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Default Dishonored - Review @ GameBanshee

October 30th, 2012, 20:04
Eric Schwarz reviews Dishonered at GameBanshee and likes it, but does not shy away from its shortcomings.
However, Dishonored does have its share of faults, namely in that its stealth gameplay is a bit underwhelming compared to its inspirations, its RPG-like character progression is lacking, it starts to run out of steam a bit towards the end, and the story simply does not have the same intellectual themes to it that gets you thinking about bigger issues once you've turned the game off (something Deus Ex: Human Revolution managed far better last year). As much as I liked it, and will play through it at least once or twice more, it's hard not to feel a bit disappointed where potential wasn't realized, mostly in the RPG qualities that it's dropped over its predecessors. I could have been an "instant classic" for fans of hybrid shooter/RPG titles, but instead it's merely "pretty good."
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October 30th, 2012, 20:04
You should probably look at Dishonored gameplay from the stance of a Thief-like game as opposed to an RPG. The stealth isn't as good (as Thief) but a lot of the rest is really quite well done. I've really enjoyed it.
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October 31st, 2012, 01:27
This game is not any kind of RPG, nor was it ever intended to be. It's purely an action / stealth game yet Schwartz finds fault with it because it lacks "deeper RPG elements"?

If you are going to review games outside the RPG genre, criticizing the fact it is not an RPG makes absolutely no sense.
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October 31st, 2012, 03:06
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
You should probably look at Dishonored gameplay from the stance of a Thief-like game as opposed to an RPG. The stealth isn't as good (as Thief) but a lot of the rest is really quite well done. I've really enjoyed it.
I dunno. If you compare it to Thief then it does not do well at all. Its stealth gameplay is really lacking next to Thief's - lack of tools to use, lack of environment manipulation, even, in some ways, inferior AI. That's why I very much look at it as inspired by Deus Ex, with smatterings of Thief in the mission-based structure.

Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
If you are going to review games outside the RPG genre, criticizing the fact it is not an RPG makes absolutely no sense.
We can debate endlessly whether it's supposed to be an RPG, action game or RPG/action hybrid. For what it's worth, we only really covered it because of its similarity to Deus Ex, plus the involvement of Harvey Smith, Arkane, etc.

The fact of the matter, though, is that the RPG mechanics it's missing rob it of depth next to similar games, namely Deus Ex. I think it's fair to say that the gameplay on offer does not provide enough depth to sustain the experience. Whether you view deep character progression as something intrinsic to RPGs or not, if a game gets old/boring/has pacing problems due to a lack of progression in the character system, weapons, etc. then it doesn't really matter if it's an RPG or not.
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October 31st, 2012, 03:55
Originally Posted by sea View Post
We can debate endlessly whether it's supposed to be an RPG, action game or RPG/action hybrid.
I don't see what there would be to debate, as the developers have consistently billed this project as a first person action / stealth game and made a point of stating it is not any sort of role playing game.

Originally Posted by sea View Post
The fact of the matter, though, is that the RPG mechanics it's missing rob it of depth next to similar games, namely Deus Ex. I think it's fair to say that the gameplay on offer does not provide enough depth to sustain the experience. Whether you view deep character progression as something intrinsic to RPGs or not, if a game gets old/boring/has pacing problems due to a lack of progression in the character system, weapons, etc. then it doesn't really matter if it's an RPG or not.
If I understand correctly, you primarily review RPGs and you approached this article from the perspective of a website for RPG fans. Certainly nothing wrong with that - I'm also a fan of RPGs and I probably would have enjoyed the game more myself if it had deeper role playing elements.

However, if you focus strictly on what Arkane endeavored to accomplish here, they hit it out of the park. Among first person action / stealth games with supernatural powers and gorgeous, original settings, Dishonored has got to be right up there at the top of this list. (Granted, it's not a very long list. )

They set out to make one of the most beautiful games ever on this console generation and I think they've achieved that. No mean feat. They sought to open up their levels with sandbox systems for fun, emergent gameplay for a variety of playing styles and they've certainly accomplished this.

It's my understanding that their primary objective was to make the stealth and action approaches equally enjoyable. Tried both on the "very hard" setting and had a hell of a great time, died and reloaded probably hundreds of times over the course of my first playthrough.
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October 31st, 2012, 05:31
So if I endeavor to make a game where the gameplay consists of hitting a red button to roll the credits, and I pull that off perfectly, does that mean my game should be praised because I achieved my goals?

You can't review games in a vacuum and players don't enjoy games in a vacuum either. Whether or not the game is successful at what it attempts doesn't mean that a) its flaws should be ignored (yes, this includes things that it doesn't do as much as things it does do poorly), and b) it shouldn't be compared to the standards of both past games and its contemporaries.
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October 31st, 2012, 05:44
Originally Posted by sea View Post
So if I endeavor to make a game where the gameplay consists of hitting a red button to roll the credits, and I pull that off perfectly, does that mean my game should be praised because I achieved my goals?
Nope, because that would be a crap game.

The Count's point is that they weren't trying to make an RPG, they were trying to make something else. And the something else is a pretty damn good game.

I'm digging on it anyway.
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November 1st, 2012, 05:18
Originally Posted by sea View Post
So if I endeavor to make a game where the gameplay consists of hitting a red button to roll the credits, and I pull that off perfectly, does that mean my game should be praised because I achieved my goals?
Yes, absolutely, I'd even propose that "Super Press Space to Win Action RPG" may be the pinnacle of this "press the red button" genre.

I understand and agree, there is a lot of hybridization these days, with limited RPG elements cropping up here and there in action games and shooters that may enhance the enjoyment or stickiness of the game. Perhaps when reviewing a multiplayer shooter, for example, one might fault developers for poor execution of some of these elements. It would seem odd, however, for a reviewer to cite a lack of deeper RPG elements as the most significant flaw of a game like Streetfighter 12, COD: Black Ops or Battlefield 3, etc.

Originally Posted by sea View Post
You can't review games in a vacuum and players don't enjoy games in a vacuum either. Whether or not the game is successful at what it attempts doesn't mean that a) its flaws should be ignored (yes, this includes things that it doesn't do as much as things it does do poorly), and b) it shouldn't be compared to the standards of both past games and its contemporaries.
I certainly agree with this, I was merely surprised at the degree of emphasis on this lack of deeper RPG elements. I think on some fundamental level, the choice of genre has a huge contextual significance. When reading a review of a game of a particular genre, personally, I'm especially interested to see how it handles the conventions of that genre, whether it is innovative in comparison to previous games of the genre, etc.
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November 1st, 2012, 15:38
Originally Posted by CountChocula View Post
Yes, absolutely, I'd even propose that "Super Press Space to Win Action RPG" may be the pinnacle of this "press the red button" genre.
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