|System: PS3, Xbox 360, PC*|
|Dev: Arkane Studios|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks|
|Release: October 9, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language|
No game is perfect, and Dishonored certainly has its flaws. It's fairly easy on the "normal" difficulty setting and veteran stealth gamers will probably want to set the difficulty higher. The first-person viewpoint can make jumps a bit difficult to judge sometimes, though the blink power provides a cheap and easy way to traverse levels instead. Finally, the later levels aren't quite as captivating as the earlier ones. One late-game level is a bit of a slog, though it has some great segments along the way, and the final level is a bit anticlimactic. Still, that level led me to a satisfying conclusion to the story in my low-chaos playthrough. It's entirely possible that the level is more interesting and challenging for players who have taken a more lethal approach to the game.
As a full piece, however, Dishonored is incredible both as a game and as a work of art. Fun to play, intriguing to explore, beautiful to look at, and emotionally evocative, it's a game that simply must be experienced. While it offers plenty of gory action for those who are interested in taking that route, its greatest gift is to deliberate, thoughtful players who enjoy stealth-based games with quality settings and meaningful moral choices.
Dishonored made me feel like a person struggling to retain the things that were important to me in a world gone mad. It goes beyond "role-playing" to challenge players to draw their own personal moral line in the sand, but does so without being preachy or judgmental. Is it really best not to kill anybody, or are there people who are evil enough to deserve death, should you have the power to mete it out? It's messy and thought-provoking, just like the real world... or at least a real world in which you have the power to possess rat swarms and perform impressive "death from above" leaping assassinations. Is it a world worth saving? That's exactly what Dishonored wants each player to decide, and have a wickedly good time in doing so.
Date: October 8, 2012