The lights are on
I was excited for Dishonored. I pre-ordered it, and played through it as soon as I got it. It took me longer than most to complete it, but that's because I scoured its universe as thoroughly as I could in search of some sort of inspiration, something I could sink my teeth into. Instead, I was thoroughly bored to tears These are the guys that worked in some part with the team who worked on BioShock 2. I think instead of taking inspiration from their storytelling, they drew solely from their experience working on multiplayer development, and also, to their credit, took inspiration from their art style and plasmid abilities. When building the foundation of a game, that's quite exceptional material, but when that's the only thing you take away, and you bring nothing else to the table, you have failed at constructing a well-rounded, worthwhile experience. The best part about Dishonored was the trailer. The Drunken Whaler song made me think this was going to be an oppressively dark, sad story with some seriously gripping plot points and tough decisions with consequences. I find myself constantly reading instead about fictional religious histories and scientific descriptions of things that don't exist, which would be interesting in an enthralling universe, but this universe has yet to establish itself, outside of the trailer. Your character doesn't speak, we don't know anything about him except he was supposedly a badass before he was bestowed with supernatural powers, and we are supposed to feel dishonored by being screwed over by basically a bunch of goons who always have been. After a quick recovery, you join up with a jolly bunch of rebels, if you can call the lazy group such a thing, almost all of whom are drunks and are of lesser stature than your former self, and you do their dirty work while they mingle at the pub. Maybe the developers should have made your character a less well-respected figure with such close access to your former leader, because your subservience becomes utterly befuddling.
Instead of being thrown directly into the servant assassin role, you should have spent some time whaling, getting to know this whole culture of whaling, getting disgusted by it personally, getting to know the faction that would eventually take over, and getting to know yourself, so you can could choose sides and understand why you're stabbing hundreds of people. Half the time I felt bad about the guards I killed because they're just a bunch of dudes urinating in bushes trying not to get eaten by rats. I know stealth is supposed to be an emphasis, but I don't recommend it on the first playthrough, one aspect I am in agreement with GI on. And as far as the whaling goes, it wasn't even relegated to the background, no, it was even less than that, more of a rumor than any tangible aspect of this game. This could have been set in a forest full of fairies and you wouldn't have known the difference due to the poor construction of the universe and even poorer storytelling. In the end, $60 is a lot of money for this limited experience. I should have bought a hard copy and not listened to GI's advice that it was better on PC. It's not even as good as GI made it out to be, and I usually ultimately agree with their reviews for the most part. Combat mechanics are the smoothest implementation, but combat is very short and doesn't occur all that often, and like I said, most of the time you don't feel the people you kill deserve it. But, at least you spend most of your time picking things up that you don't need and reading irrelevant books and notes so you don't have to worry about enjoying the combat all that much.
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