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on October 15, 2012
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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on October 13, 2012
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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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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on October 11, 2012
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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on November 25, 2012
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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on January 4, 2014
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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on October 27, 2012
I just got through with my third playthrough of Dishonored. I played once going full stealth, no kills. Once with kills but still full stealth, and the last game I played full stealth, no kills, and not using any but the initial supernatural ability you are given. Each time was fun!

I love the world this is set in. As dirty, dark, and disgusting as it is (swarms of rats, plague victims that wander around like zombies, spewing bloody vomit, dead bodies piled up, dirt and grime on everything) it is absolutely beautiful in its own way. There are so many ways to approach every objective that you can easily play the game multiple times and not go about it the same way twice.

Especially interesting to me is the "chaos" mechanic. The more people you kill or the more you are noticed by enemies the higher your chaos level is. In addition to changing the overall story, making it far darker at the end, it also changes aspects of the gameplay. There are more guards and they are more alert to your movements. There are more swarms of rats that can attack you, and more plague sick "weepers" who will also attack you.

To anyone worried about how this game plays on the PS3 after some of the woes of Skyrim, fret not. For one, this game wasn't developed by Bethesda, it was developed by Arkane and published by Bethesda. Secondly, this game uses the Unreal engine, which has been used for other games on the PS3 with no problem. I ran across very few glitches, and the occasional glitch I found wasn't game-breaking.

The story itself won't be listed as one of the most memorable or epic ever, but the world and immersion it generates is what give this game it's oomph. Well done, Arkane!
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on November 30, 2012
This game is the best I have played in a long time. Scenery, mood and graphics are different and very good. Game takes the best of other good games and molds in in a unique way. Stealth is actually fun. I appreciate the fact that you don't have to look at maps constantly to tell where to go as well as using some stupid radar to tell that enemies are around "I am talking about you Deus EX Hr". You need to rely on sound, peeking through keyholes and peering out to see threats. Much better done than other stealth type games I have played. One thing that makes this game so good is side missions are not simply go there and do this over and over.They were not simply added on to increase game length. Again talking about you Deus ex. Also, as many have mentioned there are so many different ways to approach this game. This is my summary, 1) very fun game 2) great atmosphere 3) really cool special powers 4) many ways to play game 5) interesting and unique story 6) excellent save system 7)high replayabiity 8) good length no added on sections leading to monotony . I would give this game 4.7 rating but I don't believe any game yet is a perfect 5.
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on May 19, 2016
So this game off the bat reminded me of Bioshock with a lot of new flares in it (If you haven't played Bioshock I would recommend you to get the dual pack of 1 and 2 and the complete edition of Infinite)
I will not ruin the story of the game (Its average at best) but I will let you know on the gamplay so the game is a mix of using a gun on the left hand and sword on the other. You can use stealth (Which I find boring) or run on and kill everyone (Makes the game more fun) there's ways to play this game making it playable for about 2 times. You'll loot bodies for coins, ammo, health, etc. (very similar concept like Bioshock) you'll also be able to hide bodies and what not. The game absolutely plays like a Bioshock one. Even the world of this game seems like it so. Graphically the game isn't so great possibly at average but because of the nice gamplay it makes up for it. You'll be able to use some powers that will be unlocked within time that will come in handy. A lot of these will be a good advantage making the game slightly easy at times. The games length is about 16-18 hours long so its worth investing if you like long games and not games that have a story/campaign of 8 hours or less. Considering amazon has a bunch of copies that are less than 10 dollars or even 5 this is one game you'll want to have in your library.
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on May 14, 2013
It took me a while before I finally decided to get this game. When Dishonored was originally released I was mildly interested in it, but not enough to jump on it right away. But as time went by and I found out more about the game, I got more and more intrigued, and now that it's at a very reasonable price, I took a chance and bought the game. It was a chance I'm glad I took. It's quite difficult to classify the type of game that Dishonored is because the gameplay is basically a combination of several different genres. It has first-person shooter elements, yet it's not a first-person shooter. It has stealth elements, yet it's not purely a stealth game. It even has some free-roaming elements with multiple routes you can take to reach your goal, yet (you guessed it) it's not a free-roaming game. All these elements were basically put into a blender and mixed together to form what is truly a unique gaming experience. You play as Corvo Attano, the Royal Protector of an empress who rules over the city of Dunwall which resembles a mid-1800s England. In Dunwall, whaling is a national past-time and the oil extracted from the whales is used as a power source for things such as vehicles, weaponry, and utilities, making for a booming industrial age for the city and the surrounding lands. Unfortunately, a deadly rat plague is decimating the city and causing lots of civil unrest.

