Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
  1. Oct 8, 2012
    94
    A dark and amazing game: Its atmosphere, gameplay and artistic work come together perfectly. Dishonored is just a masterpiece, and no action-fan should miss out on it.
  2. Oct 15, 2012
    100
    Dishonored is put together so well and executes its ideas in such an expert way that it would be difficult to not recommend the game to the highest degree possible.
  3. Oct 7, 2012
    96
    A rare kind of game that waltzes into a field of debonaire company yet wows the room regardless. You may not know much of his past or even what his intentions are, but you'll be damned if you don't let him take you for a spin around the room. And at the end of your dance, he'll leave you dizzy and giddy, wanting only for more...One of this generation's best efforts.
  4. 100
    Dishonored, like Thief, or Deus Ex, is one of those timeless games you'll play a dozen times. The game world is gorgeous - a steampunk City 17, the story is spectacularly written and almost depressingly dark and the gameplay is wonderful - either as a stealthy game, or an action fighter... or anywhere in between. Dishonored is all about giving - it gives you the weapon, it gives you the name, and then it gives you the choice - vengeance is entirely up to you.
  5. 85
    While I did find some disconnect with the main character I found the game did a remarkable job at telling the story and setting the stage for Corvo's relentless pursuit of those who set him up. The amount of character interaction in the game is impressive and the experience can go as deep as you'd want it to go.
  6. Oct 24, 2012
    85
    Dishonored could well have been the fourth installment of the Thief series, but there are also traces of BioShock and Half-Life 2 here and there. If you compare it to these paragons it's a bit disappointing, but it still shines among this year's games. [12/2012, p.60]
  7. Oct 9, 2012
    95
    So does Dishonored stand up on its own two feet? It most certainly does! On the surface it is easy to compare previous games we have loved, and it is easy to see similarities in style and gameplay, but these are elements that have clearly been learned, honed and enhanced to make Dishonored a title that lives high up in the rooftops of being one of my favorite games of 2012 so far.
  8. Oct 19, 2012
    80
    Dishonored is a really great video game. I enjoyed the gameplay a lot and the story and world are interesting, if occasionally flawed. It's certainly one of the more interesting games released this year and everyone should at least consider picking it up.
  9. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    It's the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and -- more importantly -- brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane's aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn't all straightforward shooters and "me too" trend-seekers.
  10. Oct 7, 2012
    80
    This is a muscular and confident game, one with the utmost faith in its own fiction and a dedication to gameplay satisfaction at a microscopic level, paid off in dozens of situations that feel completely random and organic, even when they've clearly been planted there for you to find. Tighter control and a more generous approach to replay value would elevate Dishonored to true classic status, but it stands as one of the year's best all the same.
  11. 90
    Dishonored grants us a first look at the future of free-flowing gameplay in the triple A segment. Even though it stumbles over its own freedoms here and there, it still is an absolute winner of a game.
  12. Oct 7, 2012
    80
    Vastly entertaining but highly derivative, Bethesda's latest effort perhaps isn't the behemoth of originality that some expected it to be, but still it is a game that every fan of stealth-oriented action/adventures shouldn't miss.
  13. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Bethesda made a risky gamble with Dishonored, but the result proves to be brilliant. Sure, it's not perfect, but Dishonored is one of the biggest (and nicest) surprises of the year.
  14. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Arkane deserves an applause just for trying this broad approach of choice, and when both design and playability builds an excellent synergy I can't do anything but to bow down to for being probably the best game this fall.
  15. Oct 9, 2012
    90
    With great freedom of choice and and one of the most fascinating settings in modern gaming history, Dishonored is one of the best experiences of this late 2012.
  16. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    While it has a few quirks here and there, Dishonored delivers on almost every admirably/crazily ambitious promise made by its creators. Its impeccably crafted gameplay and exquisitely haunting and detailed world stand in loving tribute to all of the iconic and acclaimed franchises that inspired it, and yet it still has a soul and style all its own.
