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October 31, 2012

KVR Archive: Dishonored Areas of Concern


Dishonored is a 2012 video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It released on October 9 for the PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.

NOTE: I'm making Hawke review less games, so he's more of an interesting character and not a gimmick.

This way, I'm not too tired to make funny jokes, and his involvement in my reviews is more of a special thing.

Hawke: .....Is this because I'm brown?

Kyle: .....Anyways.

Intro:
 
You play as Corvo Attano, head bodyguard for the Empress of a fictional city named Dunwall, which is very similar to 19th century England.

When the Empress is murdered, you, Corvo, are framed for her death, and thrown in jail to be executed. 

You escape, however, and join with a group called the Loyalists, who want to overthrow the tyrannical government of Dunwall and make the daughter of the Empress, Emily, the new queen.

Below is a review of Corvo's journey, and you may be surprised by a few things, and let down by other things about the content.

Without further adieu, let's get to it:
---Kyle van Rensburg, with Admiral Hawke Zechariah, of course.  

Information on reviewing style:

--Blue is for mild content.

--Yellow is for moderate/brief strong content.

--Red is for strong content, which is prolonged or very graphic.

Bite-Sized Review:

Strong Brief Bloody Violence: 

Many people are stabbed, sliced, dismembered, blown up, and some people are infected with a plague that turns them into blood-spitting low-lifes. Blood is seen throughout combat, although it is brief.

More intense depictions of violence are rats devouring a few living and dead people rather graphically with blood and gore, and implications of torture.

Despite all of the content, you can play the game without killing a single person. The developers penalize you for playing aggressively by spiking the difficulty later on in the game. 

Suggestive Content: 

Some references in dialogue. You can go to a brothel, which has a lot of indecently clothed women, and lots of innuendo and implications of sex. (Of course.)

Infrequent Strong Language:

Uses of F**k and S**t occur surprisingly infrequently, along with several milder profanities.

God and Jesus name are used in vain, though. 

Heavy Spiritual Content:

While it's not Satanic, and it's obvious the developers just put in magic because it's cool, my intolerance towards Spiritual Content has to apply here, unfortunately, as the game contains a lot of spell casting and supernatural beings.

Moderate Alcohol/Smoking:

Some smoking and drinking is seen infrequently.

Overall: Very Graphic

Areas of Concern:

Violence:

During the course of the game, you kill many enemies in different ways.

--When enemies die, they fall over with yell of pain, and a blood pool forms beneath them. If you get a magic ability, the enemies fade into ash after dying.

--They can be shot; when this happens, blood sprays, staining the environment, and the enemy cringes in pain. They fly backwards and collapse when killed. Their heads can also be blown off, with a bit of blood spraying.

If you shoot them with a crossbow, the dart sticks out of their bodies afterwards.

Sometimes, the camera goes into slow motion to show a kill, with blood spraying. 

--They can be slashed with a sword; blood sprays, the yell in pain, and flinch when you hit them. Limbs and heads can be severed; they separate with blood spraying and staining the screen. All of this happens quickly. 

You stab them in the neck, or chop them through the shoulders/head, and stab them straight through the back as finishing moves. Blood sprays.

--From close up, you can use the sword to stab the guy in the neck/face, slit his throat, or jump down from a height and stab him. This happens with blood spraying and staining the camera and the environment, and the guy falls over, dead. 

This happens quickly. Some blood is seen staining your sword throughout combat.

--You can also take enemies non-lethally, like choking them from behind; you grab them, the enemy struggles around, and collapses unconscious.

You can also shoot them with a sleep dart; they grunt in pain and collapse unconscious. 

--There are explosive weapons that can be used; if there is an enemy nearby, they are sent flying, and blood is seen staining their bodies and the environment.

--There are some electric coils that fire at people, who dissolve into ash.

--Some weapons set enemies on fire; they flail around whilst yelling, and fall over dead after a while, their bodies bloody and charred.

--You can use weapons called "Springrazors", which unleash a bunch of razors that kill and dismember any people standing near by, with blood being seen. You can also plant the Springrazors on people's faces are bodies, killing them and dismembering them.

--You can do the same to dogs, who yelp and blood sprays. They fly backwards or collapse when they are killed.
 
--You can pick up bodies and severed limbs, for whatever reason you might want to do that.....

You can also slice or shoot the bodies and limbs, which burst into blood.

--When you are injured, you cringe in pain, and blood stains the screen. When you die, you just fall over.

