Well here we are again with another ‘Definitive Edition’.
I would say I have about had it, but that would be a lie as I am ecstatic that Bethesda took it upon themselves to re-release this little gem as Dishonored: Definitive Edition. I first played Dishonored and painfully finished it with somehow accidently killing two individuals, some of you may understand the pain to that but here I am and here it is.
I am more than happy to replay this stealth action-adventure game. It incorporates your typical stealth but also introduces supernatural elements to make a stealth game of different variety. If you are not familiar with it I’d recommend that you should be.
You are Corvo, an esteemed body guard to the royal family who has been framed for the murder of the empress and left on death row. There are a group of underground rebels who believe Corvo’s skills and abilities can be used to help the failing city of Dunwall and so orchestrate a timely escape. You are set on the path to both revenge and redemption. So it all starts off pretty dire.
The city of Dunwall is a bleak and broken thing with the plague running rampant across the region. Death and disease is around every corner.
In these extreme times extreme measures are being taken to keep the sick at bay and prevent further spreading of the Black Death. Corvo is tasked with navigating this crumbling empire to take on various missions and execute strategic assassinations to help restore order and bring the corrupt authorities down.
The universe has a steam punk vibe and maintains plenty of dark undertones. I found I thoroughly enjoyed the dank and murky atmosphere of the game. The visuals generally uphold this well. The graphics aren’t as great as they could be but the art style makes it forgivable.
Overall however with various mechanized and supernatural elements made it a visually interesting display.
While the overall tone of the game is sinister in nature there is some aspect left to the player as to how treacherous the city may become. You can tip the balance and bring further death and mayhem to Dunwall or you can be merciful and offer hope in dreadful times.
You are free to both kill and not kill as you see fit. Although not killing is more of a task it can also be a good challenge. In my first play through I most certainly enjoyed the challenge of not killing everyone but this play through I found myself enjoying lethally taking care of those in my way. The dark side is always more fun, and much easier I would say.
There are some mechanics that make the less lethal option a bit harder as even after taking the ‘good’ option dumping the unconscious body makes life a bit harder as dropping the body from a height or accidently dumping them in too bigger puddle can still kill them after the fact. So it’s a tricky business.
Though playing through as a bloodthirsty ghost is easier and even promoted by the game, it does have its price. The game takes into account those you have killed and as you progress it all just gets a bit grimmer. There are more infected citizens and increased swarms of dangerous rats and ultimately it will also affect the ending.
Corvo is somehow chosen by some mystical dude to be given supernatural powers. These powers turned what might have been a regular stealth game into something a lot more enjoyable.
The powers on offer also cater well for someone on a darker path. One power lets you send a swarm of rats on your enemy and literally eats them to death. Gruesomely awesome.
The best power and most useful power is, of course, your Blink ability which allows to navigate the world on offer with a high amount of maneuverability. You select where you would like to be and in the blink of an eye you almost teleport over to the chosen spot. This can take you any direction, and helps drastically when taking a more vertical approach.
The Levels are open and allow a good deal of exploration. They can be explored and navigated as you like.
This allows for several options as how to move on and accomplish the next objective. One instance, I could have destroyed a force field and strode through the gate but instead I simply got high enough to go over the gate and ignore any guards in the way, though that didn’t stop me killing them afterwards in style.
The Levels include a decent amount of hidden areas and secrets that are always worth the reward. Items and ammo can be scarce and so rationing does need to be taken into account when implementing a specific strategy, be it death to all or the lighter handed approach.
Some areas are recycled but the environments vary well-enough, from elaborate mansions to dark dingy sewers all of which manage to keep it engaging.
Music and sound all played along nicely with grim tones of the game and always made tense moments more so with a well-chosen piece of music.
There are a few optional missions available along the way which provide more reason to explore your surroundings and usually add to the dark tone of the world portrayed. I did enjoy the side missions and always found myself seeking them out to accomplish
The new Definitive Edition also contains all the DLC available for the game. There are three DLC packs.
The first, Dunwall City Trials, is a series of challenges which include new stealth missions and other mini challenges proving your skills in different ways with weapons and abilities. These offered some new and enjoyable challenges in the game. Though they did not contribute to any kind of story I found them to be fun.
The other two DLC packs have you play as a shady assassin, Daud, the very one that murdered the empress and unlock his own dark story. It plays parallel to the events of the main story and adds an interesting twist to events. Daud also has his own array of abilities and weapons, albeit slightly modified from Corvo’s, it does offer a slightly different experience.
Dishonored: Definitive Edition is an excellent opportunity to play this great but gloomy game. It accommodates a few different play styles and allows players to more options as to how they want to do things.
It is pretty in that it portrays the murkiness and grim time well. Not every visual is tip top but overall it’s a dark and intriguing experience.
If you’re merciful or bloodthirsty Dishonored: Definitive Edition provides adequate abilities to accomplish either. So if you like a bit steam punk, bit stealth and bit of killing give this one a go.