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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: 'Dishonored' - It's All About Choice

Dishonored promises a gameplay experience built around choice. Each new mission is built with dozens of different paths to choose, each of them getting you one step closer to your target in a completely unique way.

Whether you want to possess a fish and swim through an underwater grate, 'Blink' to the rooftops and enter through the open window, or unleash your inner Gunzerker and simply destroy everything, the choice is ultimately yours.


That's what Dishonored promises. It's also what it delivers.

My experience with Dishonored was a very strange one. So odd in fact that the game openly remarked on it during the final mission. It wasn't until about halfway through did I realize my favorite move, 'Shadow Kill', wasn't considered stealth. Little did I know that the entire time I was trying to keep my Chaos level low, I was actually eliminating nearly every NPC in a very chaotic manner.


That's not the part that makes my gameplay different. It's the fact that while I would murder every person in front of me, I didn't kill a single target. Every time I was given the choice I went the nonlethal route. In other words, I killed all the goons, but chose to not kill the ones in charge.

As I mentioned previous, this wasn't necessarily on purpose. After all, I figured 'Shadow Kill' was considered stealth being that my now deceased enemy is nothing more than a pile of ash. I wanted to play Dishonored as stealth. To me, that's the way the game should be played. Designed that way? Not necessarily. There are plenty of Powers and opportunities to unleash serious destruction on your enemy. Each mission has a single main objective, and it's your choice on the means to achieve this goal.


Which is precisely what makes Dishonored such a beautifully crafted game. It's going to be nearly impossible to ever play it the same way twice. Every player is going to have their own story. Their own saga. There are so many choices preceding nearly every move you make that for two people to have shared the same experience will simply never happen. In any given moment you could Blink to the rooftops, sneak amidst the shadows, possess an enemy and hide in the crowd, or command a group of rats to literally devour your combatant. And that's only naming a very small percentage of the choices you are given.

Look, I could sit here and write about the beautiful graphics, intense storyline, memorable  characters, and available powers, but Dishonored isn't necessarily about those things. It's about you - the actor - and the story you create. There are of course going to be those out there who run straight through the game, defeating it in a single sitting and never experiencing what the world has to offer. Those people are most likely sad, negative individuals who never seem to find the good in life. 

Don't be that guy. Instead, take your time and truly experience the details. It's incredible the story you'll create.
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