If Dishonored has taught me anything, it’s just that: I’m impatient. I finished the game a couple days ago, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Truly, my romp through Dunwall was simply fantastic. Sure the game wasn’t perfect (not so thrilled with the aiming system I was), but it’s deserving of all its accolades. It also really showed me, unlike any game before, what I’ve always known. When it comes to games, I’m not a patient planner.
***Spoiler-y bits here and there ahead***
Many of you have probably already played or are playing the game, so I’ll be quick here with the premise of Dishonored. As an escaped “convict” named Corvo, you have to clear your name and set things right in the Empire. As such, you are given supernatural powers that allow you to traverse Dunwall sight unseen…if you so choose. You are given the choices to kill or not kill, to be stealthy or be an assassin. Your actions affect the environment and the NPCs in ways large and small. Despite my self-proclaimed loathing of first-person perspective games, I’ve found Dishonored to be one of the best and most captivating games I’ve played in awhile. And it made me have to face up to the fact that I’m a hasty and evil gamer.
Oh, but what about all the good heroes from Fable?! All my happy, noble Shepards from Mass Effect?? Well, those games were NOT Dishonored, which I ended with High Chaos and everyone hating me for all the killing. Now, I did not set out that way. In the beginning, I tried to take the stealthy path in missions. I kept the killing at a minimum, strangling watch men only when I had to and choosing non-lethal options whenever they presented themselves.
By the way, I’m glad were talking about a video game here, because re-reading that last paragraph…well, it could sound a little suspect to a non-gamer.
I stuck with the stealthy approach through three missions. And then I got to the fourth mission, “The Royal Physician.” Well good goddamn. I got so stuck…so frustrated with that mission. I gave the game a break, went onto another game — thought coming back to it with fresh eyes would reveal the stealthy path. But no. I returned to Dishonored and got so horribly angry at my ineptitude that I finally just said fuck it; and I moved on to the fifth mission with a high chaos rating and a tarnished reputation. And it was all downhill from there. The gates revealing my terrible, true nature had been opened and there was no turning back.
Now, for missions five through nine, I did occasionally try stealth; but by mission nine, I was killing everything. I mean, by then I was personally going after each and every guard just to clear an area. If I could be stealthy while killing, that was all well and good, but chaos only measured kills not good intentions. And the thing of it was, my actions didn’t really resonate with me until a character that I thought was a friend betrayed me, said he hated what I had become. Yeah, I know we’re talking about fake people here, but his comment hit me right in the gut. By then, though, it was too late. Maybe I could have reformed my ways that that point and gotten just one more low chaos level, but I felt it was too late. My Corvo had already turned to the dark side and there was no more “oops, sorry!” about it.
As I reflect back upon the game, and really, my gaming history, I realize that my actions in Dishonored aren’t unique. Did I stop Skyrim because I hated it? Well, not really “hated,” but I got impatient with the questing. I always sent Nathan Drake into any fight with guns blazing. I even made Batman deal his share of lethal blows. I barreled through many a Mario game just to get through difficult levels without thinking much extra finds. I don’t have much finesse when it comes to fighting games, as I am an admitted button-masher with things get desperate. And there were plenty of times in Mass Effect when I chose sheer force over forming any kind of plan. This is probably why I’ve always avoided any kind of RTS game — I just don’t have the patience for strategy. Ain’t nobody got time for that. In Dishonored, at a certain point I just got tired of trying to figure things out. And it’s testament to my overall lack of perceptiveness because often in Dishonored I noticed stealthy elements after the fact, after I had already killed everyone in sight.
I’ve been debating on whether or not to try the game again to attain Low Chaos. I don’t know. I’ve got a lot of other games that need attention and plenty of other regular life things that will surely eat up my upcoming free time. Not that I’m impatient or anything…
[…] have long been an impatient gamer, one who prefers to muscle her way through any given scenario despite occasionally trying to be […]
I finished DisHonored with a high chaos rating the first time too, mostly because of my lack of mercy towards assassins and going after anyone unlucky enough to discover me and ruin my attempt at stealth. I doing a second playthrough now, and I have to say that having stealth as a goal rather than just a means helps guard against impatience. I’m through mission 6 now and have killed no one, nor have I been detected. (Though I have reloaded my saves quite a few times). Also, which part did you get stuck on in that level? Was it the bridge or Sokolov’s house?
Definitely the awful bridge. I just had a tough time finding my way, and I never really mastered blinking very well, which probably hampered my progress. Congrats on no detections or kills! (Fingers crossed for you during the rest of the game.) Are you finding the second playthrough any easier? Are you seeing the stealthy “path” more clearly this time round?
Yeah, it usually takes a couple of reloads but I’m finding the way easier now. (It doesn’t take planning so much as it takes careful movement and sticking to out of the way places) As for the bridge, if you climb to the very top it’s easy to get across without being seen.
Climb the bridge! Jeez, that never occurred to me. If I ever get to a another playthrough, it gives me hope to know that it might not be as frustrating second time round.
I do the same types of things. Force works better than stealth sometimes. And I’m too impatient in games to use stealth. In “Uncharted 3”, I’d rather run up and shoot someone a zillion times than sneak up quietly. It’s quicker. Though, for me, many games were easier using more stealthy means. “Halo” and “Uncharted 3” specifically, I get bored of hiding behind walls and then peeking out to shoot at someone, so I’d run out and start punching and shooting everything in sight. Until that caused me to die a few times, then I’d go back to the boring, slower, but safer way of fighting. In a few games, I actually just make a run for it, though. Sometimes that works best.
I could see myself doing the same as you if I played “Dishonored”. When I get impatient in video games, I get mean. But, it would strangely hurt me if people turned on me for my actions. I care too much what fictional people think of me. I’m sure I’d try to be good at first, but it likely wouldn’t last.
If you ever get a chance to play the new Batman games, they do stealth really well, and it’s fun to be all sneaky in the shadows. I think I got way too caught up in stealth vs. killing in Dishonored that it hampered the overall fun of it. But really, once the game is over, it’s over, no matter how you made it through. If I had gone in with the intention of just enjoying the game, I think I might have been a little more patient. I do like having the option in games to kill or not kill. And I suppose it’s probably better that I go out guns a’blazing in a video game rather than in real life. That would be bad.