My Thoughts on Dishonored: Bad Consequences

So yeah, I know the fifth chapter of DLO should have been out by now… Let’s just blame all on personal shit, kay? Cool… Chapter five will be out soon, I PROMISE!! Here’s something in the meantime though. My thoughts on Dishonored! Another thing I wrote a while ago… I’ll post an offical NEW entry into this dumb series whenever I finish Metroid Prime. Cause that’s what I’m playing at the moment. Whoo.

P.S. This won’t be edited at all from when I first posted it on February 12, 2015 on the site GameInformer


 

My Thoughts on Dishonored:

Bad Consequences

 

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I am a bad person when it comes to morality in Video Games. Not a vicious monster, but just a bad person. I enjoy killing my enemies. Innocent pedestrians, though, always (usually) go unscathed. But if you’re against me, you better pray I kill you quickly. In InFAMOUS, nothing satisfied me more than draining the life out of an enemy. In Dues Ex: Human Revolution, everyone who shot at me got a bullet to the brain. I could have just detained enemies to the ground or used a tranquilizer or stun gun to incapacitate them, but I rarely did. I enjoyed being bad and like to hear the flak from other characters. At the end of Dishonored, after I had killed all of my opposition, I didn’t feel like I thought I would. I thought I would be proud of capabilities, proud that no one could stand against me, proud that I was the harbinger of death. Instead, I felt almost empty… And in the end, I liked feeling that way. It was different. Dishonored wasn’t perfect by any means, but it had what counted.

The story is about a man named Corvo and his revenge. Dishonored is set in a plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall where Corvo is the bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles. Almost as soon as he returns from a trip around the isles, Corvo is framed for the assassination of the Empress and the disappearance of her daughter, Emily. He is then falsely imprisoned by a man named Hiram who subsequently usurps the throne and becomes The Lord Regent. Six months later, on the eve of his execution, Corvo escapes prison with the help of loyalists who seek to eliminate those truly involved with the Empress’ murder and Emily’s abduction. Corvo agrees to help the Loyalists and is given weapons and a mask to use to infiltrate Dunwall now controlled by Hiram. Corvo is also given supernatural abilities by an enigmatic figure known as the Outsider. This is where the game opens up, allowing players to decide how to take out key opposition. I chose the dark path…

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Like InFAMOUS, you can either play as good person or a bad person. Unlike InFAMOUS, however, it doesn’t come down to choices the game gives you. Being good or bad all depends on how much chaos you cause during your missions. If you cause high chaos, you head down the bad road. Causing low chaos descends you down the good road. The road you go down also effects how characters act towards you. Now onto how my decisions affected the plot and the end result. *SPOILERS* At first, everything seemed fine to me. The characters around me acted natural, as if I hadn’t done anything wrong. I only noticed a change in character after I had rescued Emily. In the mission where I had saved her, I had killed the Pendleton twins, as instructed. I could have chosen a non-lethal approach to neutralizing them, but I wanted to kill them. When I returned to the pub of operations, Lord Pendleton, the younger brother of the Pendleton twins who was also one of the leaders of the Loyalists, behaved in a passive-aggressive manner towards me. I was a bit taken back, as he hadn’t acted this way before and he had asked me to take care of his brothers.

This continued on with other characters after each mission. A character that acted friendly to me the prior mission suddenly became cold towards me. Even Emily changed personality. She wanted to be empress to fix what was wrong at first, but further down the game, she wanted to be empress to oppress those below her. She said she wanted people to fear her like they feared me. That stuck to me. That one line made me rethink all I had done in the game so far. I didn’t change my ways, but it made me think. Then I noticed her drawings, I noticed how dark they were, how the depicted Corvo as homicidal demon. Emily’s final picture, a large drawing hanging depicting Corvo’s mask, showed how my actions had corrupted an innocent little girl. I could have acted like hero, but instead I acted like a villain and was treated as one.  Even Samuel, the boatman that took me to each and every mission, was just disappointed in me by the end of the game. For once, I truly felt bad for killing everyone in my path. And that’s something powerful for game to make you feel. *END SPOILERS*

