Alternative Media (Part 7): Dishonored

Before I continue with my Deep series, I’d like to recommend another work of fiction that is a decent alternative to some of the more common media we encounter on a regular basis. Before you play your next round of Candy Crush or make another attack on your friends in Clash of Clans, I’d like you to take a cursory glance at the game Dishonored, a game made by Bethesda, the same people who gave us Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas. A word of warning though, this game is most certainly not for kids and not exactly advisable for casual gamers.

The main part of the game puts you in the role of Corvo Attano, the bodyguard of Empress Jessamine. The game begins with you returning to your home city after a diplomatic mission and this is where Dishonored kicks off when a group of assassins kill the empress before your very eyes and you are framed for her murder. Then, when you are freed by those who know what really happened, you are visited in your dreams by the Outsider, a mysterious figure who grants you supernatural powers like being able to see enemies through walls or bending time. What follows from there is a plot to save the Empress’ daughter Emily from people who wish to use her as a puppet and eliminate everyone standing in your way.


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Sounds like your typical game, eh?

Well, not really because:

You Can Let Your Enemies Live

Unlike most other games out there, you can allow your enemies to live. Instead of killing them, you can sneak up behind them and knock them out or, alternatively, put them to sleep with tranquilizer darts. However, do note that knocking them out is more difficult than simply shooting them or slitting their throats.

Indeed, the game allows you to use a living human heart as a kind of omniscient device that lets you learn of the character’s moods, preoccupations and history. Using them on the guards that you can kill lets you know that some of them are just people struggling to make a living and probably have a family that they’re looking after. It does give some satisfaction that letting them live means that while they may lose their jobs, they’ll still be alive.

Well yes, you still have the choice to kill them outright if you really want to. But then again, if you do decide to off them, the chaos caused by the death of so many guards and citizens can result in a lot of trouble for the people of the setting and eventually leads to a bad ending. So sure, you can always kill your enemies, but doing so can be a lot more detrimental than you might think.

Political Issues

Okay, spoiler alert right here. While I played the game, I couldn’t help but note similarities between the setting of the game and the Philippines. For instance, note the many aristocrats in the game and their apathy towards the common people even though the latter are in dire straits because of the “rat plague” that is leading to a kind of zombie apocalypse in the setting. Also, the police in the game (most of them anyway), are often apathetic as well, caring more about silencing the populace rather than take care of the problems that besiege them.

5 Replies to “Alternative Media (Part 7): Dishonored”

  1. It is like the political game in our country.
    Only the Police here are “nangongotong”…the politicians are corrupt, from top to bottom…

  2. Grimmwald, I tried looking for dishonored and I see that you have to pay $0.99 for it. Is this the one?

  3. Imagine if this game is entirely made of Philippine setting. The Religious leaders corrupt, the Officials corrupt and even the People is corrupt. Wait it exactly sounds like the original game!

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