That was my first thought when a friend told me that Dishonoured was due out the next day. That was also my second thought when I read a bit about it on the web. So I went out the next day and luckily found a copy.
And so far, I’ve been right. To hackney a phrase even more, Dishonored feels like a “spiritual successor” to Thief. There’s a similar “stick to the shadows” type gameplay. There’s the large “levels” which give you a lot of areas to explore, and many ways to complete your goals. There’s also a similar “steampunk” feel, though Thief felt like it was taken from a slightly almost-industrial time, whereas Dishonored feels more like early industrial. Also in Dishonored it’s more “whale oil punk”, since it seems all technology is driven by whale oil in this world.
Dishonored has more “magic”. While it was present in the Thief world, you didn’t often get to take advantage of it (unless you count rope/vine arrows as magic). In Dishonored you can gain various abilities as you progress such as seeing through walls, short teleportation, possessing animals and the like. I did worry that this was more a gimmick, and it took me a bit to get used to it. However, now I find it’s a very good fit for the world, and extends the number of ways you can explore the world and complete objectives.
Both worlds also have various technological security systems (though this was introduced in Thief II, not the original Thief.) that appear to be able to recognise friend from foe.
This is gameplay I can enjoy. I’ve spent almost a day on the first “level” alone. I explored the place, spent time working out various puzzles to get to upgrades, and generally did everything other than my main goal. Oh, I also spent as much time as needed to try to bring down enemies quietly and without getting into melee fights. Mostly I succeeded. In another play through, I’m pretty sure I could nail it.
This is again where it reminds me so much of Thief: I’m going over things in my mind, trying to work out the best way to deal with a situation or puzzle. I hate having to fight or kill folks (unless that’s a goal of the level), so I do what I can to avoid that. It limits my options, but provides a lot of mental fun. It again, is also what I used to do in Thief. I lost track of how many times I played Thief and Thief II (not so much Thief 3), as another play through was always a little different, and afforded me new opportunities to try something else.
At first I wasn’t too sure about Dishonored’s controls. They didn’t really seem a good “fit” for the style of play. However, I’m now used to them, and they work quite well, enabling me to get Corvo (did I mention him? He’s the main character) to do pretty much what I want, when I want. The only real issue I’ve had so far is that you have to be very exact when trying to grab chains, and that can be frustrating under pressure.
So, at this point I’m really enjoying the “Thief like” gameplay in a new setting. I hope the atmosphere and challenge continues through the levels as I desperately want this to become my next Thief.