Normally I’d call this “initial impressions”, since I haven’t played the whole game, obviously. But instead I wanted to talk about one very, very specific thing about this game, one moment that shows just how unique it is.
This stands out especially after playing Resident Evil 6, but most games are linear, and we’ve butted up against that once or twice. There’s always a ledge that looks climbable, but is just out of reach. A door that feels like it should open, but doesn’t. An area that looks like a more open place from a distance but turns out to be a texture.
And Dishonored has some of that. But you have to break the game to find it. In fact, in many ways, this is the game that those of us who grew up with the SNES and the PlayStation had always dreamed of, but hadn’t quite gotten.
I’ve spent way too much time in this game just hopping around with your teleport spell and exploring how far up or down I can go in games.
There’s more than one reason for that. This is a game that takes exploration very, very seriously. You’ll need to probe every nook and cranny for heath vials and mana potions because they’re pretty expensive and without them, you’re going to be majorly screwed. See, your health and mana? They don’t regenerate. Ammo? Pretty scarce. Cash to buy any of it? Available, but then you won’t be able to improve your gear, and you’ll feel that pretty keenly in just a few levels.
This is not to say the game itself is insanely difficult, although I’m sure whining about that will be coming shortly on forums across the land. If anything the curve is quite gentle. There are multiple paths through any area, and if nothing else, your trusty sword never needs reloading.
And it must be said that the levels are sandboxes but not part of a larger open world; there’s a distinct entrance and exit point. The freedom comes in the fact that if you can see something, you can teleport to it, climb on it, or hide a body behind it.
But it’s just so open, there are so many options, that you’ll find yourself playing through each level a few times just because you’ve had an idea and you want to see if it’ll work. And the best part? It often does work, and if it doesn’t, it makes sense instead of revealing an arbitrary limit. I’ll have a full review by Friday, but believe the hype: Dishonored is amazing.