I guess the best way to describe this game is to say that EIDOS’s Thief got together with Microsoft’s Fable and had a love child called Bethesda’s Dishonored. It’s a beautiful smart love child filled with energy and a wonderful smile. OMG was it fun. I started this off thinking I’ll just spend an hour or so going over it and do a quick review. 2 days later I’ve finished it (that’s right the only disappointing part of this is that the game takes like 2 days to finish without a walkthrough or cheats).
The game takes place in a fictional land where you are the Lord Protector assigned to be the body guard to the Empress of the land. Unfortunately there is a plague brought in by rats ravaging the people and for some odd reason you are sent off to find out what is going on. When you come back (2 days early) you arrive just in time to be involved in defending the Empress during an assassination attempt. Unfortunately the attempt is successful and it happens in front of the Empress’s daughter Emily.
She is abducted and you are knocked out only to wake just as everyone is blaming you for killing the Empress. You are now DISHONORED. The game from that point on is about you trying to get to the bottom of this and rescue Emily. There is a diety named the Outlander who gets personally invovled and gives you some magical powers. You have the option to decide whether you want to kill everyone that gets in your way or not (like Fable) and if you decide to kill everyone you will become a ‘bad guy’ of sorts. I murdered everyone that stood in my way, it is definitely a game you want to do twice (once without killing and once with killing) because there are at least two endings.
The user interface is pretty intuitive and I like the way the scroll button on the mouse allow you to select which quickset weapon or item you have for a secondary. In addition you can press the wheel button and bring up everything that is useful in your inventory to select from at will. There are a number of magic powers you get from your relationship with the Outlander. Once the Outlander puts the tattoo on your hand you can find runes and use them like ability points to get new magical powers. Here are some of the better ones:
- Blink is probably the single most useful magical power you will have. It allows a limited range teleport (line of site) and level two of that power lets you go longer distances.
- Agility (jumping, speed and falling increases)
- Whirlwind (incredibly useful at level 1 and 2 for rats and guard mobs)
- Summon rats level 1 and 2 seem to be the same, I actually think 1 is better (and very useful). It’s not called that its called something else but that is what it does.
- Slow time (level 2 actually stops it but at a cost of 8 runes which is twice what everything else costs… the power is considerable in combat).
- I didn’t bother with the other spells they just weren’t necessary and you have a finite amount of Runes to spend on these abilities.
In addition to the magical powers you have a crossbow which several arrow types (Sleep, Incidiary, and regular wooden bolts). The only thing missing was the water arrow to put out lights, but it would have been fairly useless since most of the lights came from an ‘electricity’ that was generated using whale oil. You also have a pistol which become pretty cool once you upgrade them to level 2 and 3.
Just like any other first person RPG you have quests and sub quests. Quite a number of them lead you to the runes we discussed earlier which are hidden. You can find them using a heart tool that the Outlander gives you. It shows their location like a homing beacon and it beats faster as you get nearer. The heart will also help find your last and final ‘power items’ they are called bone charms. You can have up to 6 of them active at one time. They give you small buffs that are _very_ useful… like making people with guns miss you more, making you less attractive to rats, and my personal favorite water of life (lets you heal by drinking water from the sink it’s a slow time consuming process but it beats using all your health potions up you can only carry 10). They also have mana potions and yes you can only carry 10 0f those as well.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the game for you, suffice it to say I was absolutely locked in this game and will likely play it through one more time so I can see what happens when you don’t kill everyone. We need more games like this, and BETHESDA (I AM TALKING TO YOU) you need to make them last longer. I want a game to last at least a week guys!
Anyway 10 out of 10 stars for Bethesda Dishonored it was a the most fun I’ve had with an RPG in a number of years. Bethesda did a great job.
****UPDATE so I was able to verify that it has multiple endings (good / evil) and some of the items are in different places, and some of the requirements are different for each path. It took me about a day to go through a second time. I liked the good guy ending the best, and believe it or not you go through a lot less potions and it’s a lot easier being a good guy than just killing everything that moves. The second time around I played with some of the other spells, notably the Possession Spell and the Time spell. So Possession is a waste don’t bother it’s almost useless and costs a lot (in runes) to get. However the time spell is well worth it, it’s like 11 runes (probably the most expensive in the game to level up to 2). With time freeze you can just stop time and run off or choke someone out. If you are going to be a good guy that skill/spell is almost as important as blink. Execellent game well worth playing through twice to see both endings.