As soon as Corvo breaks out of jail, players are given the basics about the stealth system. However, the stealth mechanics never seem to go much further than the basics. Instead of getting more items later in the game that can help with sneaking like a grappling hook or smoke bombs, there really isn't much besides sleep darts which are hard to find and expensive. Trying to sneak around is frustrating because it's difficult to judge when the enemies will see you, as there seems to be no set distance that's safe.
Dishonored's morality is black and white. In the game, you either have a high "chaos" level or a low one, depending on how many people you killed. The problem is it's confusing to know what counts as kills. Do guard dogs count or if you knock a guard unconscious and he falls into the water, does that matter? I understand killing in Dishonored leads to more rats and therefore more plague, but even after you get the skill that turns the dead into ashes it doesn't seem to affect the chaos level. Even when I used a lot of non-lethal take-downs, my chaos level never lowered. There's no meter in the game to show players exactly how high or low their level is.
Open ended world
The city of Dunwall has an amazingly dark and grimy feel to it. I just wish there was more opportunity to explore it. Onscreen arrows direct Corvo from one objective to the next, while equipping the heart shows where runes and bone charms are located. After you complete a mission you can stay in the area or go back to the bar/safe house. There is little chance to go out, fully stocked with health potions or ammo and explore for the fun of it. This makes Dishonored feel linear since after I completed a mission, I always opted to return to safe house because I had little resources to spare.
As Corvo, players can use runes to buy or upgrade skills like Dark Vision and Rat Swarm. While there are quite a few skills to pick from, they only can be upgraded once. Therefore, it's easy to max out skills early in the game. Certain ones like Vitality and Agility definitely needed more upgrades since these control your health and jumping abilities. Even the stealth focused abilities like Blink started feeling a bit stale towards the end of the game.
Dishonored is an intriguing game, and it's easy to get swept up in Corvo's story. However, these four things stop it from reaching its potential. If there is ever a sequel to Dishonored, hopefully these elements will have a bit more polish and depth to them.
Published by Jennifer Amlie
Jennifer has been playing video games since the NES was released. The Legend of Zelda is her favorite series. She also enjoys BioShock, Gears of War, Fallout, and countless others. When she's not gaming, she... View profile
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