How to play Dishonored. Enjoyably.


How to play Dishonored. Enjoyably.
Not as easy as it sounds!

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first...

Arkane Studios magnum opus: Definitely.
Unrivalled player choice: Assuredly.
Gloriously addictive gameplay: Stop Time Invent-a-Kill, anyone?
The Game of the Year: Definite contender. Current favourite.

Yes. That is a heart. And Yes. It speaks to you.
Yes. That is a heart. And Yes. It speaks to you.Enlarge Enlarge

But the fact remains it took a solid weekend to establish a play style that works for me. And in this instance ‘works for me’ equates to ‘removes all the hair-yanking aggravation.’

As anyone who’s had so much of a whiff of this title can attest, Dishonored is choice, distilled and burned onto a disc. However with so many options, the pang of paths untaken is a regular sting. The guilt of (relative) innocence/innocents lost. The frustration of getting caught. The sinking feeling that, no matter your choice, you’re missing out – be it on combat, stealth or a gloriously reactionary city.

So, my advice?

Pure Chaos or Pure Order. Choose! Take no half measures in Dishonored. Otherwise you’ll feel culpable every time you deploy a springrazor, perturbed whenever discovered and painfully hesitant as you evade patrols rather than whipping out your pistol and charging headlong into their mass like a crazed Weeper.

So, Play Dishonored.
And play it twice!

Initially you could try to ‘Ghost’ the campaign, completely avoiding detection. Blink and Dark Vision are your best friends in this endeavour. To spice up the challenge, you should also try for a ‘Clean-Hands’ non-lethal playthrough. This is when the wider abilities arc come into play.

Slowing time aids your sneaking. Don’t be afraid to slap the sleeper hold on unmoving guards, but hide their bodies from hungry rats! Dole out those sleeper darts for long range targets. Possess sundry fauna to infiltrate strongholds undetected. Convince CONCERNED citizens to remove your targets for you or investigate for non-lethal alternatives.

This approach offers perhaps the most varied, colourful experience (excluding viscera.) But it does sacrifice almost ALL of Dishonored’s combat. And believe me ladies, boys and lady-boys, this is killing you don’t want to miss!

The swordplay alone is strong enough to support its own game...
The swordplay alone is strong enough to support its own game...Enlarge Enlarge

In contrast, you can play like a total lunatic anarchist mentaller. Take no prisoners. Slaughter every guard, overseer and red-coat in Dunwall.

Summon plague rats to distract, snipe some skulls with decapitating crossbow bolts and hurl the remainder into masonry with breakneck winds.

Create a distraction, lob a grenade at the congregated guards, parry, riposte and decapitate the stragglers then teleport up a Watch Tower, rewire it and watch as it turns on its operators.

Stop time.

Place a springrazor at a Blue-coat’s feet. Ensure a trio of bullets collide with an overseer from three different angles. Place a vat of whale oil before a guardsman and ensure an incendiary bolt is ready to breech. Possess your target, stroll from a balcony, hop back out and blink to safety.

Restart time.


Dishonored is a game of decent (but hardly insurmountable) length. By taking BOTH disparate approaches not only will you encounter the bulk of what Arkane have to offer, but be treated to two distinct campaigns – One will boast a cleaner Dunwall, fewer guards, an absence of watch towers, a reduction in Weeper presence and the general approval of a city full of grateful occupants. Not to mentioned the continued affection of a sweet little girl.

For the sake of clarification, those are stilts. Not elongated mutated chicken legs.
For the sake of clarification, those are stilts. Not elongated mutated chicken legs.Enlarge Enlarge

The other pretty much devolves into a full on shitstorm. Which is actually tremendous fun in its own right!

How to play Dishonored. Enjoyably. on
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