Wow! Bioshock meets Assassin's Creed.
That's how I thought of it anyways. I told a friend that and he thought i was nuts. haha He said we must have played Assassin's Creed differently and i'm sure that was probably true.
Smooth CombatThe combat in this game is some of the best i've ever played. The controls were perfect! I didn't encounter a single annoying or frustrating issue with any of the controls! I mean that's a major achievement all by itself in my opinion, especially after my experience with Far Cry 3's movements (another excellent game).
So, much like Bioshock (and other games) you use both hands for attacks, one for your melee weapon and the other for your magic or ranged weapons. You can counter attack your enemies with a parry which stuns them for a second giving you enough time to jam your sword through them in a few different random ways for some cool fatalities.
It was fun!!! You get magic abilities which allow you to slow time and freeze time, possess rats or people, teleport around and even summon a swarm of rats to devour your enemies. There's a lot of really cool stuff you get to do.
I didn't spend any time at all with the possess ability until the very end of the game where I thought to myself "I might as well try it now" and found it quite enjoyable. The possess ability is best used for stealthing through the game which is exactly why i didn't focus on it. =p I wanted to be able to experience the entirety of the game in a quicker manner so i could return it to Gamefly and get my next game of course.
Plot & LoreThe story is good, it's not great which is why it's such a good thing the combat was excellent. You may have seen meme's talking about how you kill a bunch of innocent people to prove your innocence or something but I do think that's pushing it a bit. Your main goal is to kill the people that framed you for the murder of the Empress.
While the story isn't deep, I thought it was entertaining enough. Also if you take the time to read books and diaries randomly spread throughout the city you learn some pretty interesting stuff about it. Not every book is a good read but a lot are and they offer a whole ton of insight on the world of Dunwall.
Ugly, Gorgeous WorldThe city itself is beautiful in an ugly way. It's dirty and kind of falling apart but beautiful because of its steam-punk style architecture. Then once you enter the actual buildings themselves it turns into a whole new world! I could not believe how impressive the insides of the inn's and homes were inside this city. They were gorgeous.
I really love the art style of the game. I'm always impressed by realistic graphics but I still prefer my games to be more cartoony or fantasy based. There's actually some pretty nice artwork as pictures on the walls spread around in the city too. Being an artist makes me more appreciative of stuff like that.
The City Hated Me!I did find it funny and kind of annoying that the entire city's town folk knew I was the bad guy and were ridiculously scared of me, screaming out for help just for walking near them.
Also sometimes these citizens would just fall over and die if I bumped into them. Not always, usually they would be knocked over and get back up but often enough to be noticeable they would just fall over dead. Funny but annoying.
Final ThoughtsI'm not sure what the length of the game is. On Easy and without stealthing I know it's for sure at least 10 hours long. You can probably triple that if you want to stealth the whole thing.
For me this game is a keeper. I will definitely buy it when it's on a super cheap sale. I don't want to be cheap but i have to be cuz i'm poor! It sucks, I would love to give these devs a nice chunk of money for their wonderful work but i simply cannot afford to.
I think there is a ton of worthy replay value. I'm definitely interested in trying to get through the entire game without killing any guards or even without being spotted at all. That is a nice challenge.
It's Sunday right now so I can't mail this game back to Gamefly just yet so I will play a bit more and see what i can do.
The ending itself was disappointing. The story wasn't super deep but it was decent enough to deserve better. They do hint at a different ending for killing less and less people in the game and stuff. I hope it's a much better improvement. If not that's still ok, the game as a whole is damn good.
Update: A Brief Stealthy ReturnI've been replaying the game since I won't be returning it until tomorrow and after playing through the game pretty much full on open combat, playing stealth is extremely rewarding! The story seems a bit bitter and it's just really cool. It's impressive how different it is.
If you want another opinion you should read a friend of mine's truly excellent review at: http://steamcommunity.com/id/DaNCeSWiTHBuLLeTS/recommended/205100 =)