First Impressions: Dishonored (Xbox 360)

The Royal Protector, that’s what they used to call me… But that’s all in the past now, since the murder of the Empress. She sent me to look for a cure for the plague, but what I found after she was killed, was worse: conspiracies, murders, cover-ups, … everything you could imagine, and I had to put an end to it. The only thing stopping me from doing this are the bars of this freaking prison…

Starting a new franchise these days, is not so easy. With Dishonored, Bethesda and Arkane Studios bring a whole new perspective to tactical gaming. Combining elements of Deus Ex, Assassin’s Creed and other, give Dishonored as a result. If we talk about the story, it’s quite compelling, but not extremely special. It does bring you originality, something most games lack…

Dishonored tells the story of Corvo, the (used-to-be) Royal Protector, protector of the Empress. He was sent out to the other countries to search for a cure for the rat plague. When he comes back, the unexpected happens… The Empress is murdered in front of him, and her daughter is kidnapped… When the Royal Guard arrives, they, as expected, blame Corvo of the murder and the kidnapping, and arrest him.

So that’s where the trailer of Dishonored starts, in prison. While we don’t know how Corvo got out of prison during the trailer, the campaign of the game explains everything. A group that call themselves the Loyalists, helped Corvo escape prison. Through the story, you’ll have to free members of the Loyalists. If you fail to do so, you can’t really continue the story, because you need every character for tasks.

As I already said, the story of Dishonored gives you originality, but what the developers really focused on, was the options during the game. Every choice you make affects the outcome. If you kill every enemy, there’ll be more rats, more wheepers (Weepers are sufferers of the rat plague, who have discolored skin and subconjunctival haemorrhages, which cause blood to drip from their eyes in a tear-like fashion, hence their title) and that will result in a darker outcome. That’s why you also have the option to knock out an opponent by walking up behind them and choking them. What you can also do, is kill an enemy, pick up his body and throw it in the water.

Another original aspect, is the use of Runes and Bone Charms. These objects are collectables during the game. They are spread across the map of every single mission and you have to use a special heart, which is given to you, to find them. When you have collected enough runes or bone charms, you can activate special abilities and helpful functions. One of these abilities is ‘Blink’, which enables you to make short jumps. This sounds quite basic, but it means that you disappear in one spot, and reappear in another. By upgrading these abilities, they give you more possibilities. With Blink, you can jump further when upgraded.

During a mission, there are several objects to collect. These result in coins, which you can use to buy upgrades for your weapons. You can’t buy upgrades for your abilities with coins. Weapon upgrades allow your weapons, like your crossbow, to carry more ammo, auto-reload, …

The only thing I’m a little disappointed about, are the graphics. When you look at the first trailer of the game, it is shown in very high (1080p) quality, with Crysis-like graphics. If you then look at the actual game, the quality is not very realistic. Also, the first-person choice is a little disappointing… When you look at games like Assassin’s Creed, third-person is the best choice. You can compare Dishonored with Assassin’s Creed, so I’d say third-person would have been a better choice. Another reason for me wanting third-person in Dishonored, is the awesome outfit of Corvo. During the game, you never actually get to see yourself, which is quite disappointing, because I love the mask and the outfit.


Dishonored is, without a doubt, one of the best games of this year. For me, Dishonored is a pretty good candidate for the GamingBoulevard Game of the Year-Award. The positive aspects pulverize the negative. The story is compelling, which makes players want to continue the game. Also, the levels of difficulty contain a lot of variation. Personally, I like to start at normal difficulty, but this doesn’t screw up the game. Some moments, it still is really hard to complete.