Dishonored, a stealth FPS by Arkane Studios which has been released in the US for some days now and is today released in Europe. Blending elements of stealth gameplay from the Thief series, Deus Ex, and borrowing elements of display from such titles as Bioshock or the Shock series in general, Dishonored delivers a particularly well made combination of the aforementioned and several others not mentioned to create a uniquely flawed experience of an action-adventure.
Ingame, the player takes the role of the royal protector Corvo Attano, personal bodyguard and aide to the Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, as he witnesses the plot and succesful execution of the assassination of the Empress while being the only one in sight. Being accused of murdering her, Corvo is stripped of ranking and taken to the deepest prisons, waiting to face his execution.
With this piece of story as the introduction to the game in a few sentences, Dishonored offers a hub-based mission design for every mission, starting from the hideout the player is situated in from the first act on and allows the player to decide how to approach a mission. Wether he fights his way in or looks for a stealthier way is completely up to the player hand and while collecting valuables to upgrade his equipment and abilities the player is free in the exploration of the mission areas and discovering ways to the target of his assassination.
In a few short words, Dishonored plays like a combination of Thief and Hitman with a bit more freedom than the latter and a bit more action than the first. And while the story is functional, it is also strangely partitioned as the game ends abruptly and on a very flat note. It is also quite short for such a game, even on my first playtrough I barely clocked in the 12h-mark and scouring the web has only made me more aware of the little differences in the game a different playstyle would make. So while one will enjoy the game to a point, it is also an experience that will just as suddenly end, just to leave you craving for more adventures with Corvo.
On a positive note, the games narrative, while as hacked up as it may seem at times, the characterization falls flat several times, comes truly alive in the enviroments and the fact, that much of the game world and background is only hinted at in maps and stories, notes and dialogue overheard on the in game streets. I like that. It makes listening in such a satisfying thing to experience.
The game ruins flawlessly on my medium-range computer and I expect that a few tweaks of the Unreal engine .inis should make it just as well running on most current gen and older machines as well, so it is an experiences that most people should be able to enjoy. On that note, the game looks good and is remarkably well crafted in the experience of a 18th-century industrial town, all with the grime and stink, the plague victims and the barred up shops, the half destroyed buildings and the looters wandering around.
All things considered, I would say Thumbs Up for Dishonored.