A new franchise is born...

User Rating: 8.5 | Dishonored X360
Dishonored is an ambitious game. It wants to give you choices, make hard decisions and doesn't hold your hand. It succeeds in a lot of ways, but comes up short in very little. There isn't much in this game to complain about, but the major issue I'll go over.rnrnYou take on the role of Corvo, the Empress' Protector who is of course framed and thrown in jail. You know the story, he gets out, gets powers and goes on a quest for revenge. The story is the best part of the game, the voice acting is top notch and the twists and turns are fun to experience. The story does change from how you play it, but never to any extreme. The real gold is in listening to audio files, reading books and listening to guards talk. It's usually fresh, though there's phrases that they'll repeat. It's just fun being in the world, the game is extremely immersive and you're never feeling like you're going through the motions.rnrnCorvo gets his powers from The Outsider, surely at least a Demi-God who appears when you find his shrines. You uncover Runes in the game that let you unlock different abilities. By the end of the game if you're a good explorer you should have every power you wanted to try. Some were disappointing (Agility) while others make you feel Godly (Blink and Time Bend to name a few) and really dictate how you'll play the game.rnrnHere's where my central problem comes in with the game. Corvo has these amazing powers, but there's never any time where you really get to use them. You only dare battle a guard one a time as if they surround you, it's near impossible to come out alive. I usually load a save up if this happens, as you have to use too many health vials to survive. rnrnSo battle is dictated by stealth. Corvo watches his prey with Dark Vision, which lets you see through walls and which way the guard's are looking. Then he makes his moves from behind, expertly slitting their throat or some other brutal assassinations. The problem with me is I wanted to go in full blast and take down multiple guards at once. This only works if you have Time Bend and they can't fight back. It's just very annoying that you have all these powers and you can't use them in any big fights. You'll learn to dispatch enemies quietly because stealth is pretty much the only option.rnrnDon't get the game wrong though, it does stealth excellent. Superb even. You can get to your enemy in any different ways or if you're a pacifist around the enemy in any number of ways. The game is built for players like this. There is multiple routes to get where you're going, so you never feel like the game is holding your hand. You can go through sewers, rooftops (my favourite) or any clear way you can cook up. I just kind of wish the game would let you go balls in and come out feeling like a God. If they're going for realism, would you really have all these powers?rnrnWhat the game does, it does well. The powers are easily accessible through a wheel by pressing the LB or R1 shoulder buttons, and you select your power or weapon. I never used much pistols, even though I had lots of ammo, it's just because that would draw more guards, and like I said, more guards usually means tons of health vials or you're dead. The sword fighting is well done, but when an enemy gets behind you while you're fighting someone, he unleashes and your health drops like a brick. There's also loads of stuff to find in each level.rnrnThe controls felt great, I never had any issues with the camera either. The story as I said is the real highlight of the game. And that's a nice thing to see. While the levels aren't terribly long it will take you a good amount of time on your first play through to figure out the best routes and to find the Bone Charms (sort of an extra add on like Potion heals more etc) and Runes. Some will probably love the replay value in this, but since I'm not much of a stealth guy I don't have much itch to go back. But like I said, other players will love the level design and stealth combat and the game enough to through at least twice. I clocked in over 10 hours on my first run though, but I'm sure the game could be done in 8 or less hours if you're really good at it.rnrnOverall it's nice to see such an ambitious new title this late in the console life cycle. It just proves that if you have a good idea, people will buy it. I'm sure this is a start of a new franchise. Maybe not the current story, but I'm sure there's lots more Assassin's who came across the mysterious Outsider who are just as bloodthirsty as Corvo was. If you love stealth action, some moral decisions and even playing the game without killing or being noticed (good luck!) the game is for you. I'm excited to see if this franchise will grow and put just a little more effort in combat.rn

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