Dishonored tips: three quick tactics for early success

Thursday, 11th October 2012 07:39 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Dishonored is already totting up Game of the Year awards, but it’s not everybody’s Chai soy latte with pumpkin spice. Let our simple advice boost you onto the bandwagon before you lose your hipster cred.

A correct approach.

I got an IM yesterday which described Dishonored as “inaccessible”. I promptly deleted the contact and tried to have them deported, of course, because as far as I’m concerned Dishonored is the exact opposite of that; it never leaves off begging me to come back and do all sorts of interesting things to it. But OK, let’s imagine for a moment you’re struggling to get into Dishonored (perhaps you don’t enjoy fun?) and offer a few tips on coming to terms with your new found freedom to do whatever the heck you want.

Don’t be turned off by the prison escape
Dishonored doesn’t really start until you receive your first power. While the game could probably completed using absolutely none of Corvo’s mystical abilities, that one very basic ability which is thrust upon you – Blink – is a deceptively simple and beautiful thing which goes together with the line-of-sight detection system in much the same way your hands attach to your wrists: seamlessly.

The opening sequence after Corvo’s imprisonment is, for lackadaisical stealth players like myself, a bit of a nightmare; you’ll have to rely purely on cover to make it through, and while there’s some great stuff in it, it’s generally unrepresentative of the rest of the game.

This does seem a bit silly – why not put the core mechanic in right from the get go? – but it also makes the sudden blossoming of understanding when you do put Blink to use all the better for the contrast. Once you have it, piss about with Blink; upgrade it, and learn how it works and what you can do with it. The answer to that last one is “pretty much everything”.

Another viable tactic.

Combat is supposed to be hard
When you get the swordplay right in Dishonored it’s more than satisfying. Parrying leaves enemies open for a glorious kill cam complete with delicious squelching sounds; powers are devastating; and handing out the smackdown to small groups of well-equipped foes certainly shows off Corvo’s training.

When it goes wrong, though, it’s less than ideal; Corvo reels when struck, causing you to lose track of opponents; enemies circle around to flank you; and if you miss a pistol shot or fire attack cue your health drains alarmingly quickly. Even an experienced player may be left staring at the You Have Died screen when they unwittingly plop down in a group of overseers.

This isn’t about difficulty; it’s about rewarding preparedness. If you pick your fights, have a plan of attack; know your tools and you’ll dance around the environment leaving a trail of red sauce. If you get jumped in an alley, you’ll have learned a valuable lesson for next time about not panicking and flailing. Don’t blame the control pad.

A further valid strategy.

Assign your hot keys
This is important, friends: time does not stop when you open your menus – it only slows. If you are in a combat scenario and you open your power wheel to begin leisurely scrolling about someone is going to have your face on the ground and be extracting your teeth to decorate their watch with before you can say “where is my pistol”.

This speaks to me because when the shit hits the fan and you don’t have a back up plan prepared, there’s very little you can do to avoid the manure raining around you. Consequential game design is all kinds of sexy, amirite?

But assign a couple of powers to your hot keys, learn them well, and you’ll always be ready to react; shortcuts make for excellent emergency exits. For Chaos fans, cue up a combat power and when three guards corner you you’ll be off on your toes in no time, smugly pleased with your rapid fire response. When stealth goes wrong you’re probably still going to find yourself miles upstream a certain well-known creek, but a rapid bit of Blink spam is an excellent paddle provided you can find the button without scrabbling pathetically at the controls trying to remember where it is.

You’re now equipped to walk the mean streets of Dunwall. Dishonored is out now in the US and Australia, and arrives in Europe on Friday, for PC, PlaySTation 3 and Xbox 360.



  1. Talkar

    The game is really great! But i still wish stealth wasn’t so easy x)

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    It’s not easy for me :( It’s kicking my ass. I’m on the third mission. I’m actually dying a lot less now I “get” it more. I’ve slowed right down now. It seems to reward being as sneaky as possible.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    But yeah, I love it.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Brenna Hillier

    @1 you can make it quite difficult if you kill everything to pump up your chaos rating. The number of guards, rats and weepers piles on and it becomes very tricky to ghost.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mythor

    I murdered a lot of guards (and rats) on my way out of the prison. I’m sure a lot of the murders were not strictly necessary, but it was practice. For more murdering. :)

    Really enjoying it thus far though I’m not very far into it. Partly because of wandering off the beaten path…

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Talkar

    Maybe i should elaborate on what i mean when i say i think stealthing is to easy :P
    The biggest factor is the fact you have these superpowers/special abilites/ whatever you call them, and they basically mean that you can’t do anything wrong when stealthing. Got caught and have 10 guards chasing you? Blink up on a rooftop and everything is fine.
    Secondly the AI is pretty stupid at times, i’ve had several occasions where i’m thinking “i’m going to be spotted right about NOW” and then nothing happens. Some times, just to test it, i’ve even managed to stand right next to a guard, literally, standing, not even crouched, and he didn’t see me.
    And lastly the autosave system. It is fine there is an autosave system in the game, but disable it for those of us playing on Very Hard, we want a challenge like in Hitman.
    Regardless, i still love the game, the story, the artstyle, the voice acting, all the small stories a lot of the seemingly nonimportant characters have to tell. I could go on :P

    I haven’t killed anyone in the game yet. Not even a rat ^^

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    If I go back into the first mission and do it again without killing anyone, will the Chaos rating come down for the other missions?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @4 This is ace advice Brenna, I managed the second full mission without killing anyone and the amount of rat swarms and guards in the third dropped considerably.

