Dishonored was completely a mixed-bag for me. I was unbelievably excited for this game after seeing it at E3 and then playing it at Quake Con this year. Gameplay-wise, it didn’t disappoint at all. The game touted itself as being extremely open for the player, both in terms of exploration and methods of completing missions. In many ways, it was like Deus Ex: Human Revolution, except that unlike DXHR, you could really control how you played and stick with whatever method you want, whether it’s stealth, lots of stabbing, or a combination of the two. If you want to go through the game without killing anyone, you can honestly do that. If you want to murder everyone you see, you can do that too. If one path or one weapon doesn’t work for you in completing your particular goal, you have plenty of options to choose from to try again.
That is really the beauty of Dishonored, and I praised it in great extent in my review at Gaming Angels:
This notion of exacting revenge in whatever manner the player wants is where the beauty of Dishonored really shines through. Players have complete control over however they want to play, whether it’s stealthy or murdery (to borrow a phrase from Bulletstorm). In addition, every target Corvo is sent after has a lethal and a nonlethal option. For example, with Corvo’s first target, High Overseer Campbell, Corvo can either kill him or brand him as a heretic, thereby expelling him from power and ruining him in public eye. The choices you make in how you play and how you opt to take care of your targets affects the ending, the vitality of Dunwall, and how your allies treat you.
In other words, many parts of Dishonored are completely up to you, the player, and this includes Corvo’s weaponry and the paths he takes to complete a mission as well.
However, I’ve made it no secret that I am a story gamer through and through, and story has always meant more to me than gameplay. Unfortunately, Dishonored greatly let me down with its overly predictable story. The big “twist” happens at about three-fourths of the way through, and I saw it coming from about the second or third mission. I hoped I was wrong, that I was oversimplifying the game, but alas, I was not. I wasn’t even half wrong or even slightly wrong.
I hung my head in near shame. If I hadn’t committed to reviewing the game or the strategy guide, I would have quit the game right then. How could something with so much promise be so predictable? I couldn’t get over the disappointment at all. As I finished my playthrough, I hoped with the final missions that something unpredictable would happen and redeem itself for me. This was never the case, and I finished the game feeling rather empty about the whole experience.
I gave the game a “Buy” recommendation on GA, and that was solely because I know more people care about the actual gameplay than they do about the story. But if you asked me in person what I thought, I would say pretty much what I’ve said here and on the EvilCast: the gameplay was fantastic, but the story was predictable and disappointing. For me, as a story gamer, I cannot recommend Dishonored to anyone, as much as that pains me.