which if hacked will turn on the enemy, on occasion these gates have an alarm which alerts the guards if you get to close and when this happens they'll run towards you at high speed, therefore should you happen to hack the gate, as the guards run through it, they'll disintegrate into a thousand tiny pieces. Corvo's got the skills; Dishonored is all about how you use them.

Enemies in Dishonored are certainly diverse, with city guards, assassin's, thugs and even rats standing in your way. The game also introduces tallboys, a large mechanical moving weapon which is controlled by a lone pilot. Tallboys are fairly tough and generally when you come up against them there will be more than one, although they do have a weak spot, it's just a case of finding it.

Once you complete an objective, it's time to rest. In this respect, at the end of each mission a stats screen will appear, providing you with information such as hostiles and civilians killed; alarms rung; bodies found; your chaos rating and the number of collectables you found. It's during this time you'll really discover how you've played the game and, if you wish, you can take the opportunity to play the mission again, perhaps using a different approach.

The neoclassical steampunk world of Dishonored is certainly something to be desired. Graphically this game stands out amongst all others released this year. Arkane Studios have taken a risk with the style and era on which this game is based, but it certainly seems to have paid off, because it's beautiful. Often in games of this size, there will be bugs aplenty, however not really many come to mind from my play through. Perhaps I was too engrossed in the story, thanks to its many twists and turns, or maybe I was just so engrossed in not trying to get caught by the enemy. Either way it's impressive stuff.

As a website, we've never been one for spoiling games in our reviews, which is why you'll find that there is so much more to Dishonored than I have described here. There are so many characters, possibilities and outcomes as well as countless ways to play through each mission. The path you take will lead you many different ways, but each will be just as pleasing as the last.

Dishonored may be based in the age of terror and corruption, but as long as you choose to have Corvo by your side, then you can't really go wrong.

Review Policy (Version tested: Xbox 360)

