First, the gripe. The game is stellar, and was made by Arkane Studios, not Bethesda. Can we please stop referring to it as Bethesda’s latest entry for god’s sake! Give the hardworking developers some credit! Bethesda should be credit with publishing the game!
Second, I love, love, love the lore they have build around Dishonored. And Penny Arcade, as usual, nails the humor within.
Something about games that tout choice as a major selling point, like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Akrane’s Dishonored bothers me. This is not to say they are bad games. If anything they are both phenomenal titles, crafted with meticulous attention to detail, amazing art, stellar voice-acting and set in a poignant, believable world. Yet there is something very wrong with them. And it was not until last night, while playing Dishonored, that I realized what it was.
These games tell you of the variety of ways that you can go about accomplishing an objective. For example, in Dishonored, you can use your abilities, for stealthy stalking or engage in gratuitous violence. It claims that you can choose either path at will, but the fact of the matter is that there is always a dearth of currency (runes in the case of Dishonored), that forces you to take only one path. Once you invest some points into stealth, you will invest almost every subsequent point into stealth in an attempt to continue bolstering your abilities in that play-style. Eventually, the only way you can experience another type of build is by replaying the entire game. This is part of the reason games like Fallout 3, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dishonored have so many replays. Once you start going down an ability path, there is very little wiggle room.
Again, this may not be a bad thing for people who think it gives the game “replay value”. I personally think it gives it an inflated replay value, but true replay value remains the domain of dynamic multiplayer games like StarCraft 2 and League of Legends.
Now that I have said it out loud: let the flames rise!
This infographic by Riot Games just blew my mind!
EDIT: The review is up now.
Of Orcs and Men is a story about betrayal and redemption, it is a story about desperate times, last stands, and acts of selfless valor. It is a story about two unlikely antiheroes, driven together by equal parts of vengeance, greed and fate. It is a story about facing your inner demons, embracing your flaws, and accepting your limitations. Of Orcs and Men, put simply, is one of the most engrossing RPG stories every told. I just wish they had spent some more time polishing it.
In many ways, it reminds me of the first iteration of Assassin’s Creed. It was repetitive, buggy, and it could have used polish on a lot of levels. However, they improved the formula and the next iterations only got better and better. I love the world they come up with in Of Orcs and Men, and I sincerely hope this review is taken as constructive criticism, that there is a next iteration, and that is significantly improved via all the feedback.
Look for the review on Hooked Gamers sometime later today!
When you start a title, do you have an urge to finish it? I do. It doesn’t matter if halfway through the game I realize it is awful, and I am not even having fun. But I must finish it, obsessively, just to make sure I got to the end, and checked it off of my list. Am I crazy? Or do most of you do that as well?!
Consider the following primer:
The humans are in noble, righteous and peace-loving. Dwarves and Elves are hesitant and peripheral allies. Orcs, trolls, goblins, or some similar, vile, green-skinned, primal species is the main enemy. They are barbaric, unrelenting and murderous. The humans, guided by the light, must tame these wild beats if there is to be any hope for peace in the world.
Now pause here, and tell me which fantasy plot I am referring to. The reason most of you cannot, is because this is the typical tale that fuels the propagation of events in most fantasy books. When these norms are challenged, the result is stunning, unexpected and refreshing.
One example that stands out in my head is the fate of the Elves in Dragon Age: Origins. They were not the reclusive, noble, near-mystical beings that lived in an eternally protected magical kingdom. They were the lower class of citizens, occupying slums and begging on the streets in the game’s many locations. That was cool, it was different, that stood out.
Of Orcs and Men, an upcoming title from Focus Interactive is one such title. I can’t speak much of it, because I have an early access copy and I am in the process of finishing it. But what stands out to me is that it is a fresh perspective on an aging story. It is still humans allied with dwarves and elves against the green-skins, but you get to play and experience the world purely from the green-skin side, switching roles between a diminutive, conniving Goblin named Styx, and a hulking mass of muscle and nerve Orc named Arkail, in a world that shuns, hunts and subjugates green-skins with extreme prejudice.
Can’t wait to see how this story unfolds.