ESRB Rating: Mature

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UPC: 093155117938

Platform: Xbox 360

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: Arkane Studios

Category: Action

Style(s): Stealth

Synopsis: Set in a dark, dystopian city, and featuring multiple-path missions and a mix of stealth and action reminiscent of Deus Ex and Thief, Dishonored puts Xbox 360 players in charge of Corvo, the Empress' once-trusted bodyguard who was framed for her murder, and now dons a signature mask as he roams the oppressive streets. Freed from captivity by a supernatural being with questionable intentions, Corvo seeks revenge using special powers and a variety of gadgets and weapons, which players are free to wield as they stage direct assaults or perform stealthy assassinations.

Steampunk themes permeate the grungy industrial city of Dunwall, with citizens traveling in personal rail cars, law enforcement patrolling on long robotic stilts, and authority figures dressed in Victorian-era garb, complete with swords and muskets. Corvo can also wield a variety of swords, daggers, crossbows, and weak guns, but he has an advantage thanks to special powers that allow him to briefly stop time, possess any living creature, and teleport short distances. The action is presented from a first-person perspective, and whether players choose stealth, force, or a mixture of the two, the choices they make in each mission will result in different outcomes, and have lasting effects on the surrounding game world. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide

Package Contents: 20-page Instruction Manual

Controls: Joystick/Gamepad

The minds behind the likes of Half-Life and Deus Ex recapture classic first-person stealth in Dishonored, placing players into the plague-infested world of Dunwall as the noble Empress' loyal protector, Corvo Attano. Framed for her murder and placed under lock and key, Corvo must put his unique skills as an assassin to good use, uncovering the truth behind the Empress' murder and saving her daughter from the clutches of a new enemy.

Deliberately avoiding the tropes of modern-day shooters, Dishonored basks in the more considered, slow-paced gaming of old, allowing players to explore and uncover each layer of the mature storyline at their own pace. Choices made have real consequence, allowing players to assess an area and slip by unnoticed, or simply head in guns blazing and cut down those who stand in their way. Players who move from checkpoint to checkpoint will see the game's biggest moments, but miss out on the subplots, sharp writing and thick atmosphere that help make Dunwall feel so layered.

Taking its inspiration from 17th-century London, the city of Dunwall mixes classic architecture with futuristic technology, resulting in a conspicuous metropolis that fans of Half-Life's City 17 might find familiar. Huge chunks of the town are open for exploration, with each building containing secrets and upgrades hidden alongside the citizens of Dunwall hoping to avoid guards on patrol. With Dunwall becoming overrun by a violent new plague spread by rats, players will see the city slowly decay around them depending on the choices they make.

Dunwall's streets are impressive thanks in no small part to the game's visuals. Settling on a watercolour palette and stylised characters over a sense of realism, Dishonored's lack of detail is more than made up for by a striking art style that feels like players have been dropped into a painting. The game's story covers a lot of the same ground, seeing players visit run-down pubs and lavish government halls more than once. But these stages are usually given a fresh feel thanks to some clever lighting.

Conveniently bestowed with supernatural powers at the start of his mission, Convo has a strong selection of abilities to help him tear across the rooftops of Dunwall. With only a select number of powers available to unlock in one playthrough, players will have to decide on their play style and tailor abilities to it. Corvo can travel huge distances almost instantly, freeze time, or call waves of man-eating rats to attack his foes. One of the game's most creative powers allows Corvo to take control of enemies themselves, then move into the line of fire, open locked doors, or simply attack other Dunwall guards.

Players are free to be as creative as they choose with their powers, combining them to find weird and wonderful ways to torture their opponents. When playing in a more destructive style, this can result in combat that feels dynamic and unpredictable. Those who prefer to go the stealth route, however, might feel they've been left short-changed. Dishonored sometimes seems at odds with itself, offering players a wide selection of violent ways to attack guards but often punishing them for doing so. It's hard to avoid murder when the powers on offer are so tempting.

The minds at Arkane Studios have brought us countless classics over the years, and their dedication to first-person glory days is on display throughout Dishonored. Players tired of having their hands held in modern gaming can look to Dishonored for a considered, rich, and deep experience that is dripping with care and attention. Minor balancing issues aside, Dishonored is one of the best stealth games in recent memory.

the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.