So, I haven't been gaming much lately (just an occasional game of Fifa12 when bored), but after all the praise Dishonored got, I went and picked it up. I'm not very far in, but so far it's been quite good. First Impressions:
- The tutorial does not do the game justice. It's very linear (follow the hallway), and you don't have access to your powers. I was kind of disappointed through the entire tutorial, wondering what the fuss was about. But the first genuine mission is a tremendous improvement.
- Reminds me a lot of DX:HR in terms of structure. There is (so far) a series of mini-open worlds/missions that you can traverse through. You pick up optional side quests along the way, that can require minor detours and some morally dubious choices. The first mission felt a lot like the Hub missions in DX:HR.
- There is a mountain of reading material scattered about. Poems, Letters, audiographs, diaries. They're everywhere.
- Unlike DX:HR, the combat is actually pretty fun. For me, DX:HR was a pretty middling shooter, so I was never tempted to do anything but ghost (often stealth killing most guards for added difficulty). In Dishonored, I've been using stealth to get a jump on guards, but often find myself is confrontations with multiple enemies.
- The stealth is a little silly so far. Enemy Field's of view are often ridiculously narrow, and you can poke your head around a corner as they look right at you, without being seen. You can spook an enemy, but unless you stay in line of sight for a few seconds (or are very close) they just move along. This might also contribute to my more combative play style, as some of the stealth quirks are minor immersion-breakers1.
- On the advice of RPS2, I turned off objective waypoints. It's made accomplishing sidequests somewhat frustrating, as it took me an hour to find one optional objective even though it was close to the quest giver. But it really encourages exploration, which is easy to neglect if you have a beacon pointing you to each item you have to pick up or target you have to kill.
Anyway, with Bethesda's reputation, I was a little worried this game would be overhyped and buggy, but so far it's been very impressive. With all the love this game is getting, I suspect it only gets better.