    So yeah, be a pacifist and life gets easier. Excellent risk-reward system.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    @8 I don’t get how you can complete the second mission without killing anyone. Isn’t the point of it (spoilers) to actually kill people?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @10 nah, you can do a deal with an NPC. Do something for them and they make the targets disappear forever. It’s easy to miss as there’s no map or hud markers. I think the key is to explore everywhere but your destination first. You find so much.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    One sees. I might go back and try it again.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Telepathic.Geometry

    @6: Why not just not use autosave then if you want a challenge?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Johnny Cullen

    About to dig into my copy (once my 360 stops downloading a new system update):

    Fucking hype, man. Been on my watch list since its announcement and now its out, I can’t wait to dig in. Decided to take off today and tomorrow for it now. P to the UMP to the ED.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    Oh, I *see*. There really is a way to do every mission without killing anyone.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Telepathic.Geometry

    My copy just arrived in Tokyo today, so I should have my grubby paws on this tomorrow, and start my killing spree Friday evening, just in time for my birthday! Huzzah!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Edo

    @6 ” Got caught and have 10 guards chasing you”that’s the thing right there,people don’t want to be caught(myself included),it’s not about getting caught and getting away with it.Also I am doing a non-lethal playthrough myself and if you possess a rat it doesn’t survive the possession.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. roadkill

    @6 “Some times, just to test it, i’ve even managed to stand right next to a guard, literally, standing, not even crouched, and he didn’t see me.” You can do that in real life as well, stand near people without them knowing you are there. Though there are some who can.. “feel” your presence.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Patrick Garratt

    @16 Does it count rats as kills?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @18 nope

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Talkar

    @17 It doesn’t matter what you can or can’t do in real life. Here we are talking about a video game. And i for one want to be challenged instead of having my hand held for the duration of my play sessions.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. roadkill

    @20 So you want the AI to know where you are whether they look or not in your direction. Well, maybe you do but most people don’t. I for one want realistic behaviors and not to arcadish ones.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. zinc

    Vegans always let you know their vegan, pc gamers always let you know that all games are far too easy for their l33t skillz.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Edo

    @19 Yes,but the thing is …I do :) .

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Talkar

    You want realism in a game that is everything but realistic? lol

    #24 2 years ago
  25. roadkill

    @24 Well you do have problems with understanding life in general so I guess the game might seem unrealistic to you.

    edit: lol

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Len

    I’m playing this on pc but with a 360 pad as just makes the control easier I found after starting with m&k. Would never normally play a fps with a pad but this is more a fpadventire imo and just makes all the moves/powers etc more accessible. Recommend trying a pad if you don’t have spider fingers like me. :)

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Len

    I’m playing this on pc but with a 360 pad as just makes the control easier I found after starting with m&k. Would never normally play a fps with a pad but this is more a fpadventure imo and just makes all the moves/powers etc more accessible. Recommend trying a pad if you don’t have spider fingers like me. :)

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Len

    Eek crazy dbl post, dunno what happened there!?!?!?

    #28 2 years ago
  29. piercemoss44

    Ah I love this game so much, it took me a while of playing to get my mind grasped around the controls, and making everything flow beautifully. Which, I can finialy do, I’m an evenly ballenced assassin. Occasionally will sneak through places, or (in my opinion) have more fun and rage freely, fast and smoothly in ways I have to pause the game, smile and think “I can’t believe I just did that”. I haven’t found the game as much as an RPG game as I hoped, more RPG missions than overall RPG…. Tips in my mind though, all varie with the role you play. If you try to be stealthy, the upgrading blink and dark vision are vital to that role… Then you have the role I prefer, which is half and half.. I’ll be stealthy for a min, then figure out their actions and take them out as fast as I can.. For that, I think blink, agility, bend time, and windblast. The down fall to this is that it can be costly with mana depending the situation. I usually just try to stick with the crossbow, and blink… This game in my opinion is just awesome, I wish it had more freedom. But I also may not be that far enough into it.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Telepathic.Geometry

    I have forged myself into a fucking stealth ninja shadow bastard for my final ghost/clean hands play through. I fucking loving it! Blink is my bitch now, I’ve mastered the art of where I can go and who can see me.

    Also, I recommend dark vision level 1, slow-time and finding the galvani resin. I adore plodding through the world as a stealthy voyeur, stealing and sneaking. This must be what playing Thief 4 will be like…

    #30 2 years ago

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