Zero Punctuation: Dishonored

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disgruntledgamer:

OuendanCyrus:
I rather have a silent protagonist that someone who never shuts up, I always end up hating about 80% of voiced protagonists.

A protagonists with a Bad voice actor and script is going to be worse than a silent protagonist, but a Good voice actor with a good script or even a mediocre script will out shine a silent protagonist 6 ways from Sunday.

The trick is getting that Good voice actor and script.

Except the moment you commit to a voice-acted protagonist, you just cut the dialogue that protagonist will have by 90%, because paying for actors and recording studios is more expensive than forcing Writer Drone 17 to do endless hours of overtime.

Look at Dragon Age 1 vs Dragon Age 2, more than anything else the change in the dialogue system was what made the sequel feel like Fantasy Mass Effect.

Voice acting might be great and fun and immersive, but the tradeoffs aren't worth it; you can't impose your own concept on the character as easily, less options are available to you during conversations, and there's a fairly good chance that whichever actor they hired to do the job is either shit or just grates on your nerves for whatever reason.

Maybe when Text to Speech software has evolved to the point it can convincingly imitate a human voice without sounding like a robocall a vocal protagonist will be worthwhile, but until then seeing "fully-voiced main character!" on the box/reviews will make me less likely to buy, not more.

Scorpid:
Fallout 2 didn't have a binary moral choice system and it is the greatest RPG I've ever played... but perhaps I have a bias.
Either way I agree I hate the silent protagonist because creating a character that has zero personality of his own is only frustrating to me, (which isn't the same as a shitty personality such as Nathan Drake) because when a NPC tells me to go fetch/kill/rescue something or someone I want to be able to at least know that PC isn't just a bloody robot that functions only to please those that gives it orders. Silent protagonist crutch that developers use only seems like a excuse to me for developers to not have to invest into having to make sure that PC's personality is consistent and logical when compared to the crazy things they'll be doing for the sake of advancing the game.

LOL, I'm actually playing through Fallout 2 again at the moment. :P

OT: I don't mind playing as a silent protagonist myself. Although I can understand why most people wouldn't.

Also, to answer your question Yahtzee: why do you all insist on adding the letter "u" to honor? :P

TRex22:
One last thing. (sorry perhaps some minor spoilers) At the end the one NPC (he was so generic he was not really a character) told me how disappointed in what I became (a serial killer) and that I should go f*** myself. He then shot a flare so everyone knew where I was.

Ah, poor Sam. In my first playthrough I killed him. For giving away my position, he deserved death. Left him with a bolt in his head, floating in his little boat.

OT: I like the game. Sure, it was short, but I'm enjoying trying different approaches. If the game was long I don't think i would have the energy to try different methods or see all the endings. My first playthrough was 'chaos', I wanted to be enraged Corvo who only wished death on everyone. Now I'm trying ghost. Turns out it's not as easy as I thought, especially since I have almost an obsessive tendency to find, collect and loot everything. Also, damn you mice! I did not leave the guards there so you could have a feast.

In this game, I find the silent protagonist to be the best choice because the entire game is in first person perspective. Voice acting, I think, is more suited to third person. Ezio in AC for example, I feel like I'm following his story. I can see him on screen and interact in cutscenes all the time. But in Dishonored, it's more like I'm the main character and I make the choices on how to behave. I also don't see the point of having a voice when I have multiple answers to pick from. The character would only read the line I just read and chose myself. I think that would make Corvo feel more like robot who only repeats lines and doesn't have a personality.

And I would love if Arcane could make another game set in the same world. Doesn't have to be a sequel in any way, I just like the world and gameplay.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Binary moral choice goes up there with QTEs and anything from Japan not named Silent Hill in the things Yahtzee hates. That doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room for the developers. Guess they might actually need to innovate.

He hates it because its made out of pure stupidity congealed into physical matter.
This moral choice system ruined dishonored for me and I quit playing fairly early on because of it.

