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93 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Dynamic Stealth Assassination Game
Gamers will recognize structural elements from Bioshock, which, to my mind, is a very good thing. Here, however, the stealth mechanics work flawlessly, and your magical abilities aren't simply various weapons. Rather, the mechanics allow you to teleport short distances, see through walls (a la Batman, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed, etc) and inhabit animals and other humans...
Published 22 months ago by P. Taegel

versus
83 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but has its flaws
I just finished a stealth playthrough of the game. To me, it was a somewhat frustrating experience, but still fun. I wanted the good ending, so I killed as few people as possible, but I did resort to direct combat at times.

Attacking people directly is not only quicker, but there is also a more satisfying array of options. The game gives you many lethal...
Published 22 months ago by H. Blair


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93 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Dynamic Stealth Assassination Game, October 15, 2012
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Gamers will recognize structural elements from Bioshock, which, to my mind, is a very good thing. Here, however, the stealth mechanics work flawlessly, and your magical abilities aren't simply various weapons. Rather, the mechanics allow you to teleport short distances, see through walls (a la Batman, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed, etc) and inhabit animals and other humans. Not only are these mechanics just cool, they allow you to attack objectives in a multiplicity of ways. DISHONORED is thus a game that can sustain at least a few play throughs.

TIPS:
Get Dark Vision Immediately.
Then Upgrade Blink to level 2.
Then upgrade Agility to 1, as your ability to jump higher will enable higher blinks. Agility 2 is useless.
Then get Bend time. Then STOP time. Stop time costs 8 runes, and it's worth it--especially when you want to kill Tall Boys.

My only gripe would be that the game seems to punish you for being what you are--an assassin-- as killing just a moderate amount of people (in video game reality, obviously) leads to the "dark" ending. To that I ask, who hired the Church Lady as a designer on this thing? I did my best to spare non-combatants, yet the game still seems to take a dim view of killing. And I won't give anything away, but the "dark" ending is not satisfying. I was hoping for at least something bittersweet, like the end of The Searchers.

There's also no barometer to give you real-time data on how much "chaos" you're creating. However, you do get your stats at the end of a mission. So if you're going for the no-kill play through, you ca re-do that mission if you accidentally killed someone. (Unlike Deus Ex, which kept you guessing until the end--Lame.)

It would be good to have some "chaos" gradations in this game. Therefore, you could have a play through with

1. a normal ending (you killed a lot of guys because you're a badasss and they got in your way) but spared civilians, knocked out people when you could and weren't a complete psycho),
2. an ending where you were one of the Super Friends (you killed very few people).
3. a REALLY twisted ending where you played through as a complete homicidal maniac--killing everyone and their pets without compunction and without mercy and often without reason except because there's something wrong with you.

However, I simply played how I wanted--with a fairly strict scorched Earth policy--and watched the "happy" ending on YouTube. Maybe I'll do a no-kill play through at some later point.

But this is pretty nit-picky. Playing the game is really fun. I'm just a little irritated by the end (if you didn't get that).

In conclusion, if you dig first person stealth action games with broad (though not strictly open) worlds, buy this game. It's great.
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83 of 101 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but has its flaws, October 13, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I just finished a stealth playthrough of the game. To me, it was a somewhat frustrating experience, but still fun. I wanted the good ending, so I killed as few people as possible, but I did resort to direct combat at times.

Attacking people directly is not only quicker, but there is also a more satisfying array of options. The game gives you many lethal weapons, such as guns, traps and the ability to reprogram any enemy technology to target bad guys instead. There are also powers that allow you to summon rats that devour your enemies and whirlwinds that slam them into walls.

In stealth mode, there aren't very many ways to incapacitate the guards. There are crossbow bolts that put people to sleep, and you can sneak up behind people and knock them out, but that's about it. The option to knock people out does not always work as planned, either, and, even if the prompt comes up on screen, Corvo will sometimes raise his knife to block instead, usually right before the guard turns and sees you creepily standing behind him, which understandably freaks him out.

In a nutshell, if you're still deciding which way to play, stealth offers the good ending, and violence offers gameplay fluidity.

One decision I thought was strange was that the game always had Corvo carry a knife in his right hand, even if you are doing a nonviolent playthrough and even when you are only attempting to use a stealth skill such as blink. I never used the knife, but it was always there, in a space that could have been occupied by more useful abilities or equipment.

