Dishonored PC Games
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Dishonored on PC is an immersive first-person action game set in Dunwall, a dark, oppressive city where strange technology and otherworldly mysticism coexist in the shadows. As a supernatural assassin driven by revenge, you will choose whether to stalk your targets under the cover of darkness or ruthlessly attack them head on with weapons drawn. Dishonored’s advanced combat system allows you to combine the numerous supernatural powers, weapons and unusual gadgets at your disposal to creatively eliminate your targets. The outcome of each mission-based assassination plays out based on hundreds of factors, allowing you to approach situations in a multitude of ways. Regardless of your actions, your journey and decisions will leave an indelible mark upon the city.
You are the once-trusted bodyguard of the beloved Empress. Framed for her murder and driven by revenge, 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 of Dunwall is being ruled by an oppressive government armed with neo-industrial technologies, and besieged by plague, the truth behind your betrayal is as murky as the waters surrounding the city. The choices you make will affect the fate of the world, but no matter what happens the life you once had is gone forever.
The BAFTA Video Game Awards took place last night, with 53 games nominated for prestigious prizes across 17 categories. The winners are an eclectic bunch as well, handily illustrating the variety and scope of games as a creative medium.
Bethesda's rich and rewarding steampunk stealth-em-up Dishonored walked away with the evening's most coveted prize, voted Best Game by the BAFTA panel, but the big winner was Sony's digital gem Journey, nominated in eight categories. Jenova Chen's chilled out game of exploration and contemplation won five of the awards, getting the nod for game design, artistic achievement, audio achievement, original music and, in one of the evening's nicest surprises, online multiplayer.
Journey allows two players to explore together, but partners are placed together at random, cannot speak directly to each other and have no idea who they're playing with. For such a bold approach to co-operative play to snatch the multiplayer prize from the likes of Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed raised more than a few eyebrows.
Telltale's gripping episodic Walking Dead adventure also dominated the event, winning two of the seven awards it was up for, winning for Best Story and Best Mobile or Handheld game. Far Cry 3 was crowned Best Action Game, while XCOM: Enemy Unknown won for Best Strategy. Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes claimed the prize for Best Family Game.
If 2012 deserves to be remembered for anything - apart from the imminent Mayan apocalypse of course - it's as the year when people finally stopped bleating about the PC being a dying games platform. The past twelve months saw an astonishing run of top quality games for PC, as indie studios turned out fresh ideas by the dozen while mainstream developers fell back in love with the idea of pushing the flexible hardware a PC offers to the absolute limit. Here's our round up of the top PC titles that helped define the year.
What's perhaps most noticeable is that some of 2012's biggest releases were PC exclusive, not just PC versions of hit console games. Blizzard's Diablo 3, for example, was arguably one of the most important games of the year, yet talk of a console version is still shrouded in rumour. Arriving a mere 12 years after the release of Diablo 2, it's fair to say that fans were absolutely desperate to get their hands on Blizzard's fast-paced tactical action RPG. Always a series driven by frantic combat and furious loot-grabbing, Diablo 3 streamlined many of the processes involved without making the gameplay itself shallow. Whether playing online with friends, or hacking your way through the horde alone, it's still one of the year's most frighteningly addictive games. If you get it for Christmas, be careful - you may emerge from your first session to discover you've missed New Year's Eve.
But then this was a year for great RPG revivals on the PC. Fans of NCSoft's massive online role-player Guild Wars didn't have to wait quite as long as the Diablo faithful - a mere seven years separates Guild Wars 2 from its 2005 original - but the wait was still more than worth it. A rare MMO that requires no monthly subscription, Guild Wars 2 innovated in other areas as well, not least the fresh approach to quest design which allowed more fluid storylines to emerge based on player actions rather than strictly define dungeon encounters. With 400,000 players filling out its rich fantasy world, it's an excellent choice for anyone looking to try out an online RPG.
Or, of course, you could turn to the top dog of the genre. World of Warcraft continued to dominate in 2012, with the release of the latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria. This not only introduces a whole new land to explore, it adds a deeper pet battling system, a new character class and a new playable race - the Pandaren, a monastic order of martial arts mammals that look suspiciously like a certain popular animated movie character. Don't mention that though. The fans get very upset.
The best games of 2012 weren't only exclusive to PC, of course, but many of them were clearly designed with the platform in mind. Dishonored, the astonishing and compelling stealth adventure from the co-creator of Deus Ex, was a hit on consoles but a more perfect fit for PC. A game of painstaking plotting and careful progression, its dark and deliberate pace feels right at home on a keyboard and mouse, as you take control of supernatural assassin Corvus and set about unravelling a conspiracy in a steampunk world filled with detail and story.
Similarly indebted to the PC was the superb strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, in which you manage a global agency tasked with investigating and repelling alien invasions. A remake of the 1991 classic, it retained the methodical turn-based structure but brought it bang up to date with nailbiting extra-terrestrial encounters and a satisfying web of upgrades and abilities with which to arm your brave, loyal and very often horribly doomed soldiers.
In certain cases, this shift back towards more PC-flavoured gameplay was especially useful. Far Cry 3 was great on consoles, but it pushed their fixed hardware to the limit. On PC, the tropical island setting is in full bloom, stretching into the distance in extraordinary beautiful detail even as you're prowling its open world, stealth-killing murderous bandits and trying not to be mauled by leopards.
An excellent year for PC players then, and a trend that will only continue in 2013. It might be a good idea to put some of those Christmas spends towards that new graphics card you've been promising yourself...
"I can tell you that Dishonored is far exceeding our sales expectations," Bethesda's PR man Pete Hines told Destructoid, "which is especially cool considering it's new IP facing a host of well-established franchises this quarter."
