Dishonored: Fun or Shun?

dishonored fun or shun

Welcome back to Fun or Shun, the feature where two GamerSushi editors take a look at an upcoming game and give their thoughts on whether or not they want to buy it. We did this last year with the excellent Deus Ex: Human Revolution and now Anthony and I are putting Dishonored, the Bethesda-published steampunk game, under the microscope.

Will Dishonored stand up to the intense scrutiny? Will it triumph based on its pre-release material, or are we feeling a bit cold towards it? Onward, adventurer!

Mitch’s Take

dishonored fun or shun

I’ve kind of had a tough time making up my mind about Dishonored. It’s got all the trappings of a good game: it lets you choose how you want to tackle missions, it has a solid design aesthetic, and it’s a new IP. All of that and I can’t shake the feeling that I might be underwhelmed by Dishonored.

At least part of my apprehension has to do with the fact that it’s being published by Bethesda, and they’re not exactly known for stable games. I know it’s unfair to lump the Dishonored development team into that, but given the state of Prey 2, I don’t feel entierly unjustified. Bethesda let Prey 2 launguish for a bit, it seems, and the game suffered for it. I’m just guessing here, but there was probably some whip-cracking going on after Bethesda delayed Prey 2 so they could hit the release date for Dishonored.

And then there’s the whole choice thing in how you want to tackle missions. Very few games pull off the “non-lethal” approach well; even Deus Ex: Human Revolution couldn’t pull that off completely, but that might have been because the boss fights in that game were outsourced (a choice that still baffles me). What I’m getting at is, while you certainly may be able to be a stealthmans in Dishonored, it might just be easier and more fun to go in guns blazing. The powers you get seem more focused on direct confrontation, but that could just be a case of marketing showing the action-heavy side of things to appeal to a broader audience.

Dishonored seems to almost be cracking under the weight of its premise and while I’m sure the game will be fine, there are many other experiences this Fall that are known quantities. Yes, I am part of the problem, but with a limited budget I have to be choosy.

Verdict: Shun

Anthony’s Take

dishonored fun or shun

Dishonored is a game that wasn’t even on my radar until Eddy made me watch the trailer so we could do Trailer Trash. I was intrigued by the steampunk aesthetic and excited when I saw some of the cool things your character can do in the game, the most compelling being the Nightcrawler-esque teleportation ability. I could see myself having quite a bit of fun with that.

But what I remember most from that episode of Trailer Trash is how much it reminded me of so many other games that it feels like the second (Or third, technically) coming of Darksiders, another game that was well-liked, but also dismissed by many for blatantly cribbing from other franchises, such as Zelda, God of War and even Portal. Dishonored’s influences seem to range from Half-Life 2 to Mirror’s Edge to Assassin’s Creed to Deus Ex to Bioshock. While I can’t fault any company for taking inspiration from any of those games, it is slightly worrisome that it was glaringly obvious at first glance.

Couple that with Bethesda’s penchant for making buggy, unstable games and my worries start to grow. Here’s a legitimate question: will this game run on my PS3? After Skyrim, I am very wary of Bethesda and am ready to pounce on anyone who dares honor them with a publisher of the year award or anything like that. That fury over Skyrim extends to Dishonored now. They’ve made a big show of stating how the game will react to your choices in a dynamic fashion, which is fancy speak for “Day 1 Patch”.

They’ve also mentioned how they had to cut some features they originally intended, such as being able to hide in shadows. Such revelations only make me question whether Dishonored will be able to live up to the promises made during the marketing campaign. Time will tell, but one thing is for certain: I won’t be finding out myself without some stellar reviews. After last fall’s feast, I am being more picky in games this year and Dishonored is a wait and see.

Verdict: Shun

DOUBLE-SHUN! We threw it down hard on Dishonored there, but what do you guys think? Are we completely off our rockers? Why will Dishonored be the best game of 2012? Or do you agree?

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

5 thoughts on “Dishonored: Fun or Shun?”

  1. I got to play the demo at QuakeCon and was pleased with it. I’m a die hard stealth game fan (Deus Ex was fantastic, sans the boss fights) and this game seemed like it has the ability to scratch that itch. Due to the fact that I had a line behind me, I wasn’t inclined to take my time and do a truly stealthy approach, but I did try out some of the various abilities such as the rat summoning ability in order to sneak past foes. Also, slitting people’s throat in that game is very satisfying and I can definitely see where the game allows for multiple approaches to situations. I won’t be getting it day one (I’ve recently adopted Anthony’s philosophy of only buying games when I know I’m going to play them immediately), but I will definitely be looking to purchase it later in the year.

  2. Interesting that you guys went for the double-shun. I’m completely on the fence about this one, the aesthetics look great and the gameplay seems fun but there’s still a doubt in my mind. I’m not sure if I’m ready to shun but I would appreciate a demo.

  3. Hmm… I’m a litter apprehensive on this game. On the one hand I’ve known Bethesda’s reputation for creating games that steal countless hours of my life with the old adage of, “Just one more quest and I’m done.”, on the other, I’ve been aware of how buggy Bethesda’s games have been. Backwards flying, glitch-through-mountain, skeleton dragons ring a bell? Load screen freezes in New Vegas? That’s whats hindering me from making it a day one purchase. If it reviews well, though, I definitely will have to buy it because I know Bethesda will once again be stealing hours of life from me and everything I’ve heard about this game so far has me very intrigued.

  4. @Playersbro I thought it was only being published by Bethesda, not developed? I found some other things on Wikipedia that seemed to make my bones tingle a little…

    “Dishonored is the first Arkane Studios game to be published by Bethesda following its purchase by Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media in August 2010. Arkane Studios founder Raphaël Colantonio and Deus Ex developer Harvey Smith act as the game’s creative directors, and Deus Ex designer Ricardo Bare acts as Lead Designer. Half Life 2’s City 17 designer, visual design director Viktor Antonov and art director Sebastien Mitton lead the art team.”

    No wonder there was so much Deus Ex and Half-Life 2 mixed in there :D!

  5. @Julez Ahhh, okay! I’m so used to Bethesda’s buggy-ness(?) that I couldn’t really recall if they were at the helm for this game or publishing for it. Hearing that specific people who took part in the development of Deus Ex and Half-Life 2 definitely makes this game all the more intriguing to me 😀

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