DISHONORED Rating: 5/5

ESRB Rating: M
Platforms: PS3, 360, PC
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda
Release Date: 10/09/12

You are Corvo Attano, Lord Protector of the royal family of the fictional plague-ridden city of Dunwall. The Empress is killed, her daughter is kidnapped, and you’re framed for it all. How will you get your revenge?

In your pursuit of the culprits behind the Empress’ death you will have various upgradable weapons and supernatural abilities to help you along the way. One of the coolest is the teleport ability. It allows the player to literally teleport anywhere within a certain range to get around or behind patrols, or to reach higher location and roof tops. I wish the developers would have increased the overall range of this ability but that doesn’t diminish its effectiveness for assassination or to get out of trouble. If you’re playing this game I suggest you acquire and upgrade the teleport ability before anything else.

Dishonored is all about choices and gamer’s play style. Every decision you make in this game influences the world and the ultimate outcome of the game. The developers created a Chaos system which regulates the world depending and the ending on the amount of chaos the player causes in the pursuit of objectives. If the player openly attacks police or civilians the chaos meter will increase and the chaos system will deploy more police, patrols, and plague ridden rats throughout the city making the entire city a nightmare to get through.

The developers further incorporate choices into the game by allowing players multiple paths to reach the objective and multiple lethal and non-lethal ways to eliminate the target in every mission. The player can chose to take the brute force path, various secret paths accessed by completing side missions, stealth pathways, sewer pathways, and even rat pathways by acquiring the possession ability and possessing rats.

The graphics in this game are great. Half-Life 2 art director Viktor Antonov created a unique whale oil powered, early industrial city based on turn of the century (1900) London. The player with walk through dark, plague-ridden streets with sick “weepers” and rats waiting to attack anything that comes too close to the lavish hallways and rooms of the wealthy upper class within the city. The player will have to contend with walls of light, rocket launching tower turrets, and unique Tallboy patrols based loosely on Half-Life 2 striders which are elite troops that are very tough to take on with a frontal attack.

I loved this is game and it is great for fans of first person shooters and stealth combat. It has a compelling storyline, plot twists, excellent action, and was visually stunning. Dishonored is definitely one of the best games of 2012.