Steam Series - Dishonored
Great forces that men call "magic", and now these forces will serve your will.
Welcome to Dunwall, a city sent into an industrial era from the amount of whale oil passing into its grasp. You play as the character Corvo Attano in Dishonored. Bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles, Jessamine Kaldwin, and recently being sent around the Isles to seek aid from the Rat Plague.
The setting of Dishonored is a very seldom used theme that not many games adopt. You will know however of alternate timelines from such games as Wolfenstein.
Dishonored takes place in a fictional world, set in a Victorian Age. Recently entering an industrial age from the catching of whales and using their volatile whale oil that ships bring in daily. It powers everything, from street lights, to workshop drills, to being used in bullet production, and everything in between.
Know that I will be watching with great interest.
The gameplay of Dishonored, much like its theme is unlike any other game I've played at this time. I'll break it down in the things I've noticed and found to be amazing about this title.
Level Design- Unlike Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed. Dishonored does not offer an open world. The level design focuses on large sections that you'll go to one at a time as you progress through the game's story. The level design features many different routes and paths you may take. A few examples may be to get past a group of guards patrolling a narrow area, you could take to the roof tops and get around them using air ducts. You might sneak past them using various objects to keep hidden from their lines of sight, or you could discover a sewer run off pipe and be brought to the entrance of your target's location.
Combat- Combat offers a large variety of things you can use and do to give you the upper hand against various opponents. Your main weapons are, the Corvo's pistol, Corvo's unique sword, and hand crossbow. You also make use other tools such as traps, various crossbow bolts, The Outsider's Magic, and maneuvers such as sliding, backstabbing, and choking people unconscious.
Combat is split up into your two hands. Your right hand controls your sword and techniques, you can make blocks and strikes with it. Blocking at the moment your opponent's sword is about to make contact with you will knock them off balance, you can use this unique timing to deliver a deadly counter attack that will instantly kill them.
To perform a back stab or to choke them unconscious, all you must do is be behind them, the button prompts with icons will show you the specific control for each action. You will need to hold the button down that appears for the choke hold.
Combat for your left hand controls your other weaponry such as the crossbow and Corvo's pistol, you can use this to set traps, throw bottles for distractions, and using magic. If you're on console you will use a wheel dial for selecting your various magic or equipment, it is a simple hotkey for PC users. The cross hair will change depending on what weapon you're using and you can set it that your left hand will automatically track your current target's position with the crossbow or pistol. There is also a mask upgrade for your optics that will allow you to use a zoom-in feature. These upgrades not only allow you to look from a longer distance, also weapons can be used from a greater distance, effectively allowing you to pick off targets and staying out of sight of most enemies. These optic upgrades also amplify the sound allowing you to eavesdrop from a distance.
Choices- With Dishonored's play your play style, design choice, you also have full control of how you may conduct yourself on a mission. You can choose to be a terrifying assassin bent on revenge and killing those who have wronged you and anyone in your way. You might instead seek a non-lethal choice to your gameplay. Using sleep darts and choke holds, and shadows to your advantage. Even down to your targets you have full choice over how you may dispatch them, will you assassinate them then and there? Try a creative solution that doesn't even put you in the same room as them and their death? Or will you seek a non-lethal solution? Either way, you'll hear of your previous deeds from Dunwall's loud speaker system, and you might find posters dotting the streets.
Chaos - Dishonored features a chaos system that tracks the game world's state. This is directly affected by Corvo's actions, the more destructive the actions, the more chaotic the world will become. The chaos system follows stability rather then morality to display the plight of Dunwall as a crumbling city. Such actions as hiding bodies in dumpsters, or adopting non-lethal approaches (even not killing a single person in the entire game) can net you low chaos. While raising alarms, or killing in broad daylight will net you high chaos gain. Some changes that will take place are:Different dialogue with characters, events will play out differently, rat swarms and rat population will increase, along with plague victims. The world Corvo will move through will become even more nightmarish should High chaos be reached. Low chaos will display very opposite outcomes.
