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Welcome to our first Playthrough Commentary article for Dishonored! As this game will take some time to complete, it’s just more fun to bring you along on the journey: play by play, level by level! A special thanks to GirlonGame.com‘s Kimberly Scott for permission to write this in her style! Exclamation point! Okay, on with the commentary. Spoiler alert is in effect for the entire article!
We begin the game a beautiful voiceover saying she’s sent me, Corvo Attano, Lord Protector of the Empress, away for six months to seek help in curing some kind of Rat Plague, and that she and her daughter Emily are looking forward to my return. Already a good start. I’m not sure if I’m her husband and have a kid or if I’m just really close with the family, but it’s been a long time and Corvo will be happy to be home, I’m sure. Either that or ticked off at having been sent away at all, if he’s whiny.
The next scene begins with Corvo (again, this is you) standing in a boat, staring at some guy who looks like a Revolutionary War soldier. But right after, we see the city and our destination of Dunwall Tower. I have a longstanding love the incredible work Bethesda has done with their environments, buildings and city design, and already they’ve kept their reputation with me. The steampunk elements are a little limited at this point, but they always become more apparent in an undercity environment.
After working my way closer to the Empress, to whom I have news to deliever, I was beset by the first and most terrifying enemy I’ve met so far: Lady Emily, daughter of the Empress, who wanted to play a game of Hide and Seek! The horror! Choosing between being rude to someone who ruled the Empire, and being a little late interrupting her meeting with the Imperial Spymaster, as I was told by Emily, I chose to play the game. It turned into a happy little tutorial on the stealth of the game. It was a little underwhelming and only covered crouching and breaking lines of sight, but I guess there’s more to learn later.
Things are about to go very bad
After delivering my message and disappointing the Empress, she notices the absence of guards and little Emily notices men running towards the group, teleporting in front of us. Corvo whips out a blade and a flintlock pistol and prepares to do battle! Even though the combat is interrupted by tutorials, the combat is smooth and easy, with counter attacks and even counter kills. A scripted event soon after sees the Empress murdered, her daughter kidnapped, and Corvo being immediately blamed and arrested for it. The screen fades to black as a soldier knocks you out, and the title screen flashes before your eyes…
Two things to mention: First, what the hell, Imperial guards? Why would you ever leave your post? This is the Empress, the one who taxes people to pay you. And when you hear my pistol firing, shouldn’t your first reaction be to come back and investigate? I can understand Corvo being arrested for lack of anyone else, but why the hell aren’t you unemployed? Even Stormtroopers from Star Wars did more than that!
Yeah, I’m the one who screwed up
And second, why would the first thought after not seeing Emily is to assume she’s been kidnapped? We’ve arrived at the conclusion I murdered the Empress with smoking gun logic (blade in this case, but you get the point), why would you instantly assume I had help? If they managed to get out of Dodge, why wouldn’t I go with them? And why wouldn’t you assume that the guy who spent years PROTECTING this woman just failed to protect her? Guards, you may be dumb as rocks, but at least let the guy say a few words before knocking him out with your hilt!
Ugh. Great opening to the game, if a little logic-suspending at the end there.
Next time on Playthrough Commentary: Coldridge Prison!
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