Dishonored is a game based around action and stealth. It is a first-person game throughout and was developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
You play through the eyes of Corvo Attano after the events of a brutal assassination of the Empress Jessamine Caldwin (whom Corvo is the bodyguard for) happened right before your eyes and presence; pointing to you being the prime suspect of the murder. The events follow on from there and the missions require either sneaking your way into buildings and gathering information from other suspects that may be involved in the killing, or assassinating an enemy that is holding you high on their suspect list.
Dishonored has a very unique, hybrid style of play; being a linear but somewhat open world to explore. This means that you always have a set main target such as assassinating a leader of a gang, but during your hunt for this victim you can explore abandoned villages and underground systems giving you a sense of freedom unknown to a lot of games. You can also play to your own style, whether that be stealth or crossbows blazing, you’ll never have the same experience twice. There are always more than 2 ways to reach your objective, such as roof climbing with your simple parkour-style jumping or your special powers enabling you to teleport, or possessing a rat to run through the small sewage tunnels leading you inside the building, that is completely up to you. You are given “supernatural abilities” which can all be used at any time, (assuming you have enough mana to perform them) and these abilities can all be used to help you complete the missions with a stealthier approach or a lethal approach.
For example in one mission, Corvo has 2 targets in a brothel known as the “Golden Cat” which are optional alongside the main quest of rescuing a little girl from her captives. You can either stealthily kill each target with your sword, or you can find a way around and can turn a broken gas valve into a lethal weapon to take out the targets for you.
The gameplay is quite complex in the sense that there are a lot of buttons to remember and a lot of powers to be used. After the prologue and the first mission, the controls are pretty much drummed into your head and are cemented there, becoming easier for you to control. The stealth mechanics are fantastically built and you can hide in simple spots and be completely invisible to pursuers, such as large trash cans or under tables. The difficulty can however completely change the game, with easy being for beginners and very hard being for those who love a very hard challenge with the difficulty rendering even the shadows useless to hide in. There are also achievements which can be achieved in one playthrough but not in another, such as one being for completing the game without killing any non-target NPC’s, and another requiring you to get a kill with every type of offensive weaponry. This makes the game very replayable and fun to try again.
The story follows Corvo looking to avenge the death of the Empress whom he was the body guard for, as she was killed in front of him and her daughter, Emily. Little is known of the killers, but Corvo’s mission is to find out who did it. With your execution a little over a day away after 6 months imprisonment, a friend comes to your aid and delivers food with a note and your cell key attached to the tray, with your mission now to escape the prison and find out who helped you-quietly, or guns blazing. The story adapts around your playstyle, meaning a low-chaos, non-lethal playthrough will get you more loyalty from your companions whereas a high-chaos playthrough may make your friends have second thoughts about whether you can be trusted or not.
Overall the game is a very good one and should definitely be on your to-buy list. It was released in 2012 but it is a game for the ages with a special kind of gameplay, and the story is very interesting and adaptive. I would definitely recommend this game to buy, especially with it now being rather cheap.