Dishonored Review Roundup: Minds = Blown.
Dishonored reviews are pouring in, and though it’s still early, we might just have our front runner for game of the year. The emerging consensus is that it’s a mostly brilliant achievement in game play, story, and the promotion of player choice, something of a delicious slap in the face to everyone claiming that the current generation is by necessity creatively moribund.
IGN calls it “a breath of fresh air“, citing in particular the freedom to explore, and the lack of reliance on cutscenes to drive the narrative. The story is cited as its weakest point, but largely by comparison to the excellent gameplay. Joystiq gives it 4.5 out of 5 stars, raving about the detail put into the city of Dunwall and its replayability, calling it a “chat room and water cooler game” people will be thinking about for months to come. Kotaku, saying that it’s “like entering a designer’s playpen,” declares it a masterpiece.
Meanwhile, 1up’s A+ review says they were “taken by surprise”, and praises it for “taking the hassle out of stealth games.” Destructoid’s review is particularly interesting; Sterling says it demolishes “the idea that only sequels perform well,” which is a blunt and effective refutation of the pessimistic (and grossly player-underestimating) comments from numerous industry bigwigs in 2012. And as for Game Front? We loved it too. Phil Hornshaw’s 90/100 review says that it “feels like a conversation between player and creator,” and his primary complaint is that he wanted more of it.
Ordinarily, we’d single out some of the lower scores as well, but as of this posting there are none. Dishonored is scoring healthy, high marks across the board, with the lowest being the equivalent of an A-. So it turns out that a deeply immersive game that gives players plenty of different ways to play, all while offering a real, unambiguous sense of how their choices play out, is something that people would like. Color me shocked.