--You can also kill rats; they burst into a pool of blood and chunks of flesh are sent flying.

--You see blood stains on the environment at times, implying something sketchy happened.

--You see some dead bodies, stained with blood, with blood stains and pools around and beneath them. Some flies are seen swarming around a few corpses. 

--You see some infected people, who have blood coming out of their eyes and staining their clothes. They moan and shuffle around, similar to zombies. They can grab you, and spit blood in your face, staining the camera.

The Infected people, known in-game as Weepers.
--You see the dead bodies of infected people, with blood coming out of their eyes and staining their faces and clothes/body bags.

--A few times during the storyline rats are seen devouring dead bodies; some of the skin comes loose, you see the organs in the stomach and parts of the skeleton, and pieces of the body disappear until only blood is left.

--The rats attack you at times; blood stains the camera, and your character yells.

Some fish also attack you, with the same results.

--You can use a magical ability called windblast, which sends enemies flying, and tumbling onto the floor afterwards.

--Some enemies are disgusting creatures called river crusts, who spit acid at you. They burst into acid when you shoot them. 

--A cannon is seen that fires rockets at your character when he comes too close. Explosions are seen.

--Big enemies called Tallboys are seen patrolling the streets; when people come near them, they fire explosive rounds, sending the unfortunate victims flying.

You can combat these enemies; when shot, the Tallboy cringes and stumbles around, and collapses with an explosion going off when you kill it.

You can jump on the Tallboy's and stab the man piloting it in the neck, with blood spraying and the game going into slow motion.

--You can kill some civilians in the same ways mentioned above, but the game never encourages it. 

Storyline Violence:

--A woman is stabbed in the stomach with a sword; blood sprays, and a lot of blood stains the floor. She dies shortly afterwards.

--You are knocked out; the screen fades to black.

--A man burns your character with a hot iron poker; he groans in pain.

--You see a door with a bit of blood on the floor in front of it. You enter the room, and see a chair in the middle, with blood on it and the surrounding environment. This is an interrogation room.

--You blow a gate up, with a big explosion being seen.

--A whole bunch of rats attack two men; a lot of blood sprays and squishing is heard, and the men scream before collapsing, dead. The rats proceed to eat them; you see blood spray, the skin starts coming off and you see the skeletons, and pieces of the corpses disappear. Eventually, all that's left of the bodies are blood stains. 

--A few dead bodies are dumped into the sewer; you see them fall from the roof, and hit the ground.

--There are certain gates that have electricity going through them. Some rats are seen trying to run throw it; they are zapped into nothingness. One enemy throws a rat through the gate, and the rat is seen getting vapourised. 

--You can poison the drinks of two men; when they are poisoned, they cough, begin stumbling around, and fall over dead after a while.

--A few people are bombarded on bridge; explosions are seen and the people are sent flying.

--A dismembered hand is seen lying under a table. 

--A dead man lies on a table inside a room, which has trays with blood on them. 

--A dead rat fetus is seen in a jar. 

--On a recording, a man is heard yelling, and it is stated that he was killed. 

--A blindfolded man who tells you to electrocute him, (See Sex/Nudity below.) can get shocked a few more times than he wants to, and he groans in pain and tells you the combination to a safe.

--A man can get assassinated by being put in a steam room, and then you turn the steam on, which then seems burst into smoke, and the man dies from suffocation.

--We see some dead rats lying on a scientist's table with their stomachs cut open, the guts being exposed.

--You can interrogate a prisoner by putting rats in his cell; he yells for you to take them away, and he tells you what you need to know, no harm coming to him in any way.

--A dead, decomposing man is seen with pink, blood-stained flesh, lying beneath a mattress.

--A dead man is seen hanging from a hook. He is decomposing, with his flesh pink and his stomach open, rib cage and organs exposed. It is implied he was tortured.

--A man punches you in the face, knocking you out. 

--A few corpses are seen with swords sticking out of their bodies.

--An injured man is seen lying against a wall, with a blood pool beneath him. He begs you to spare his life, which you can do, or just kill him.

--A weapon goes off, blinding your character and knocking him on his back. A few people are turned into ashes afterwards.

--A man holding a girl is pushed off a ledge. You grab the girl just in time.

Before I move on to the next category, it should be noted that you can play the whole game killing absolutely no one. (Altough I'm not sure about the guy falling off a ledge.)

So while you may see a lot of gore because of the rats, the violence is not the biggest issue in the game. For the biggest issue(s) in the game, read on:  

Sex/Nudity:

--A man makes a sarcastic remark about missing another man's wife. 

