Dishonored, published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Arkane Studios, the studio behind Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, is a stealth action game set in the steampunk city of Dunwall. The protagonist is Corvo Attano, the Lord Protector of the Empress of Dunwall. Her murder triggers a quest for revenge in which the player is tasked with assassinating various targets. The game presents a wide array of options for completing each mission while maintaining a challenge through unpredictable enemy behavior.
Although revenge is the driving force behind the narrative of Dishonored, the game offers complete freedom in how the player wishes to tackle every major objective. In fact, the player can complete the game without being detected and/or killing anyone.
Dishonored offers an experience that can be vastly different depending on how the player chooses to play it. They can be a ghost, never being seen or heard as they complete objectives; the assassin, leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake, or a combination thereof. These choices are applied to the main assassination targets, as well. There is always a non-lethal option for the main target in a mission, but it requires a lot of extra effort from the player. Players have both health and mana bars that are refilled through consumption of potions, but mana will regenerate to a point based on how quickly they are using their magic based skills.
The story of Dishonored progresses in a linear fashion, but every mission in the story is its own sandbox, open to exploration. The rooftops, sewers, and even the ocean are explorable. Each mission is filled with secret areas and pathways, and there are usually a few NPCs to find that offer side-missions.
Dishonored keeps track of the player's actions with a "Chaos" system. The more the player chooses to kill, the more rats and plague victims will be roaming the city. The Chaos system also affects the story of Dishonored, making it much darker in tone if the player has killed many people.
Skills and abilities
Corvo is granted some unique abilities by the Outsider that are unlocked through the exchange of Runes. Runes are scattered across the various maps and unlock different skills based on their choice of how to play the game. Skills have two tiers, with the second being more expensive than the first, so players can have a few powerful skills, or an array of weaker ones. Choice in skills is permanent, so decisions on what skills to use must be made carefully.
- Blink: The most important skill in Corvo's arsenal, this allows the player to teleport short distances both horizontally and vertically, though there is a distance penalty for vertical blinking. Level 2 increases blink distance significantly.
- Dark Vision: This skill reveals the outlines of being through walls including their line of sight. Level 2 also shows security systems and valuable objects.
- Possession: Allows players to take control of living things in their immediate vicinity for a short time, enabling them to travel through small spaces or hide. Level 2 allows players to possess humans.
- Bend Time: Slows down time for a short period, useful in both stealth and combat situations. Level 2 allows the player to stop time completely for a shorter duration.
- Devouring Swarm: Summons a pack of rats to attack the nearest living thing or eat nearby corpses to prevent future detection. Level 2 is a larger, more vicious swarm of rats.
- Windblast: Summons of gust of wind that will knock over enemies, douse fires, shatter wood and glass, and deflect enemy projectiles. Level 2 is a stronger gust.
- Shadow Kill: Turns stealth killed enemies to dust to prevent future detection by their comrades. Level 2 allows all killed enemies to be turned to dust.
- Blood Thirsty: Allows blocks and kills to build adrenaline, which once maxed allows Corvo to provide a devastating attack. Level 2 speeds up the rate of adrenaline and makes for a double attack which can kill multiple enemies.
- Agility: Enables players to jump higher. Level 2 allows them to run faster.
- Vitality: Increases maximum health. Level 2 allows for some health regeneration.
In Dishonored the player is always dual wielding, holding the sword in the player character's right hand and an item or spell in their left. Kills can be done in a detected or stealth mode, allowing for different play styles. In detected combat players can block opponents attacks, which leaves them open for deadly slashes or stabs, or simply slash and use gadgets to reach victory. Stealth kills require the player to sneak up undetected behind their target which will allow them to use lethal or nonlethal takedowns. A lethal take down is quicker while players must choke their victim during a non-lethal takedown. Players can also perform jumping assassinations from high locations onto lower platforms without taking damage. Combat is a completely avoidable scenario throughout most of the game.
Enemies in Dishonored often use the same tools as the player. Common enemies carry nothing but a sword or a club, while higher ranking enemies carry a gun or a crossbow, as well as a melee weapon. There are also enemies that have access to magic, though they are very rarely seen.
There are a number of options for playing stealthily. Pressing the crouch button will darken the edges of the screen, indicating that "Stealth Mode" is enabled. While Stealth Mode is enabled, the sounds of player movement are muffled, and hiding in the shadows will reduce a nearby NPC's sight range. There is a lean function which allows for peaking around corners without the possibility of being spotted. Keyholes on closed doors can be peeked through to scout out a room before proceeding. Loose objects can be picked up and thrown to create a noisy distraction. The short sword can also be used to create distractions by bashing it against solid objects.
Weapons and Gadgets
- Sword: Used for melee and stealth combat, it is also used in blocking. The primary tool in Corvo's arsenal and thus is always equipped.
- Pistol: For ranged takedowns, very loud. Can be equipped with explosive ammo.
- Crossbow: Handheld crossbow is a silent, single shot killer. Can be loaded with incendiary and non-lethal sleep darts.
- Grenades: Thrown explosive useful for large groups of enemies. There is a sticky variation as well.
- Springrazor: Proximity mine that launches razors in the general vicinity, ripping targets to shreds. Can be attached to walls, doors, and creatures.
