Dishonored, the latest game from Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks, is ready for its official release date on Tuesday, Oct. 9. But before players can get a chance to walk in the shoes of the game’s protagonist, the assassin Corvo, readers may want to consult various reviews of the game before deciding whether or not to cough up the $59 to purchase the game.
Luckily for those interested gamers, most critics are calling Dishonored incredible, memorable, and one of the “most refreshing experiences” of the year thus far.
Here’s a brief synopsis of the game, provided by Bethesda Softworks and Arkane:
“You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder, you become an infamous assassin, known only by the disturbing mask that has become your calling card. In a time of uncertainty, when the city is being besieged by plague and ruled by an oppressive government armed with strange technologies, dark forces conspire to bestow upon you abilities beyond those of any common man.”
We’ve accumulated most of the reviews coming from the most popular computer and game publications to give you an idea of what gamers have to say about Dishonored. Check out our review round-up for the latest game.
Cam Shea, IGN (Rating: 9.2 out of 10):
“Are you getting sick of playing games that don’t actually let you play? You know the ones I mean: they funnel you down a narrow path, don’t give you much freedom in what you can do, and rely on cinematic set pieces to drive the spectacle. I am, and that’s why Dishonored is such a refreshing experience.”
Alexander Sliwinski, Joystiq (4.5 out of 5):
“What makes Dishonored great are the mechanics made possible by the universe in which it exists. There is a level of replayability and creativity available here that isn't seen in most stealth action games. You aren't just figuring out how you need to get from point A to point B, but how you want to get there. Dishonored is a chat room and water cooler game, the sort where you'll remember your own choices after the game ends. I may not know how Dunwall came to be, but you can bet I'll be talking with friends about the time I've spent there.”
Bob Mackey, 1UP (A+):
“Dishonored isn't a small game, by any means, but I could easily see a lesser developer drawing out Corvo's adventure to the point of tedium. Instead, Arkane Studios has created a rich and fulfilling experience that doesn't outstay its welcome -- and one that isn't so in love with its own world that it ends up boring that player with endless pages of world-building that's best employed through scenery and atmosphere instead of clumsy dialogue. In Dishonored, every bit of conversation, piece of real estate, and game play element feels absolutely experience to the complete experience -- something that's difficult to claim with even the best of games. The lack of longstanding series recognition may give Harvey Smith's studio a bit of unfair competition in this sequel-heavy deluge of new releases, but when the press starts heralding their favorite games of 2012, expect to see Dishonored hovering at or around the top of just about everyone's list.”
Chris Watters, Gamespot (9.0 out of 10):
“Taking a playful approach [in Dishonored] can result in even more supernatural fun. Blow bottles off a shelf from a hidden perch to terrify the maids. Snatch a painting while a guard is looking at it instead of waiting for him to walk away. Throw a corpse off a balcony onto a guard, but freeze time before it hits, so you can watch his reaction when you appear in front of him as he gets clobbered from above. Dishonored has multiple save slots available, and taking advantage of the ability to tear things up and then reload a fresh start encourages you to engage in some absolutely delightful mayhem. Yet even though it allows you to wipe the recent slate clean, Dishonored still begs to be replayed from the beginning. Unlocking different powers, finishing missions in different ways, striving to be more or less murderous, and seeing a different endgame all offer appealing incentives to give it another go. It's a rare game that feels so compulsively replayable, but Dishonored is such a game. The compelling abilities, the bold artistic design, the colorful characters, and above all, the freedom of choice--these are the things that mark Dishonored as one of the truly remarkable games of this year.”
Ben Lee, Digital Spy (4 stars out of 5):
“Dishonored's open-ended nature is well-executed and one of the standout parts of the game, but if there is a quibble, it's that it often feels like the developer is pushing you to go down the stealth route. How the world evolves as the story progresses is determined by the player's 'chaos' rating. Avoid bloodshed and it will be low. Getting constantly spotted or killing those in your way will contribute to a high chaos. A high chaos - which an aggressive player will end up with - results in darker NPC dialog and ultimately a darker ending. A character may chastise you for being "brutal", for example. More notably, though, some of the later missions are made trickier as there will be more enemies around, especially weepers - zombie-like victims of a worrying plague. It almost feels like you're playing the game the 'wrong' way and being punished for it, despite Dishonored's insistence that it can be played however you want.”
Jason Schreier, Kotaku (Recommended):
“Your Dishonored experience will likely differ from mine, and you will likely come away from the game with interesting stories of how you possessed a fish and snuck underneath a moat to dodge a pack of marauding Tallboys, or how you threw a grenade in a last-effort attempt to disable a dangerous pylon, only to be shocked to find that it actually worked. Swapping Dishonored stories with Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton over the past week was almost as fun as the game itself. And for me, few gaming experiences have been more enjoyable than dropping into Dunwall and finding creative ways to take down enemies, sneak through streets, and get revenge.”
Staff Review, GameTrailers (8.7 out of 10):
“Dishonored gives up big patches of world to explore, secrets to uncover, people to kill or spare, and many ways to go about it all. It’s an interesting and often invigorating experience: a stealth game not weighed down by genre conventions, a first-person shooter where you don’t have to fire a shot and where jumping won’t cause you to pull your hair out. But the intricacy of all its moving parts makes its quirks and blemishes all the more damning. With a tweaked plot, more thoughtful and varied pacing, and better swordplay to match the brilliance of blink, Dishonored would be a classic instead of being merely excellent.”
Dan Whitehead, Eurogamer (8 out of 10):
“This is a muscular and confident game, one with the utmost faith in its own fiction and a dedication to gameplay satisfaction at a microscopic level, paid off in dozens of situations that feel completely random and organic, even when they've clearly been planted there for you to find. Tighter control and a more generous approach to replay value would elevate Dishonored to true classic status, but it stands as one of the year's best all the same.”
Jim Sterling, Destructoid (9.0 out of 10):
“Dishonored is that game of 2012. It's the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and -- more importantly -- brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane's aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn't all straightforward shooters and "me too" trend-seekers. Its level design is some of the very best, its willingness to let the player decide their own path is exhilarating, and the satisfaction gleaned from a mission well done leaves one hungry for more. Some dated visuals and a conventional arsenal do little to hold back what a truly beautiful, multifaceted, and ultimately invigorating adventure Dishonored manages to be.”
Phil Iwaniuk, Official Playstation Magazine (9 out of 10):
“It’s a wake-up call for first-person gaming, resurrecting long-lost values and casually plunging a knife into the neck of the generic sequel. Games journalists have an innate soft spot for a certain type of game. You know the one – gutsy new IP with grand overarching concept, distinct art style, peppered with esoteric references to classic literature or history. The likes of Bioshock, Journey and, indeed, Dishonored tend to attract lovestruck admiration not just because they manage to swerve the usual comic-book clichés and resist the guiles of barely dressed gun-chicks, but because they make it so evident that the industry we write about has its own Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick-calibre individuals – creative visionaries who’d probably be household stars if they weren’t obsessed by interactive media as we are. And that makes us happy. It makes us forget about all those passionless sequels and truck simulators, and remember that – at their best – games are important, damn it, and our parents were wrong about us passing up that teaching job.”
Dishonored hits stores at midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and is available for Xbox360, Playstation 3 and PC.