The area levels are relatively open, compared to some of the more linear games that are out nowadays, but it's difficult to fully appreciate your surroundings in a stealth playthrough. At some points, I just wanted to walk around and look at the city, which had a watercolor aesthetic I really liked, but guards are everywhere, and you have to get rid of all of them before you can explore openly.

I did not let that keep me from doing sidequests, though. I am very much a completionist, so I tried to explore all the areas fully before I left. There are many sidequests that don't even show up in your journal until you find a specific area, like saving a woman who's surrounded by rats or protecting an accused witch from overzealous guards, which helps with replayability. It was also fun to find the runes that upgrade your abilities and listen to the Outsider's (the guy who gives you your powers) take on in-game events.

Though I tried to be as thorough as possible, and though I played stealth mode, which is inherently time-consuming, I finished the game in about eight hours. The story was a little formulaic, and the only characters who were really interesting were Granny Rags and the Outsider. I did like the audiographs, though, which important characters used to record their private thoughts (Sometimes too private, actually. If I was feeling guilty about murdering someone, I probably wouldn't record myself saying so.)

Another thing that offers insight into the world is the heart the Outsider gives you, which can tell you more about characters and places in the game. The heart has a really cool voice and sometimes says interesting things about important NPC's. I was especially shocked at what it said about Piero, the scientist who upgrades your equipment at the Hound Pits Pub. Unfortunately, minor NPCs with similar backgrounds all have the same descriptions, like 'she hides her hands, which are red and raw from work,' will be a description for all women who aren't nobles or major NPCs.

The tall boys, which were featured heavily in advertisements, show up very late in the game, and, as far as I could tell, there's no way to incapacitate them without killing them, which was annoying. There was an interesting tidbit in one of the books at Lady Boyle's party, though, which made them way more interesting and sympathetic.

Despite my negativity in this review, I did like the game enough to give it three stars. I enjoyed playing a new IP, and I actually do like stealth games most of the time. Dishonored offers a lot of unique ways to get around without being seen, like possessing animals and stopping time, and it was fun to play with all the different options. The more destructive powers look promising too. Usually I can't stand to play the darker path, but for this game I'll try to give it a go so I can try out all the abilities.

I pre-ordered this game months ago, and I think it was worth it. It was exciting to play something so new and different, even if there were a few flaws. Dishonored is hard to fit in one category, so I'm not sure how to recommend it to others, but hopefully this review will help anyone on the fence about buying the game.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Cool Overall, 4.5 out of 5!, October 11, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
This game was pretty cool and kind of a refreshing play, mainly do to the fact that the player has options about how he or she wants to go about undertaking the game! You can go full bore and just kill everyone, or there is ways to sneak around, and you can also render guards unconsious if you would rather instead of killing them. On my first time through, I experimented with several different ways of doing things and I tried out all the various different weapons & abilities, just to get a taste of everything and find out how I most preferred going about things.

I only had one main gripe about the game, and it was an ever so small annoyance too: Occasionally trying to chose a weapon or skill from the wheel, (especially as you earn more abilities & such) was sometimes a bit glitchy. For example, there were times later in the game that I was trying to chose my pistol with the regular shots over this one with explosive rounds and it would give me the pistol with the explosive rounds, and so on. It was a slight bit frustrating, but fortunately that only happened every once in a while.

The game was a little shorter than I was expecting, but then again it would seem short, especially after playing on a game like Skyrim off & on throughout many months. So don't let that deter you, because the game is actually a decent length...I'd say roughly around 15 hours. And just because I had no life for 2 days and sat on my arse & played it throughout much of release day and the following Wednesday, lulz.