Edited On 08 Oct, 2012

( 42 )
Bindiana 3 years ago
Its looking very good this could well be the game of the Christmas period.
It really is an excellent game.
Joe Anderson (Editor) 3 years ago
Heard a lot about it the game on podcasts and stuff but not really seen anything of it. You may of convinced me to make a purchase from your fine selfs this week.
Bindiana 3 years ago
It's worth buying I'd say. I maybe play through again, but take a different approach this time. The art style is lovely too. Probably one of the most original games of the year.
Joe Anderson (Editor) 3 years ago
Shnoorum 3 years ago
My god do I want this game. Sadly its gonna have to wait a month untill payday but it's allways been a definate buy for me
I think with some of the big games coming out in the next 5/6 weeks - I may require a mortgage soon enough! This has won me over, but I don't have the funds this week *sad face*
Greigyboii 3 years ago
I know what you mean. Atleast they announced this as their comment to win game so we all atleast have a chance. If I dont win I think Ill end up dipping into my savings for this one. Too hyped not to now
Shnoorum 3 years ago
scourge 3 years ago
argh! too many games coming out! I'll have to wait till the jan sales to pick this up, it is looking amazing though.
Same problem here... I will have to hope Santa is nice to me :-) But nice to see new IP and a focus on a quality SP game. Other devs jumping onto the MP bandwagon take note! Hope it sells well to send the right message.
Mutt 3 years ago
hairyfingernail 3 years ago
Be picking this up for sure, but its gonna have to wait. The age old problem "to many games, not enough time"
I agree! Seems the university timetabling NEVER takes gaming into account :P Might need to have a word with them!
Greigyboii 3 years ago
JoeToots 3 years ago
im still not convinced on this game i might have to read a few more reviews before making my decision
You can hide inside of a fish. Well, thats my attempt to sell you on it
Shnoorum 3 years ago
Loli-Nox-Tan 3 years ago
Sounds Amazing but sadly I don't think I would give it the time it deserves (I recently started playing Demon's Souls) but maybe I will hint at people to get me it next month for my 20th
Deathrowghost 3 years ago
Looks amazing top spot for game of the year!
markanix 3 years ago
Great review, this game is a must play.
Thanks, always nice to hear that when you have spent time completing the game to write the review hehe :D
Joe Anderson (Editor) 3 years ago
I would agree that the reviews on this site are far better than some of the leading gaming magazines and sites. I would encourage an entire review feature of the site for old and new games alike ;)
Greigyboii 3 years ago
We have loads of reviews on the site, they are all tagged, we just need to get our review section up and running. Since we started the news site we must have around 300 reviews, hopefully you'll be able to see them all soon.
Joe Anderson (Editor) 3 years ago
This is good to hear, I was thinking it would be nice to be able to see the reviews all together. I'm pretty surprised there have been that many so far I guess I was pretty late to the news section. I do like reading the reviews on here though, keep up the good work :D.
TheFlyingToaster 3 years ago
COP3Y DUNT 3 years ago
Best game at EuroGamer. This is a must buy for everyone.
damatman 3 years ago
I really enjoyed your review of it. Complete encapsulates my feelings of the game from when I tried it at the Eurogamer Expo. The way you can combine powers is great; waiting for an enemy to shoot you then freezing time and possessing him so he is positioned in front of his own bullet is amazing >:D
I thought I couldnt want this game anymore than I do but you just proved me wrong
Shnoorum 3 years ago
Pyroloveridge 3 years ago
had this pre ordered forever, easily looks like its going to become a classic!
Stabber 3 years ago
hope i win the game in the contest, this game looks so good
Martin Turner 3 years ago
Just preordered! Wasn't going to buy this..would have missed out!
TheFlyingToaster 3 years ago
So happy that this is getting great reviews, It's always nice when you really want a game that could have gone either way and everyone seems to love it. Great review btw :D Just makes me want the game more.
My thoughts exactly. While it was unlikely, I was a bit worried this game may not be as good as it looks. Saying that I've been rather hyped about playing this for a couple of months now, it's a big relief to hear they pulled it off wonderfully. Been to many great sounding concepts failing lately so it's great to hear one that is infact as good as it sounds
Shnoorum 3 years ago
OGUZ 3 years ago
Will be epic, IMO GOTY of 2012 will be dishonored
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
From all the screenshots and so on it has a sort of bioshock type look to it. Good to see it getting good reviews though.
rjc 3 years ago
Great review. Up until a few days ago this was merely a game I needed to see more of, in the last few days I really want this now.
Datastatic 3 years ago
Great review, wasn't interested in this at all but the hype made me pre-order, hope it lives up to it for once.
Konakona 3 years ago
This game does look pretty good. The first time I heard of it I kind of just pushed it aside to the "maybe" pile. It's a bethesda game so I'm bound to like it though haha. I find the character models to be kinda creepy, especially in the last picture! In any case, hopefully it's not as buggy as previous Bethesda titles.
Assassin Corvo 3 years ago
First review i have read for Dishonored-a game i have been anticipating for what seems like forever-and what a good review it is,although i am not surprised as i have watched,read and downloaded every item the games developers have allowed us to see over the last few months.The last game that had me this excited was Dead Space and that proved to be a good choice and i'm sure Dishonored,as a new IP in a market flooded with sequels,is going to be a breath of fresh air-even if it is a plague-ridden,steam punky,rat infested breath. PS Just one question-Isn't the town its set in 'Dunwall' and not Dungwall?
Greigyboii 3 years ago
You are pushing and pushing me to order this game XD great review! (as usual from you guys).
Mutt 3 years ago
Good to see this reviewing well after the hype from all the previews. Looking forward to playing this. I may even replay .... something I don't do very often.
I love replaying parts when it comes to games like this. Hitman for instance, I probably played each level a good 20 times
Shnoorum 3 years ago
karlosswan 3 years ago
I tend to be a sheep and follow shopto reviews so this looks like a must
HappyNoodleBoy 3 years ago
How's the replay value? SP only games need it in abundance to justify a £38 price tag for me
I'd actually quite like to know this too, I know a lot of people may not be as interested but I do like to know things like roughly how long first time playthrough is etc, and the replay value. Also I know it's a small niche but trophies/achievements can be important for replay value for people like me :D. It can definitely help with so many games and not enough money :P. I am kind of guilty of buying a short SP on day one only to race through it and not touch it again. Saying that Dishonored really doesn't seem that type of game but it would be nice to get some sort of idea.
TheFlyingToaster 3 years ago
DubbleJd 3 years ago
Wasn't going to get this until after xmas because of all the upcoming games i've preordered, AC3, Hitman, Halo 4, .... unfortunately i have no self control and just preordered it with yourselves, i can't resist a good stealth game although i'll probably do the first playthrough on a wonderful blood thirsty killing spree and save the stealth for second playthough ;) My poor bank account is going to take a hammering over the next few weeks lol
tafkas 3 years ago
This was not on my radar at all, then I watched Giant Bombs quick look. Oh my god, its looks stunning. Ordered from Shopto almost right after watching the video....

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