Friday, 21 December 2012

GOTY No. 8 - Dishonored

Number 8 on CeX's Game Of The Year 2012 is actually a title from a video game developer that I don’t, like … gasp! That’s right I said it, I don’t like Bethesda, I don’t like Elder Scrolls and I certainly did not like Skyrim! This made me the perfect candidate to play Dishonored because I didn’t have rose-tinted ‘I love Skyrim’ goggles on during my play-through.

Surprisingly however, Dishonored was a magnificent title that took just about everything I didn’t like about Bethesda’s pervious outings, removed them and added just about everything I love about role-play games and as a result, comes in hot at number 8!

So what made Dishonored so special? You could point to the absolutely stunning visual concept intertwining Victorian England with an industrial Steampunk style. Or perhaps the incredible voice acting and narrative that filled out this intriguing tale? It could also have been the entertaining and diverse combat system, or the multiple ways to tackle the game forcing different endings. Finally, it could just have been the plain and simple fact that Dishonored is a brand new IP and during a year full of games ending in the numbers 2 and 3, it’s always a breath of fresh air to see something new emerge in the video game industry.

Out of the aforementioned it was perhaps most surprising to see how developed Dishonored’s combat mechanics were, especially considering games like Skyrim had absolutely none whatsoever (I’m just gonna keep mashing right trigger in front of this fire-breathing DRAGON and when my health gets low I’ll pause MID-COMBAT and drink a potion, cool. Takes notes from Demon’s and Dark Souls Bethesda please). The entire of Dishonored could be played with a Metal Gear-esque non-lethal approach, knocking out enemies and opting for one of the more rewarding endings available. Or there was of course the brutal variant, but whichever you choose the supplementing supernatural powers are what really stood out in Dishonored.

Resembling Bioshock’s plasmids, you had the ability to summon swarms of rats, use the elements or even perform bodily possession to force guards into battle with one-another. There were so many awesome ways to mix and match how you wanted to progress through Dishonored and this gave Bethesda’s title a significant amount of replay value, which was needed considering it was quite small in comparison to other offerings like Elder Scrolls. But this wasn’t a bad thing at all; in fact slimming down the game makes for a much better and more concentrated experience.

Dishonored was simply a great example of what happens when all the core elements of a video game align successfully. Even if one piece of the puzzle is wrong it can potentially ruin the whole experience but Dishonored provided excellent gameplay intertwined in a thoroughly enjoyable and diverse world. Congratulations Bethesda, this time you get a massive thumbs up from me.

Igor Kharin.
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