Yahtzee hit my main complaints with this game, my biggest complaint was the dialog and story though, it was just crap.

blackrave:
I simply need to ask
Was Thief2 THAT good?
Because it seems that Yahtzee can't shut up about it

Thief 2 is the GOLD standard for the sneak genre. You cannot say you played stealth if you didn't play the Thief series. It makes almost everything else in the sneak'em up genre look like a joke. Why? Insanely good atmosphere, a likeable but mysterious protagonist(not a supernatural badass with powers, just a guy that wants to get payed), a world that feel alive and gameplay that is awesome, especially if you play on expert.

Almost every guard can become a challenge, especially if decide to ghost a level(no knockouts, no kills, just steal s**t and hide). Those that played Thief 2(and even 1 and 3) know just how great these games are and that's because they do stealth well and most important of all, NO HANDHOLDING FOR THE PLAYER. Like that Razorfist video above says, when you start Thief 2 there is no flashback to let you know what happened in Thief 1. Want to find out? Look it up online, or better yet, play Thief 1. There is no magical radar to let you know where enemies are or where they are facing. You have to rely on your sight, ears(in what other game do you need to lean against a wall/door to hear how far guards are?) and have the patience to learn the guards patrol rounds.

The Thief series(but especially Thief 2) is such a well rounded product that it has basically spawned a nearly ideal formula for stealth. The only thing you can hold against this series is the subpar graphics(even for its time) and maybe some of the supernatural elements(zombies,haunts and such) that came in the first game. As I said before, the formula is so good that fans of the game made another game based on that very same formula, called Shadows of the Metal Age and it is so good that at times it approaches the original. Shadows of the Metal Age beats most so called stealth games released by major developers even though it's made my amateurs and it does so because its base is such an astounding game like Thief 2.

I could go on for days praising this series but I'll leave you with this thought - If you consider yourself a fan of stealth, the Thief series is a MUST. Play Thief and you'll laugh at other attempts at stealth.

Astro:
I'm surprised people are saying it's the best stealth game in 10+ years, even Thief 3 was better, (and ahem, Blood Money).

people who are saying this is the best stealth game in 10 years havent played a stealth game in 10 years

Good review, I was a bit disappointed by some of the same things Yahtzee was. Decent enough game, but it should have been $30 or $40. I wish I had thought of playing two simultaneous games, one good and one bad playthrough.

I played through it once as supernice guy. I too would have liked a 'greyer' moral option as well as the typical dark/lightside choices.

My main issue? it was too short and I didn't feel like I got my full value for money.

I might go for another, more evil playthrough but at the moment I'm wishing I waited for Dishonored to go down in price and bought xcom instead.

Copper Zen:
"because I'm the bell end."

It's a good thing that I have Urban Dictionary on my Google Favorites, otherwise I wouldn't get half the slang being slung about these days.

Yahtzee was faster paced on this episode than most. Maybe it's because I haven't had my requisite two pots of morning coffee yet but I kept missing things.

It's i, think old? i remember since i was at least 6 bell end being slung around. English slang :) for the end of a males well... ^^

Rastien:

Copper Zen:
"because I'm the bell end."

It's a good thing that I have Urban Dictionary on my Google Favorites, otherwise I wouldn't get half the slang being slung about these days.

Yahtzee was faster paced on this episode than most. Maybe it's because I haven't had my requisite two pots of morning coffee yet but I kept missing things.

It's i, think old? i remember since i was at least 6 bell end being slung around. English slang :) for the end of a males well... ^^

Copy that. It's an English term. That explains it.

I just tried to watch this video, however this man speaks very fast. It is likely because my spoken english is not perfect, but i cannot understand what this man is talking about?

Honestly, I was looking forward to Dishonored and I didn't even get as far as Yahtzee before turning it off out of complete boredom.

As Yahtzee points out, gameplay wise it's just a very bad mismash of various games that did all this and better (though his comments that it compares to Thief are slightly surprising - the game in my mind it plagiarized it's mechanics from the most was Deus Ex: Human Revolution), combined with a predictable, boring and trite story...yeah.

