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Neither Dishonorable nor Definitive

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    Dishonored: Definitive Edition

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    Neither Dishonorable nor Definitive

    Dishonored: Definitive Edition is just one in an ocean of ports, remakes, re-releases, remasters and anything else developers will do to give their games a new lease of life. It’s cleverly titled "Dishonored: Definitive Edition" and while it isn’t quite definitive, it does offer a good experience.

    The story begins with you playing as Corvo Attano, the Royal Protector (read: bodyguard) to Empress Jessamine Kaldwin. When Jessamine is murdured and Corvo is framed for the killing, he must go undercover and exact his revenge on the usurpers who murdured Jessamine. To help him, the mysterious Outsider has imbued his mark on Corvo, granting him supernatural powers. This is about as far as the overall plot goes. While there may be some more twists and turns hidden in the narrative, the basic plot is still "get revenge on everyone" and does little to deviate from this. Still, these games are not know for their deep, rich story.

    The gameplay is thankfully much more interesting. Dishonored: Definitive Edition is a first person stealth game, so a lot of the game revolves around sneaking past guards and enemies. It’s quite open, so you have lots of room to explore and take down enemies. It’s not linear at all, which is good, because the game offers you a large degree of freedom in your choices. You have an array of supernatural powers, a sword, a pistol and a crossbow at your disposal. The game makes a big show of giving you a choice between sneaking around being stealthy and running around hacking and slashing everyone you see. There are morality options too: do you use nonlethal means to take down enemies or do you leave a bloody trail across your path? The choice is yours.

    In terms of gameplay, it’s fairly balanced between combat and stealth centric powers. You have Blink, Dark Vision and Posses. Blink teleports you a short location, and is extremely useful. Dark Vision lets you see enemies through walls, and Possess allows you to take control of an enemy for a short time. Combat focused powers include Bend Time, Windblast and Devouring Swarm. Bend time allows you to slow or stop time, Windblast is exactly that – a blast of wind that sends enemies flying. Devouring swarm summons a plague of rats to attack an enemy. Overall, these powers are clever, interesting and a good move on the part of the developers. You can also find Bonecharms and Runes in the world, which increases your powers and gives you bonus perks.

    Dishonored is also worth replaying. There are secrets and sidequests to explore in the open world, and alternative ways of taking down your targets. It’s a game that rewards you for taking your time and immersing yourself in the game world.

    In terms of the graphics, they’re OK. Back in 2012, they would have been better. Even remastered and updated, there are still some pixelated textures and poor lip-syncing. Dishonored’s unique art style gives it a cartoony, yet grimy feel. It’s similar to a dark anime style, but slightly more realistic. It’s strange, but look up images and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

    Audio is very good. The theme tunes and music in the game really sets the mood, and the voice acting is stellar. Various actors, including Chloe Grace Moretz and the late, great Carrie Fisher have lent their voices to the game. The result is audio heaven. It’s very well done.

    Now we need to talk about the DLC. Because Dishonored: Definitive Edition is lacking when it comes to bonus features. The DLC is identical to the Game of the Year edition released back for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. You could literally buy Dishonored, all the DLC and the only difference would be a slight graphical upgrade. For me, this is dissapointing. They could have added documentaries, soundtracks, extra DLC, perhaps some new Bonecharms. But they didn’t. In short, it’s little more than a port of the Game of the Year edition.

    The actual DLC consists of two story-driven packs and a challenge mode. The challenge mode is great fun, and deserves a 9 or 10 out of 10. The story-driven packs feel pretty much like an extension of the main game. You play as Duad, an assassin seeking redemption. It’s pretty boring stuff, although more Dishonored is always welcome.

    One last point: the loading times are ridiculously long. I mean, it can take over a minute to load the level, and over 30 seconds to respawn. Why the loading times are so long is something I will never understand. Bigger, more graphicly-intensive games take less time to load. It’s terrible.

    Overall, Dishonored is an excellent first-person stealth title, and this is a must buy for those without the game, but if you already own the original in any form, then it’s not worth it.

    Pros:
    - Excellent, open gameplay that gives you freedom of choice
    - Clever and well-thought out powers
    - Warrants replaying
    - Challenge mode DLC is amazing
    - Excellent audio and voice acting
    - Unique and interesting visuals

    Cons:
    - Some textures are poor
    - Long loading times
    - Doesn’t justify and upgrade from the original game

    Overall, a worthy purchase, but only for newcomers.

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