Years after everyone else played it, I’ve finally finished Dishonored. The first one, not the sequel. It took me a few goes before it really stuck and just recently I was talking about how it stressed me out.
The weird thing about Dishonored is they have you playing as Corvo the Lord Protector, a bad-ass with all these lethal weapons and magical skills, then reward you for not using them. To get the best ending (I guess?) you have to keep your chaos levels down, which means non-lethal solutions to your problems. Those problems generally being guards between you and your goal.
I did pretty good at being non-lethal for about the first half of the game, but as I said I find it really stressful. Also I saved constantly, which kind of broke up the narrative immersion for me (a ‘Quick Save’ button would have helped there).
Eventually I acknowledged to myself I’d never finish the game if I kept trying to be non-lethal, and this happened at about the same time that me-as-Corvo lost patience with the troops defending the bad guys. At some point you need to open your eyes and see that your boss is an evil bastard, and if you refuse, well, Corvo has no mercy.
Then, as I neared the very end of the game, faithful boatman Samuel told me he was disappointed in me because of all the killing I’d done. I regretted my decision then, but not enough to go back and replay it all.
Dishonored is one of those games where I see why others really enjoyed it, but for me it was just OK. I think my issue was with the aesthetics. Not that they were bad, they just weren’t right for me. There’s a plague happened and everyone is sick and gross and hacking, coughing and puking, and the world is brutal and ugly, with corpses everywhere. It just got pretty depressing after a while. Also, the graphics haven’t really aged too well, and I’m shallow like that.
The story was actually pretty good, though, and the voice acting was awesome. The cast includes Susan Sarandon, Lena Headey, Michael Madsen and Brad Dourif. Also Carrie Fisher credited as “Alternate Street Speaker” but I’m not sure what that’s about. There’s a male voice making announcements on the streets and I assume there’s some way to swap that, but I don’t know how that works. [Google provides: At one point you encounter the voice of propaganda in the city. I didn’t kill him, but if you do, Carrie Fisher takes over the announcements from there on out. If only I’d known!]
All that said, I’m glad I played it because at some point I do want to check out Dishonored 2, and I wanted to know “the story so far..” But this isn’t a game that I’ll replay to chase trophies or get alternate endings of anything. One and done is enough for me.