Dishonored Launch Week: Riding the midnight train to Reviewville

“It’s a big, shiny example of so much we keep asking for in games, but rarely get. Luckily, the best way to vindicate it is to buy and then play an amazing game.” – PC Gamer (92/100)

That’s one of many highlights from all the reviews pouring in for Dishonored. With under 24 hours until the game launches in North America, there’s plenty of reviews to read up on.

Before heading off to bed, here’s a quick rundown:

Polygon (9/10) – “With everything against it, Arkane has created a game with a unifying vision and design that stands apart from its contemporaries as something different. But more importantly, Dishonored succeeds as an ambitious game not content to take one thing and do it well.”

Gamespot (9/10) – “It’s a rare game that feels so compulsively replayable, but Dishonored is such a game.”

EDGE (9/10) – “It’s a rare delight to play a game with such consistency of vision, its art design, level architecture, rulesets, storylines and writing all working in lockstep.”

Revision3 (video review above) – “It’s detailed and engaging and unique. It’s one of the best game of the year.”

Official PlayStation Magazine(9/10) – It succeeds because it gives you the freedom to mastermind incredible set-pieces for yourself, rather than showing you a scripted sequence. It’s as good as first-person gaming gets, and it’s set in one of the most original gameworlds in years, calling to mind Half-Life 2’s oppression-ravaged streets, and an intricate level design style reminiscent of Deus Ex, System Shock and Thief games from the old days, necromancing gaming maxims that seem to have all but died in recent times.”

The Escapist (5/5) – “Grab it so you’ll know what everyone is talking about when the Game of the Year conversations start happening.”

GameSpy(4.5.5) – “A supernatural work of videogame art.”

CVG (9.5/10) – “One of the greatest game of this generation.”

Kotaku – “It’s a bizarre, eclectic blend, the type of combination that might seem too ambitious to work. But the resulting game is nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Rock, Paper, Shotgun – “Dishonored is a work of rare imagination and skill, the sort of thing that can’t simply be copied and repeated.”

Destructoid (9/10) – “Dishonored is that game of 2012. It’s the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and — more importantly — brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane’s aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn’t all straightforward shooters and “me too” trend-seekers.”

GameArena (10/10) – “Dishonored, like Thief, or Deus Ex, is one of those timeless games you’ll play a dozen times.”

IGN (9.2/10) – “Players who really take the time to enjoy the experience are rewarded too. The more runes, bone charms and money you find, the more you can augment and upgrade your character, and the more bad-ass you’ll become.”

OXM (9/10) – ” Arkane Studios has crafted what’s likely the year’s best new IP, and by tapping into elements of so many of this generation’s greatest games, this adventure sneaks up, grabs you, and won’t let go.”

Joystiq (4.5.5) – “Dishonored is remarkably polished, bending stealth action in new directions and offering plenty of freedom.”

GamesRadar (4.5/5) – “Dishonored is a game that you won’t want to miss.”

Giant Bomb (4/5) – “Dishonored is an excellent game, and one worthy of your attention.”

Game Informer (8.75/10) – “The team at Arkane Studios has injected an array of cool possibilities into the simulated city of Dunwall, and discovering them all is a blast.”

Phew! That’s a lot of late night reading. We’ll be sharing plenty more throughout Dishonored’s launch week.

Reader Comments

  1. Yeah, I’m not going to believe any of these reviews when it comes to the PS3 version of Dishonored. We all saw what happened with Skyrim, and New Vegas.

    I’ll just wait to buy it used and when it’s cheap. I should know by then how good it really is.

    • What I saw happening with both Skyrim and NW is that they both have been fantastic games.

      They both had bugs, but anyone sane can expect games with such complex world mechanics having a lot of hidden quirks, none of which were reasons not to play them and enjoy them.

      • I tried to play NV and Skyrim. New Vegas became unplayable less than 10 hours in. It was like watching a flipbook, and restarting your system every hour is NOT acceptable. I tried to play Skyrim yesterday. Less than 30 minutes in it froze, and I had to completely shut down my system. This happens EVERY time I try to play. These are NOT quirks, it’s lazy coding that was never fixed.

        • Understood. I would also be angry in the same situation. I had an exact opposite experience with both, where beside some really unimportant bugs, I had no other major problems, which led me to enjoy both of the games for a very long time.

          I got the bang for my buck, you did not.

          I still think that the more complex the games get, the less posibility exists to test it in all possible combinations. Once the public is unleashed upon the game, it will discover bugs that QA would never find. Getting something like Modern Warfare rid of the bugs is way easier than something like Skyrim, due to a sheer number of possibilities that the player has in the later, and the constraints with the former.

    • You do realize that although Bethesda is responsible for releasing these games, a different company made Dishonored than New Vegas (Obsidian)? Different games behave in different ways. For instance, Obsidian is making a South Park game – do you expect that to behave like New Vegas when it comes to running on your system? Dishonored won’t run like Skyrim because it wasn’t written the same way as far as coding goes. It could have its own issues, but don’t give an apples and oranges comment.

      • No, but I expect Bethesda to ensure the products they publish actually work. Whether it’s made by them, or just published. If they allow a game to be released that barely works, and is never fixed, then they are just as responsible as the company that made it.

  2. The person before lacks intelligence.
    Arkane Studios developed the game, Bethesda is publishing it. I’m sure Bethesda is working hard their games and trying to cure the ailments of the PS3 issues. But what do you expect when you have free online?

  3. Sir. You do realize that Skyrim and New Vegas were both made with a similar engine BY Bethesda.

    Arkane Studios built and developed close to everything in Dishonored with their own engine. Bethesda just published it.

