Overrated vs Underrated: Amalur vs Dishonored

Posted on December 7, 2012 - 2:05pm by AgentKane

The year is coming to a end and everyone's Game of the Year picks are showing up and one of the most games I see being picked is Dishonored. What is Dishonored for those who don't know? It is a stealth game that promises you that you can play whatever way you want as you are givien so many ways to either kill your target or to spare them. Set in a steampunk world of chaos and corruption, the game was sure to make it on almost everyone's game of the year list. However, I would not put it on there.

Every since day one I was so hyped for this game. It had everything I wanted but when I bought it I was so disappointed. Maybe I was too hyped. I mean, look at what happens to a game you were not hyped for and you enjoy it. Like I did with Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning.

What is Amalur for those who don't know? It is a action RPG set in a massive world that promised 200 hours of gameplay? Wow...wait why wasn't I hyped for this one? Was the demo did little to wow me but thanks to ScrewAttack's review, I bit the bullet and bought it and it was worth it. Now how is this game underrated? Well sadly the developers who made this game needed it to be a success and since the game was a month away from Mass Effect 3, many gamers passed on it. The game wasn't a success and now, many see Amalur as a game so bad, it killed it's developers which is a damn shame. I'll go into more about this later.

Now that the year is coming to a end, I will compare these two games. Keep in mind, these are my opinions. You are free to have your own and please be civil in the comments. Thank you.

Gameplay
 
How on earth can I compare a action RPG to a stealth? Talk about apples and oranges. I will compare these games based on what they promised and that is quite simple due to both promises you could play however you wanted. First, let's go with Dishonored.
 
 
Dispite promising the multiple ways to take out your target, you have limited ways to go about things quietly. To kill you could stab, shoot, poison, tear apart, burn or even kill them with rats. Almost every ability you had was made for you to become walking death. Now say you want a no killing route. Well you can only choke or put them to sleep with darts. None of the abilities you get promote playing this way. Every ability that promote this also promotes you killing them. Granted your high profile targets have a special way to take them out without killing but just one way. THIS MAYBE SPOILERS: Halfway through the game you have to take out a woman named Lady Boyle and the non lethal way to take her out is to knock her out and deliver her to a random man who loves her. This mission could have had multiple ways to take her out without killing her like say, have the citizens barge in a steal everything she owns leaving her poor or have a noble blackmail her so she has to leave. The game doesn't even feel right for stealth in general. When Skyrim, a non stealth does stealth better than you then you have done something wrong. There could have been multiple way but there is only one way. It is the same way throughout the game. Is this the same in Amalur?
 
 
Now this game does not have a morality system like Dishonored does. Instead the play your way options are only in the combat itself and wouldn't you know it, you can. Like in Skyrim but nowhere near as indepth, there are no classes. You can give yourself perks to upgrade certain fields at the start but even then you can start with nothing but a blank slate. When you level you are free to mix and match in whatever skill tree you want. Want a rogue who can use healing magic? Go for it. Want a fighter who is deadly with a bow? Go for it. You can do whatever and the game doesn't punishes you for it. In fact it encourages you to do this and early on without having to spend the time like in Skyrim.
 
Now what about the stories? Is Amalur still better than Dishonored?
Story
 
This time, let's start with Amalur's story.
 
Amalur's story is incredibly weak. So weak that I'll be honest the I stopped caring about. For starters it uses the tired "Choose Your Fate" set up. Granted it did do it better than others but it was bland. You start out with whoever you created dead, however you come back to life thanks to a weird experiment and you meet up with a fate weaver who explains everyone's fate is already chosen and there is no changing it. However since you came back from the dead, your fate is unchosen and you can stop the big evil who is chosen to reign evil across the world. Like with most stories like this it is the characters who make up for it and again, they are quite dull. However, I expected this. I didn't go into this game for the story. Now I am a big supporter of games with good stories but even I can let go and enjoy the game. Trust me, if I was comparing this story to The Walking Dead's story then I would tear this game apart. Instead, I am comparing it to Dishonored's story.
 
 
With the original setting, top quality developers and even A-List actors to portray the story, you would think Dishonored would have a story that would be one of the best right? Well I am sorry but no. This story is very dull and unlike Amalur, I went in expecting a great story. The game is centered around revenge. You were the guard to the emperess and you were framed for her death. Thanks to some obvious backstabbers, you are able to escape prison and you must go after those who framed you and those who kidnapped the true heir to the throne. Again this story has been done before but the characters themselves could have bought it out more but thanks to the bland writing and boring performances from great actors like Brad Doriff. Now how could I forgive Amalur and not this? Well this had the makings to be something and instead it is very boring. So boring that it hurt the gameplay. I was so disinterested to see what if I did this instead of this? The only thing that was interesting that I saw was the final level changing from night setting if you chose a lethal path to daylight if you chose a non lethal path. Everything else was so small that only the most diehard fan would care about. I am sorry but I shouldn't have cared more about Black Ops 2's story more than this. 
 
In short, I know I am in the minority for this. Sites including ScrewAttack are naming Dishonored as their game of the year. I can't change how people see this game. Who knows, maybe the sequel will both have a better story and allow for more options for stealth. I mean, it is a stealth game you know? 

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