After returning from a special assignment to seek aid against the plague from neighboring countries, Corvo meets with his empress, but their reunion is short-lived when the empress is assassinated by mysterious assailants as a result of a plot concocted by members of her own cabinet, and poor Corvo is framed for the murder and thrown in prison to be executed. An unknown party eventually offers a helping hand to Corvo and he is able to escape from the prison. Afterwards, his new benefactors recruit the former Royal Protector as their assassin and give him the task of doing away with those who framed him and murdered the empress, all in the hopes of putting the late empress's daughter on her rightful throne. While the story for Dishonored is a bit light from a narrative standpoint, it provides a very intriguing and attention grabbing tale through lots of notes, journals, and audiographs (audio recordings) that you find throughout missions, not to mention plenty of moments where you can listen in on conversations that not only provide mission clues, but also provide further insight on the in-game world and its lore. The most noticeable characteristic about this game is its emphasis on making choices. Pretty much everything you do or don't do in this game will have a measurable impact on how you succeed on your missions, on which missions you will or will not be able to undertake, and even how the story ends. For every action you take there WILL be some form of reaction.

Corvo has a nice collection of weapons and magic abilities that will aid him on his missions, which you can access through a weapon wheel or hot key them to the directional buttons. He always wields a blade in his right hand, and with his left hand he can use other projectile weapons such as a pistol, a crossbow (with standard, explosive, or sedative bolts), grenades, or a special mine that shoots out metal shards when an enemy makes contact with it. These weapons can be upgraded between missions at Corvo's hideout with a particular inventor named Piero, and bringing him special blueprints that can be found during missions provides Corvo with other upgrades (use the lenses on his mask to zoom in on distant enemies or points of interest, have his boots make less noise when he moves around, or increase the durability of his armor). More ammunition and restorative items can also be purchased from Piero, or found during missions in different locations or looted from downed enemies. Aside from his projectile weapons, Corvo can use his left hand to wield different magic abilities he gains from the mysterious, supernatural being known as the Outsider.

A couple of his most important abilities which let him sneak around much more easily are Blink, which lets him teleport to distant spots with pinpoint precision, and Dark Vision, which lets him see nearby enemies and special objects through walls and other obstructions. Other magic abilities he gains include being able to summon a swarm of rats to attack enemies, use possession to temporarily take control of animals or people, slow down/stop time to further assist in either stealth or combat, use a windblast to push back or kill enemies, and have the bodies of slain enemies disintegrate into ash to avoid having them discovered by other enemies. You don't automatically gain these powers or their respective upgrades as the story goes on though, instead you have to buy them by collecting runes which are scattered throughout the levels. Bone charms can also be found in each level and equipping them offers little bonuses such as being able to move more quickly while sneaking, swinging your sword more quickly, gaining more health when using a health potion, etc. The exact locations of runes and bone charms can be pointed out to you with the item known as the Heart, but actually getting to them can be tricky at times, especially when they're surrounded by many enemies or locked in safes. Even though collecting these things are optional, it's normally worth the time to get a hold of as many of them as you can, especially the runes.

Each mission you go on will put you in a rather expansive level where the goal is normally to get into a well guarded building or hideout, eliminate a target, and then make your way out in one piece. The environments themselves aren't all that different from each other (normally lots of buildings, mansions, and occasionally some sewers), but they're very well laid out and give you lots of options with regards to completing your missions. While you're pretty much always going from point A to point B and your goal is pointed out to you by an on-screen cursor, there are normally multiple routes you can take to get to where you need to go. For example, if you need to get past a security gate with an electrical field that will incinerate anyone but a city guard, you can do one of several things: cut the power to the electrical field and stroll right through the gate, go around the gate by using a nearby alley or a rooftop, possess a city guard and walk through the electrical field, etc. Or if you need to get into a well defended building you can teleport and jump your way up to get in through a second floor window or possess a rat and get in the building through a ventilation duct. You normally have many routes to take to your goal, it's just up to you to find them. Another aspect in which you have options is in dealing with your enemies. When sneaking up behind an enemy or other characters you can choose to kill them with a quick stab in the neck or grab them in a chokehold to knock them out, after which you can move the body and hide it somewhere so it doesn't get discovered. If you don't want to take out the enemy and simply need a key they're carrying to get past a locked door, you can pickpocket them and then leave the enemy alone.

