Played it for about 2 hours last night and a huge portion of today, but nevertheless, I felt like the game was somewhat short. Not necessarily that it was short, per se, but I felt like the story telling was a bit rushed. That might just simply be because of the whole format of the missions.
By the end of the game, there are 9 missions available in the main menu selection, and with each going about an hour or so, you get the basic idea on length. For the first 3/4 of the game I was stealthy, took my time, explored, gathered ruins and bone things. By 3/4 I realized I had all the upgrades I could want, the bone things didn't give enough benefit to want to search for them, and everybody in the game pissed me off so I no longer knocked people out and opted for a straight kill.
That being said, I imagine that the game could feasibly be beat in a much shorter time. 5 hours if you're really quick. The only two skills I used were the dark vision and the teleport one. Buying the slow down time one, I only used it once when I needed to run past the tallmen, otherwise I could have easily beat the game without it.
I never really used the health or mana packs. I never used my teleport or dark vision soon enough that my mana went down, and through the game I probably used about 2 mana packs, and probably 6 or 7 health packs.
The game is visually very appealing. The whole town has a great style to it, reminiscent of HL2 (The City 17 guy designed it, right?). I love the art style and everything. Everything looks pretty damn good.
Gameplay is solid and enjoyable. Mix of Hitman style missions, Thief sneaking, smooth combat. By halfway through the game, I had probably shot about 2 bolts, and was just knocking people unconscious with my hands, but once I discovered that shooting bolts to the face resulted in a ridiculously easy kill, I then opted to shoot everyone right in the face. With a bolt, not with a pistol, because a pistol seems like a much louder, much less accurate version of a bolt, and I didn't see the purpose.
The characters were pretty interesting to different degrees. You find the kid, Emily, within the first few minutes of the game, and immediately you get some sense of protectorship towards this helpless small kid. The other person that I liked was the boat guy, Samuel. That guy would ride a boat to the grave with you, and I would do the same for his hobo ass.
Now, about the missions, I felt like they were a bit lacking. At many points I look around and think "Damn, there really are a lot of ways I can go about getting places". You know how lots of games say "You have many different paths to take" and it turns out you only have two? Dishonored really gave me the sense that theres a lot of different ways to do things. The problem I had with that is that I felt like once it came to the actual objective, there really is only one way to do something and then you go "Dammit, I want more creative kills". I guess I compare it to Hitman where you can get fancy with things, but in this, I found on most (not all) occasions, if I'm killing a target, theres usually practically only one way to do it.
There also wasn't a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished something. I dunno what I'm expecting here, but when I get to the later parts of the game and my objective is to kill some important people, I literally took out two of them, 2 seconds apart, with one bolt to the face each, and then I'm pretty much on my merry way back doing whatever I was doing. I guess it's because the special targets are no stronger than any other ordinary people.
Note, this was all on normal, not easy, but not hard or hardest. I'll probably try again with that and see how it goes. I dont remember dying once. Wait, no.. Once, but thats because I teleported and slid my nuts down a cliff at high velocity. Oh yeah, I also quick save and quick load a lot, so...
One thing fun to do is knock people out, then throw them off of high places. I got a strange sense of satisfaction when I knock some **** out, then proceed to throw him out of a 3 story apartment, with the guards at ground level wondering what happened.
For whoevers played it, what other fun tactics do you employ to keep yourself entertained?