I'd say definitely play it though! If you like stealth & action mixed in one game with all sorts of player options throughout the game, then I highly recommend checking this game out! I for one plan to play through it at least a couple more times eventually and try out different means of getting through the game...first time through was just a trial play to get a feel for everything. Next time I'm going to get down to business! Check this one out fellow gamers! I love a good stealth/assassin game! Looking forward also to Assassin's Creed III and Hitman: Absolution!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Imaginative Masterpiece, November 25, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
First, I have to add the caveat that I typically HATE first person action games. I find the first person perspective to be incredibly disorienting and difficult to control. This becomes particularly problematic during sequences of intense action or where intricate stunts are required. I always feel like I have blinders strapped on that limit peripheral vision and create a confusing and claustrophobic game experience.
However I love steam-punk and dystopian story concepts and felt compelled to give Dishonored a try despite the first person POV.
I was not disappointed. Though the story starts out as a simple stereotypical quest-fest wherein some random NPC you just met starts barking orders at you which you dutifully jump to fulfill, the story eventually evolves into an intricate plot that carries you through a depressing and troubled - though hauntingly beautiful - realm afflicted with numerous plagues, both biological and political in nature.
Each mission is elegantly constructed and features numerous possible solutions. By numerous I do not mean that there are two or even three ways to complete your objectives - I mean there are at LEAST three, probably more, ways to approach each target. This represents what must have been a painstakingly intricate process for the game's developers. The payoff is a game unlike any other in terms of its potential for player ingenuity and personal style. Literally, it is staggering to consider how many different paths are available to you.
The interesting thing about Dishonored is that you can complete the entire game without killing anyone. It's difficult - especially if you try to beat the game while maintaining a flawless "ghost" achievement wherein you not only kill no one, but you perform zero non-lethal take-downs as well. One must make expert use of the available skills your character possess and be extremely patient - but this option of game play is a strategic mastermind's paradise. Political targets can be taken down without assassinating them. Removing targets from power instead takes a much more political and therefore narratively more interesting tactic, thus allowing the player to become the author of some extremely rewarding plot twists.
Unlike most first person action games, the stealthy nature of game play and the specific powers available to you makes game play smooth and easy to master. The lack of peripheral perception that hampers most first person POV games does nothing to lessen your character's potential here.
But the real star of Dishonored isn't the story or the elegant game mechanics. It is the world itself. The story takes place within the city of Dunwall, which in addition to being in the grip of an illegitimate totalitarian regime is also beset with a deadly plague. The scenery, attitudes of the populace, and overall environmental tone of the game drives Dishonored. It is this prevailing pessimistic sense of doom amid a world that is yet full of wealth, privilege, and beauty that creates such a memorable and mesmerizing game experience. The illusion that this world is real - and in the absolute darkest of times - is so absolutely convincing and masterfully handled that the initial quest-fest feel and the occasional in-congruent hazard (there are these weird acid-spitting plants that pop up every now and then which are totally inappropriate for the rest of the game) is quickly forgiven.
The music and stylized graphics also serve to help Dishonored stand out among the myriad of new releases hitting stores this season. Although skeptical at first, I have to recommend Dishonored to any player seeking a unique and breathtakingly gorgeous game experience. This one is definitely a work of art.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The more you play, the more the game grows on you, October 18, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
After having this game on pre-order for months, I was thrilled with I finally got to play it. I was surprised to see there wasn't a ton of back-story in the game. Usually with games like this, you have to sit through 10 minutes of game story screens before you even start to play. So I was happy to jump right in and get started.

Graphics: 7 out of 10
The graphics were good, but by no means spectacular. What made them good was the items in the game itself were interesting to look at. Menacing Tall-Boys, abandoned buildings, artwork and such gave the game a colonial dark-age feel, but the actual detail of the final thing was a little less than mind blowing. The graphics of the city itself could have been better than it was. What was supposed to appear as a large, wide open city, instead it felt more like an enclosed island, with no other outside world.

Story: 8 out of 10
Protector turns assassin, when the empress he's charged with protecting is killed and the murder is blamed on him. After escaping jail on the eve of your execution, you begin to help a group of loyalists find the missing heir to the throne, the empresses daughter. She was taken by the same men who killed her mother, and framed you for her murder. You're charged with tasks, each one different than the others. Some involve finding documents, some finding people. The game plays out much like the game inFamous, where you chose either an evil path or a good one. Depending on how many people you kill during your missions, the city and story line changes accordingly. The game actually had a fairly predictable ending, which can change depending on how you reach to it.

Violence: 7 of 10
Not as much as many of the games out there. And not nearly as much as I thought there would be. The game previews made it look like the main goal was to go around killing everyone, but in actuality it's the opposite. You are rewarded with points at the end of each mission, and extra points are given for not killing people. While the story-line of the game makes you think you're an assassin out for revenge, the goal is actually to hurt as few people as possible along the way. You are rewarded more greatly for doing so. It's also much harder to complete the missions with out hurting anyone. Your enemies are out to kill you, and if they see you, come out in large numbers and attack. To complete each mission without violence takes a lot of work, but it's encouraged through out the whole game.