  17. Oct 7, 2012
    88
    Though I was frustrated by the chaos system and how it steers your actions, the heart of Dishonored is about being inventive, adaptable, and ruthless. The team at Arkane Studios has injected an array of cool possibilities into the simulated city of Dunwall, and discovering them all is a blast.
  18. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Innovation in video games is coveted by many but rarely achieved-Dishonored has this in spades. It may not be perfect, but what Arkane Studios accomplishes is astounding for a debut of an original IP. Its memorable characters, striking game world, and incredible seamlessness between combat, stealth, and magic set a new standard for the action genre. Dishonored is unquestionably Game of the Year material.
  19. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    By harnessing the best design qualities of titles such as Deus Ex, Thief, BioShock or Ultima Underworld, Dishonored would have been a good game. By adding a unique world with a singular taste, carefully crafted storytelling and a solid plot, and allowing for numerous variations and random parameters inside all of that for an even more personal experience, it's gone all the way to becoming a superb game, one that is a vibrant success, and clear evidence that only video games can make us live such experiences.
  20. Oct 11, 2012
    96
    Dishonored is a sublime, unforgettable experience that any gamer absolutely needs to try.
  21. Oct 23, 2012
    90
    Surely not your average first person shooter. On the contrary, Dishonored uses stealth in a way only the Thief games have managed to do and delivers a superb steam punk experience we haven't seen in many years.
  22. Oct 7, 2012
    70
    After my first playthrough (which took around 6 hours), I felt a bit underwhelmed. As in I literally thought to myself - that was it? But then after going through a few more times, I realized how fun taking different paths could be.
  23. Oct 10, 2012
    80
    For its soaring highs and captivating hits alone though, Dishonored comes as an easy recommendation. With the Thief franchise stuck in a lab somewhere having numbers spliced into its title and Deus Ex still on the naughty step after those boss battles, Arkane has come good with arguably this generation's finest stealth title and a game so lovingly crafted that it begs to be played.
  24. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    The incredible variety of ways you can engage or evade your enemies makes Dishonored impressively flexible and utterly captivating.
  25. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    The open-style missions--combined with the weapons and abilities--make a thrilling playground to explore, tough enemies present a significant challenge, and the multiple outcomes, characters, and setting create an exhilarating world to discover. Dishonored is a game that you won't want to miss.
  26. Oct 7, 2012
    87
    Dishonored goes out of the way to encourage freedom in how you approach your obstacles, and it plays the long game, offering up layers of experimentation.
  27. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    The plot may be straightforward but the level of detail in the world could inspire countless fan fiction stories.
  28. Oct 11, 2012
    89
    Dishonored mixes the dystopic worlds of Rapture and City 17 with the assassination-for-a-cause gameplay of Hitman and Assassin's Creed to create an experience that actually feels more original than it probably should have. Both the setting and the gameplay work well and had Dishonored been better in a few more areas it could have been a contender for one of the best games of the year.
  29. Oct 7, 2012
    80
    An excellent game, and one worthy of your attention. Dishonored's greatest contribution to the genre games like Deus Ex helped establish will be best appreciated by those who've been with it from the start, but Arkane has made a game rooted in manipulating artificial intelligence that plays just as well to the guy or gal who wants to shoot stuff. That's impressive.
  30. Oct 8, 2012
    100
    This a game without the bloat of the modern blockbuster – no co-op mode to allow two friends to assassinate hand-in-hand; no lip-service multiplayer to distract the development team and divert their budget; no upgradable hub to grow or furnish; no open world to impress and weary. Rather you're given a series of handcrafted missions, each with its own optional twists and turns, each with a start, a middle and an end, the plot written by a designer, the script penned by a scriptwriter and the narrative transcribed by you.
  31. Nov 14, 2012
    90
    Precise and elegant systemic design engenders an absurd degree of player agency, but is marred somewhat by a sloppy, unconvincing narrative and soulless characters. [Dec 2012]
  32. Oct 7, 2012
    92
    It's also one of the prettiest games of recent years. The art direction is nothing short of incredible, and it's matched with a visual aesthetic that makes the world look like an oil painting in motion.
