Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Step into the dark, mysterious world of Dunwall – Dishonored review

The first time I set eyes on Dunwall, I knew I’d be hooked to this game. It’s such a rare delight to play a game with great game play, an excellent story line and stunning visuals. You play as Corvo, a mute character who’s been framed for the murder of The Empress. I played this game for about 3 hours straight on Christmas Day, and if you’ve got the game, you’d understand why. Here's a trailer below. (Alun Owen, Triple-A Reviewer)


(Spoilers start) The game opens with some eerie music being played, whilst a mysterious voice, (The Empress), tells the player how she had to send you to find a cure for the plague, which apparently has ‘taken so many’. Well I hope you did find a cure Corvo, this sounds pretty serious. As you wake up, you are on a boat being lowered down to the sea from a ship. You can have a good look around, from the towering walls of Dunwall to the rugged rocks. You enter this chamber, and it begins filling up with water, which raises you steadily to the top. I found this pretty damn cool. Is it just me? Yeah, it’s probably just me. Anyway, as you leave the boat and start walking, a girl runs up to you and gives you a big hug. How cute. You can either play hide and seek with her, or completely ignore her. I went for the latter. I don’t have enough time to play with kids, and also, she seems really annoying. If you do play with her (although you should be concentrating on your work) you basically get the feel of the game, how to use stealth etc. After this game, you then meet two men, one painting a portrait of the other. Hey, they look evil... something fishy is going on here. They talk about how you’ve asked for aid from the other islands to rid of the plague. Sokolov, the guy who’s painting the picture of the other man (the other man being Campbell) then says it’s a waste of time and his elixir will cure everyone. Well get going then! Stop wasting valuable time by painting pictures! After your discussion with them, you then meet The Empress. But, who’s this bald guy. You eavesdrop on them, and you hear The Empress shouting in outrage how the sick people are not criminals. You know this guy is trouble. You finally talk to The Empress, and you hand her the letter. Basically, the other isles are leaving you all to die. And if that’s not bad enough, the guards have been sent away, and there are masked men running towards you on the rooftop. HELP! Wait, you’re the bodyguard, it’s your job to defend The Empress. This is the first time you’ll get a taste of the combat, but I’ll talk about that later. As you kill off these assassin’s, all is well. You get another hug from that annoying girl. Everything is going to be fine. But wait, what the hell?! Another assassin, using this weird power to freeze me! And then another guy grabs her, and stabs her brutally in the stomach. Oh, the blood! Blood everywhere! And if this wasn’t enough, they’ve taken that girl as well (thank God… I mean, oh no!). The Empress shares her last words with you, telling you to bring Emily back, and then… dead. Oh, this does not look good. Blood on my hands and I’m the only person here, with a dead woman. Better get out of here then. Oh no, the guards are already here, and that suspicions bald guy is there again. If only you could talk! The guard then hits you with the hilt of his sword, and you pass out. (Spoilers finished)

There seems to be a fly on your head...

So, let me start with the combat system. What I really love about this game is that blocking plays a major part of the fighting. When someone goes for a hit, quickly hit the block button and that’ll leave your opponent stunned for a few seconds, which then you can counter. Of course, this block system ain’t gonna help you against guns though. You also have a range of powers, which you can get by collecting runes. These powers will help you a lot through the game, and the game emphasizes combining these powers. These powers include Bend Time (Slow-mo), Dark Vision (See through walls etc) and Devouring Swarm, which summons hungry, deadly rats. Not only are there powers though, there are also a range of gadgets and bone charms. Bone charms helps your supernatural powers, like increasing the duration of rat possession. To use these powers, you’ll need something called mana, which is rather easy to replenish (drinking elixirs). You’ll also have your trusty sword with you, your gun and a crossbow. What really makes this game stand out is you don’t need to use your weapons to kill (or if you’re a real psycho and love killing, then you might as well).

Like I said above, you don’t need to kill in this game. There are two choices to play this game, kill everyone in your path or just knock them out. If you choose the destructive path, the ending will be very dark, and there won’t be any ‘And they lived happily ever after’. The number of rats will increase, and also there will be a significant increase in Weepers (basically zombies). If you choose the non-violent path, your ending will be a lot happier, and also you won’t see many rats or Weepers. I would highly recommend playing the game at least twice through to experience both endings. 

Now how am I going to kill these?

‘What’s the city like’ I hear you say? Well Dunwall (based on 19th century London) is no place you’d want to go on holiday to. First of all, there’s a deadly plague going around (based on the Black Death) which if the guards find out you have it, they’ll chuck you on a heap of bodies, dead or alive. Secondly, the government constantly boom out propaganda notices (you ain’t fooling nobody) and the ‘Wall of Light’, which basically is electricity that disintegrates any trespassers, mainly people affected by the disease. Annoyingly, the guards can walk through this wall with no effect, although you can hack the wall, and it’ll kill any guards that walk through. And, oh yeah, did I mention this city basically runs on Whale Oil? They get a Whale and hang it from a ceiling, letting all the fat drip down, killing it slowly. Seems pretty harsh, huh? But, all these factors make Dunwall such a great host of the game. Amazing Steam Punk machines also roam the streets, like the terrifying Tallboys, which look like something from The War of the Worlds, and the mood and atmosphere of the city is perfect for this game. You will fall in love with Dunwall, no doubt about it.

‘Hey, why are these graphics so… weird…’. Yes, this was my first thought about this game. The graphics. I know, it’s a rash judgment and all, but I couldn’t help wonder why they were like this. Oh what an idiot I was. After a while, you’ll get used to them and understand its beauty. The graphics and visuals are, to say the least, truly wonderful, and the developers, Arkane Studios, got them spot on. As I said above, Dunwall is great, but it wouldn’t be half as good if it weren’t for the graphics. Some people will disagree with me. Some gamers think these graphics are ‘terrible’, but they don’t know what they’re talking about. The graphics are truly unique, Arkane went for something different, away from mainstream graphics, and they pulled it off. The graphics has a so-bad-it’s-good feel to it. These graphics aren’t like those of the Call of Duty franchise, they’re nowhere near as detailed and realistic, but in a game like this, realistic graphics would suck. Suck bad. 

'You don't want to mess with us'

So, do you buy Dishonored or not? Definitley buy. Yes, the game is rather short, Arkane could have made it a lot longer, but hey, it’s a great game, with superb characters you’ll love, (except for Emily, I don’t know why but I HATE her) great visuals and a brilliantly well thought out story. Get this game, you won't regret it.

No Work, All Play Rating: 9/10

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