Game length: Medium-Long
The game took several days to complete and that was playing many hours each day, on the average difficulty level. It would have even taken longer had I spent the time to explore the game thoroughly, and tried to complete it without killing anyone. At one point I felt like the game was even getting a little too long, and I was ready to be at the end. I believe that was because at one point in the game, you are lead to believe you have completed it, when actually you are only about 2/3 of the way through.

Gameplay: 8 of 10
While the game starts out a bit slow, it picks up as you go along. Gaining magical powers and finding ways to use them really increases the fun in the gameplay. The more you use the powers, the better you get at using them. Physical weapons are minimal, but fun. They work well for the time frame this game is supposed to be set in. Pistols, swords and crossbows are your main weapons. You can also stealthily sneak up on enemies, and knock them out, so that you're not killing them, but disabling them as a threat so you can continue with your mission. One of the two most ominous foes in the game are the Tall-Boys, a soldier in a mean looking mechanical suite, with a powerful cannon attached that he shoots people with. You know when they're coming for you, since each step they take shakes the ground around you as they get closer. The second enemy is one you don't suspect, the rats in the streets. They come out of nowhere and attack at random times. They move in on a subject in a large swarm, and actually eat the person they attack, if they aren't able to get away first. The game does a good job of focusing on a main goal, and not jumping around so much that it makes following the story-line difficult.

Hidden items and how they work:
There are important items stashed all over the city for you to find. Some of these items give you new, much needed magical powers, some are just coins to buy things with, or extra supplies of health of magic power refills. There are books and papers everywhere, and reading them can give you even more back-story to the game, not included in the regular scenes. They offer clues on where to find hidden things, passwords to locked safes hidden throughout the game, and lots of background as to who people are you meet in the game. You are given a heart as a tool, and when you equip it, it will direct you to where many of these hidden items are. It can also tell you what the a game character is really thinking, or information on deeds from their past.

Conclusion:
While the game started out a little slow, and first impressions made me think it was too similar to the gameplay of inFamous, the rest of the game proved to me it was one of a kind. I liked that the game was set in the era of the black plague, and that much of the story line was based off the repercussions of the illness affecting the whole city. Game load times were acceptable, and glitches and lagging were pretty much non-existent, which was a relief, since Bethesda games have had issues with them in the past. While the previews make the game out to be all about getting revenge and killing as many people as you can, there's actually a lot more to it. The game actually encourages you to try and take the more difficult rout, a non-lethal approach. Plenty of hours of gameplay, and lots of hidden things to find along the way. The graphics were acceptable, but had they been better, it could have made Dishonored even better. It's a sold 4 star game, has replay-ability, since you'll likely want to do a play-though seeing the story line for both the good and the evil choices you can make.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome game, February 7, 2013
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This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
After playing three modern and "realistic" war FPS in a row (Modern Warfare 2, Bad Company 2 and Black Ops) I became a little tired os this kind of game. Then I started to look for something different and started with Resistance 3 which I enjoyed a lot for the campaign and didn't bother about the multiplayer. Now I've got Dishonored. I'm really amazed by this game. The beautiful graphics, the setting and the choices. I'm in the first playthrough and already planning the next one, what I will do different and what other paths I will take. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique atmosphere, strange and unusual time and space in which game takes place..., August 2, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
In Dishonored you were an empress's bodyguard, you are accused being her killer and kidnapper of her daughter but as always there is a remedy. The game action game is set in the industrial city of Dunwall, modeled on the London in 19th century. In this city with strange atmosphere and full of technology you are the main character of the game - Corvo, a legendary former bodyguard of the Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, ruler of Dunwall. Your character is very skilled fighter, knows martial arts, great handling of weapons, armor and various gadgets, and has superhuman strength. The only thing missing is his voice, he will talk to the other characters via screen menu.

Corvo has several main objectives, but most important are the Lord Regent Hiram Burrows who controls Dunwall and in fact is the mastermind and creator of the assassination of Empress, but also one that has placed the blame on Corvo. There is also his mistress Lady Boyle, aristocrat who founded the military forces, the Pendleton Twins, Lords Custis and Morgan, members of the parliament, Overseer Campbell religious sect leader and Anton Sokolov, a brilliant investor. There would be plenty of work for you, do not have any doubt.