  33. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    A brilliant example of how to blend gameplay, narrative and setting. Highly recommended.
  34. Oct 13, 2012
    83
    Dishonored is an amazing game, but has its lesser moments. The ingenuity and creativity that can be used by the player is nothing short of spectacular at times and the steam punk style fits the world perfectly. On the other hand the developer could have spent more time on storytelling and the game has some technical faults. Because of this Dishonored never really lives up to its full potential.
  35. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    What makes Dishonored great are the mechanics made possible by the universe in which it exists. There is a level of replayability and creativity available here that isn't seen in most stealth action games. You aren't just figuring out how you need to get from point A to point B, but how you want to get there.
  36. Oct 10, 2012
    80
    Thanks to the variety of abilities and phenomenal level design, you can in many ways tackle Dishonored as you feel fit. It's a bit impersonal at times, but most elements of the game work really well.
  37. Oct 7, 2012
    80
    Dishonored is a good game. It falls flat a bit on the pacing, the AI has a laundry list of quirks that become frustrating real quick, but on the whole the game delivers an experience you won't find anywhere else this year.
  38. Oct 7, 2012
    94
    We love Corvo Attano, we adore how Arkane did it. Dishonored is one of the best experiences of stealth coupled with a sense of completely open and free superpower, in a beautiful world that is a masterpiece. Essential.
  39. 90
    Bravely uncompromising in terms of the freedom it offers the player and its willingness to go against current trends in gaming, Dishonored is adult video-gaming at its best.
  40. Oct 7, 2012
    93
    A really surprising game, characterized by the great freedom given to the player and the high tension it can induce when crawling in the shadows. We would have liked a lengthier story, but it nevertheless remains a must-buy.
  41. 90
    Arkane Studios has crafted what's likely the year's best new IP, and by tapping into elements of so many of this generation's greatest games, this adventure sneaks up, grabs you, and won't let go.
  42. Dishonored is an evocative game. Even without knowing the pedigree of its key developers, you won't fail to spot similarities to the angular black steel of City 17 in Dunwall's quarantine barriers. The European twist on old London is true to the concept art, and what the textures lack in up-close resolution, the world makes up for in grand complexity and generous options.
  43. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Though it's got its problems, Dishonored is a damn good game, one that makes use of a compelling storyline and wraps it into strong first-person gameplay, and a presentation that's pretty hard to beat.
  44. Oct 7, 2012
    90
    Dishonored succeeds as an ambitious game not content to take one thing and do it well. It demands more than most games ever will of its player, and gives more to players than most other games will ever manage.
  45. Oct 8, 2012
    100
    However you choose to approach Dishonored, it's a game that asks you to think, plan, be smart. It's a wonderfully empowering game because of this, as you lurk in the shadows knowing the powers you possess and the options you have. It's elegantly designed to make the most of those tools, but isn't afraid of changing the rules in order to keep its (admittedly quite predictable) story bubbling along.
  46. Oct 7, 2012
    100
    Dishonored gives you a beautiful, fascinating, new world to explore, and then makes it your playground for grand misdeeds. Its story of political intrigue and betrayal is told at exactly the right pace, balancing information with action in a way that keeps you interested, but not overloaded.
  47. Dishonored is never able complete that transformation from a game into a totally new and exciting world to inhabit. To be sure, our mostly positive rating reflects that this game is well-structured with all the pieces you'd expect and story flexibility will offer up a unique adventure for every player. It's a promising and mostly enjoyable start to what will perhaps be an ongoing series, but it lacks the emotional punch that could make it great.
  48. Oct 11, 2012
    90
    It's an intelligent game, but also one that acknowledges that action needs to feel satisfying and brutal, just as much as stealth needs to feel tense and crafty.
