Dishonored: most underestimated game of the year and why it’s so good
A fresh 3rd look at Dishonored and the verdict is the same: it’s a hit
by : Arthur Kotsopoulos
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
It’s no secret that most of the staff here at OXCGN are extremely excited about Arkane Studios‘ Dishonored, particularly our American reps Nicholas Laborde and Nicholas Capozzoli and our Editor In Chief, David.
I won’t sit here and bore you with what you’ve most likely already read, seeing as Nicholas Laborde had the chance to test it out early August, which you can read up on it here.
I’ll cut right to the chase and elaborate on what my thoughts are on Dishonored and what it brings to the table.
I had a lovely phone interview with Dishonored‘s Executive Producer, Julien Roby, which you can read soon with regards to why it’s important to not force the player to play a game the way the developer sees fit, but rather to craft this amazing world and give the player the tools to enjoy the game how they wish.
Up until I found out I was attending the Australian preview event and interviewing Julien, I had not checked out the game in any way shape or form, apart from being told via word of mouth how awesome it was and was going to be.
Suffice to say any doubts I may have had regarding this new IP being released so close to the current console generation’s end of life cycle were squandered from the moment I got my hands on the controller.
Dishonored, made ever more evident by its environment, is like a mix of Deus Ex, Bioshock and Thief, and it works wonders for the game.
It sets itself apart from all the sequels released over the last few years, and Arkane Studios has crafted a unique atmospheric world that you can easily get sucked into.
Nicholas Laborde explains it perfectly after talking to Lord Shaw and battling him in a duel, “Little things like that show that while Dishonored isn’t an open world game, it does paint a damn good illusion of being in one.”
Whilst it may not be strictly an open-world game, Dishonored rewards the player for exploring the environment. Not only are there dozens of items and hidden runes, each mission has multiple ways of being approached.
You can go the conventional way of using the front door or the perhaps unethical way of using the back door or upper window.
If neither of those seem exciting enough then just as I found out during this preview, you can possess a fish and swim through the sewers to reach your destination.
As long as you can physically reach where you’re trying to go then there’s no telling what you can and can’t do with the powers you possess.
Never the same
Guards would react depending on my movements and sounds and clues were in different bedrooms each time I loaded up a new game.
The best example of this was when I had crawled through the attic of one bedroom into another and without equipping “Dark Vision”, I frantically jumped down into the bedroom and there cowering in fear was one of the Boyle sisters.
These are the kind of scenarios you’ll be faced with in Dishonored, at any given moment everything could be going exactly how you wished it would, only to have a guard vary up his patrol or an innocent party guest walk in on you and witness you doing something suspicious.
Now I’ve played a lot of games in my time knowing that many of them will enforce the use of dirty tactics and cheat in certain occasions.
I couldn’t get this notion out of my mind when Lord Shaw was counting down from three, so I decided to equip “Time Bend”, freeze time on the split second he pronounced one, turn around un-freeze time and shoot him as he was in the motion of turning to shoot me.
I stood there for a moment and was told by PR staff that I should be careful since the guards usually attack me for using magic to manipulate the outcome of the duel. A few seconds past and they went on their merry way and that was that.
I looted the body and continue on towards the party to find the Boyle sister I needed to eliminate as my goal.
I now understood why everyone that I have spoken to about Dishonored love it so much.
From the game’s art design which is like a moving painting, to the freedom it gives players during gameplay, there’s an enormous amount of love, dedication and effort that has gone into this game to set it apart from the crowd.
Games have largely lost the ability to surprise. Dishonored refreshingly surprises.
Dishonored is a gem of a game that doesn’t come along too often and quite possibly the most underestimated hit title of the year, so I suggest getting your pre-order in to ensure your copy prior to its October release.