AI- The AI (artificial intelligence) Dubbed 'analog' AI, they are structured through a spectrum then simple on/off states. A few examples of these unique AI behaviors: The cone of vision and hearing will lower if a guard is currently speaking with another guardsman, compared to a guardsman who is quietly patrolling. Upon sighting a dead or unconscious body, the NPC will be set into a suspicious state, they will draw their sword and alert other NPCs around them, and they will attempt to seek out the disturbance, while constantly looking around. Should guards be idle you might see them taking time to look at art and make comments to themselves, they may hum or whistle a tune, and they will converse idly with other guards on patrol.
Exploration- Exploration is everything in this game, its how you can find items and valuables to sell on the Blackmarket, earning you money to purchase upgrades and other goods for each mission you go on. It can be your way to finding easy access to a certain building that initially seems impenetrable,your direction might also lead you to interesting moments of finding combination lock safes. Some might have a code written somewhere on nearby walls or are hidden inside of a riddle. It should also be said that exploration in Dishonored is what the game was built around, you'll find the game is easily beatable if you simply go from A to B, if you decide to take a route that takes you through alley ways off the beaten path, or into abandoned buildings, you'll see that it can take you an entire hour to beat a single mission.
You find your way into such interesting places, Corvo.
You'll find the lore of Dunwall can be uncovered and learned from various outlets. You can listen to an audio recording device called an audiograph, learning the thoughts of various main characters. You can also find various books and letters throughout the game. Some of the books contain songs, others contain excerpts from fictional writing, and documents on such things as the plague. As you wander the streets of Dunwall, you'll have your chance to eavesdrop on many conversations, spoken from guard to guard, or main characters you were introduced to. All of these things will shape what kind of a world Dishonored takes place in, and what makes Dunwall unique.
The environment itself is intended to be a storied backdrop. State monuments dot the the city, where dumpsters, corpses in plague bags, and graffiti litter the neighborhood streets. The player can interact with the environment in a meaningful way, while Dishonored will give pieces of information.
If you want even more lore, there is an animated series on youtube that is a three episodes called The Tales of Dunwall.
Style and Sound
Now let me tell you about this game's style. This is one thing that instantly stuck out to me.
First off, the game was created using the Unreal Engine. Giving it this realistic look but you can clearly tell it's a video game. The game's art style takes on a look as if it were an oil painting. Darker patches on a guard's clothing will show off these very darkish oil like hues of red, green, gray. You can examine this looking very closely, further away it blends in quite well. The city takes on a vast array of cool colors (such as blue-ish gray hued colors) Many moments in the game you'll be met with the warm tones of the morning or evening sun. (Many oranges and yellow and reds.)
The visual design director, Viktor Antonov previously worked on Half-Life 2, upon request from the production theme, Dunwall's style and design follows something of that from Half life 2's City 17 and wanted Dunwall to have somewhat of a Lovecraftian feel.
Second, the sound designs and soundtrack. This game has an excellent soundtrack that sets the mood that this game is not a happy It's very dark, treacherous, and despair filled streets of Dunwall. As for the sound design, you'll hear your footsteps clatter across rooftops and clap against the stone and brickwork of the roads, rain will make splashes against. The sound of your crossbow firing, pistol shots, or sword swinging through the air. All of this is immersive and legendary sounding.
Welcome to Wrenhaven River
DLC (Downloadable Content)
There are a few DLC that you can get for this game.
Voidwalker Arsenal - This has a few added items to the game that you can make use of.
Dunwall City Trials - If you're into challenge maps and want to show off to your friends or to other fans of Dishonored, how well you can move and conduct certain actions. This DLC will be for you.
The Knife of Dunwall - Instead of following another adventure with Corvo, you'll instead follow the character Daud. An assassin(Voiced by Michael Madsen), he is infamous and wanted throughout the city for many crimes. You will follow his side of the events during Dishonored.
The Brigmore Witches - The 2nd DLC continuing Daud's story. You will be facing a new threat that you won't ever encounter in The Knife of Dunwall and Dishonored's main story as Corvo Attano
Note these trailers may contain SPOILERS for you in the main plot of Dishonored
But what ending will you make for yourself?
If anything of this hub about this game has heavily interested you, then I happily recommend this game to you!
This is truly a good moment where publishers allow the game developers to make a game that they want.
I can also recommend this to game who are fans of the Thief, and other stealth orientation games. Or players who enjoy games with a lot of voluntary choice and distinctive features to it.
It is on Steam, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 along with its DLC on each platform.
Thank you very much for reading about one of my all-time favorites and I hope you enjoyed it!