I really try to like Dishonored. I adore the art style, the city of Dunwall and the whalepunk-aesthetics. Dishonored enables to play stealthy or all guns blazing and features open levels with a multitude of paths to sneak or wreak havoc.
But it just doesn't click. I find the stealth lacking. Compared to Thief, Splinter Cell or even Deus Ex Human Revolution I feel like I'm limited by choosing the stealth option. Taking the kill 'em all-route on the other hand is way too easy, even on higher difficulty. The story isn't much to write home about. Most characters remain fairly one-dimensional so far and the interaction with them is also fairly limited.
Thanks to the voiceless, emotionless blank slate of Corvo I don't get a sense for the player character either. Just having played The Walking Dead Episode 1, where I could relate with Lee within a short time, and care about Clementine and him much more than I could ever do for the entire cast of Dishonored, makes it all the more apparent how Dishonored is lacking in this department.
Either way I am not intrigued. After half an hour of playing Dishonored, I usually feel like playing something else instead. Like The Walking Dead Episode 2, even though it hardly runs on my computer.
I got it on day one but I haven't even played halfway through yet, which speaks volumes about how much I struggle with this game. Especially considering I finished XCom twice, next to another run of Dark Souls and Episode 1 of Walking Dead during that time.
Currently it's in my book as disappointment of the year. In a year where Prometheus came into the cinemas.
Disclaimer: I don't like stealth games and I don't like Steampunk. I only bought this game because I felt I should try it based on its potential GOTY status.
So I was really surprised that I liked it immediately. I like poking around in every nook and cranny, so the intro was great for me - cinematic, diving into the lock, turning the lock wheels, talking to the painter, and the thing with the Empress. I'd be hard put to imagine a better game opening.
I am playing the Stealth playthough, with as few deaths as possible. It is a little constricting, but looking at the trophies shows me that I can adopt several strategies if I choose (example: trophy for making 5 people commit unintentional suicide. I imagine that you possess them and hurl them off a bridge or something).
I like silent protagonists. Wait till you see the fool that they are going to make you play in Far Cry 3 and tell me I'm wrong. :p
But I like the whole blank slate thing. I'm hoping they do something unexpected with the plot though, it is definitely a bit bland. And I hope there is much more on Pandyssia or wherever it is.
Honestly, I think it's a good game rather than a great game - though as Daniel says in that quote, it probably is the best Action title of the year. Or up there, anyway.
My biggest problem with it is that the missions drag on far too long. It's taking me 3-4 hours per mission, which is far too much for me. I have no impetus to continue to collect the paintings or whatever when I spend that amount of time creeping around; I just want to get out of there.
I also wish there was more leaping around the roofops, rather than crouching behind waist-high barriers.
I was expecting to hate it though, so it is Unexpected Surprise of the Year for me, rather than Disappointment.
Oh, I'd be careful with "best action title" as long as we're still waiting for the new Hitman, Tomb Raider or Far Cry.
I am not a big fan of silent protagonists, as it should be apparent from my opening statement ;) - but it depends on the game. Spec Ops: the Line for example simply wouldn't work with a silent protagonist and I have the feeling Far Cry 3 will go a similar route.
In Dishonored I feel the silent protagonist is a wasted opportunity, simply because Corvo Attano is not me. He has a backstory, he isn't a truly blank slate I can just project myself onto. After a certain mission I don't see what the motivation for Corvo is, apart from VENGEANCE, which is a bit thin if it's all you base your character on. That could have been compensated by a good cast of supporting characters, but they all feel rather... bland.
The city is the best character in the game. Everything else seems a bit bland indeed.
Well yes, best action game so far, hopefully we'll see a couple of contenders before the year end.
I went back to play it last night after I posted that, and I actually agree with you about something being missing. While there are some nice touches with the characters, the overall feeling is one of emptiness. It does feel a bit soulless and bland.
Still pretty good though! However I have just reached what is supposed to be the worst level in the game so my opinion may not survive....
That's the thing: there is a good game at the very base of it, that allows exploration and different approaches for every situation with interesting powers to play with. It's like a fine slice of parma ham with a few sprinkles of parmesan... just to be placed between two layers of toilet paper to call it a sandwich. I was spending some time with it again yesterday, taking my time and going through each part of the level...
... and I just can't shake off the feeling that it could have been so much more, if there would be some life in the characters. If they wouldn't be shallow cliché characters, that give me the stare, which is an uncomfortable reminder of the puppets called NPCs in Oblivion. If they wouldn't look like their body and face would like to move independently and look the wrong direction while talking to me, because somehow they bug out again, just to slowly start turning on the spot so that they stare through me when they finish speaking.
p.s.: best action game so far could very well apply to Hotline Miami (or even SpecOps) ;).
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