The game not only flew off the shelves when it was launched back in October, but it still selling well today, especially with Americans cramming into shops for the post-Thanksgiving "Black Friday" sales. "We did terrific numbers again this past weekend, where Dishonored was listed as the number one selling title over the holiday weekend," Hines continued. "And Dishonored has really sold well overseas. So, we're very pleased and appreciate all the fans that have supported Dishonored and [developer] Arkane. We clearly have a new franchise."
The game's development team has been coy about sequel plans previously. "Part of me would love to see future games leverage this world," co-director Harvey Smith has said. "And part of me would love it if the vault door was just closed and that's it."
The first scenario is now far more likely to happen, which is great news for everyone loved this dark and wonderful stealth adventure. And if you haven't played it yet, what's keeping you?
Dishonored is out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
Dishonored places you in the role of Corvo Attano, royal protector to the Empress of Dunwall, who sees her slain before his eyes by her consort before being framed for the murder. Her assassin kidnaps the heir to the throne in order to seize power for themselves and you're left top rot in prison for a crime you didn't commit. Thankfully it's not long before you're broken out of captivity by an eclectic group of activists who are united by their desire to overthrow the rogue government with your help.
Dunwall is an immaculately detailed, 19th century London-inspired steampunk vision that incorporates modern technologies and fantastic contraptions. It plays home to an upper class which revels in greed, crime and debauchery, and an oppressed underclass which has been ravaged by plague. Art lead Viktor Antonov, famed for designing Half-Life 2's iconic City 17, paints a grim picture but one that's realised with a richness few games have matched.
To achieve your goals you'll need to visit Dunwall's various districts to incapacitate key members of the ruling force using a great combination of natural abilities and magical ones, both of which are upgradeable throughout the adventure. Supernatural powers enable you to teleport to a nearby point, see enemies through walls, possess animals (and later humans), slow (and later stop) time, summon a blast of wind to send foes flying, or conjure swarms of carnivorous rats.
Corvo is no slouch with conventional weaponry either. His flintlock pistol is as loud and powerful as a shotgun, and best suited to close range combat, while his blade is perfect for more subtle kills. A crossbow is his weapon of choice for ranged attacks with either tranquiliser darts or standard bolts, while he also has grenades and mines packed with coiled razor wire at his disposal. The controls are effortlessly smooth, enabling you to combine weapons and magic to devastating and satisfying effect.
In the early stages at least, the action stealth game does a great job of limiting your resources so as not to overpower you, and it's actually a more enjoyable experience if you take time to approach missions thoughtfully rather than simply going in all guns blazing. Corvo's abilities are equally suited to slaughter or stealth and the world changes around you based on your humane or merciless approach to objectives. Your chosen play style even has an impact on the ending you receive.
This freedom of choice is reflected in some fabulous level design. You could risk braving a guarded front door, or attempt to scale a building's walls and sneak in via a window or rooftop. Alternatively you could take the form of a fish in a nearby canal and use it to swim through an underwater grate, or enter via a vent as a possessed rodent. The world is alive with possibilities only uncovered through exploration and experimentation, and the obvious solution is always the least satisfying approach.
From the story to the city and the gameplay, everything in Dishonored feels fresh and is a delight to explore, ensuring that the single player-only adventure lends itself perfectly to multiple replays. There may be plenty of ways to approach objectives, making it ideal for stealth and action fans alike, but whichever way you look at it Dishonored is one of the most exciting, original title of this console generation and is well in the running for the game of the year crown.
- Great freedom of choice.
- A wonderfully realised setting.
- Plenty of replay value.
- The ending feels a little abrupt.
- A couple of graphical hiccups.
- NPC dialogue is sometimes repeated.
Austin Grossman, writer of fantastic new stealthy assassin game Dishonored, has performed a brutal hit all of his own on beloved 1998 FPS classic Half Life and Gordon Freeman, the mute scientist turned action hero protagonist of Valve's seminal game.
"I find it incredibly awkward and really creepy," Grossman told Kotaku, pulling no punches. "I find Gordon Freeman creepy as hell. It's people talking at him, about him and sometimes even for him. He just happens to be in the middle of this whole thing."
Needless to say, Grossman believes that although Corvo, the anti-hero of Dishonored, is equally silent throughout his adventure, the story is more closely tied to him and therefore more successful. "The difference between Dishonored and how it works in Half-Life 2 is that it's a lot more personal," he explains. "I think you get that involvement because the character has personal relationships with people from the beginning... I'm biased, of course, but I think Dishonored grips you much more viscerally, more emotionally."
Dishonored, out this week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, is set in a gloomy steampunk city, stricken with plague and infestations of rats. You play as the bodyguard to the Empress, framed for her murder and on a mission of revenge to bring the conspirators to justice. It's quite brilliant. But is it better than the mighty Half Life?
Dishonored takes home Best Game BAFTA (06/03/2013)
The BAFTA Video Game Awards took place last night, with 53 games nominated for prestigious prizes across 17 categories. The winners are an eclectic bunch as well.…
The Best of 2012: PC (20/12/2012)
The past twelve months saw an astonishing run of top quality games for PC, pushing the flexible hardware a PC offers to the absolute limit…
Dishonored sequel looks likely as Bet… (28/11/2012)
Publisher Bethesda, the company behind such hits as Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim, is very happy with Dishonored.…
Dishonored - Review (11/10/2012)
From the story to the city and the gameplay, everything in Dishonored feels fresh and is a delight to explore, ensuring that the single player-only adventure lends itself perfectly to multiple replays…
Dishonored writer takes aim at 'creep… (10/10/2012)
Austin Grossman, writer of fantastic new stealthy assassin game Dishonored, has performed a brutal hit all of his own on beloved 1998 FPS classic Half Life and Gordon Freeman, the mute scientist turne…
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