Yahtzee pretty much echoed my thoughts about part of this... the moral choice system. One of the reasons why I pretty much stopped messing with it and feel I wasted my money is because to play as a good guy, you pretty much have to neglect 90% of the tools the game gives you. Your pretty much handed a bunch of toys and then told you'll be punished if you play with them. Of course it's also true that if you take the "stealth, meh" approach and just kill everyone and everything in your way, the game becomes a heck of a lot easier, and perhaps more realistic given the overall situation and the supposed capabilities of our protaganist.

I generally get the whole "killing is wrong" bit, but it fits in some cases, and not in others. I don't think it really fit in with this game, especially given the dark "Revenge Solves Everything" tagline. I'm supposed to be some scary steampunk "Count Of Monty Cristo", the story shouldn't have a bad ending if I refuse to basically pretend I'm Batman and refuse to kill anyone. Batman has his own games, and the non-lethal aspects of things work in those games because they were designed for it. Nobody designed 47 awesome ways to kill into "Arkham Ciy" and then punished you for using them, instead they decided "Batman doesn't kill, and we don't want him to in this game" and kept to that theme through the design and what tools and moves they give you, making things substantially more "organic" so to speak, I never felt like I was being forced to hold back the way I do in Dishonored.

I just ignored the moral choice system, it doesn't affect gameplay in any way so I don't see the problem with the game having one to slightly alter the ending. In one mission I would go through it stealthily making sure not to get sited by a single guard and the next night when I was in a slightly worse mood I ran in with guns ablazing and didn't leave a single man/woman/guard alive until I reached the final check point, I mean it's not like Infamous were if you don't go 100% good or 100% evil you get powers locked from you or something.

The warm, generous reception of this game by RPS got me to buy it for the full price, and now I don't even particularly bother completing it. A luxurious production they called it. Just because it has a few solid designs. It's always the same. Shouldn't buy any games at all, ever. Except if they're called Stalker, are still one of the best shooters or first person games ever, and cost less than 10€/$.

(But I make the full stealth course of course, or else there would be no point in playing this game. Don't care for this complaint. Some objectives should only be accessible in a specific approach, what else. Doesn't matter if I sometimes would like to kill everybody. I have a short time of fun with this and just reload. No challenge otherwise.)

Lykosia:

C117:

Lykosia:

Those guys don't count. I got the clean hands achievement easily.

You mean... it counts as a kill even if you choke her, and even if you get the "no enemies killed" award at the same time?

That is what I've been told. I didn't even try to help either one. I just took the key and ran.

I can confirm that one. I was surprised and annoyed when my perfect record was tarnished. I blew up her phylactery-thingy (cameo, I think it was called?) and then hit her with a sleep dart. She was confirmed unconscious and I left with a spring in my step. Then my end of mission summery didn't have the "don't kill anybody" checked.

Ah well. Slackjaw might be a crimelord, but at least I didn't leave him to that.

Anyway, I loved the game. I took it in discrete chunks to avoid worrying about its length and enjoyed it. My only real complaint was the lack of mana regeneration. I restrained myself from using much of my magic (until I thought the game was coming to a close when I let loose with it) out of fear that I'd run out (Spirit Water helped, but honestly, I shouldn't have to rely on randomly generated bone charms and having to find sinks). I can understand balance issue if you can just time stop all the time, but maybe the regen could be slowed in combat or something?

DVS BSTrD:
Even though I love this game, I get what Yahtzee's saying. Not being able to talk does tend to...

*puts on sunglasses*

...take U out of the experience

Genius. Simply genius.

