I picked up Dishonored during the Steam sale this weekend and I’ve put a few hours into it. Think a combination of Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed and Thief together.
Where in most stealth games there is but a single path, with perhaps a few options along with dozens of reloads, I find that Dishonored doesn’t follow that path. You seem to always have ways to subdue enemies without killing them, even if they see you. You have 2-5 different ways to get to your goal as well. Heck, the goal isn’t even static as most quests give you a kill or don’t kill option depending on actions.
The difference is in the impact of the decisions. Kill everyone and the world turns darker, with more rats and “zombie-like” enemies. Play cleanly and the world gets brighter with less much around. Combat isn’t easy by any means. Some game have enemies queue up to kill you. Dishonored sends 2 guys against you and odds are you’re going to die. I like that mistakes aren’t instant death and that they are survivable but not so much so that I can simply walk around dancing and singing a tune.
From what I can tell, I’m about half-way through. The mini-collection quests along the route (runes, charms, signs and paintings among others) make you hunt down odd passages and explore more than you would think otherwise. If I were to ignore them and simply take the obvious route, I’d probably end up being a worse player with a more complicated experience. It’s odd where a game is able to integrate this side-game without being a complete distraction (*cough*batman*cough*).
I’m having a lot of fun. People should give this game a shot. It hits all the right notes, has a good voice cast, interesting setting and smooth gameplay. Happy hunting.