- Heart: Detects Bone-Charms and Runes in the area
- Rewire tools: Allow Corvo to rewire traps and security systems on his enemies.
- Bone-Charms: Magic charms that are slotted to provide passive bonuses.
While in the hub area, Corvo can fully upgrade his equipment by talking to an inventor named Piero. There are several upgrades to choose from, including accuracy and damage of ranged weapons, or an increase to the amount of grenades that can be carried. All of this is done with coinage that is found throughout the missions. Equipment will change visually, as well, as different parts are upgraded/modified. Some upgrades can only be gained after finding blueprints, which are obtainable through black market merchants or found on missions.
Designer Viktor Antonov wanted to blend a variety of time periods into a singular cohesive world, taking inspiration from Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake. The world is described as a "futuristic steam-punk totalitarian London-esque environment."
Dishonored's world combines mysticism, industrialism, and Victorian aesthetics into a world that almost feels Lovecraftian.
Corvo Attano, the player-controlled character, is the renowned bodyguard of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin and guardian of the young princess Emily. Having just returned from a trip overseas, the Empress, not long after being reunited with Corvo, is assassinated while Emily is kidnapped, Corvo being framed for both. As a result he is imprisoned and sentenced to be executed. The mastermind of the plot, the shadowy Lord Regent, becomes the head of state in the Empress's absence.
An underground resistance movement seeks Corvo's aid, and there is much to be gained in return. Corvo must become the fist of vengeance for his fallen Empress and ensure the safety of Emily by assassinating or disabling allies of the Lord Regent, and eventually installing Emily as the new Empress before the Lord Regent gains complete control of the country.
The setting for this story is a steampunk universe; more specifically, the port city of Dunwall, separated from other nearby archipelagos by monster-infested waters. The main power source of the world is whale oil, a product that in the past had made Dunwall a wealthy trading hub. Political tensions run high, however, and due to a plague that has wiped out over half of the city, other countries refuse to help and eventually embargo the once powerful city. The plague is transmitted by rats who run rampant throughout the city, spreading the sickness to those that cannot afford the expensive elixirs that treat the malady. Much of the city is in ruins because of the plague, with victims wandering the derelict streets, while other parts are under martial law to prevent the spread. The population is oppressed by both financial and military constraints, hence many have turned to religion or black magic.
Corvo is a stealth professional and beside his natural talent and new-found supernatural powers, he also has the ability to bend time, and "possess" living things, allowing players to take control and play as them for a short amount of time. Most important of these powers is the Blink spell, which allows the player to traverse the map both vertically and horizontally. These powers were granted to Corvo by a figure known only as The Outsider. This supernatural being is the source of all magic in the world. Its nature, origins, and intentions are all shrouded by mystery.
The story will change depending on the decisions players make: the more death that Corvo causes, the grimmer the final outlook of the game. Similar to the Deus Ex franchise, the game will require players to make tough choices without breaking the flow of gameplay, while giving the player a limited amount of time to do so.
Downloadable Content (Single-Player Plot Add-On)
"The Knife of Dunwall" has players taking on the role of Daud, whose assassination of a key figure in Dunwall sets the core story of the game into motion. After this murder, Daud seeks redemption and is visited by The Outsider, a morally ambiguous and ethically flexible supernatural figure.
Daud explores never-before-seen districts of Dunwall and seeks out Delilah, a new character in the universe. He also has access to new weapons and powers not available to the wronged Corvo Attano. The DLC was released on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on April 16 for $9.99/£7.99 (800 MSP).
- New Powers, Weapons and Gadgets: The mark of the Outsider empowers Corvo with unique supernatural abilities. Call upon the Whalers to assist in combat with ‘Summon Assassin’, track down hidden Runes and Bone Charms with ‘Void Gaze’ and learn to use new variations to powers, including ‘Blink’. To aid in his dangerous exploits his customized arsenal of weapons and gadgets will include Chokedust to daze enemies, whale oil powered Stun Mines to shock targets, and a concealed Wristbow to launch sleep darts and explosive bolts.
- Explore More of Dunwall: Head through the Legal District and infiltrate the Rothwild Slaughterhouse, a steaming factory filled with colossal whale carcasses and their hulking butchers. Revisit the decaying Flooded District, the location of Daud’s hidden base, first seen in the original game. Return to the scenes of key events in Dishonored with a new perspective, including the fateful moment that sets off Corvo’s journey.
- Choose A Path: On Corvo's search for answers, players can approach each mission with their own style. Corvo's redemption – or his turn towards darkness – depends on the player's skills and the decisions they make. Discover the mystery behind Delilah in this stand-alone chapter, and then conclude Daud’s story in the final add-on, "The Brigmore Witches." The Brigmore Witches was released on August 13 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC for $9.99/£7.99.
The original soundtrack was composed by Daniel Licht. It is available on iTunes.
||Intro the Return
||The Drunken Whaler
||Honor for All - End Credits
||The Drunken Whaler (Full Version)
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Processor: 3.0 GHz dual core or better
- Memory: 4 GB system RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
- Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 512 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
- Sound: Windows compatible sound card
- OS: Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Processor: 2.4 GHz quad core or better
- Memory: 4 GB system RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 9 GB
- Video Card: DirectX 9 compatible with 768 MB video RAM or better (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 / ATI Radeon HD 5850)
- Sound: Windows compatible sound card