Anyway, I personally loved the game - the binary moral choice system (or rather, the "kill-people-or-get-the-good-ending" system) is part of what makes it so good.
I mean, it's obviously pretty logical that if you kill everyone you're going to get a pretty miserable ending, but making the killing so satisfying is a great way of tempting the player to those "evil" decisions that otherwise would rarely be touched by most gamers. Because in reality, most gamers tend to go the light/paragon/good path in games.
And let's face it, in real life, the thing about being evil - doing anything morally frowned upon - is that it is actually very tempting a lot of the time, because it's easier. No, I don't mean literally killing people - Dishono[u]red's binary choice system is exaggerated much like its art style - but simple things like being polite instead of rude to random strangers. Everyone ultimately wants to be polite (I would hope), and yet so many people are senselessly rude.
What I'm saying is that Dishonored provides a realistic parallel to real-life morality - that parallel is obviously exaggerated, but it still represents reality on some level.

On a final note, it could be argued that the game makes a statement about absolute morality - something that is very alien to our modern sensibilities. That is to say, killing = wrong, nonlethal = good. Well, morality does in fact contain absolutes - it's not as subjective as many like to believe. There's numerous papers written on this, so I won't reiterate the argument, but know that there's a good reason for binary choice systems in the games we play.

Don't forget that Yahtzee has a bit of morality system in POACHER too, if you want to get the most fulfilling and satisfying endings. For example, in order to get the secret ending, you have to avoid killing zombified Blemings, white rabbits, as well as not shooting the gamekeeper. You also get a bad ending if you choose to fight the leader of the Dark Ones head on before learning more about the underworld's history from the nice tea lady. I agree with Yahtzee that DISHONORED and other games get rather binary, but he should remember he gets a little binary too (with some artistic creativity).

That's not too say I didn't like his review. I think that this Zero Punctuation review of DISHONORED is freaking awesome. It's hilarious, it's very observant on many levels, and I thought much of his comments were apt. I also loved the comparison with THIEF, which I do agree would dwarf many other modern games if it were made with today's technology. (I think THIEF 4 has a lot of potential to live up to, in terms of being in the spirit of the original games and being able to upstage DISHONORED). The comment about the Combine from HALF-LIFE 2 being in control of Victorian London especially cracked me up. Even though he claims to be disappointed, he sure played it a lot of times for someone who wanted more from it. I understand where he's coming from. EPIC MICKEY, INFAMOUS, and MASS EFFECT each have these defects, and it would serve for a more original game if its gameplay system transcended beyond morality and good or bad endings.

Still, me and my best friend agree that DISHONORED embodied the kind of gameplay DEUS EX 3 should have had. Considering that it was done by two of the level designers from the first DEUS EX, they excelled in making an FPRPG which had both stealth and combat. It doesn't have the other qualities which made DEUS EX 1 great (like choosing your endings based upon which goal you choose to complete on your final mission), but its close. DISHONORED could have benefitted from more elements from DEUS EX 1, and probably even more environments to explore.

Even it does resemble THIEF very much, THIEF was more so a steampunk version of medieval London with some Victorian aspects rather than a steampunk version of Victorian London. I had expected DISHONORED to be a steampunk version of 17th Century London, since that was when the infamous plague occurred. Overall, it's still an awesome game, even though I agree that the THIEF series and DEUS EX 1 still loom higher over DISHONORED.

Thank you,Yahtzee, for doing an awesome and hilarious review. I believe this to be one of your best reviews, sir.

Noooooooo Yahtzee! Don't kill Gene Wilder! He was way better than Johnny Depp!

I just have to comment on "Surprise hate conga" that line cracked me up.

Never even heard of the game till now though.

Okay, let's admit one thing: you are only complaining about the morality choice, because it's not letting you by a psychopath and get away with it. Just kill everyone you want and suck up the "bad ending". Also, I don't know what Yathzee is talking about with "shity blend ending". As long as I am awere we havw 3 endings. High chaos with dead Emily, High chaos with live Emily and Low chaos.

I'd say the game is good (not mediocre-good). Buy it if you really into stealth. Rent otherwise. You can get three different experiences out of it by playing normaly, without killing and without upgradding. They are three very.different gameplays in my opinion, and I like it!

It only falls short in the story presentation. Too much text and books. Show don't tell. Play don't show.

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