IN an age of sequels, prequels and remakes, it’s refreshing to discover a new game with an intriguing premise.
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Format: PC (also on Xbox 360, PS3)
Age rating: 18+
IN an age of sequels, prequels and remakes, it’s refreshing to discover a new game with an intriguing premise. Dishonoured immerses the player into a beautifully realized world, the epicentre of which is Dunwall, a plague-ravaged port city with its own history, customs and deadly secrets.
Full of fading opulence and Dickensian squalor, Dunwall is ripe for exploration, providing the perfect backdrop for some first-person adventuring. Players take on the role of Corvo Attano, a former bodyguard to a murdered monarch, who sets out to avenge her death and restore her kidnapped daughter to the throne.
Teaming up with a group of underground loyalists, you’re sent on a series of missions to exact revenge on those implicated in the conspiracy, armed with a sword in one hand and a pistol in the other. Fortunately, you can also unlock an impressive arsenal of steampunk gadgetry and – thanks to the intervention of the mysterious Outsider – gain the ability to teleport short distances, see through walls, freeze time and take control of any living creature for a limited period of time, alongside other supernatural powers.
Mixing and matching these abilities means you can approach missions in a number of different ways. If you want to jump in with all guns blazing, you’re free to do so, but you can also take a more stealthy approach as you go about your deadly business. Even better, the entire game can be completed without killing a single person, using non-lethal means to take down your intended victims.
Missions are as varied as your magic abilities, with multiple pathways leading you to your mark. One minute you could be mingling with guests at a masked ball, trying to work out who your target is, and the next taking part in an old-fashioned pistol duel.
Although there’s no New Game + mode – or any kind of multiplayer or co-op challenge come to that – replay value is still insanely high thanks to the non-linear nature of the missions and the fact that each playthrough reveals more details about this thrilling dystopia.