I’d been given a letter to deliver at a masquerade ball. I pocketed it without much thought. Once I had arrived on the grounds of the extravagant affair I saw the man I was supposed to deliver it to. My compatriot who had assigned me the task mentioned the large, regal wolf mask he’d be wearing so he wasn’t hard to miss.
After I approached and handed the missive to him he chortled something innocuous but he wanted me to follow him to the courtyard. I obliged as I had time before having to take care of my true target. We approached the agreed upon area on the grass and a pair of dueling pistols were shared between the two of us. I had no idea what the letter said, but it was obvious a challenge had been issued. Once we were in place the countdown started.
In that moment I turned quickly while simultaneously using my hand to summon magic called Bend Time. Everyone but myself were frozen in place and dispatching the fool was an all too easy and admittedly unfair event. As time regained it’s normal flow the onlookers made hush whispers of awe and unbelievability.
It was a simple enough endeavor and finished, I made my way towards the entrance of the sprawling manor intent on my finding my true prey.
On a table next to the path were some apricot tarts. Nothing seemed odd about the blatant murder I had just performed and I was hungry. Those tarts were divine.
This is Dishonored, a game that takes place in sprawling steam-punk world called Gristol, where murder, sex, and political intrigue go hand in, comfortably corrupt, hand. You take on the role of Corvo, a protector of the court of Empress Jessamine. A familial bond is evident with Corvo and the empress and her daughter, Emily (voiced by Chloe Grace Moretz).
Treachery and betrayal occur almost immediately in the game and Corvo is wrongfully accused and imprisoned. From there on it is your mission to uncover the plot and rescue the broken world of Gristol.
A plague is also wreaking havoc on the populace and people are dying in droves. Rats are the main source of the outbreak and they swarm like a pack of piranhas if you get too close. Something is desperately wrong in the world.
Much of the game revolves around choices you make and the amount of options available to the player is staggering. You can stealthily enter environments by avoiding guards and sticking to the shadows or you can charge in with pistols and crossbows blazing. The various weapons available are augmented by supernatural powers like Bend Time and Devouring Swarm, which is as vicious as it sounds. These choices also play out by changing the world around you. It’s an interesting mechanic though it’s not always quite clear through the path taken how the outcome will play out.
The biggest problem with the game is the somewhat mediocre ending. Much of the game builds to a supposed climactic resolution yet the story deflates at the peak. It doesn’t take away from the fun had throughout, but is sort of a letdown, especially in a world with a history and patina so carefully constructed.
It’s always nice to see a game without a sequalized number after its title get released especially when it revels in quality and polish like Dishonored. I recommend this game wholeheartedly.
Just watch out for those rats.