There are four levels of playing difficulty (Easy, Normal, Hard, Very Hard), although game is not too difficult to play, for first time I recommend Normal level. Once you've managed to escape from prison slowly you will start to open the game. The arrow in the middle of the screen will show you the direction you need to go and pressing the "J" (Journal) key you will get all the necessary information about the mission, your equipment, upgrades and the like. The game introduces several interesting elements, both about movement and fight. Given that you will move a lot, you will quite often need to use the "Stealth Mode" key ("C"), which is crouching / sneaking mode, to approach the guards and stab them from behind. Scenes are finely animated and seem pretty brutal.

Interaction with the environment is quite modest, but here and there you will be able to kill the occasional rat, although be aware of their hordes who can cut you up. Be sure to follow the status of your energy and if it falls to a low level, you'll need something to eat or drink from your backpack. Another interesting and useful feature is the Quick Access Wheel that is activated by pressing (and holding) middle mouse button. This is an easiest and fastest way of handling your items, weapons, ammunition. Of course, you can do that in classic style as well, by mouse scroll or with function keys.

Although the game is linear and practically takes you where you need to go, feel free to "loiter" a bit around, you never know where you can find a useful item which are scattered around. As the play unfolds the new functions and features will appear, such as the purchase of new weapons and armor, or upgrade existing ones. Basically, the game introduces some new features, to some things you are already accustomed so this first person shooter will be an interesting play. One tiny detail should be also mentioned - when some obstacle is encountered there is often more than one way to pass this obstacle. In one part of the game you will get a map showing possible ways how obstacle can be passed with the dotted arrows.

The game has excellent graphics and sound and the gameplay is at the same level. Sound and music sequences contribute to the atmosphere giving player an extra dimension and due to all of the above said, player can be satisfied with the technical part of the game. The only game flaw is relatively short duration.

Dishonored is a game that can be without thinking recommend to all players. It combines several previously established hits like Assassin's Creed, Thief and Bioshock. Its greatest quality is unique atmosphere, strange and unusual time and space in which it takes place.
For that at least Dishonored can be recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent fusion of game styles set in a brilliant and fascinating world, March 26, 2013
By 
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Dishonored is a game that can't be boxed into a genre. Taking place in an industrial, steampunk-esque world where emperors, magicians, old gods, whaling, and a rat plague live side by side, Dishonored's gameplay is as unique as its setting. Combining elements of stealth, action, exploration, espionage, political intrigue, and a unique mechanic that always makes you think before you act, the brew that is Dishonored is a rousing success and should be played by every gamer who loves games that give the player original and riveting experiences.

As the most loyal bodyguard to the Empress of the Kingdom of Dunwall, the protagonist Corvo is framed for the Empress's assassination and must go into hiding while trying to clear his name and get revenge upon the real assassins. In doing so, with the help of some allies, Corvo navigates through the world of Dunwall, a land in ruin. Set to a backdrop of a deadly rat plague that has decimated the kingdom, Dunwall is one of the most fascinating video game worlds ever seen. Fantastic art design combined with a strange mix of Industrial Age, steampunk, and fantasy imaging create a world that is unlike anything else. Designed by Viktor Antonov, who also designed the iconic City 17 from Half Life 2, Dunwall is a triumph that will keep the gamer endlessly intrigued and never expecting what is around the next corner. I was so intrigued by Dunwall, that I spent hours reading lore, exploring, and simply just observing. It is an amazing place that you won't forget.

Thankfully, Dishonored's gameplay more than matches the incredible setting. Dishonored, like Deus Ex: Human Revolution before it, let's you play the game how you want to play it, and makes the game rewarding no matter what. The stealth/non-lethal route is incredibly satisfying, given the unique powers Corvo gets such as teleporting across short distances instantaneously and the ability to possess animals like rats and fish. The quiet assassin route is also incredibly done, as Corvo is one of the most capable assassins ever seen in a game. And if you want to violently push your way through the game, that option is perfectly viable as well, as Corvo has an arsenal of deadly weapons to choose from, as well as a full slew of vicious magical powers.

