Customer Review

85 of 104 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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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 14, 2012 11:10:55 PM PDT
Liam Phoenix says:
I found myself running out of sleep bolts a lot when trying to play stealth, and the block problem resulted in several reloads.

I wish they had've let you change the knife. Might have helped a lot if I were able to use blink and the heart/possession/time stop at the same time.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2012 9:06:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 21, 2012 9:06:41 AM PDT
H. Blair says:
I definitely would have appreciated more sleep bolts. Maybe sleep gas grenades too. Oh, or maybe they could make a way for players to use possession to knock people out.

Corvo could knock something over, slow time, possess someone, position them under the falling object and then get out of there. Even if the other guards see the body it would just look like an accident.

Maybe more will be available next game. In this case, I think the designers drew too hard a line between action and stealth. Sure, players should be challenged in different ways depending on their play styles, but at least give me a stealth-related power that can be used to incapacitate foes, not just hide and run away from them.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 9:48:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 9:49:57 AM PDT
MajorDad says:
I want a spring razor trap that instead of killing them wraps them up alive like one of the plagued victims you always see lying around. Sweet! Good comments guys e-mail Bethesda or Arcane with your ideas you are the people who make video games better. Cheers. Love the sleep gas grenade idea. that would be sweet for clearing a room.

Posted on Nov 2, 2012 5:45:38 AM PDT
RJ says:
8 hours? HOW? Oh my lord...In stealth mode? I'm in high chaos mode, I'm close to 20 hours into it, and I haven't even solved it yet. Just killed Daud so I'm close to the end I think, but I haven't thought of it as a short game at all. Maybe I'm in it this long because I keep dying and you did not....somehow....I don't know

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 7:46:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 2, 2012 7:47:22 AM PDT
H. Blair says:
Are you counting all the time you use redoing stuff after you die? I didn't count that. Eight hours is just the amount of time shown on my save file. Plus, after the first mission or so, I didn't care as much about having a perfect run-through without killing anyone or being seen.

In the end I had low chaos, so there weren't as many guards, and I didn't reload as often as I would have for a perfect playthrough, which may have shortened the time it took me to play the game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:45:01 AM PDT
RJ says:
Yeah I'm counting the total time I have played, including dying and redoing, as I figure that's part of the experience. The time shown on the save file is just the time that you save the file. Are you using that to compare to the time that you started? I have so many save files for this that I couldn't do that. I was just giving a rough estimate of total hours spent on it so far...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 8:50:07 AM PDT
MajorDad says:
how do you track your time in this game? i have found no counter

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 10:41:16 AM PDT
RJ says:
Yeah I have been looking for a counter and have not found one either. When I gave my hours played, I estimated it from 1-2 hours a day times the number of days I played, so purely an estimate. I wish it showed how many hours logged in on the game.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012 11:42:58 AM PDT
MajorDad says:
the only way I can see tracking it correctly would be logging on xboxlive.com and viewing your activity for the game.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 1:37:40 PM PST
Zou Wenxiu says:
Agree! True! True! This game has a great deal of lethal weapons and powers, and you are not allowed to employ most of them, IF you wanna a good ending. That, kinda sucks. Yea, I do understand the stealth mode is more interesting (for some players), and definitely more challenging. However, the reward for your effort of not killing people COULD be something else! Say, If you stealth this game through, it's one thing, and if you do lots of fights, it will become another game, and that's as much fun as stealth! But with the ending stuff, if you wanna enjoy the killing, then prepare to welcome the bad end!
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