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Now with that out of the way, let’s talk about gameplay. The gameplay brought everything together for me. Stealth was extremely important and I believe it was done well. I really liked sneaking around, discreetly picking off enemies as I got to them. I could have just snuck past the enemies, but being me, I decided to kill them all. There were many times I got spotted though, which caused me to freak out and kill everyone around me… Moving on, the weapon and tool selection was nice, but not the best. Ignoring the supernatural abilities for now, you had access to a blade, a crossbow with a variety of bolts, a pistol, razor traps, grenades, rewiring devices, and a mystical heart used to locate runes and bone charms. Only the blade, crossbow, rewiring devices, and the heart were really useful. For some reason, the pistol shot in a short ranged spray similar to a shotgun, making it useless for long ranged assassinations. That and it’s a gun, which is loud. Loud isn’t good in a stealth game. Which is also why I never used the grenades. And whenever I used it, I would blow myself up too. The razor traps were a bit more useful though as I’d set one down whenever I was afraid an enemy would suddenly sneak up behind me, but I only successfully used three or four my entire playthrough.

For the supernatural abilities, those were extremely helpful. Corvo had access Blink, Dark Vision, Devouring Swarm, Possession, Bend Time, and Windblast. Blink was used to teleport Corvo short distances and was really useful for getting around Dunwall. I used Dark Vision the most as it allowed Corvo to see enemies, items, and certain machines through walls and the dark. Devouring Swarm was used to call forth a pack of man eating rats, Possession was used to possess small animals and people, Bend Time slowed or stopped time around Corvo, and you could blast enemies back with Windblast. While I didn’t use any points to acquire Windblast, the other abilities were useful for sneaking around and dispatching enemies without being seen. These powers made the stealth in the game that much better and were equally fun to use. How and why Corvo gets the powers is never really delved into too deep, which took away from them a bit though.

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I did have a couple problems with the certain sections of the game though. For the most part, I could easily sneak around and do things as I pleased, but there were certain times I was trusted into a bad situation where it was almost impossible for me to flee. Or other sections where I couldn’t get to where I wanted to be without getting caught. In an open-ended stealth game like this, there should be instances where there’s only one way to go to somewhere or where you almost have to fight your way out of situations. Granted this didn’t happen often and I can be an idiot at times, but it shouldn’t happen in the first place. I also had problems with the game’s ending.  *SPOILERS AGAIN* After Corvo had killed The Lord Regent, the loyalists attempted to poison Corvo to claim that they had recused Emily, stopped The Lord Regent, and killed the assassin of the late Empress. With me out of the way, they also thought they’d be able to control Emily while she was on the throne. While I liked the fact that my allies turned against me as it actually caught me by small surprise (I had suspected something was… off about Lord Pendleton, I just didn’t think all of the loyalists save for Samuel would turn against me), the missions after the munity were a bit anticlimactic. While I was able to meet the real person who assassinated the late Empress, I took him out with no sweat. When I got to Lord Pendleton after he betrayed me, it turned out someone else had already killed him. When I found Emily and rescued her for the second time, all I had to do was shoot one of the Loyalists leaders with a bolt. All the build up in the game led to those rather lame moments. The ending cutscene showing how my bad deeds had ultimately made the city a worse place to live was good though, but it didn’t make up for the disappointing moments leading up to it. *END SPOILERS AGAIN*

All in all, I really enjoyed my time with Dishonored. Including all I’ve already said, the voice actors were good, the music fit well, and the graphics had a unique feel. I even liked how Corvo was a silent protagonist. It was overall a very fun game to play. While I’ve only played a few stealth games in the past, I can say that I really like acting like an assassin/spy/ninja. And I really like being bad. Remember, you can’t spell assassin without sin! And twice the ass!!

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