As someone who’s been playing catch up on most of the big video game franchises since 2013, when I realized that video games are the best thing ever, it’s usually when a sequel tickles my fancy that I go back to play the original(s). This has happened with Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and now, after Dishonored 2’s big showing off party at E3 2016, I’ve been thrown violently into the city of Dunwall. After I saw the new gameplay for Dishonored 2, I went straight to GameStop, asked for a copy of the first game and played straight through.
Immediately I could tell that this was a PS3 port. I know that you’re thinking, “Well I guess he didn’t like the game,” but that’s not true. I will admit, it made me wary, but I wanted to see what all the hype was about. The load times are atrocious, the graphics are just alright (although the art direction is nice) and some of its systems seemed a bit outdated, but man was the gameplay fun. Right away the stealth was challenging, rewarding and made me feel like a super ninja. I played the game as “non-lethal” as I could, but of course there were mistakes and lives were taken. I’ll do this again in Dishonored 2, just because I like to go the non-lethal route. It makes me feel moral, I guess.
Anyway, the gameplay of Dishonored overall felt great. It was a bit slow, only because 99% of the time I was crouched, trying to sneak about undetected, but with the help of the Blink ability and an agility upgrade, I could move from cover to cover with ease. Things like deciding whether to kill or suffocate and whether there was enough time for the latter made the experience incredibly tense and all the more exciting. Each level was a new puzzle to crack and your tools were simple, but useful.
Picking up items in Dishonored was reminiscent of any Bethesda game, where things are strewn about each area having you pick them up each individually, which felt somewhat old fashioned, but so does every Bethesda game to a point. What I really liked, though, was having to restock on ammo and equipment before each mission. While they could just auto restock you at the start of a new mission, Arkane decided to make a task out of it, and if you forgot, you were screwed. While maybe not completely intentional, I think this was a nice touch that made the game feel more real as you prepared to take out your next target.
The best part of Dishonored, though, was the story. The world, history and characters of Dishonored are all incredibly interesting, and when failure got me frustrated, it was the need to know how the story ended that kept me going. I had no idea that the Loyalists were going to turn on me, and when I thought Sam, the fisherman/boat escort, was in on it, I was so sad. Luckily, Sam turned out to be my buddy and we foiled the Loyalist’s plot. The day, along with Emily, was saved. It was a well worn story of revenge, but the painting was too good to notice the frame.
Because I knew a few details about Dishonored 2 before I started its predecessor, I expected a few things from Dishonored — but there were some things that I did not see coming at all. I knew Emily would survive and be saved and that she was Corvo’s daughter, but I noticed that they never mention this directly. I’m glad that so far it seems like they will be diving deeper into Corvo and Emily’s relationship in the second game, because due to the plot, this could not be explored much in the first one.
Something I wasn’t expecting was The Outsider. He was a weird character whom I’d like to know more about. It seemed very random, his popping up out of nowhere to help Corvo and give him powers, but his mysterious nature and indifference as to what was going on in the real world made him interesting. I’m sure we’ll see more of him in Dishonored 2 as Emily will have to get her power from somewhere. With both Corvo and Emily getting voices this time around, it will also be interesting to see what they might have to say to The Outsider and what that might mean for each of them.
Anyone who hasn’t yet played Dishonored should give the definitive edition a try. Dishonored 2 is one of my most anticipated games of this year and playing the first game just hyped me up even more. Dishonored 2 is out on November 11 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.