Thief in a murderous release - Dishonored game review

Author: Adrian Werner
Date: 2012-10-13 04:03:00
The review was based on the PC version.

When Dishonored was announced in the middle of last year, hardly anyone expected that the next work of the creators of Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was built on the previously canceled The Crossing. Initially, the new Arkane studio product did not arouse much interest, but everything changed when the first fragments of the game appeared on the network. Movies presenting the exploits of the masked killer attracted the attention of fans of more ambitious action games and aroused expectations. Did the French manage to meet them? Of course.

Dishonored is the story of Corvo Attano - Protector Lord of the Gristol empire and Empress's personal bodyguard. The story begins with his return home after months of seeking help from neighboring countries to combat the deadly plague ravaging Dunwall, the city being the capital of Gristol. As Corvo reports on his Empress expedition, assassins appear all of a sudden and rob the monarchy of his life. It quickly turns out that their services were bought by a group of nobles, who takes over power, and blames our hero for the murder. Former Lord Protector flees the dungeon and begins methodical revenge on all those involved in the plot. He accomplishes this goal by supernatural powers given by a mysterious being known as Outsider.

Dishonored works equally well as stealth and as a pure arcade game, in which the corpse densely dies, and the hero with a smile jumps into the crowd of enemies. In his right hand, Corvo holds a short, foldable sword, suitable for both fencing duels and silent cutting of throats. The left hand is used to activate power or use firearms, grenades and crossbows. This means that we cannot use power and e.g. a pistol at the same time, but when switching the left hand, the time slows down significantly, so this control solution is not limiting in any way.

The combat system itself was excellent. Corvo is not indestructible and a few accurate blows are enough to kill him. Blind chopping also ends tragically. Instead, you need to properly target each cut and carefully select the moment of the block, because only in this way we get the opportunity to lead a deadly counterattack. Firearms and crossbows help in survival, and several types of bolts (including firing and sleeping) help you deal with enemies. At the same time, the slow reload rate means that the game never changes FPS.

Corvo's arsenal is complemented by his superhuman powers. We start with the one called Blink, which allows you to teleport over short distances. By the way, we gain a ghostly undead heart that allows you to find runes during the mission. We don't buy new spells and their upgrades for them. Among them is, among others summoning rats, slowing down time, possessing other living beings, using the wind as a weapon, and a dark vision that lets you see enemies through the walls. There are also passive powers that increase agility, wound resistance, effectiveness in fencing and change the bodies of those killed into dust, which turns out to be very useful for stealth lovers. Added to this are whale bone talismans collected during the mission, which provide additional bonuses to ability.

It is commendable that all these attractions can be used in many ways. For example, to survive a fall from a great height, just hit the body of another person before hitting the ground. However, tallboys moving on mechanical stilts are easiest to kill by jumping with Blink to their throats. After several dozen minutes of fun, one gains such practice that the smooth combination of ordinary attacks and power becomes very natural.

The main plot of Dishonored is rather standard. We get a typical tale of revenge and even the twists and turns are easy to predict. However, all this was told efficiently, and the scenario provides a context that eliminates successive goals. A certain cliché of the presented story is rewarded by the construction of the world and its characters.

The universe created by Arkane is fascinating, coherent and full of great ideas. However, to see this, you need to work a little, because most of this information is contained in scattered diaries and audio logs or transmitted in eavesdropped conversations. An undead heart also plays a huge role, which not only is used to find runes and talismans, but on request reveals the truth about individual locations or shares interesting information about almost every character encountered. At the same time, he does it in an extremely poetic way and can get angry when we ask them about the story of an innocent man we killed.

Rushing blindly from one task to another means that all this wealth can be overlooked and such people will miss, for example, the story of giant whales, which after capture are cut alive to pieces during cruises home. Nor will they learn how corrupt some of the people we kill are, they will not hear the legend of Outer and stories about the world outside the walls of Dunwall, nor will they learn the truth about what really connected Corvo with the Empress. The stories contained in Dishonored can delight, but only if you put some effort into learning them.