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  1. #1

    Dishonoured has bad writing

    I'm just at the begining of the game and while the gameworld and the lore are marvelous the plot is terrible. It is supposedly a tale about revenge, but we have no real motivation to avenge the murdered, because we just saw her for the first time a minute before that happened. The 'kidnapped child' hook feels just incredibly hollow. The reliance on briefings and infodumps makes it feel like Corvo is just following orders and shows little initiative on his own, which doesn't help getting involved in the story. You are just told 'you will work for us and assasinate people we tell you to' and have no choice but to accept. Also how the magical powers are introduced - some guy explains you how it works for five minutes.

    Contrast this with the game's inspirations, Thief and Deus Ex. In those games the story evolves gradually, villains and allies are introduce and secrets pile up. Both of these games use the 'you are betrayed and left for dead!' idea, but that happens after a few missions not in the intro, so the player actually gets to experience a sense of loss and broken trust. At the start of Thief Garret is just operating his business as a master burglar, he gets dragged into issues greater then himself, screwed over by his employer and then reluctantly has to save the city. Dishonoured could have followed a similar progression, with Corvo working as the bodyguard and servant of the Empress for the first few missions around the city of Dunwall, getting to know the realities of the place, perhaps helping her majesty to find a cure for the plague and only then would the assasination twist happen. Instead the game just lays the cards on the table, unless there is some enormous twist coming that's somewhat disappointing, given the overall quality of the worldmaking, the visual imagery and gameplay I've seen thus far.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    You probably want to finish the game before you do this thread.

  3. #3
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    Isn't he right though? The atmosphere in the city is marvelous, but the story is predictable and dull. There is no huge twist, and the ending just felt really shallow. Going around the city is great but I constantly had a feeling of "well... okay." when there were story-things. Every character you meet just feels unmotivated. Samuel, sympathetic boat guy. You just murdered 500 people and abducted the greatest scientific mind in the country, and he's like "alright, cool.". Then you get back to base and the conspirator's text says they're amazed, but their expressions and the way the dialogue is delivered makes it again feel like "yeah, cool job buddy.". This tone is carried on throughout the game imo.
    Last edited by Curry; 28-10-2012 at 07:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bhazor's Avatar
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    It is pretty much save the princess stuff.
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    If I'm honest, the really weak writing and acting in the trailer put me off buying it at all.

    Shallow, to judge by a trailer, but X-COM was looming.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    I agree the story isn't very good. Neither is Deus Ex's, as much as I love the game. But Dishonoured has a twist, and he hasn't reached it yet.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I agree the story isn't very good. Neither is Deus Ex's, as much as I love the game. But Dishonoured has a twist, and he hasn't reached it yet.

    What,princess is in another castle ?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rauten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesday View Post
    If I'm honest, the really weak writing and acting in the trailer put me off buying it at all.

    Shallow, to judge by a trailer, but X-COM was looming.
    I wouldn't call that shallow at all; you're trying to decide whether to buy a game or not, and if the dev/publisher only offers you trailers, then trailers are all you have to go to make your mind.
    Their fault for not having a god damned demo.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelron View Post
    I agree the story isn't very good. Neither is Deus Ex's, as much as I love the game. But Dishonoured has a twist, and he hasn't reached it yet.
    that's a hallmark of bad writing.
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  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    The OP is right at the start of the game. If he wants me to spell out the story for him I'll be happy to, but maybe he doesn't want to discuss the specifics of the story when he hasn't seen the story for himself yet. That's all I'm saying.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    To be fair, some really great games start out with deliberately generic plot elements for greater impact later on when things get switched up. MGS and MGS3 come to mind.
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Spec Ops:The Line started so bad that after 2 hours i uninstalled the game,after that i read really good stuff about the game,right where i quit game shifts in to third gear.. stupid me i guess.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaftPunk View Post
    Spec Ops:The Line started so bad that after 2 hours i uninstalled the game,after that i read really good stuff about the game,right where i quit game shifts in to third gear.. stupid me i guess.
    Nope. You were smart. Spec Ops is a stupid game and the plot twist can be seen from a mile away. And it's stupid.
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  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node Wheelz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    Nope. You were smart. Spec Ops is a stupid game and the plot twist can be seen from a mile away. And it's stupid.
    lies and slander. Spec Ops' story is brilliant as a commentery of where video game stories are at the moment, and I don't think the plot twist (SPOLIER: The General was never alive ) was predictable untill maybe 3/4 of the way through the game. The game mechanics were rubbish though.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus DaftPunk's Avatar
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    Yeah the thing which put me off is very generic gameplay :S

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Guardian View Post
    It is supposedly a tale about revenge, but we have no real motivation to avenge the murdered, because we just saw her for the first time a minute before that happened.
    Yup, because of course being framed for the murder by the guys who took over and thus having no choice but to bring them down unless you're particularly fond of the idea of spending the rest of your life constantly on the run to avoid execution isn't any kind of motivation at all. /facepalm.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DaftPunk View Post
    Yeah the thing which put me off is very generic gameplay :S
    BAD generic gameplay... >.<

  18. #18
    I think the short intro was a necessary sacrifice for better gameplay. Dishonored is about playing a supernatural assassin/sleep specialist and the less time you spend putting around as Corvo, the completely normal bodyguard, the better. I thought the prison escape sequence was already wearing out its welcome by the time you got to the sewers; I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if it had been preceded by several levels of you working for the Empress.

    That said, I still think the intro was fairly effective. With only a few interactions, you got a general idea of Corvo's place in the world, Emily's attachment to him and just enough of the world to leave you wanting more. Like so many other parts of the game, it reminded me of the Half-Lifes, and to me that's a good thing.

  19. #19
    Network Hub Makariel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    Nope. You were smart. Spec Ops is a stupid game and the plot twist can be seen from a mile away. And it's stupid.
    I think the plot twist was not what you think it was, otherwise you'd not call it a stupid game. SPOILERS the character you play dies in the opening scene. Everything after that is his personal nightmare, a descent into "hell". The flashback of what happened before was told by a unreliable source, since the main character clearly has PTSD. Did you for example notice that you always go down in this game? Yet, you always seem to be on the top of skyscrapers. When the helicopter scene comes again, the main character even shouts "No, this is all wrong! We've done this before!" etc. I could go on but this threat is about dishonored not spec ops ;)
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  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node RobF's Avatar
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    I didn't think there was anything wrong with the writing, it was perfectly fine. Criticising Dishonored for its story seems odd to me. The story in Dishonored is the story you tell, the one you write with your actions.

    The first half hour sets up the world, beyond that, it's on you. There's a loose framework in place to push you from one chapter of your story to another, to keep you pushing forward and so that you eventually find a conclusion but I'd argue beyond that, it doesn't need more.

    Anything substantially more in depth and you'd run the risk of overshadowing the player, it's a fine line and one I found Dishonored walked fairly deftly on the right side of. It's rare that I'll defend lore books and audiologs but in Dishonored, I couldn't think of a better way to tackle keeping the ideas the game developers want to instill at bay from what the player might want to experience. You have to choose to dive into the background of this world in a game that's all about choice.

    The real story is your Corvo not the framework the developers have placed down. It's the one about your Corvo who maybe crawled through an alley, his heart pounding with fear as the tallboy stomped heavily on the road above. Or your Corvo that leapt from the walls of the castle into the ocean below and to freedom. Was your Corvo a hero, an abuser or the clumsiest man alive? Did your Corvo kill when he could have shown mercy? What lengths would he go to to fulfill his desires for revenge?

    Every person has their Corvo and has their story, y'know?
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