Gaming for Grown Ups
31st December 2012 11:49:00
Posted by Gareth Gallagher

Retail Game of the Year 2012

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We thought we had all had enough of stealth, for the large part it felt tacked on and it seemed to fail more times than it succeeded across a plethora of titles. It appears that in 2012 we were wrong, very very wrong. Bethesda knew that stealth wasn't finished and when developed properly there is not much that can better it. There had been a lot of buzz surrounding Dishonored in the build up to its release but as we all know we should suspend our hope until it is physically in our hands. When it did arrive all of the fears were allayed, what we had was a story rich, beautifully designed masterpiece.

Our review highlighted the mastery of work in the design, saying, "Completeness of vision is something that unfortunately feels like it comes around only rarely in videogaming, the benefits on offer for those who achieve this are on show consistently in Dishonored. There are easy comparisons to be made with Bioshock when discussing the styling on show here but it is a fair comparison and when being compared you may as well be compared with the best. From each street, to each building, to each room there is a consistent level of quality in detail. You might find yourself at times wandering around trying to find a nook or cranny where the developers minds may have wandered but you will be left wanting as this artist’s brush never seemed to run dry. At a glance you will see the ruin that has fallen upon this once great city, you will see the disparity in living conditions and you can just sense the struggle. Be under no illusion, Dunwall is a living, breathing character in the world of Dishonored, as important as the characters themselves if not even more so"

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We had been told that we could complete the game without murdering a single person, we were told there were numerous way to complete missions, we were promised a mixture of stealth and violence. These promises were kept and if there is something gamers admire it is honestly selling your product. Our review said, "Some games will promise you freedom in how you progress through a game but at best these statements are usually just marketing hyperbole. With Dishonored the claims that have been made regarding its openness are closer to the truth, obviously there is a natural limit to the possibilities but the puppeteer’s strings are all but invisible. You can, if wanted, ghost through the game with Corvo seeming to barely influence events but you can also become a deliverer of bombastic justice. Loud, violent and glorious looking justice."

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Dishonored is a game executed with confidence and it thoroughly deserves to win our retail game of the year award. There are rumours that there may not be a sequel and this would be a shame but in the end what we have is one of the best games of the last ten years. We concluded, "The world that has been created is one of the most memorable in recent times and you will feel that you have only played a small act in a world full of stories. There are elements that do not hit the mark, the game ends in a manner that may feel sudden to some, the constant saving and loading may grate on others and most will feel robbed by not being able to replay earlier missions with your newly acquired powers. For the most part these are trifles, minor frays on an otherwise exquisitely crafted garment. We may not see this world again but I am certain that it will certainly live on in gamer’s minds long after the credits roll and perhaps, when all is said and done, that is the best accolade it can receive."