Dishonored can be played as aggressively or as covertly as the player desires. However, your actions have serious ramifications on both the narrative, and the health of the deteriorating world around you.
Here are six essential tips in Dishonored should you wish to adopt a more tactful approach.
Patience is Key
Patience is key to success in Dishonored. I completed the game using a combination of stealth and “kill all the things” when there was no other way, but full out attack and murdering everyone would be just as hard as finishing the game without killing anyone -- perhaps even more difficult.
The most rewarding moments and successful ploys in Dishonored come from patience. Watch how guards patrol and interact with the world. They do some funny things and move around fairly intelligently, but outside of what you can seem them doing, they won’t adapt to the landscape. Once you know where they’re going to walk, they’ll do it over-and-over again.
Pay attention, pick your moment and use your supernatural powers wisely and you can sneak past anyone or anything.
When all else fails, reload your last save. Dishonored has a fantastic autosave system that will ensure all progress is retained, should you meet an untimely demise. But you shouldn’t rely on it.
One small mistake can trigger a catastrophe as guards are alerted your position, call for reinforcements and waste precious Mana. Corvo’s health is fairly sensitive and can be dwindled to nothing after absorbing just two hits from enemy attacks, making it surprisingly easy to die, even with such a wealth of awesome abilities.
If you know trying to cross a bridge or enter a room is going to be risky, manually save beforehand. When it all goes horribly wrong, you can learn from your mistakes and reload to the moment before the situation escalated beyond your control.
Peep Everywhere and 'Sneak Walk'
Peep through keyholes and look around the corner of objects to reduce the risk of an enemy catching wind of your position. In reality, you’d give yourself away with Corvo’s giant lunge to the left or right as he peers around an object, but this is a video game, and enemies will not see you whilst using this technique.
Likewise, don’t rush into a room. Always look through door keyholes and understand what’s waiting on the other site. You might be able to quickly deal with one guard, but the innocent door could also be housing a trap that kills you immediately or sets off an alarm.
When possible, move around in the ‘sneak’ or crouching position. It’s not much slower than walking, and softens your footsteps so guards can’t hear you approaching from behind.
Use Runes Wisely
Runes are used to upgrade your abilities and will always be in high demand throughout your Dishonored adventure. Ideally, you should focus on collecting them all from the beginning, but I suspect most players will take it casually for the first few missions before they realise just how important they.
Don’t waste runes on abilities you’re not going to use immediately, as upgrades cost considerably more than the initial purchase. Several of the mid-way missions, for example, are made easier by the Human Possession technique, especially if you’re taking a non-lethal approach with some of the targets. However, this upgrade to the Animal Possession ability costs five runes.
Read the descriptions and think about how you’re planning to play before purchasing abilities. Don’t just unlock everything by default before you start upgrading.
I’d also recommend upgrading the Blink ability early on. It only costs 3 runes and allows you to teleport a much greater distance.
Remember Other Powers
You won’t use every ability evenhandedly in Dishonored. Your favourites will depend on play style and which embed themselves in your intuition.
However, once you’ve unlocked them all, don’t forget about those your scarcely rely on. Devouring Swarm and WindBlast are totally different and will drastically alter the outcome of a confrontation. Don’t be restricted to what has worked in the past. Furthermore, if you’re stuck and struggling to navigate an area without being seen or killed, forget what you’ve been doing and try it with a totally different combination of abilities. Also considering searching for runes and unlocking something you haven’t previously used to help you progress.
The results may surprise you.
Have a Plan of Escape
Dishonored is full of enemies designed to cause grievous bodily harm. Even the guards with their swordplay and pistol skills will present a serious challenge if several confront you at once.
Always have an escape plan.
If you’re seen and there are too many enemies to defeat, there’s no shame in running away to regroup. The A.I. is easily fooled and no match for your supernatural experience. Blink somewhere out of sight and keep moving for a few seconds. Your pursuers will have no idea what’s going on, and whilst they will remain wary, they won’t know where to look for you.
By Ben Salter