Best of 2012: #3 - Dishonored

Dishonored for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is #3 in our Best of 2012.

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Dishonored may be an original game coming from 2012, but it had the feel of classics such as Thief and Deus Ex, with a bit of Arx Fatalis thrown in. Whether I wanted to stealth my way through, or leave bodies in my wake, Dishonored took me on an emotional roller-coaster ride.

While the tug on the heart strings was a nice touch, Dishonored set itself apart from other games with intelligent AI, a minimal interface, and a skill system that allowed me to easily craft my character to my chosen style of gameplay. When playing through in stealth, it became a challenge to try to find the right combination of blinks to get me over rooftops and past alert guards to my target. Of course, there were times I didn't care and just wanted to kill things, and having a lethal crossbow and rat plague at the ready to do the dirty work was just as satisfying. And the best part? Both means to the end were just as entertaining and engrossing.

The various levels of Dishonored were immense. I could have spent hours in them. Each character encounter offered different outcomes, making it eminently replayable, even if it was just to see the different endings that high chaos and low chaos had to offer. And the tally system at the end of a mission appealed to anal completionists like myself who kept playing it over to trying to find areas, gold or items that I had missed.

Arkane proved that it could launch a successful new IP in an era when numbered sequels are all too easy, and it was well-rewarded with a franchise designation from publisher Bethesda. Dishonored re-emphasized that building an engrossing story and enticing world provide an excellent complement to solid gameplay.


The Shacknews Best of 2012 Awards were determined by ballot voting across the entire Shacknews staff. Garnett, Jeff, Ozzie, Tyler voted for Dishonored, with John and Ryan picking it their personal Game of the Year, earning it 350 points and the 3rd place position on our list. Tomorrow, we reveal our Game of the Year.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 24, 2013 12:00 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Best of 2012: #3 - Dishonored.

    Dishonored for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is #3 in our Best of 2012.

    • reply
      January 24, 2013 12:13 PM

      So, top two must be X-Com and Planetside 2 then?
      Works for me!

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        January 24, 2013 12:15 PM

        im guessing xcom/walking dead

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          January 24, 2013 12:46 PM

          Diablo/Panda expansion

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          January 24, 2013 1:22 PM

          Naga Siren / Phantom Lancer Dota 2 update patches

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            January 24, 2013 1:30 PM

            Phantom Lancer should have been the last one patched in. It's getting old seeing him in every fucking game.

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              January 24, 2013 1:34 PM

              Pick earthshaker, get scepter, one-shot entire enemy team in the midst of 10 phantoms

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          January 24, 2013 1:39 PM

          Honey Boo Boo for Kinect is #2, Gangam Style Deathmatch for Wii U is #1

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            January 24, 2013 1:41 PM

            Dat Honey Boo Boo had me breaking every breakable in my living room and that was my reaction just looking at the cover.

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          January 24, 2013 2:09 PM

          This is it I'm guessing too

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      January 24, 2013 12:42 PM

      I enjoyed Dishonored but to me it was like quickie sex. Fun for the few minutes it lasts, and then you look back and only feel disappointed.

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        January 24, 2013 12:45 PM

        you are doing it wrong.

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          January 24, 2013 3:07 PM

          and by "it" i mean quickie sex.

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        January 24, 2013 1:19 PM

        I just found out I am pretty much at the end of the game, and it felt like it was just getting good...=\

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        January 24, 2013 1:21 PM

        Completely agree. Glad I got it half priced during the Steam sale as the amount of content in the game simply is not worth the standard $60 price tag.

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          January 24, 2013 1:32 PM

          is it worth 30? cuz i think ill pick it up with this GAMEFLY sale, that GAMEFLY is doing for SHACKNEWS.COM

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            January 24, 2013 1:35 PM

            If you don't have any other games to play sure, but it's not a multiplayer game so it's not going anywhere and probably will be like $10 during the next Steam sale.

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            January 24, 2013 1:53 PM

            Easily worth $30

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        January 24, 2013 1:35 PM

        Plenty of content in the game for what it is IMO.

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        January 24, 2013 1:42 PM

        Minutes? My steam gameplay time was 24 hours when I beat it.

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        January 24, 2013 1:52 PM

        According to Steam I am at 20 hours and still on my first play through, loving all of it. I've gone stealth though and am fairly anal about exploring environments completely and avoiding being seen or killing someone, so I can see how it would be a lot shorter if you went the action route.

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        January 24, 2013 1:55 PM

        It's a lot like the Uncharted series for me. The length is perfect for multiple play throughs and experimenting with different styles. I went through it 3 times before I got burned out, and I really had a blast with all 3 times.

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        January 24, 2013 1:56 PM

        I think the gameplay was quite shallow, i had fun and it did have its moments but in hindsight i'm left with the feeling that i should just have played a couple of hours and then moved on to something else. Story didn't do much for me but it seems like a lot of people liked it.

        Also on PC it was just ridiculously easy.

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          January 24, 2013 2:10 PM

          I think that is why I am surprised by the end coming so quick, the difficulty never ramped up.

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        January 24, 2013 1:59 PM

        sounds like it's one of those games that players can make bad by playing it a certain way

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          January 24, 2013 2:08 PM

          the game doesn't really have the toolset to punish you for playing it "wrong" going full action is very easy and thus incredibly boring.

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            January 24, 2013 4:46 PM

            Yeah. I hit up a "level" a night, it took me about ten days, 14 hours of playing or so. I was in a guys apartment and he went all Warhammer on it, tore through most of the game in a little less than two hours.

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        January 24, 2013 4:53 PM

        Finished it in 16 hours, with about 70% exploration and side quests. Got into a few fights, but not that much, played mostly stealth and didn't loot all that much and barely picked up Sokolov paintings.

        TL:DR : UR doin it rong.

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      January 24, 2013 2:20 PM

      I've only just started this game but I'm really liking it so far. The art style and game world is fantastic.

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        January 24, 2013 2:43 PM

        Guess the takeaway is try to stop and enjoy all the ambiance, since you can hack/slash your way through it relatively quickly.

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          January 24, 2013 3:21 PM

          I've got no choice. I get to play games maybe one day a week as it is.

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      January 24, 2013 4:00 PM

      I came late to this game and just played it last weekend. Great game. Would love a sequel/spiritual successor in that universe.

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      January 24, 2013 4:21 PM

      WHERE IS BLACK MESA SOURCE??? Waited 10 years for that shit and it delivered hard

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      January 25, 2013 11:51 AM

      Mmmm thanks GameFly, I picked this up for a cool $30.

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