Fandom

Zero Punctuation Wiki

Dishonored

518pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Dishonored.

TranscriptEdit

You know what I'm getting a bit sick of? Silent protagonists! I can see the point in a game like Call of Duty where at all times, there's at least two people shouting at you to stop lazing about and commit more war crimes so another voice would have only confused matters. But otherwise it just makes you look like an arsehole who climbs on other people's furniture, pockets the silverware and blankly stares at people when they ask you to stop. It's even weirder when the silent protagonist has a name and an existing reputation with other characters in the world because he must have spoken at some point to introduce himself, unless he constantly wears his name emblazoned on his chest.

But if that's the case, how do we even know that the main character in Half-Life is Gordon Freeman and not just someone borrowing Gordon Freeman's T-shirt? And how does this work when dialogue choices come up? Are we somehow transmitting the lines telepathically or putting on different T-shirts accordingly? Yes, I know it's supposed to help us project ourselves onto the protagonist, but I don't find myself terribly engaging as a character; I'm quite the bellend.

In Dishonored, you play as Corvo Something, silent protagonist by royal appointment who works as a bodyguard for the Empress and her daughter, and one has to wonder how he got the job when the Empress is stabbed five minutes in. And what an inconvenience that silent protagonism turns out to be over the course of the intro when Corvo could have been saying things like "No I didn't stab the Empress" instead of becoming a fugitive, or later on when his erstwhile allies are saying, "Hey Corvo, we're sending you straight out on another suicide mission, say nothing if you're cool with that!"

Dishonored is a rather grim, stealthy assasination game set in what Victoria London might have looked like if it had been invaded by a zombie apocalypse on one front and the Combine on the other, a spiritual descendent to games like BioShock, Deus Ex and above all Thief, a game that you'll note could easily have had a silent protagonist but which gained endless personality by having the main character occasionally turn to the audience and complain about being surrounded by more pricks than the receptionist at the hedgehog nymphomania clinic.

Personality is the word of the day because I like stealth and I like the stealth in this, but like a dolphin on strike, the game just wasn't clicking for me and eventually I realized that was because it was entirely populated by herring-powered androids with faulty tubes in their emotion cores. <robotic monotone>"Hello, Corvo, you stabbed a bloke very efficiently, now you must go and stab another one, beep boop, lovely oil for my hinges please." </robotic monotone> Having to go back to the loyalist HQ between every mission and muddle around getting beep-booped at by cardboard flap sandwiches kills the game's pacing for me, but even in the missions, the baddies were all going "We are very evil guards, beep boop, sanctity of human life, ha ha humour deployed, beep boop, I hope no-one interfaces a dagger with my neck-mounted USB port."

It's a game in which dialogue is treated as a perfectly straight street path connecting one stabaganza to the next rather than an opportunity for characterization or levity. For a game that puts a lot of effort into world building where the characters have great visual personality and ressemble political cartoons of someone the cartoonist didn't like, it strikes me as a bit of a waste, like hiring Patrick Stewart to read the minutes of last week's PTA meeting.

But as I said, I like the stealth and that shit's a core mechanic. Dish-Honour-Red might still get a nice comfortable thumb shoved right up into the end of this. It does play quite a bit like Thief, even disregarding the suspiciously similar Victorian industrial electropunk fantasy setting that also cribs slightly off BioShock presumably as some kind of legal defense. You explore big open-ended levels trying to scuttle about unnoticed, picking up other people's pocket change and sometimes their entire pockets. Ideally you knock out guards from behind but if you fuck up, it's just a case of Errol Flynn-ing your way to a nearby hiding place until everyone concludes that the desperate murderous renegade with nothing to lose has lost interest and gone home to rethink his life.

Dish-On-A-Red's addition of a short range blink teleport adds a lot to the formula. It means the action can keep a nice fast skillful pace where Thief can be a bit slow and methodical with lots of creeping up on patroling guards at only slightly faster than their walking pace like a surprise hate-conga. Things get a bit easy towards the end when you spend enough skill points to teleport across chasms and see through walls, but what's a stealth game supposed to do, not have token RPG elements? Don't answer that.

But I must say that I left Soap-On-A-Rope disappointed. Not angry, disappointed, like if someone I respected forgot which part of the body piss comes out of, mainly because it has a fucking moral choice aspect! "Ooh we do not," the game will sputter. "You wanna cuddle the guards to sleep? You wanna slight throats like your wife left you for a jugular vein? We won't judge you." Except you do, don't ya, 'cause there's a good ending or a bad ending.

And when I realized that because a loading screen told me so, I immediately thought "Right, I'm shooting for the good ending then" and rigidly stuck to non-lethal methods for that reason alone and not because of what I wanted to do or what made sense to do or what the little man who sits next my ear told me to do late at night, and then every time I was spotted, I'd sigh and lower my sword like Ben Kenobi's fucking death scene rather than try to organically escape the situation 'cause I was afraid of jeopardizing all that effort. And then the ending was disappointing because the story having to keep both the nice Corvo and the naughty Corvo plates spinning results only in one big ol' bland Corvo, because this is what binary moral choice always does and developers should fucking pack it in.

But then I played the first mission again, slitting everything even remotely neck-shaped and the catharsis made that a barrel of slightly gurgly laughs. So I recommend playing two simultaneous games, so you can do each missions once as Pope Beneficent the First and then again as Slitpipes McGee. This will have the added bonus of giving the game a decent length 'cause otherwise it's a wee bit stumpy. Nine missions in all and small buildings at that, compared to some of the levels in say, Thief II. If Thief II had an erection and turned around too fast, it would knock out everyone in the bloody room and we've been stepping backwards since then.

After all that, I'm not sure I would recommend Cat-On-A-Hot-Tin-Roof. It's fun at the very core but otherwise kind of creaky. Every time it seems to be building a decent speed, it has to stop for a rest and cough something up. It's like someone took a box of Ferrero Rochers and randomly distributed them throughout a spherical mass of damp toilet paper; not a painful experience but it just makes more sense to get Ferrero Rochers from a different sweet shop.

AddendaEdit

Never had much of it to begin with: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Maybe before you refer to neck stabbing through the whole video you should check whether your characters actually have necks first

Why are you all so bad at spelling 'honour'


Extra: Jam and Mogworld AudiobookEdit

My second novel, Jam, is now out! You can order it now from your prefered literature distribution facility and while you're waiting, why not download the audiobook version of Mogworld from iTunes or audible. Now you can listen to me talk for thirteen hours without the expense of getting me coked up!

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.