One of the characters just used a direct quote from Thief. That’s just put me into fangirl “squee!” territory!
I’ve been enjoying Dishonored a lot. The sneaking, learning patrols, using the layout of the environments to your advantage – this is all wonderful stuff. I would say, though, that you really do seem more like a Thief than an Assassin. Stealing things becomes second nature after a while. Though to be fair, no-one seems to care if you pick up stuff, even if they’re watching you. Also, you don’t actually have to assassinate anyone, as far as I can tell. There are always options to do things in non-lethal ways.
What’s interesting is that it seems enemies seem to change behaviour once one (or more) of them is down. It looks like they take up the slack and extend their own patrols into areas they didn’t cover previously. In Thief, they’d just return to whatever they were doing when they calmed down. This simple extension increases the challenge, and seems to make it even more interesting.
One thing I was unsure of initially was the lack of any kind of ‘lockpick’ ability. However I’ve decided that leaving it out was a good move. It means that “plot doors” are far less obvious, since so many require keys anyway. There really is nothing worse than being a Master lockpicker, and still finding “this lock cannot be picked” or “this lock requires a key”. Without the lockpick skill it just doesn’t come up. Of course, this game also gives you so many ways to get past obstacles that often it’s more fun try them before searching for a key.
I should mention the graphics. I like the graphical style, as they’ve not gone for ‘hyper realistic’ and seem to have gone for something more akin ‘painting’. It gives it all just the right atmosphere. The characters themselves also fit well into this world as the models aren’t that realistic, but seem to lean closer to caricature.
Curiously, given my love of story, something that doesn’t seem to bug me is the fact that story is not really this game’s strong point. Oh it has a story, and a lot of background to the world, but there are times that it seems that’s there to hang motivation on, rather than being strong enough on it’s own. One of the things that seems most obvious to me is that the “working class” people that you come across are often far too willing to help. It’s often justified by the way their family has been treated, or how scary Corvo’s reputation is, but it all seems a bit too easy to ring quite true.
Having said that, the game relies more on atmosphere than story, and that is something it has lots of. Even as I’m starting to find cracks in the game engine (guards giving up patrols after a save, speech sounding like it’s right next to you, when it’s from a conversation down in the yard, and so on), I’m still enjoying how the world feels.
So far I’m not showing any signs of losing interest in Dishonored. It’s just far too much of what I love!