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Release: 10.09.2012
Price: $ 59.99


Genres: Stealth, Action-adventure, FPS (First Person Shooter) Producer: Arkane Studios
  • Amazing visual Style
  • Great Voice Overs
  • Open world with a great sense of freedom
  • Great array of powers
  • Sweet....But short lived

First person shooters have evolved enormously in our generation although the direction we are going towards is reminiscent of the 90s shooters: pockmarked with explosions, and with plenty of baddies to shoot and kill without any particular rhyme or reason.

Dishonored, Bethesda Softworks’ latest title, has been developed in partnership with Arkane Studios. In limbo since 2009, development went into full swing officially in August 2010 after Bethesda’s purchase of Arkane Studios by ZeniMax Media, which owns Bethesda and all of its entities. Bethesda has reached renown through production and subsequent success of games such as Fallout and The Elder Scrolls series.

For this title, they are delegating to Arkane the important task of developing the game due to the studio’s incredible talents in contributing to the art, character animation, as well as general game design of the critically acclaimed Bioshock 2. After producing such hits, wouldn’t Arkane be the studio of choice to create Dishonored?

Dishonored tells a story of murder and betrayal that, despite our hero, attracts him into this mysterious plot revealing a conspiracy worthy of Tom Clancy novels. Playing the role of Corvo Attano, the legendary Lord Protector of the Empress of Dunwall, in the fictitious port city where the game takes place. Attano witnesses the assassination of the Empress by the Regent who wants all the power for himself, and is subsequently immediately accused of murdering the Empress.

Having sworn to protect the Empress and her daughter, Attano is given a chance to exact revenge against those who have sinned and gain redemption by the elimination of the leaders of the coup, as well as ensuring the safety of the daughter of the Empress with hope of one day restoring them to power. Attano, who is imprisoned for six months and awaiting execution, is offered a way out.

Nothing in life is free, however: in exchange for his liberty, he must plunge into a city rife with corruption and is thrust into the role of standard bearer to ensure the restructuring of the old political order of Dunwall and eliminate those who are guilty of the coup which started the events of the game.

Dishonored presents the player with multiple ways to carry on with the story, offering for each mission vast environments with many ways through which the Attano’s ultimate objective can be achieved, which is to assassinate the designated target. Additionally, the game provides Attano with a range of physical skills and supernatural powers in order to eliminate enemies in a thoroughly original and extremely satisfying way. Never has it been so easy to transport in the blink of an eye from one area to the other, from landing diving into a river and taking possession of a fish with which to sneak through an opening 10 inches wide and appearing face to face with the enemy, then flawlessly and brutally executing him. The melee battles are well thought out in that it presents a system that works with few gaps despite the occasional flaw in the AI.

Powers and abilities available to the player are also very varied in that every player can approach the game differently, whether it be cutting huge swaths through enemy troops or taking a more stealth approach to the game. Should it please you to walk into a room armed to the teeth using darts and explosive items you may go ahead and do so, or you can alternatively opt for a calmer approach by slowing down time and going unnoticed behind guards and neutralizing them.

It is essentially possible to finish the game without actually ‘killing’ anyone and the designers have actually included scenarios whereby information is provided to justify ‘peaceful’ elimination of the targets for each level.

The graphics are incredibly detailed and immersive, as this is what draws us into the Dunwall fictional universe from the get go. From the rooftops to the sewers, and whether it’s day or night, the graphics are amongst the finest on consoles. The amalgamation of a variety of colors and textures offers us a dark and beautiful mixture of visual representation which harkens back to the industrial revolution London times. The atmosphere drips with decrepit areas such as places infested with the bubonic plague, such as those which historically took place in London in the 17th century.


The décor of each environment is richly represented in that they are true to each set piece offering the contrast between the squalid conditions of the poor and the affluence of the rich in these bubonic-infested times reflecting on the game a climate of realism which is semi-historical giving the impression that Dunwall and all of its inhabitants are part of a truly living, breathing world.

The sound of the game is simple yet dynamic enough to feel appropriate in any situation; yet the true stars of the game are the sound effects. These are used to great effect throughout the levels, whether it is feet on the old streets, guns firing, or during use of any of the selection of superpowers that the character possesses. This produces a distinct yet extremely satisfying layer of realism and sinister effect on overall gameplay immersing you even further into the game.

With its multitude of approaches available for each mission, the arsenal available to the player for enemy elimination, and an integrated system of character evolution such as unlocking various superhuman enhancements scattered throughout the game, there are plenty of occasions for surprises. Finding personal notebooks of characters can enrich the player’s knowledge about Dunwall and its people, and money found can improve Attano’s armor and munitions. Just exploring the massive city will alone yield many hours of playing time on top of the main story.


The replayability of Dishonored is extremely satisfying allowing for a range of approaches to different missions; the choices Attano makes throughout the game truly matter, as cutting the throat of one guard as opposed to merely rendering him unconscious will have a direct result on the end of the game, and this is just one guard.



Writer's Block:

My experience in the incredible city of Dunwall was at once unreal and sublime. I am on my second playthrough and I already want more. Everything in this game is presented in such as a way that it has reached the height of visual beauty including an extremely high caliber of audio quality. The graphics and the affluence of color give the impression of a work of art, of a priceless painting even. Every dark corner of the game is enhanced by the enemy presence presented with incredible detail; even the sewers are gorgeous, with its little surprises, augmenting the overall game’s experience. The combat flows so well, that even though you are in first person it sometimes feels as if you are in third. Entering a place filled with enemies only means that you will execute the flawless and artistic moves of a master assassin, a theme which is consistent throughout Dishonored. The ballet of death that is performed is so smooth and perfectly orchestrated that it is almost not even worth it go a more stealth route, just to bask in the art of the kill.

Ladies and gentlemen, make a place for dishonored at the forefront of your library, as for me the game is just packed with great artistic and technological innovation that puts it up there on equal footing with Bioshock for its unparalleled immersion combined with a highly satisfying and entertaining story that will leave you wanting more.

Editor comment

Written by Christopher C. ; IMGMR PC Editor