Product Available at: Humble Bundle Store
This game has been out for 3 years now, but I never bothered to pick it up until recently, especially when I saw it was on sale on the Humble Bundle store for only $17.99 for the GOTY edition. I will be writing this review as I play so as to keep the game fresh in memory. So far, I am an hour and a half through and I am fairly impressed. As I do not play PC games as often as I used to, I started the game on Normal difficulty, and so far it is challenging enough, yet easy enough to go through the story.
The game is based in the early era of the industrial revolution. You take on the role of Corvo, an ex-bodyguard for the royals. Even though this is at the beginning of the game, I will not break any spoilers, but you are now an assassin, given the job of terminating the new ruler and locate the late Empress' daughter. One thing that has stood out to me since starting the game, was the fluidity of the controls. If I wanted Corvo to do something, I didn't have to go through a combination of buttons to get it accomplished. Moving around also works as you would expect with the character automatically lowering himself further to get under those small places.
With the entire city, and possibly the country, under siege due to the plague killing off most of the population, it is a quite desolate location. With buildings in tatters and bodies being devoured by the rats. The graphics are reminiscent of Bioshock with the slight cartoonish look. Those sort of graphics do not bother me, as this is a game, not a movie!
Like most games now-a-days, you are hand-held through the game, meaning anything that can be picked up will be highlighted and slightly glowing, even from a distance, and you have way points visible on your screen for each objective you need to complete. I do enjoy the look of the HUD however, a red lightning bolt styled bar for your health, and a angled, slightly small one for your mana. You do not have a mini-map unfortunately, as it is semi-open world but it is linear enough that you do not need a map. When I say open-world, I mean you are not confined to doing one thing only, you are encouraged to explore and find any hidden items or cash you can find, which there is a lot of.
Overall the stealth aspects of the game really give you more options for how to complete missions, rather than just running and gunning/slicing. You can play a mission multiple times and still find a new way to do things each time. I personally enjoy cooking the grenades and sending a group of enemies into pieces. Every decision you make in the game affects what happens later on so make your decisions wisely. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good first person stealth game. I have already spent about 4 to 5 hours playing this game and I am loving it. Just be careful, when you get noticed, they all come at you!
Signed, Alex Boddam.