Choosing whether or not to kill someone does more than just affect the way you play the game, it also affects how civilians and friendly NPCs view you, which in the long run dictates whether you get the more favorable ending or the darker ending. In this regard, the game's Chaos system works very much like a more realistic rendition of your classic video game karma system. Dealing with your enemies in a non-lethal manner and helping other characters keeps Chaos at a low level, whereas ruthlessly slaying all those in front of you will raise your Chaos level. Even if you only kill enemies and spare innocents, being too bloodthirsty has an impact on your overall image; society tends to look down on ruthless killers in spite of how righteous their goals may be. That's not to say that you can't kill anyone if you want the good ending. Killing a handful of enemies or targets here and there won't affect the Chaos level all that much, but a high body count (about 10 or more per mission) will create some negative vibes and raise the Chaos levels. A high Chaos level will result in the presence of more enemies and dangers to stand in your way. As I assume most gamers did when they played this game, I rarely killed enemies, no more than 5 per mission, and beat the game with a low Chaos level. It's actually possible to beat this game without taking a single life; even your main assassination targets can be dealt with through non-lethal (and very clever) means, although in several cases they normally involve going off the beaten path and completing optional side missions for other characters.

Speaking of enemies, there's not a huge variety to them, but they do keep things interesting. The city guards, thugs, and assassins of Dunwall can all be dealt with in the same manner whether it's through stealth or direct combat, and while most use guns and swords, others have special weapons or abilities of their own like using whiskey bottles to blow fire breath at you or their own teleportation abilities. Weepers are somewhat different; they're people who have succumbed to the later stages of the rat plague with blood "weeping" from their eyes (and they vomit out a lot of blood too). Similarly to zombies, they shamble around aimlessly and automatically attack anyone else within reach by biting them, but they can be incapacitated or killed just as easily as any regular human enemy. The most unique enemies are the Tallboys, which are heavily armored city guards on mechanical stilts armed with explosive arrow launchers. Not only are they the most physically imposing enemies, but they cannot be knocked unconscious (under normal circumstances), so if you're going for a no-kill playthrough, then they basically have to be avoided completely.

Other enemies include swarms of rats, guard dogs, large water mollusks that spit acid, and even hostile fish who will attack you if you swim too close to them (killing these enemies has no impact on your Chaos level). I have only one complaint with Dishonored: the combat isn't the best. While it is fun to cut into your enemies with your blade, shoot them with your weapons, or fling them away with a blast of wind, the first-person perspective doesn't make physical combat all that graceful, although I will say that the way Corvo kills certain important targets is quite awesome. One other thing I should mention is that it's very easy to make a mistake in this game that will cause you to fail a mission. One very memorable screw up was when I knocked out a group of thugs while sneaking into their hideout, then when I returned later to talk to their leader, he attacked me and the mission failed because he found the knocked out thugs in his hideout (I was unaware that I didn't actually have to knock out the thugs when I first entered their hideout).

Thankfully, the game has one of the best save systems I've ever encountered, so if you happen to do something stupid like unintentionally kill someone you didn't mean to kill, then you can easily load a previous save and undo the mistake. The game autosaves pretty regularly and you can manually save your game at any time when outside of combat. Each time the game saves, instead of overwriting previous saves, it stores it in the game's save file so you can have multiple saves even in one mission. You can even replay completed missions from the main menu, but loading an older mission will have you lose your progress on later missions. In the end, Dishonored is more of a thinking man's (or woman's) game and rewards the patient gamer who takes the time to explore and think his way past obstacles and challenges. I like how this game actually encourages you to plan everything out and makes you consider whether to take a life or to spare one. That being said, you still have the option to go in guns blazing and go for your standard video game "killfest", but again, this will result in more enemies to deal with and a less favorable ending (although I imagine some gamers won't care one way or the other). While Dishonored isn't everyone's cup of tea and doesn't have the best combat, it is definitely one of the most interesting of all the games I've played and it has lots of replay value for those who like to see all the different ways they can complete different tasks.