Mission structure is just as flexible as the options in play style. Every mission can be completed in a number of ways. There are multiple routes to your objective, multiple ways to handle every situation you come across, and multiple outcomes to every mission. And one of the most innovative mechanics I've ever seen in a game, the Chaos level, permeates through the entire game. The Chaos level is basically a measurement of the state of the world that you can direclty affect. High chaos is exactly that...there will be more rats, more soldiers, and more despair. Low chaos is the exact opposite, and everything you do in the game determines the Chaos level of Dunwall. Deciding to help people in need via the game's various side quests, murdering people and leaving the bodies out for the rats, frightening civilians, or restoring order where there is none...all these things will affect the Chaos level, which not only affects the ending of the game, but also elements of your playthrough of the game. It is a mechanic that makes you think before you act, and it's brilliant.

Dishonored is a fantastic game. It's different, intriguing, and extremely satisfying to play. This is a gamer's game...one of those rare special video games that illustrates how far this medium has come and how wonderful it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dishonored Review (No Spoilers), October 15, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
It's difficult to decide how to approach a review for a game like this. Dishonored is one of the few games where a dissection feels more like a mutilation, and while the gameplay, storytelling, and atmosphere of the game are all important, it isn't nearly as significant as the way they meld together to forge one of the best video game experiences I've had in recent years.

The story of Dishonored, which many interested people have no doubt heard dozens of times by now, is simple: you are Corvo Attano, Lord Protector and close friend of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin of Dunwall, who is desperate for a cure for the rat-spread plague that has Dunwall gasping for breath. Corvo is wrongly accused of her murder and the kidnapping of Emily, the girl-child heir to the throne. After a jailbreak you join the self-titled `Loyalists' who seek to overthrow the new tyrannical Lord Regent. This group is Corvo's vehicle for revenge on the high-raking conspirators responsible for the Empress' death. When I first heard this premise it seemed archetypal and uninteresting. I know revenge stories - you know revenge stories. We've seen stealth games, and developers love to boast about the player's ability to make game-changing decisions with visible consequences. I'm not sure we've seen anything quite like this though. Arkane has done something remarkable: they've done everything right.

Let's start with the mask Corvo is given after he joins the Loyalists. It's essentially a metal skull split down the middle with strange bright lenses in the eyes and the jaw wired together. It's terrifying. If you saw someone wearing that mask, you would either run or be an idiot. It's also worth mentioning that Corvo never speaks. Some people might not like the idea, but I really like it. Corvo's decisions are your decisions. You are the knife in the dark, and you are the face and voice behind the mask.

The first thing anyone is going to notice about Dishonored is how gorgeous everything is. Walking through Dunwall is like walking through a painting. This is also a bit clever, because what minor pixelations and blotchyness I would have normally complained about can be easily ignored because, hey, that's what it would look like in a painting; they might have done it on purpose. The characters you encounter are all very well put together. Their cheeks stretch and narrow while characters are forming their words. Their body-language is so unobtrusive and natural that I, on more than one occasion, had to stop and admire how well-done it is. No stiff, poorly-timed movements or corny/preachy speeches such as in Mass Effect, no repeated meaningless hand gestures like in Borderlands 2; these characters look, speak, and move like real people with real personalities - every one of them charming in their own way. Arkane Studios' attention to detail in character design shows how committed they are to telling a good story.

Dishonored comes with a cast of remarkable characters voiced by talented voice actors such as Susan Sarandon, Brad Dourif, Carrie Fisher, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. These characters are so well written that I not only enjoy them, but I've had multiple favoritism arguments with myself. I still can't decide between Samuel, Piero, and Emily. The fact that I could easily recall every character's name after just my first playthrough is a testament to how well-developed they are. You will be interested in them, you will care about them, and you'll wonder what they're thinking as you progress though the game. You don't play Dishonored to level up and create a badass character to show off to your friends; you're being told a story that could leave you white-knuckled. If you're a sucker for a well-told story with memorable characters, skip the rest of this review and go buy the game.