    They did the same thing for Rage with id Software and Brink with Splash Damage last year.

    I for one, can not wait to play this glorious looking game! Keep up the good work Bethesda and Arkane!!!

  4. When you combine the cons of every review, it gets kinda ugly…

    Revision 3- “Only play style rewarded is stealth”

    Official Playstation Magazine- “Occasionally, you’ll be frustrated by a slight imprecision in the Blink ability’s signposting of where you can and can’t teleport to”

    The escapist- “You will do many things in Dishonored that you have done in other games”

    Gamespy- “Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly impressive dream from a graphical point of view”

    CVG- “It’s not on par with the original Deus Ex”

    Kotaku- “I also experienced a few random bugs during my playthrough: objects floating in mid-air, corpses disappearing, people moving in funky ways. Not unusual fare for a game published by Bethesda.

    Rock Paper Shotgun- “There are no bosses and targets die just as fast as anyone else when they’ve got a sword through their face, no matter how important a person they might be. The quality does dip at times though and, as is so often the case, the denouement isn’t as effective as the rest of the journey. Pacing suffers a little as the end approaches, with a detour away from the streets that features a great deal of weepers, the diseased zombie equivalents of Dunwall, and the finale is the least consistently impressive area of the game.”

    • Destructoid- “you can blast through the campaign in about six hours”

      IGN- “You may also have some small issues with the controls”

      OXM- “it was often difficult to get a bead on which side of Chaos we were trending toward, given that the only representation of your morality is a one-word description on the “Mission End” screen.”

      Joystiq- “I enjoyed the story Dishonored was trying to tell, but wanted more based on the enticing world it teased. I feel like I was offered a platter of postcards and told that only a few locations are available to visit”

      Gamesradar- “Unfortunately, starting off with limited abilities and weapons in the beginning of the game might leave a bad taste for some players”

      Giant Bomb- “For a game full of memorable missions, the final outing, where skills honed over the previous 10-to-15 hours should be pushed to the max, is mostly boring. Dishonored also commits the frustrating storytelling sin of ending out of nowhere and without enough resolution”

      Game Informer- “The console versions of Dishonored have more graphical hiccups like framerate issues and screen tearing (especially on PS3). The textures look a little muddy no matter how you play, but go for PC if you have the option.”

    • The funny thing is every single one of those reviews goes out of their way to say that the minor flaws don’t outweigh the entire experience. There’s no fault in admitting a game isn’t perfect but don’t pretend it’s bad when all the reviews you quote disagree with your final opinion.

    • Why WOULD you combine the cons of all the reviews .. off course it gets ugly – it’s like saying that if we remove all colours from a colour palette except black, everything becomes all black – well off course it does, doesn’t it.

    • And if you combine all the pros it sounds like Jesus himself bequeathed us the perfect game. so what’s your point?

  5. Hi, first of all I want to congratulate you all for your great job at Dishonored, I haven’t played yet but what i have seen in reviews and previews I know it’s goiong to be an excellent game… so, my suggestion is this: I’m not a native english speaker, but I like to play games in English because of the voice acting, but sometimes complicated games like this (I mean in the narrative part) use complicated words that we sometimes don’t understad, I would really like the option of having the game in English (despite my console language is in spanish for example) and having spanish subtitles, it would be great don’t you think? few games have that option… thanks any way!

  6. You can’t just announce something, hype it up, and then let the dates go by without any mention of it. Did all the submissions suck? Are you guys not able to hold up to your end of the deal? Are you just procrastinating? Take responsibility, man up, or whatever you need to do, because this “hip,” community-building gimmick is backfiring. I don’t know if I even want to shell out $60 at this point anymore.

  7. Also add PC Gamer review score, 92/100 with Editor’s Choice saying that this game is a treat on the PC, letting you disable even the shadow of the rats.

  8. Does anyone know if any of these reviewers were given a PS3 copy? I want to be able to see how it runs on it. The game looks great but after Skyrim I’m not taking any chances.

  9. Will there be any PS3-specific reviews? I’m interested in Dishonored but i still remember what happened with Skyrim when there weren’t any reviews for the PS3 version until after launch. I don’t want to fall for the same thing again, given Bethesda’s track record on the PS3.

    • Skyrim is a massive open world sandbox RPG with lots of persistent data. Dishonored is a mission hub stealth action game, like Deus Ex.

      The PS3 had trouble tracking all that persistent data in Skyrim because the system only has 256MB RAM. This should not be a problem for playing Dishonored on your PS3 because the game does not track all the data of a big open world RPG like Skyrim.

      • The problem is the logic here. Why they tried to put everything on the PS3? they should know his limitations. This is a case of try to eat the whole cake, when the mouth was already full?

        • What does any of that have to do with Dishonored? It’s a mission hub game, using a completely different engine. This is not a big open world RPG with all kinds of persistent data that’s going to run up against the 256MB RAM limitations.

        • Every other multiplatform game does it right on PS3.

          All but Beth’s games…

          And the PC and Xbox360 versions of Skyrim have problems too, don’t try to ignore the game-breaking bugs that plague ALL versions of the game.

          PC version is lucky for having a community that can repair the game.

          • Solves and not solves in almost same proportions, is too volatile the situation. You need decide make a mod for fix or a mod for content (quests, creatures, houses).

            The first may help, for some users. The second might affect the help.

  10. The best part was buying the game and the original sound track.. to discover a bug in the track “the imperial throne” a horrible noise after half of the music. X)