Over the years, many developers have attempted to capture the stealth action experience, but very few have actually pulled it off. While Deus EX and Metal Gear Solid accomplished this feat, most ended up like Crysis, where one of the elements vastly outweighed the other. Sadly, it seemed like this experience would be limited to those two series, that is, until Dishonored was announced. With a vast array of skills, various ways to deal with a situation and the ability to unlock a couple different endings, Dishonored promises to perfectly capture the stealth action experience.
With that being said, does Dishonored perfect the genre or should this title have remained in the shadows? Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Dishonored.
Two Paths to Take
Dishonored is laid out through several mission-based objectives. Each mission will give you several choices on how you would like to execute the task at hand — go through the path of the blood where you will be killing anyone that gets in your way or be the stealthy ninja and take the path of the shadows. Either way works in the game, but take note that depending on how you tackle the mission, there will be consequences that greatly effect the way people perceive you. Since the game has a number of choices that you’re going to have to make, it’s best to stick to one path: go all stealthy or be the Rambo-type character (though the latter will make the game less challenging).
Assuming that you plan to take the path of the blood where you kill everyone in your way, including the non-hostile NPCs, one thing that you should be aware of is the Chaos system. Depending on the amount of NPCs that you kill, your Chaos points increase; the more you have, the darker and dangerous the world becomes. If you decide to push up that Chaos score to the limit, expect the gameplay to change as anyone will attack you from anywhere. For those who welcome the challenge or have finished their first playthrough, I would recommend doing this as some of the trophies or achievements are unlocked by annihilating the living throughout the game. To see how much chaos points you accrue, finish the game and you will see your performance stats, which tallies how many times you’ve been detected, killed an NPC, your Chaos score and much more.
For non-lethal players, you can expect to spend more time figuring out the path you’re going to take to remain undetected. Throughout the game, you will have a lot of options or pathways that you can take, but your success will all depend on your use of the supernatural powers obtained early in the game. With supernatural powers, like Blink, you can dash from one place to the next at the speed of light. Then there’s the Possess ability, where you can take over the host of an animal’s body or a human to remain undetected. This allows players to breeze through the game without the need for murdering anyone. What leads a player to success in Dishonored is to look around the environments, use Blink a lot and save often in case you get detected, allowing you to reload to correct your mistake. Those who are wondering if it’s possible to finish the game without killing anyone, yes, it’s very possible, though it’s very time-consuming.
In addition to being a stealth-action game, Dishonored also has role-playing mechanics, which encourage you to spend time upgrading the arsenal of your character, equipping stronger weapons and going through a skill-tree connected to the supernatural abilities. With the money that you get from looting items around the cities, you can purchase equipment, bullets and healing items. Also, with collectibles to be found, certain ones can be used to upgrade your supernatural abilities. In short, if you like customizing your character and experience, you will find a lot to love about Dishonored.