**UPDATE**
This part will cover the two DLCs for Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall and its sequel The Brigmore Witches. These two DLCs let you take up the blade of Daud, the assassin who murdered the empress and kick started Corvo's adventure in the main game. The story actually begins with the player experiencing the opening scene of the main game with the empress's murder from Daud's point of view. After the deed is done, Daud is contacted by the Outsider and is sent on his final mission before he meets his fated end. Controlling Daud is, as expected, very similar to controlling Corvo and he'll be making use of a lot of the same weapons and abilities, although there are a few differences with Daud's gameplay. Like Corvo, he wields a blade in his right hand and with his left hand he can use his ranged weapons and magic abilities. Starting with The Knife of Dunwall, Daud's weapons include a wristbow (that shoots the usual normal, explosive, and sedative bolts), a pistol, grenades, and new weapons such as arc mines (which vaporizes enemies), stun mines (which knocks out enemies), and choke dust (which momentarily disorients enemies so you can attack or escape from them).

In The Brigmore Witches, the choke dust can be upgraded to baffle dust, which will have disoriented enemies forget you are there and they will go back to their regular patrols. It actually would have been nice if these new weapons had been available for Corvo in the main game since they're all quite useful when using a stealthy approach. Daud has the same Bend Time and Shadow Kill abilities as Corvo, although he lacks the Rat Swarm and Windblast abilities. Fortunately, his other abilities are improvements over Corvo's. Daud's version of Blink allows him to teleport to distant spots, but with the added benefit of freezing time as long as the player doesn't move Daud with the left stick. This allows the player to aim and time teleportations with much greater precision, even in the middle of a jump. His Void Gaze works like a combination of Corvo's Dark Vision and Heart item: it lets him see enemies and important items through walls, and also points out the locations of runes and bone charms (although it lacks the range of the Heart). Daud can also summon one of his assassins to fight alongside him for a time. In The Brigmore Witches, Daud gains the Pull ability, which lets him telekinetically pull items and even enemies towards him. This ability can be very handy in pick pocketing enemies or grabbing other important items from a safe vantage point.

Between missions, Daud can buy more ammunition and recovery items, as well as upgrades to his weapons and gadgets. He can even purchase favors from his assassins and paid contacts that have certain effects on his missions. These favors include runes being left in easier to find locations, safe combinations being etched on walls, and alternate entry points being opened up. Another addition in The Brigmore Witches are corrupted bone charms, which offer both advantages and disadvantages to Daud's performance. One lets Daud do more damage to his enemies with his blade, but also has him swing his blade more slowly, and another one has Daud lose mana instead of health when suffering damage from enemy attacks, but it also keeps him from regenerating his mana. Just like in the main game, Chaos plays a role in changing up the gameplay and the story's ending, but to a somewhat lesser degree than the main game. The player can make Daud carve his way past all his enemies, knock them all out for a no-kill playthrough, or anything in between (although Daud going the fully non-lethal route doesn't make that much sense to me from a story perspective since, unlike the silent protagonist Corvo, Daud has already been established as a ruthless assassin in the main game).

Most of the enemies are basically the same as the ones in the main game, except for three new enemies: the tough butchers who wield powered buzz saws that can kill you quickly if you're not careful, witches with deadly supernatural powers, and gravehounds that relentlessly attack you until they're completely pulverized. The stories for the DLCs are also quite interesting and add a further layer of depth to the tale of Dishonored, all from a very interesting perspective. These DLCs are worth a purchase if you loved the main game of Dishonored and they add a hefty amount of extra gameplay for those who like to take their time and explore their surroundings. Aside from the great gameplay, just finding out about Daud's previously unknown role in the main game's story and seeing how his tale ties in with Corvo's makes getting these DLCs a worthy investment.
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