On this day five years ago, Arkane Studios proved themselves as one of the top gaming developers. By releasing Dishonored, they showed that their original work could reach the same high benchmark on games they provided help on like Call of Duty: World at War and BioShock 2. Their action-stealth title allowed players to play how they liked, and gave players an unprecedented amount of freedom.
Here’s what Anthony Severino wrote in his Dishonored review five years ago:
Through exploration, the multiple pathways and a number of possible scenarios and outcomes, Dishonored packs in plenty of reasons to go back to it, despite not having any multiplayer modes. A playthrough ignoring all hidden items and stealth, opting for a murderous rampage can finish in around five hours. Whereas staying in the shadows and collecting every item could last more than 20 hours to be completely careful and remain undetected. It’s all in how you play the game, the choices you make, and the paths you take. In my mix of both stealth and slaughter, it took me closer to 11 hours, exploring almost every nook and cranny of Dishonored, still missing a few items and power ups. And when as soon as I finished, began plotting my next playthrough—Dishonored is just that good.
It’s not the prettiest game I’ve had the pleasure of laying my eyes on, but the amid the towering structures and darkest depths of the industrial city of Dunwall, lies character that most games cannot touch. Despite being completely fictional, the world is believable, warping you to a time of utter chaos. There’s not even one boss fight to be found—strange almost, but proves that the biggest challenges can come from the decisions you must make.
Dishonored may not do anything we’ve never before seen, but everything it does, it does extremely well. The massive amount of choice given to players keeps the game interesting through multiple replays, proving that multiplayer isn’t necessary to be a hit. In a year, and an industry, stricken with a plague known as “sequelitis”, Dishonored is the perfect cure, and should etch its name into every Game of the Year discussion with a sharply-tipped assassin blade.
Let us know your thoughts on Dishonored, both now and then, in the comments below!