Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dishonored Video Game Review (PC)


(Photo by Thomas Joseph C. Huang)
When I arrived at work today, I saw a package with a Post-It note on it, it was from my girlfriend! When I opened the package, there it was, Dishonored for the PC! She is awesome! :]

I have heard a lot about this game and I've watched a lot of YouTube videos of it as well and this added to my excitement of the game, because the concept is something that I personally like, it's played from the first-person perspective and emphasizes on gamer choice, each mission can be carried out in either a stealthy approach, a head on kill everyone approach or a combination of both, each choice of approach merits a different outcome which ultimately affects how the story plays out.

The game takes place in a fictional city called Dunwall which reminds me of how London looked during the classical era. You are Corvo Attano, the bad ass bodyguard of the Empress of Dunwall that becomes the fall guy when she is murdered which drives you to become an assassin and seek out those who conspired against you and exact your vengeance upon them, you must also seek out and find her kidnapped daughter. But you are no ordinary assassin, you are empowered by a foreign entity that gives you magical abilities to help you on your quest.

(Maxed Out Settings)

(Maxed Out Settings)
Installing the game was a breeze, if you've ever played Modern Warfare or any game that works with Steam then this should shorten your installation process. In my case, I hadn't installed Steam on my rig yet, so I had a lengthier installation time, approximately a total time of 15 minutes. Once installed, you will have a simple introduction of all the folks that contributed to the development of the game and then you are brought to the main menu, a simple and straightforward menu. First tab I went to was the Graphics tab, since I also wanted the game to test my system, I maxed out the settings. I decided to select FXAA instead of the MLAA because I wanted to give the new Anti Aliasing technology a shot as it is supposedly better but I've never played a game that uses FXAA so I decided to give it a shot, most games I played use MLAA or MSAA.

(Light and Shadow Details)
After finalizing the graphics settings, I decided to start a new game, selected my difficulty and off we go. The game starts out in a beautiful sea setting as Corvo is on a boat on his way to Dunwall. You get to look around and observe your surroundings, so I made the most of it and did look around, left, right, behind me then up and down. I had FRAPS running so I took the liberty of taking some photographs of my boat ride to Dunwall. The detail of the environment is very well created and I was quite impressed at the lighting, shadow and reflection details that the game has to offer so far. 

(Yes, that is a whale.)
Since I am not a big fan of spoilers, I will not go heavily into the story. But I will touch on how malleable this game can be. This is actually the heart of the game, there is a certain connection that is developed between the gamer, the character and the story. Every gamer has his or her own style of play, but one can never truly apply that due to story restrictions and whatnot, only a few games allow this kind of freedom and this freedom returns in the form of Dishonored. As I mentioned earlier, the game emphasized gamer choice. Each choice directly affects your current mission and subsequently affects future ones as well. You have the freedom to rip through each level, but this will cause Chaos which is the somewhat like the stars you get in Grand Theft Auto but in this case, it doesn't decrease. More chaos means more guards, more rats (You'll get it when you play the game, trust me.) and increasingly more difficult missions and a darker ending. Or you can choose to go stealth mode and hold back the urge of just killing your way through missions, this is challenging, but possible and yields in longer playing time but easier succeeding missions, and results in a lighter ending. Or you could go with a balance of both choices. The point I'm trying to make is you can play this game on pure emotion, impulse or simply based on how you feel at the time that you're playing.
(Dual Wield = More Fun!)

The controls are quite simple whether you play it using your keyboard and mouse or the a controller which is supported by the game. As you progress through the game, you will be placed in scenarios wherein you get to familiarize yourself with the controls. I'm using the keyboard and mouse combo so it takes a little getting used to, but nothing you can't pick up quickly. Corvo is pretty much an all offense character, built to adapt the killing machine approach or the stealth approach depending on the gamer's playing style. He utilizes both hands as tools. The left hand is used to wield projectile or ranged weapons as well as his supernatural powers and the right hand is used to wield his sword for melee attacks. The combat sequences are quite straightforward but leaves you enough room to get creative depending on how you play. The game may seem huge in scale, but in reality, what gives the levels scale is the presence of multiple opportunities to complete levels and solve problems that arise, no matter what your style of play is.

For every obstacle you encounter there are at least three or four ways to overcome it. For every locked door, there's likely a balcony up high you can Blink to, or a gutter down below that can be accessed by a possessed rat. Now this game is starting to sound like you are almighty but the developers put a balance to counteract the abuse of your supernatural powers and skills, your health and mana do not regenerate. In order to regenerate these, you need to use health and mana potions which can be purchased from a specific person but will deny you the chance of gear upgrades or can be picked up around the levels, but they are scarce resources. But fret not, you have the quick save anywhere option (except during combat) which allows you to experiment various ways to resolve a specific issue, making every bullet and supernatural power count.

(Heads will roll, pun intended.)
There is a certain aspect of the game that is very reminiscent of the Splinter Cell games, not just the stealth aspect. But the fact that you have a lethal and non-lethal approach to enemies, as well as a variety of choices in terms of hiding or disposing the bodies of your foes so as not to alert suspicion. You also have the ability to pick up certain items and throw them to create distractions or divert the attention of enemies in order for you to either go about your business undetected or set them up for a killing spree. Another thing that I enjoy with this game is the gore (sadistic, I know.), I like blood and gore because it adds realism (although sometimes exaggerated, I'm not complaining >:]) to the game. Dishonored is no stranger to this, which adds to the overall awesomeness of the game.

Due to the many choices you can make and options presented to  you, the game is easily replayable, many many times.

If I say anymore, I would definitely spoil the game, so go out and grab a copy and experience the the epicness for yourself!

Here are few a screenshots to help you see the graphical greatness that this game has to offer.

(Shadow Details.)

(Shadow Details.)

(Where's your head at?)

(Don't go swimming.)

(Environment Effects.)

(Smoke Effects.)

(The Outsider.)



(What better way to get your point across?)

(Corvo's Ink.)

Story: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Soundtrack: 7/10

The Wraith:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition
Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme3
GPU: Sapphire HD 6870
RAM: G. Skill Sniper (16GB)
HDD: Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black
PSU: AeroCool Strike X 1,100w 80 Plus Gold Modular
Case: Antec LanBoy Air

Monitor: Viewsonic 24" VX2439WM 1920x1080 Full HD
Sound System: Creative Inspire 5.1 A500 SBS Surround Sound System


  1. That was a great review! I’ll be playing this on PS3, but I’ve heard there’s not a huge difference between the console and PC versions, which is cool since my gaming rig is getting to be seriously outdated. It sounds like an excellent game, but I rarely play though a game more than once so I’m just not quite convinced it’ll last long enough to be worth buying. Especially after some highly anticipated games (like Deus Ex: Human Revolution) have left me a bit skeptical, and now I try not to get my hopes up too high. These days I follow some advice I got from one of my coworkers at DISH and I don’t buy a game until after I’ve rented it and had a chance to log at least a handful of hours on it. It’s saved me a good deal of money in the past six months or so. So Dishonored is already in my Blockbuster @Home queue, and I’ll get to play it soon; I’m still busy with Borderlands 2 anyway.

  2. I'm glad you thought the review was great, I appreciate the feedback!

    Thank you for the tip too! That's something that I should consider doing, it's quite difficult to find shops that rent games here in the Philippines though. The best we've got are 2nd hand games for a cheaper price.

    My apologies for the delay in response, I didn't get the notification of a topic response.

    Happy New Year and enjoy gaming!