Bethesda and Arkane Studios’ mega-hit Dishonored has been released to the public, and as usual, a strategy guide has emerged from Brady Games to help players get through the difficult bits and to squeeze every once of gameplay from the action-stealth title. However, is it worth your hard-earned money?
It’s pretty safe to say that yes, it is.
Brady Games’ Dishonored Signature Series guide, put together by Michael Lummis, Rick Barba, and Chris Burton, is a well-written and well-illustrated tour through the world of Dunwall. The guide assures that players will get everything they can, including all the nifty secrets and achievements.
Being a sort of open-ended, choose your own path sort of game, the authors have approached the game in a very logical manner, one that’s very clear and clean. Beginning with the typical introduction to the game world, story and characters, the guide then delves into the game’s mechanics, which it explains in great depth. An example of this is the informative description and explanation of Dishonored‘s intricate A.I. System and the stealth mechanics, which goes into explaining the NPC’s cone of vision, and how they track the player. It’s one example that illustrates how the authors perfectly explain complex systems with ease.
Once the basics are out of the way, the authors go into the main game, dividing it by chapters in which they cover each of the game’s missions and side-quests. Each chapter comes with a set of maps for each of the stage’s areas, and they are well-designed, legible and understandable, allowing readers to find all of the game’s collectibles with ease. Unfortunately though, some data seems to be missing from the maps, as I did run into a couple of situations where certain item locations where missing in the illustrations, like runes for example.
Each mission in Dishonored is handled with care by the writers, and is divided into two segments in the guide: “The Path of Blood,” and “The Path of Shadow.” Given that the game can be played two ways: either killing all enemies or stealthily sneaking around, the guide does a good job of outlining how players can approach the game both ways, showing the best methods to approach enemies and eliminate them, or which of the many ledges and hidden paths should be taken to get by unnoticed. The chapters also suggest a slew of alternative ways to do stuff, and not to mention also makes mention of which locations the game’s achievements can best be earned in.
Side quests are also detailed in each chapter. As these are optional tasks, the text for these are separated from the main body. Suggestions for how to deal with these in Blood or Shadow are also provided, so it’s a nice addition.
Once the main campaign is done, the matter with collectibles still remains. Offered at the end of the guide is a section which details the locations of the game’s hidden and collectible items, such as Sokolov’s paintings, Bone Charms, Outsider Shrines, Books and more. There’s also a full two page spread listing all of the achievements as well, so with a quick glance you’ll quickly know where things are in the game and what you need to do to get them.
With a final interview with developers Raphael Colantonio and Harvey Smith, this in-depth journey into Dunwall and it’s many secrets is a fascinating and very helpful read. While I was a little disappointed with the missing information in the maps, it’s still a worthy guide full of answers for your many questions. It’s big and beautiful book, and it’ll surely make your Corvo Attano that much quicker and deadlier.