  49. Oct 8, 2012
    94
    Brilliant. It's perfect for its proposal, and creates a universe that leaves us hoping that this is just the beginning of a great series. It won't give you something really new, but it's different from what we're used to playing in this generation, which is worth appreciating. A game to remember.
  50. Oct 7, 2012
    80
    Despite the game's myriad achievements, Dishonored never really rises up to the greatness of its potential. Arkane Studios' effort isn't quite as clever as it needs to be: it doesn't really build up to anything momentous, or have anything special to say, and it's particularly galling to see a world that's been so painstakingly created not live up to its potential when it comes to narrative and context.
  51. 90
    Some slight technical issues mar an otherwise extraordinarily fun game with equal parts stealth and action.
  52. Oct 22, 2012
    90
    Adventure and stealth fans should definitely have this title in their video game libraries.
  53. Oct 31, 2012
    80
    What is there is so compelling that the lack of additional stages can't help but feel like a disappointment. The game's strengths are a double-edged sword. Regardless, this is still one of the best games of this year. With a bit of work, a potential sequel could be one of the best games of any year.
  54. 93
    Dishonored is this year's must-have new IP, with fresh ideas, plenty of charm and inventiveness, and tying them together in a stylish fashion. Who said creativity in the games industry was dead, huh? Dishonored says hello. Your free time says goodbye.
  55. Oct 8, 2012
    92
    Dishonored is an essential purchase for the self-respecting lover of videogames. The game offers an intelligent and exciting experience which makes this one of the best games of the year. Dunwall is just as impressive in Dishonored as Rapture was in BioShock, and the magic powers are incredibly awesome to use. Eventually there is nothing to criticize this game for. A true must have.
  56. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    Dishonored is truly a gem in a field of sequels and "me-too" titles flooding the market. It is a new IP developed with a lot of the conventions of game design in mind. From the beginning the game draws you into the world and never lets you go.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 714 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 212
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    10
    Absolutely amazing game; the best in years. Signed up to Metacritic just to say that.
  2. Oct 14, 2012
    10
    Second review, after playing the game for a while. My score for it hasn't changed, still 10/10. People have complained about the length but achievements wise, you have to replay the game many times, and u get to study each map so for me the length is perfect. The story, yes it isn't the greatest or most dramatic but honestly that's not why we play this game. Graphics on the 360 leaves much to be desired but it didn't bother me at all. It looks better on PC, which is puzzling. The reason we play this game is for the gameplay and concept and both of those have been implemented Brilliantly. The abilities are all significant and unique, the maps all have multiple paths that u learn about each time u play. For the intrigued you have the ability to be creative. Don't put this game down for not being an open world rpg. That's not what it is it's not assassins creed. It's dishonored and it's a brilliant game. Full Review »
  3. Oct 13, 2012
    6
    This game, while having some genuinely interesting points, kind of disappointed me. It just didn't live up to it's potential. First, the good stuff. This game has a pretty interesting steampunk setting, the gameplay concept itself is really interesting and decently executed, and the way they've given you the ability to finish the game without killing a single person (if you so choose) is genuinely interesting. Unfortunately, on the Xbox 360 version at least, the graphics are pretty shoddy (probably due to the poor/non-existent anti-aliasing), and it's very distracting when the scenery has clipping artifacts when you look side to side. In addition to the poor graphics, this game is really short. I've done a few playthroughs, and it ranges from a low of 5ish hours for a "killing whatever and ignoring the optional objectives on easy" run to around 20ish hours for me to run the entire game on the hardest difficulty, finish all of the optional objectives, and collect all of the runes and bone charms. On top of all of this, the storyline really is just not very compelling. The game feels like way more thought went into the setting and lore than went into the actual events and dialogue that you're playing through. In summary, Dishonored is a game that has an interesting setting and some really neat gameplay options, but it's let down by graphical problems, story length, and some poor writing. In my honest opinion, if they would have made this game an open-world RPG, thrown more content into it, and given you a few more options as far as abilities and customization goes, this game could have been great. Such as shame, really. Full Review »