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Disshonored: Dishonored.

Can you make a game out of nothing but neat touches? This is a question that I had hitherto not really considered before buying and playing Dishonored, a game which appears to be the answer. The world and art style are neat, but simply having an interesting world doesn’t make a game on its own. The profusion of secrets and easter eggs scattered throughout the various levels and missions are neat, but the definition of a secret is that it’s secret. You can’t build a game around secrets. The way the various powers can interact with the world and with each other are neat, but these are the tools you use to tackle the game and their utility/entertainment value is contingent on the game providing you with the appropriate opportunities to use them. It is both a testament to just how many neat touches there are in Dishonored and a damning indictment of how rotten and worm-ridden the underlying structure they’re bolted to is that the whole thing doesn’t instantly come crashing down around the player’s ears. Instead it takes, oooh, a good seven hours for that to happen. So I guess you can make a game out of nothing but neat touches. Temporarily, anyway.

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