– The anticipated first person action game is finally here and we’re able to get a good look at it. Combining aspects from Bioshock, Dues Ex and Half-Life 2, the game provides a great story telling and action/stealth experience.
Protagonist Corvo Attano is witness to the assassination of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin and the abduction of her daughter and heir to her throne. Corvo Attano is wrongly blamed and mistaken for the assassin. He is imprisioned, soon to be executed when a mysterious note is left for him giving him instructions on how to escape. Once Corvo meets with the group who left the note for him, they introduce themselves as Empire Loyalists. With half of the city looking for Corvo, he has no choice but to help them. Put to work as an assassin with the hope of clearing his name and finding Emily, heir to the throne.
Missions and story information are presented through various mediums – converstations with main characters, notes, audio recordings, letters etc. This is pretty standard, but the nice thing about this game is, similar to Bioshock, Dishonored gives you many different paths or different ways to address a certain scenario. This is much better game design than the standard, linear plots. One thing that is hard to master in a game like this, which two main playstyles is the balence between the two. In most games one playstyle will dominate and the player will just use the more powerful style as it’s easier, but in Dishonored the game is pretty balenced. The stealth/action choice is viable either way, and even a mix between the two is possible.
Another point that contributes to the combat is the special abilities granted to Corvo by The Outsider, a character from the Void. The abilities include the ability for Corvo to see in the dark, possess animals (or even humans), see through walls, blink to a nearby location and many more cool features. These abilities add a new layer to the combat and really make things interesting. They work very well with the action/stealth playstyles and incorporate themselves so well that many different attacks or abilities can be chained together quickly to wreak havoc on Corvo’s enemies.
Corvo is also provided with an NPC that will allow him to upgrade his abilities or weapons. Allowing him to buy traps or even special ammunition that will allow him to put his enemies to sleep, poison them etc. There are so many different possibilities for combat (or avoiding it) that make this a great game for practically everyone as the playstyles are so diverse.
The Choas System is put in the game to judge how stealthy Corvo has been, the more Choas and dead people that lay in Corvos trail, there’s more chance of a “bad” ending. The “good”/”bad” ending system determined by the player’s choices throughout the game is again, very similar to Bioshock 2, and that’s not a bad thing. It provides some variety and many players will try to get the better ending just to brag to their friends.
Overall, the game provides diverse combat styles that will appeal to most gamers, which will provide a great story telling experienced based on how you played throughout the game. The game was eagerly anticipated for a reason, and it certainly lived up to the expectations.