While the game is relatively light on character progression, its focus on multiple solutions, game-changing decisions, and the inspirations it draws from Deus Ex and Thief have convinced us to add Dishonored as a permanent entry to our RPG database and cover the game and its DLC from here on out. And that also means it's fair game for a review, which we've cranked out today:
...making up the game's more supernatural side, as well as most of the character progression, are bone charms and runes. These are found throughout the environment and are created by the Outsider's followers. Runes are a currency used to unlock new powers and upgrades, while bone charms provide passive bonuses such as extra health, quieter movement, and so on. The first times I summoned a swarm of rats to devour a patrolling guard alive, or possessed a fish to swim inside a fortified building via the drain, I grew a huge smile across my face. Their impact is just as big as the augmentations in Deus Ex, if not more so, and they are all fun and useful in their own ways.
The powers have a pretty big impact on playing the game, but one in particular stands out: Blink. Though commonly seen in more modern RPGs, the idea of teleporting quickly from place to place has never been done so well in a first-person title before. While it takes time to get the hang of Blink, it soon becomes indispensable for traversing the environment, sneaking up behind enemies quickly, or gaining better vantage points to rain death down from. It sounds like marketing, but Blink really is game-changing and Dishonored has been constructed with it in mind at every turn - it does not make the stealth too easy, nor can it be spammed endlessly in time-critical situations like combat. Rather, it constantly opens new paths for you, and reduces the methodical pace in stealth that some modern gamers might be averse to. Overall its implementation is highly successful and really does become second nature after an hour or two.