First Impressions: Dishonored

I want to start this post by apologizing for my sporadic posting over the last month.  It’s not entirely due to laziness, although I have had a period of not wanting to do anything other than lay in bed.  They’ve ballsed up the internet at work, which is where I do most of my research & writing.  I’ll be lucky if I can even get this post up the same day as I’m writing it.  Unfortunately, no one seems to be in a hurry to fix it, so I can’t say if it’ll get better any time soon.  I’ll try to post more at home, but I won’t promise anything.

Alright, with that out of the way, on to what you actually came here to read!

As I expected, I received a copy of Dishonored for Christmas.  After getting some sleep because I always have to work on the holidays, I played through the prologue & about half way through the first mission.  And so far, I’m impressed with the freedom the game allows.  While not an open-world game, Dishonored is very flexible in letting the player decide how to approach obstacles.  On the surface this appears to merely be choices in being lethal or non-lethal against enemies, but there’s more to it than that.  While exploring, I’ve come across multiple paths & key items located along these paths (like two sets of the same key needed to open the goal door).  Exploration is a big part of the game, & I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.  In the first level, I found a dead man on top of a roof by Blinking as high up as I could go.  I’ve also used the same tactic to sneak along some pipes above a room full of thugs, thus avoiding a lot of combat where stealth would be difficult.

If you can’t tell by what I’ve been saying, I’ve been trying to go for a stealthy, non-lethal run.  I’ve been pretty successful so far, but I have had to kill a few people when I messed the stealth up or when there didn’t seem to be a way to avoid the fight.  This sort of goes against my instincts, because I usually prefer to play the assassin; killing unaware enemies from the shadows.  I’ll probably try that approach for a second playthrough, & them maybe a full combat run for the third.  But that’s what I really enjoy about the game: it gives you the tools & opportunities to play how you want.  Corvo has a sword & pistol for combat, but also a crossbow that uses regular bolts to kill enemies & sleep darts for just knocking them out.  Corvo can also upgrade different spells that may be more suitable for different styles.  I currently have upgraded Dark Vision, Slow Time & Blink.  I’m very glad Dark Vision shows people’s line of vision.

There are a lot of little touches that have added to my enjoyment of the game so far.  I like that Corvo can slide under tripwires.  Not only is it really cool, it works well & is fun to do.  I also like the combination lock safes.  Finding the combinations puts your mind to work, but so far haven’t been too taxing.  It makes exploration rewarding.  I also like the Heart of Darkness that not only helps you locate runes & charms, but whispers secrets about people & places.

Although I’m not crazy about the art style for the people in the game, overall I love the way the environment looks.  I love the whole steampuk aesthetic.  Sometimes it makes me think of a steampunk version of Half-Life 2.  I think it’s the Walls of Light that make me think that.  Plus the tall boys, which I haven’t faced yet.

I’m looking forward to playing more of this game & testing out different strategies.  My plan so far is to upgrade both Slow Time & Blink, then probably get Possession.

– GamerDame

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