It happens every now and then. We're busy talking up the big franchise games, and one sneaks under the radar. The last new IP I remember receiving this much buzz early in the holiday period was BioShock. Game of the year plaudits are already being thrown around for Dishonored, but just how good is it?
Well, pretty damn good.
Dishonored, on multiple levels, is a game about the choices you make. Dishonored allows you to create your own path, it allows you to deal with enemies in multiple different ways -- it gives you a broad toolbox and gives you a playground with which to utilise them. This is known.
But on a different level, it's also the most customisable console game I can remember playing. The HUD is almost fully customisable, you can turn markers on or off, you can make it more difficult to find the game's secrets, you can turn auto aim on or off. In short, you can make the game almost artificially difficult for yourself.
To begin with I found this a little intimidating. With a limited amount of time for games, it's nigh on impossible, to create for yourself, the 'optimal' Dishonored experience. And while that's kind of the point, I did find it a little frustrating.
Particularly with the waypoint system.
With the waypoint system 'on', Dishonored becomes a relatively flat game of traversal. There's no need to explore, no sense of discovery, and missions can be completed relatively efficiently. Turn waypoints off, however, and things become entirely more vague. You will often have nothing to go on, you will get lost, you will become frustrated. I found the lack of a middle ground a little irritating.
Surely Arkane Games could have come up with a waypoint system, or something else entirely, making things a little more accessible, but still rewarding? At the moment I'm playing with the waypoints off -- which is what I would recommend for most folks -- but there definitely have been times where I've had to quickly turn them on to make sure I'm heading somewhere in the right direction. On a few occasions I've missed a subtle cue, and gone right past something important and had to track back.
So far, this has been my only complaint, and is one which can easily be explained away. Dishonored is a game that provides choice in every possible facet, so the less intrusion the better in a number of ways.
It's also the kind of game I imagine I'd enjoy more on a second playthrough, which is annoying, because I most likely won't have the time for that!
Anyway, I've rambled for too long -- this is a Community Review! I'd like to hear your thoughts on the game so far, so drop them in the comments below!