--Two men speak about a "whore" dying. They also make mention of "A few whores" which may have caused an accident.

--A man says a bathhouse is a little better than "A cursed brothel." Another man mentions that he took a man there enough times already.

--A place called "The Golden Cat" is a brothel. You visit this brothel, and scantily clad women are seen, in their underwear and wearing low dresses.

--In the Golden Cat, a man is seen restrained in an electrical chair whilst blindfolded. He calls you character "Honey", mistaking him for a woman. He tells you to shock him, with him convulsing in pain, and it's implied that he enjoys it.

--A girl mentions she heard a lot of "grown-up business" at the Golden Cat. 

--A man is said to have a mistress.

--A woman says in her diary that she is going to bed the first man she meets, and the second one after that. 

Language:

Uses of D**n, S**t, F**k, B**t**d, and A*s.

Some other curses like "Choffer" (An slang meaning "Canadian".) and "Blow off".

Spiritual Content:

--During the course of the game, many spells and supernatural abilities make an appearance, including teleportation, invisibility, telekinesis, and seeing through walls.

The player uses a few of these abilities.

--A man mentions that sailors believe that there is a curse upon them, black magic. 

--A man mentions something about giving rites to put the spirit to ease. 

--You can read a paper that talks about "Esoteric practices" and "Rituals" that decide the fates of certain children. 

--The symbol of the skull is seen. 

--You have a dream where a man enters your mind and speaks to you. He mentions that he made you enter into the Void, and marks your hand with a fictional symbol. He later talks about shrines, and gives you a heart that will guide to secret places, and a voice tells you about secret things too.

When you visit the shrines, he appears and speaks to you.


--There are a few potions called "Spiritual Remedy", which gives you more Magic power. 

--There are Runes and Bone Charms you have to find, which give you magic powers.

--There is mention of an army of religious zealots. 

--A man says "May the spirits guide you..." 

--There are mentions of religious leaders. 

--A man is mentioned to say certain things, search temples, and perform "Disgusting" rituals in order to summon an angel-like man.

--A woman mentions that rats started showing up after a man brought a bone charm down into a sewer.

--A symbol of a trident mixed with the "Christian" cross, is seen.

--A woman says "Thank the stars" when she says you. 

Drug References/Usage:

Nothing.

Alcohol References/Usage:

--There is mention of a pub. You visit the pub; beers and people drinking are seen.

--You can pick up and drink liquor; this is not shown.

--Some characters are seen taking sips from assorted types of liquor bottles.

--You visit a whiskey distillery, but no alcoholic beverages are shown.

--A man mentions that you can probably find another man in a wine cellar, as "Losing family gives a man a thirst." 

--At one point, your character celebrates by drinking beer.

--A man is mentioned to probably be drinking himself to death.

Tobacco Usage/References:

--A man says "Good tobacco is hard to come by."

--Some people are seen smoking. 

--A poster for cigars is seen. 

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--Some of the enemies faces are a bit disfigured, and look like they were burned.

--A toilet is seen with flies buzzing around it. 

--A few dead rats are seen getting grilled. 

--A human heart is seen, which you carry around to find hidden objects.

--A few dead animals are seen in a kitchen, with some blood too.

Scary Stuff:

--At one point, the screen starts distorting with a screeching noise, and eventually your character passes out.

Positive Content:

You can spare your enemies, and take people out non-lethally, so that counts for something.
 

Thoughts & Impressions:


Dishonored looks to be a pretty good game, in spite of all it's content. While the story is disappointingly basic, the gameplay allows for multiple playstyles, like full on assault, or stealthy assassin, (Or pacifist, if you prefer that.)

The visual style is also pretty good, with the unique style of Dunwall standing out immediately. Voice acting is also good, with actors from Hollywood actually doing a few of the characters' voices. 

The game looks very good. I'm not going to deny that. But due to spiritual content and highly unnecessary suggestive content, I can't recommend it.


Conclusion:

What looks to be a solid and fresh new game is unfortunately marred by suggestive themes and spiritual content. I rather recommend you get Deus Ex: Human Revolution instead, as it is a game with similar gameplay, but it's at least a BIT cleaner.

Verdict: BANNED

Outro:

So that's it! I hope you agree with my review, and find that it included a lot of detail.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few more summer releases to get to....

Until next time, Kyle out! :P

What do you think of the game? And by extension, what do you think of the spiritual content and suggestive themes?