Despite all the hype and the epic trailers, Dishonored falls short of all expectations in my opinion. *Spoiler free*
First of all, the game is incredibly short. Like, my first play through of the game took about 4 hours. My second took even less.
The story, although set up to be rather compelling and deep, falls extremely short of my original expectations. The story of political corruption during an industrial revolution in a city overcome with a deadly plague that has no cure sounds like an amazing concept. However, it was executed very poorly. The NPC's are a chore to listen to and deal with, and their existence provides little to no benefit to your overall experience in the game. As a matter of fact, I found myself wanting to just kill everyone I ran into after the first mission.
The game as a whole is fairly boring. It's basically, "Go here, kill/knock out some dudes, get into that building, kill/out smart the bad guy, and go back to your base of operations and sleep.
There is no real free roam of any sort and even when you do get a small opportunity to explore a limited area, it's ultimately pointless. Sure, there are a few side missions, but they don't carry enough weight to hold any sort of argument towards this game being even slightly expansive.
The only enjoyable thing about this game is the combat. It's unique and gives you a lot of options on how to handle a situation. However, after my first play through, the combat became pretty lack luster. I ultimately just got bored with it. I was bored with killing everyone and I was really bored sneaking past them.
Another aspect of the game, which was a combination of interesting and annoying, was the morality thing. Sneaking past enemies and sparing them gives you a good outcome and less enemies later on. Killing enemies makes the game darker, limits your dialogue with the stupid characters, and creates more enemies for you to face later on. The idea of this was pretty cool, but I didn't like the fact that direct combat results in a bad outcome and more enemies. I left like the game was punishing me for utilizing the combat, which was the one aspect of the game that was keeping me from throwing it away altogether.
In conclusion, I feel as though Dishonored, all though looking to be amazing, was ultimately one of the most disappointing video games I had ever spent money on. After drudging through this game twice, I felt ripped off. If you want this game, I recommend borrowing it from someone or renting it. Or you could go to Gamestop and pick up my copy used if you absolutely feel like throwing your money away. I traded it to them after the first week of it being in my possession and put the store credit towards something else. Editor's Choice my butt.