Set in a plague ridden, industrial metropolis Dishonored immediately captures your interest and intrigue and does not let go until its closing moments. The plot revolves around political espionage in which the Empress of Dunwall is murdered and you, Corvo Attano, the Empresses body guard, are framed for it. While at its most basic level the story is quite predictable the games blend of exciting gameplay, unique art style and constant twists ensure that it is an enthralling tale throughout.
While arguably there are many aspects of Dishonored that reflect that of other Bethesda games, namely the Elder Scrolls titles, it is very much its own game. The eerie art style with its grotesque exaggeration of character’s features capture the sullen and very dark atmosphere of the game- not dissimilar to a sort steam punk-esque style. The environments of the game are varied and interesting, ranging from gloriously ornate masked balls to towering bridges, with each mission offering a variety of ways to be completed. The ability to choose how you complete the mission is a constant reminder that the players actions can alter the games ending. I went for a more stealthy approach which ultimately led to a more pleasant ending, whereas if I had killed everyone in my way the ending would have been significantly darker.
One of the key features of Dishonored is the combat and the abilities that are given to you by The Outsider. The Outsider is a neutral figure in the game who visits you very early on, giving you these special powers, leaving it up to the player what to do with them. While to begin with combat felt awkward and often I found myself losing sword fights repeatedly, it does become easier as you improve your abilities. Abilities such as Blink and Dark Vision quickly become as important as your blade allowing you to plan ahead in order to evade detection. The variety of abilities combined with the numerous ways a mission can be tackled mean that you can replay a mission differently a dozen times.
If the gameplay doesn’t interest you then surely the story will. Without giving too much away, Corvo quickly goes from being a criminal to a saviour then back to a criminal. Twists and turns are so frequent that you would think that the plot was written by Agatha Christie. Despite the sheer number of characters that Corvo encounters during the game very few of them feel replicated or fake, each very unique and interesting. The voice acting is, as ever in a Bethesda game, superb with some big names appearing like Chole Grace Moretz (Kickass) who voices Young Lady Emily, the daughter of the Empress.
Dishonored is a dark game. Not just because of the industrial wasteland it is set in nor the mobs of rats and plague victims but it poses uncomfortable moral problems to the player- to kill or not to kill? To return a target to her admirer or to kill her? These questions are what make the game considerably deeper than other stealth games not dissimilar to Dishonored such as Assassin’s Creed . This added dimension mean you take time over your actions, thinking carefully about the consequences that they may have. Despite its dark and macabre tone and style Dishonored will undoubtedly be one of this years brightest games.