Corvo has access to a total of five powers and five enhancements, all of which can be upgraded once after unlocking them. These numbers might feel a little underwhelming to anyone who hasn't played the game. After all, in almost every other game with RPG elements you unlock dozens of spells and abilities before you're halfway through, but between the handful of weapons and devices, the number of upgrades you can purchase, the various types of ammunition, and different ways these weapons and devices can be used to compliment the powers and enhancements you choose, you're bound to develop a flexible playstyle of your own creation. At first combat may feel stiff and maybe even a little wonky, but once you understand the mechanics it feels smooth and empowering. I would tell you what all of these powers, enhancements, and weapons are, but discovering the tools available to you and the different ways of using them are a part of the experience I'd hate to deprive anyone of.

The way you play Dishonored and the decisions you make do have noticeable consequences. Of course, we've seen this before, but in Dishonored these consequences not only make sense, but some of them are unexpected - even heartbreaking - and all of them are your fault. Play though the game twice and make different decisions, and you'll see two very different endings that could evoke an emotional response - guilt and regret being the first that come to mind.

I've played and beaten Dishonored three times thus far. Once on the `Very Hard' difficulty, once to complete the game without ever killing anyone or being detected, and once without unlocking any powers or enhancements. Each of these playthoughs were challenging, but I never felt as though the game was unfair. The A.I. is pretty intelligent, and if you're playing on one of the harder difficulty settings, one wrong move or unintentional noise and you'll be confronted by enemies fully capable of overpowering you. During specific chapters of the game, when stealth is the only way to ensure your survival, you will experience a sense of genuine helplessness and the fear of being caught; you might even forget to breathe for a few seconds at a time. Between playthoughs, and even between deaths, enemy behavior varies, meaning you can't always depend on everyone in your way to be in the same place every time you encounter them, which I love.

I have only a few minor complaints about this game. During gameplay, you'll hear guards talking to one another, and they often though not constantly repeat the same conversations over and over which really pulled me out of the experience every now and then. I realize Arkane makes the guards talk as a way to help the player locate them, but it would have been better to replace repetitive dialogue with coughs, sneezes, and other sounds that could alert the player of their presence, or just different dialogue. The Achievement/Trophy descriptions are too vague. Multiple times I had to go online seeking a better explanation of the stipulations of unlocking certain achievements, and one particular achievement seems to be a little finicky. There's also no time keeper in the game, not even in your save file, so I have no idea how long each playthough took me. Lastly, every now and then incapacitated bodies fall through the floor and disappear. This was especially bothersome during the playthrough I did while trying not to kill anyone because I didn't know if they'd fallen through to a lower floor or off a cliff to their death. Thankfully disappearing bodies never counted as deaths at the end of the chapter. None of these problems are game-breakers, and none of them are so bothersome that they made me want to stop playing. These complaints are more like happy corrections to an otherwise fantastic game.

I was extremely skeptical of Dishonored from the day I heard about it to its release. After reading and watching soaring reviews I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. Dishonored has become one of my very favorite games in less than a week. It's not very long - I started and finished it in one sitting during my first playthough, but the $60 price-tag is justified by the well-told story, beautiful artwork and very high replay value. You will play it multiple times not only to see story alternatives, but to discover the multiple ways to creatively complete each chapter. Dishonored is the perfect blend of fantasy and reality, of violence and storytelling, and of beauty and brutality. Buy it, and then hope Arkane Studios has a few more games of this quality in the making.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this..., January 4, 2014
By 
MurphysLaw (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
After reading all the glowing reviews, I really thought I would enjoy this game but I was rather disappointed. While its true that you can approach the game in different ways, you are penalized for killing so you are clearly steered down the stealth path unless you want everyone looking at you like you are a maniac and getting the dark/bad ending. The problem is that playing strictly stealth can be very tedious and frustrating. In fact, I found the game in general to be rather repetitive and boring. You spend so much time hiding, then searching every nook and cranny and reading boring book excerpts that I was about ready to scream. I finally just ended up killing anyone that was in my way and while this did make the game a bit more interesting at least, it still wasn't that much fun and of course you are penalized for it in the end. There were a few frame rate issues and periodic lags, a few bad character models with giant hands completely out of proportion to the rest of them, an overall washed-out color scheme and very bland atmospheres in general but the actual gameplay and controls seemed fine for the most part. There were definitely some interesting ideas with the powers but overall, this game just wasn't for me - maybe I'm just too impatient. Glad I got it for under $15.
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Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3
Dishonored Greatest Hits - Playstation 3 by Bethesda (PlayStation 3)
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