When Bethesda launched the Dishonored Definitive Edition, they were following a recent trend of porting games that were released on the previous generation of consoles over to the current gen. There is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, but I can’t help but feel that beyond the marketing advantages of rereleasing one of 2012’s most well-received games prior to the launch of the sequel, that there just isn’t much cause for a “Definitive Edition” to Dishonored.
Dishonored Definitive Edition provides players with the original Dishonored game, as well as the three DLC packs that came out after its launch. The Definitive Edition will also throw a tonne of pre-order bonuses at you, such as bone charms and a fistful of in-game cash. I felt that when character progression, customisation, and upgrading was such a big part of the original release, it seems like Bethesda have cast that premise aside to give players an early advantage in the game. I’m not complaining as I am happy to take any advantage I can get in a game like Dishonored, but I think I am in the minority here and a large part of the fun is in tackling what may seem like overwhelming odds, something that is lost when you walk straight into a health upgrade. It altered my perception of the gameplay, instead of being afraid a group of three City Watch may cut me to ribbons, I was emboldened to throw caution to the wind and fight like a cornered rat whenever I was seen, instead of running away like the Master Assassin that Corvo is.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Dishonored when it released in 2012, I felt that the sandbox gameplay was a good idea but it was nowhere near as “open” as we had been led to believe. Sure, there are different approaches and tactics that the player can utilise to accomplish their mission, from all-out, balls to the wall, charging of the Light Brigade style assaults, to ghosting into an apartment building and silently neutralizing the target inside. In my opinion, the game lacked the feeling of scale that I had hoped for and as a result, I wasn’t that impressed. I recognised that I was in the minority, that it came down to my personal taste as a gamer and wasn’t really a reflection on the game, so I went into Dishonored Definitive Edition with a more open mind.
The biggest let down is that Dishonored Definitive Edition is basically a port. There is a slight improvement to the graphics on the Xbox One from the Xbox 360 version, but when compared to the PC, I struggled to see much of a difference. I would have preferred is this was a Remastered Edition but as it stands, there is nothing “Definitive” about it.
The gameplay is the same as the original release, something I think fans will be thankful for as it is solid at its core. You still have the same options available to you when choosing how to take care of Dunwall’s more sinister citizens. Sneaking around a brothel and infiltrating gang hideouts is still a thrilling and tense affair, dropping onto enemies from the rooftops is satisfying and charging a squad of City Watch is still exhilarating. The verticality remains and elements of exploration can still be seen throughout your adventures. But then it would be the same, there’s no real change in Dishonored Definitive Edition, as I said. It is a port: plain and simple.
Dishonored Definitive Edition comes with three mission DLC packs: Dunwall City Trials, a collection of standalone levels that will test a range of your skills, The Knife of Dunwall and Brigmore Witches, the tale of Daud. Daud is the assassin responsible for the death of the Empress at the beginning of the game. Daud has different weapons and skills from our main hero Corvo and these will be carried over from The Knife of Dunwall to Brigmore Witches, as long as you complete the story that is. It adds a little diversity to the gameplay and is a nice addition to Dishonored Definitive Edition but it was also included in the Game of The Year version that was released on the Xbox 360.
Sadly Dishonored Definitive Edition doesn’t add anything to the franchise. There is a noticeable difference in the textures of scenery from the original release on previous gen consoles, but when compared to PC the differences are negligible. The DLC adds some value to this title although once again, we have had the same offerings in the past. I can’t help but feel that other developers have done a better job at making their rereleases something new. After games like Gears of War Remastered and Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched on the Xbox One, Gears of War with all new and never before seen story content, upgraded and rebalanced multiplayer and vastly improved visuals, and Halo MCC launching with a total of four complete games (five if you count players who got Halo 3: ODST included) and all of the multiplayer maps that have been created for Halo, that Dishonored Definitive Edition feels like a cop out. The gameplay is as solid as it ever was but it is three years old now and other games have done open world/sandbox games better. If you never played Dishonored before, then it may be a good decision to pick this up. But with no new content and only slightly improved visuals, it lacks the value for money if you have already played through the game before.
During my entire time playing through Dishonored Definitive Edition, there was only one thought in my head, that this has been released for one reason only: create hype for Dishonored 2. I imagine that was the mantra in the meeting where Bethesda made the decision to release a “Definitive Edition”. As far as this reviewer’s opinion goes…. That’s just not enough to warrant gamers to pay $40 for a three-year-old game.
If you never played Dishonored then Dishonored Definitive Edition may be a worthy buy for you. If you have, and have already played the DLC, then this release offers nothing new. The gameplay is still fun and offers choice to the player but with no “new” content and with a graphical facelift that any socialite would demand their money back, I think that releasing this Definitive Edition is simply Bethesda trying to maintain the hype for Dishonored 2.
• Graphics – 90/100
• Audio— 88/100
• Gameplay— 86/100
• Story— 78/100
• Value For Money—60/100
Overall – 82.8