jp's Dishonored (PS3)
| [December 4, 2019 11:24:55 AM]
| Finished this over the weekend.
I think that what I've enjoyed the most about the game is the level design - I really enjoyed exploring and discovering different ways to get in to places, watching what happened, and so on. It is definitely a much better experience than Thief, and I've been trying to articulate what it is exactly about the level design that worked here (and did not work for me in Thief). I think part of it is color - greater variations in color schemes make places seem more interesting and highlight differences between areas? I also upgraded the ability to see items you could pick up and such - that really helped navigate as well, since it adds a filter of sorts that also really changes what things look like. I think the blink ability was also a significant factor - blink is essentially a short range teleport (which I also upgraded as early as possible) that eliminates a lot of the problems I have when I know where I want to go - but aren't able to get there (missing jumps, falling off narrow things, getting spotted while trying to climb, etc.). Using blink makes it a real joy to navigate because I focus more on WHERE I want to go (and then just teleport there) and less on how to execute the jumping, climbing, walking, etc. without missing (and having to start over or not being able to get back to where I was before) . So, for me it might be the ability + the geometry/level design?
Weirdly, it wasn't until very late in the game that I realized how the "possess animal" ability worked. I had assumed that you possessed a creature and could move around and then it died and you went back to where you were originally. So, good for scouting not but actually for entering. It turns out you possess a creature and when the timer runs out it dies and you reappear at that (new) location! So, you could use the ability to infiltrate as well. Sigh.
While the game storngly favors combat/killing (most of the abilities/skills/weapons are for killing/harming) - it's definitely the least interesting experience. At least for me. I tried to play stealth as much as possible, but I think the "kill/violence tracking" got borked because there were a few levels whose results (in the final scoreboard you get when you finish a missions) indicated that I had essentially killed everyone when I really had not. This was a bit frustrating, so the last two missions I basically decided to "screw it" and go all in on the violence - at times it's just easier to kill an enemy than try to work your way around to stealthily knock them out or to sit there waiting for them to get into a favorable position. (blink was also really useful here)
I would say that the game experience was overwhelmingly positive - and interesting, and I'm looking forward to playing the sequel. Strangely, the only really annoying interaction in the game was trying to get out of the water...for some reason I had a really hard time getting this to work. I'd get to an edge and instead of "jumping out" I'd dive...and this would happen over and over. I died a bunch of times from carnivorous fish killing me while desperately trying to get out of the water. Sigh.
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| [November 24, 2019 11:11:12 PM]
| Ok, I'm now a few more missions in. I'm still enjoying the world, and the lores, and the level design. It's creepy and interesting at the same time AND (compared to Thief), I don't find that I have that hard of a time navigating the space, figuring out what I want to do, and more. All of this without a map, which I'm quite surprised by. Well, mostly from my (recent-ish) experience with the Thief reboot - here I was always getting confused, and turned around and lost.
I'm also really impressed with the saved game system - and how I can go from area to area and the stuff I did REMAINS, the guards are dead (or not) the objectives are there (or not) and so on. I just finished the mission where you have to get the researcher guy from his house (on the other side of a bridge), and I realized I had missed a rune all the way back at the beginning. So I rushed back and got it! Then rushed back.
My only "real" complaint so far is that I've had a hard time judging the distance(?) for getting the "choke unconscious" option when sneaking up from behind. It has happened to me multiple times that I think I'm in the right spot and I end up bringing my weapon up to guard, and the person turns around...and it's a huge mess. I've mostly been off the mind to "continue, don't save scum" - but the result is that I've been a lot more violent than I want to, mostly because the alerted guard will call in more people and then 5-6 guards are dead... Sigh.
I've also really enjoyed the different paths into the locations - a few times I've gone "Hmmm, I wonder if..." and then it works. This is really nice, especially when you hatch a plan and can then carry it out.
I'm REALLY curious to see what happens if you kill/choke your allies/friendlies. The option comes up, but I've never tried it - I guess I should save scum to see?
On my last mission I was supposed to convince a guy to join me - rather than talk I just snuck up and chocked him unconscious. It worked! But then I had to carry the body all the way back - which was possible, and cracked me up, since I now had to deal with a bunch of guards I had simply avoided. I don't know if there was a way around this - perhaps I could have jumped in the water with the body? Hmm...it hadn't occurred to me until now, which goes to show how much fun there is in figuring out alternative paths and approaches.
As a final note, I feel the game really is pushing me towards more violence - most upgrades are for killing (I've taken all the non-killing ones) and the game seems easier if you just blast away...at least for now?
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| [November 15, 2019 10:39:21 AM]
| I've had an amazing first impression.
I've had a hard time with being stealthy, but no matter. I'm just terribly curious and excited about the world. Intrigued. Interested. Etc.
I feel like the game has done an incredible job with the world building and it reminds me a LOT of Bioshock (and Bioshock infinite). I don't know what it is exactly? The vibe? The camera angles/perspective? The way your hands appear in the screen? I'm not sure...
The only thing I'm a little worried about - just because I felt it really detracted from my experience with the Bioshock games - is that I hope there isn't a ton scavenging and looting to do. I've only encountered a little so far, which is nice. I'm just worried that as I move into more residential spaces I'll have to engage with opening all the drawers in a desk, opening this and that all to find coins to then buy upgrades, etc. That gets old and annoying really fast so I hope it's used sparingly... We'll have to wait and see though!
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jp's Dishonored (PS3)
Current Status: Finished playing
GameLog started on: Saturday 9 November, 2019
GameLog closed on: Wednesday 4 December, 2019
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