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October 22nd, 2012, 11:07
I'm a few more hours in (probably 7-8 in all) - and I still think it's excellent. But it's really hurt by the super poor textures and relatively dreary setting. I expect it to change up, but after the first few missions - you kinda get enough of that steampipe stuff. Well, I do - anyway.
The gameplay remains excellent, though. I play on Very Hard with a minimum of UI aids. I find this kind of game plays best with the stealth aspects maximised - because they tend to be way too easy otherwise.
I love all the secrets and how you benefit from exploring and being creative about how you approach the various challenges. I do feel your power arsenal is slightly underwhelming - and I kinda expected more from all the talk in previews. But it's quite sufficient to feel very powerful - and your gadget toolset is satisfying.
There's a good balance of notes, audiographs, and little puzzles. I don't think the game needs much dialogue. It's more like Thief/Bioshock in how it wants to deliver exposition through the environment and steady discovery. You do get quite a lot of NPC interaction between missions - though you don't actually choose what to say, at least not so far.
That said, I still think they need to make the books/clues less obvious in these games. Level designers have become SO desperate that people will miss something, that they place the necessary clues way too generously. It's hard to feel smart when figuring stuff out - because it's shoved down your throat. That's not really on Dishonored - but on the genre in general. It would be nice if they trusted the exploration-minded players to do their job (as we love it) - and the non-explorer types wouldn't really care.
As for comparing it to Deus Ex HR - I agree that DE is the better game, so far. Primarily because of the atmosphere/environments and stuff like the hacking minigame. Then again, I was (and still am) a huge fan of DE:HR and I think it compares very favorably to the original - all things considered.
But Dishonored isn't far behind.