When I first saw Dishonored, I almost cried. Another first person shooter with what seems to have some kind of story behind it. On top of that, developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda? Bring it on! It was definitely on my “most want to check out list” at E3. Unfortunately, after about thirty minutes with Dishonored on the Xbox 360, I lost all interest.
Story is what’s important in a single player FPS. You take the role of Corvo Atano. Corvo is now seeking revenge for being framed in the murder of the empress he once protected. Once a bodyguard, Corvo is Highly trained in melee/ranged combat, while also controlling an extensive amount of supernatural powers. Dishonored is a linear-mission based game, with multiple outlets for cool kills and technique.
Dishonored felt old. In-fact it felt like BioShock. Now this may not be a bad thing, BioShock is one of my favorite games of all time, but how do you compare with such an excellent game? The game mechanics are similar: changing powers reminds me of changing plasmids (you can swap at anytime instead of at Gene Bank), abilities are “equipped” in one hand while dual-wielding a second weapon of your choice (BioShock 2), the art direction seems similar, and the puzzles feel familiar. Even the health and energy bars look the same but flipped!
It’s not all bad though. Dishonored seems to have a heavier focus on stealth game play. Sneaking up and Using the main protagonist’s dagger for flashy kills was refreshing. Crawling into the shadows becomes your most potent weapon, and when stealth just isn’t going to work stopping time to gain a foothold in mid-combat can be useful (it might even be a little overpowered).
This game still has a lot of potential. If the story is anywhere near as awesome as it’s trying to be we just might have another great single-player game in 2012.I’m just not holding my hopes up.