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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – Dishonored

I, Ninja Von Doom, rule all of Latveria with a stealthy, iron fist!

Ahoy-hoy Evil Geeks!  Welcome back to our regular feature “What’s Killing My Social Life This Week”, where we discuss which video games are currently keeping us from seeing the light of day.  This week I’ve been playing Dishonored (Xbox 360) from Bethesda, the good folks who’ve brought us other neo-classic RPG titles such as Fallout:3 and The Elder Scrolls series, most notably Skyrim.  In case you haven’t played those games and are thinking of checking them out, let me offer you a word of advice:  Clear your schedule, settle all of your business affairs, and tell your loved ones that someday you will see them again, because these games will consume your entire life.  The worlds in Fallout and Skyrim are so expansive and vast, that you could spend months if not years exploring them (especially with Skyrim’s system of never-ending side quests, you can beat the game, but there will always be new side missions to accomplish).  With a game pedigree like that, I was definitely hyped to play Dishonored.  I expected another complex and wide open RPG world full of secrets and surprises waiting to be discovered.  The fact that there were all sorts of powers and upgrades available for your character completely sold me on the game.  I couldn’t wait to spend an entire months worth of Saturdays with my phone off and the blinds closed, wallowing in my own filth whilst in the middle of a gaming marathon.  What I got though was a reverse Transformer – Less than meets the eye.

These guys take Risk tournaments REALLY seriously.

I was really shocked to find that Dishonored plays less like it’s RPG brethren, but more like a cross between Rage (another Bethesda title) and the Metal Gear  series.  Like Rage, the world the game is set in seems ripe for an RPG, but there is no leveling system leaving the game feeling hollow.  You can acquire powers, but I was expecting more of a system like Fallout where I could pick and choose how I wanted to develop my character with different abilities.  Instead there’s about 8 or 10 abilities, each of which you can upgrade twice.  I was expecting some unique powers and the game delivers on this.  I particularly like the teleporting ability, which lets me blink around an area while plunging the business end of my sword into some poor schmuck’s neck (not going to lie, I like pretending that I’m Deadpool whenever I do this) and the ability to control ravenous swarms of rats.  It’s really comical to unleash a swarm right behind one or two unsuspecting guards and watch them get devoured.  The graphics are pretty good, overall the game looks very similar to Rage, except in a Victorian steampunk era.  The part that I really don’t like so much is the emphasis on stealth.  Damn it, I have cool powers, crossbows, pistols and a sword!!!  I don’t want to sneak around, I want to kill some shit!  I was expecting more of an action game, buts it’s not that at all.  Some parts of it can be really slow-paced.  There’s an emphasis on reading various books strewn about the boards, with some of them giving you valuable information and the rest giving you background stories of what’s happening in the world.  I’m at the point where I’m just picking up the books and immediately exiting them without reading since any important information is automatically saved into your objectives.  I was also expecting more of a selection of weapons too, but everything you get is pretty much standard issue stuff.  I do like that you can rewire some of the machinery that guards have set up at the various checkpoints across the game.  There’s something really satisfying about leading a guard through an electric force field that will fry him the second he touches it.

Oh man, when Gary got vaporized, did anyone else smell burned burritos and Mr. Pibb?

The gameplay is a little clunky too.  All combined, you have about a dozen different weapons and powers, but only 4 quicksave slots so you’re constantly flipping back and forth between the full menu and what you’re doing in the game.  However, if you have to switch to a new weapon in the middle of a fight because it’s out of ammo, when you switch into the menu it doesn’t pause the action in the game.  So while you’re selecting a new weapon, you’re also getting the crap kicked out of you by whatever you’re fighting.

Overall the game has been pretty good, but I’m still disappointed by what I was expecting it to be.  It seems like a shallow encounter that would probably be way more enjoyable if it were given more of a body with an RPG leveling system.  I’ve said this about other games before, I think it applies to this one too:  It’s a game that’s ok, but it seems like it will have a really good sequel.  If you’re looking for a game involving stealth and sneakyness then you should probably check this out, but if you’re in the mood for some straight up action, then save your cash.  Personally, I know I’ll be trading this title in towards my purchase of Halo 4 in a few weeks.  That’s all I got for now Evil Geeks, check back again soon for more gamer action!

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