CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Very rarely does a game come out where everything seems to work perfectly. The mechanics, the story, the setting, the art style -- they all work together smoothly and provide a gaming experience that nears perfection.
"Dishonored" is one of those games.
Set in the fictional city of Dunwall (think 19th century London), "Dishonored" follows the exploits of assassin Corvo, who's been wrongfully framed for the murder of the empress and the abduction of her daughter, Lady Emily. Assisted by a group that calls itself the Loyalists, he tracks down and eliminates key political targets to clear his name and find Emily. Before he begins his quest, Corvo is branded by a mystical, religious being known as The Outsider who grants him supernatural powers.
These powers range from teleportation to freezing time to possession and even to summon a swarm of rats to devour your enemies. Of course, there are more, and it's up to you to decide which ones you want to use and upgrade. To do this, you'll have to hunt down runes throughout the city, as well as collect bone charms, which provide you with perks such as faster mana regeneration.
"Dishonored" is all about the choices of the player, and you're never at a disadvantage from how you've approached your situation so long as you're smart. There are achievements awarded for not using any power other than teleportation and for not killing a single person in the game, but rather disposing of them in a non-lethal manner. Think "Splinter Cell" meets "Bioshock" meets "Deus Ex."
The game features a wonderful voice cast, including Carrie Fischer, Susan Sarandon and Chloë Grace Moretz. Huntington native Brad Dourif voices inventor Piero Joplin.
The story is good, and the ending changes depending on how you've played. But that's not all; the game itself changes as well. Take a stealthy approach and resist the urge to kill, and you're rewarded with the best ending, as well as less rats and weepers (citizens who have contacted a plague and now behave in a zombie-like manner). On the flipside, if you go on a murdering spree, you'll encounter more hazards and enemies.
You're never punished for how you play the game. Even the worst ending isn't truly that bad and still provides a sense of closure to the story. "Dishonored" is all about your choices and the consequences you must suffer for them.
While it's not my game of the year (that's "Borderlands 2"), "Dishonored" is a real treat. If you're looking for a good game purchase, I highly recommend it."Dishonored," rated M for mature, is available now for $59.99 for Playstation 3, X-Box 360, and PC.