I started Dishonored about a week ago, and despite being a Bethesda game, it is quite short. I completed my first playthrough of the game in around 10 hours, but I’ve already started another playthrough. My first impressions of the game were… different than I expected. I had anticipated something from Bethesda playing more like Skyrim, but Bethesda only published the game; Arkane Studios actual made it.This immediately begins to make sense as the game feels very much like Bioshock, and Arkane Studios made Bioshock II. However, as I love the Bioshock series, a game that plays like it is hardly bad.
The game rewards you for staying hidden and minimizing your kills. I didn’t really understand this until about half way through the game, at which point I had already left a bloody trail of carnage in my wake, and an irreversible High Chaos rating. I am now replaying the game with a no kills, no detections, and no powers. That will increase the difficulty of completion quite a bit, and I will often have to reload previous saves because my attempts to sneak through an area unnoticed are met with failure. I save VERY often. Even when I am reloading saves frequently, I have found the game quit enjoyable. Ken came over last night and he even seemed to like it a bit after playing it for an hour.
The actual story of the game is fairly linear and uninteresting. There are a few interesting additional bits of information you can find around the game by reading notes and journals, but the meat and potatoes of the game is the gameplay. You sneak around with a sword in one hand, and an assortment of abilities and weapons in the other. You can assign a crossbow or pistol to your left hand for ranged kills, or assign powers unlocked through Runes in the game such as Blink to teleport you short distances. The unlocked powers add new variations to the gameplay that make it differ from a standard stealth and kill game. Powers like seeing through walls, possessing other people, stopping time, and causing bodies you kill to disappear into ash add a lot of variations that contribute to the games replay value.
Ultimately I asked for the game for my birthday expecting an entirely different game, but ended up pleasantly surprised at how fun it is. I will probably get a bit more time out of it on this second playthrough and picking up easy achievements before I move onto the next game on the list, The Witcher 2.