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Dishonored review round-up: Critics crown Game of the Year contender

All the Dishonored review scores in one place...

In CVG's Dishonored review our reviewer gave Arkane's stealth adventure an impressive 9.5 and called it "one of the greatest games of the generation."

"A world of unparalleled potential, married to a page-turning (button-pressing?) Orwellian tale of deception and redemption. Adventures this epic only come along once in a generation."

Dishonored has received a very positive critical reception across the board and for those that need a little more convincing (does anyone?!) we've gathered up as many reviews as we could find and listed them below.

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  • Official PlayStation Magazine: 9/10 - The buzz Dishonored will give you is unrivalled, and the spontaneous moments of brilliance you'll experience will be unique. It's a wake-up call for first-person gaming, resurrecting long-lost values and casually plunging a knife into the neck of the generic sequel.
  • The Escapist: 5/5 - Dishonored gives you a beautiful, fascinating, new world to explore, and then makes it your playground for grand misdeeds. Its story of political intrigue and betrayal is told at exactly the right pace, balancing information with action in a way that keeps you interested, but not overloaded. Dishonored is smart enough to know not to try too hard to impress you, and as a result, it will blow you away.
  • IGN: 9.2 - It's a shame that Dishonored's story isn't greater than the sum of its decidedly memorable parts, but its gameplay absolutely is. Each mission is built as an elaborate network of choices for players to explore, and the same can be said for Corvo himself. Each player's selection of powers, perks and other upgrades will inform how they see and interact with this world, and no two play-throughs will be exactly the same. Dishonored is a game you'll talk with your friends about, and that you'll want to play multiple times. In this game there are always other paths to be taken and other challenges to conquer, and that's a refreshing thing indeed.
  • GameSpot: 9.0 - Dishonored's engrossing world and intoxicating interplay of supernatural powers make it a game you'll want to play more than once.
  • StrategyInformer: 9.0 - The plot may be straightforward but the level of detail in the world could inspire countless fan fiction stories. Some choices may not have the consequences you'd demand from Deus Ex or The Witcher but the vast majority do and they'll blow your mind - you remember that side-quest I told you about earlier that sent me to another map entirely? I returned to it later in the game and my actions had left it overrun with Weepers. Get immersed in the world of Dunwall, of Tall-Boys, Weepers, Outsiders, Bone Charms and Granny Rags and you'll be thinking about it long after the credits roll. Here's what you're going to do: buy Dishonored, put it on your system of choice, sit down, take your time, and play until Bioshock Infinite or Thief 4 comes out. But as far as I'm concerned, Irrational and Eidos Montreal really have to step up their game now Dishonored is here. Amazing.
  • Joystiq: 4.5 - What makes Dishonored great are the mechanics made possible by the universe in which it exists. There is a level of replayability and creativity available here that isn't seen in most stealth action games. You aren't just figuring out how you need to get from point A to point B, but how you want to get there. Dishonored is a chat room and water cooler game, the sort where you'll remember your own choices after the game ends. I may not know how Dunwall came to be, but you can bet I'll be talking with friends about the time I've spent there.
  • OXM US: 9.0 - Dishonored's vague morality and stealth systems can be slightly disarming, but thankfully, the game's barely the worse for it. During most of your stay in Dunwall, you'll be captivated by the unique gameplay, gorgeous art direction, and engaging gameworld. Arkane Studios has crafted what's likely the year's best new IP, and by tapping into elements of so many of this generation's greatest games, this adventure sneaks up, grabs you, and won't let go.
  • GamesRadar: 4.5 - Dishonored combines a beautiful, stylized world filled with colorful characters, and gameplay freedom to form a fantastic adventure that you will want to revisit again and again. The open-style missions--combined with the weapons and abilities--make a thrilling playground to explore, tough enemies present a significant challenge, and the multiple outcomes, characters, and setting create an exhilarating world to discover. Dishonored is a game that you won't want to miss.
  • Polygon: 9/10 - Dishonored succeeds, despite its late narrative missteps. With everything against it, Arkane has created a game with a unifying vision and design that stands apart from its contemporaries as something different. But more importantly, Dishonored succeeds as an ambitious game not content to take one thing and do it well. It demands more than most games ever will of its player, and gives more to players than most other games will ever manage
  • Destructoid: 9.0 - Dishonored is that game of 2012. It's the big intellectual property that comes to retail and shows up the competition by being bold, original, and -- more importantly -- brilliant. Easily deserving of its place among the BioShocks and the Borderlandses, Arkane's aggressive, non-aggressive, unsubtle, sneaky, thoroughly versatile tale of intrigue makes for the kind of game that reminds us this generation isn't all straightforward shooters and "me too" trend-seekers. Its level design is some of the very best, its willingness to let the player decide their own path is exhilarating, and the satisfaction gleaned from a mission well done leaves one hungry for more.
  • VideoGamer: 8 - This is a solid single-player adventure that lasts a good amount of time, but it's just a shame that Arkane Studios can't make more of Dishonored's obvious potential. There's plenty of posturing, and the occasional promise of greatness, but ultimately the only part of Dishonored that has any real point is the end of Corvo's blade.
  • GameTrailers: 8.7 - Dishonored gives up big patches of world to explore, secrets to uncover, people to kill or spare, and many ways to go about it all. It's an interesting and often invigorating experience: a stealth game not weighed down by genre conventions, a first-person shooter where you don't have to fire a shot and where jumping won't cause you to pull your hair out. But the intricacy of all its moving parts makes its quirks and blemishes all the more damning. With a tweaked plot, more thoughtful and varied pacing, and better swordplay to match the brilliance of blink, Dishonored would be a classic instead of being merely excellent.
  • GameInformer: 8.75 - Though I was frustrated by the chaos system and how it steers your actions, the heart of Dishonored is about being inventive, adaptable, and ruthless. The team at Arkane Studios has injected an array of cool possibilities into the simulated city of Dunwall, and discovering them all is a blast. When you come face-to-face with the people who wronged you, your only dilemma is deciding which poetic method of elimination will produce coolest result.
  • GiantBomb: 4/5 - Dishonored's greatest contribution to the genre games like Deus Ex helped establish will be best appreciated by those who've been with it from the start, but Arkane has made a game rooted in manipulating artificial intelligence that plays just as well to the guy or gal who wants to shoot stuff. That's impressive.
  • Eurogamer: 8/10 - This is a muscular and confident game, one with the utmost faith in its own fiction and a dedication to gameplay satisfaction at a microscopic level, paid off in dozens of situations that feel completely random and organic, even when they've clearly been planted there for you to find. Tighter control and a more generous approach to replay value would elevate Dishonored to true classic status, but it stands as one of the year's best all the same.
  • Edge: 9: It's a brave and interesting statement to make about responsibility and the nature of choice, and if you don't mind being mildly rebuked for having uncomplicated fun, you don't need to engage with it at all. For the rest of us, it adds another layer to this sad city. It's a rare delight to play a game with such consistency of vision, its art design, level architecture, rulesets, storylines and writing all working in lockstep. It's more than enough to give you a deep connection to Dunwall, and the impulse to work to save it.
  • Digital Spy: 4/5: Dishonored's open-ended approach is a commendable one, but we felt the way it cheats the player out of the best ending if they choose the 'wrong' play style to be a bit frustrating. However, while it's a little short, Dishonored is ultimately a very enjoyable experience, with a vivid, unique world that will surprise whoever steps into it.
  • Mature Gamer: 5/5 - Dishonored is a stealth-based diamond of such shininess and purity that when you think about its future as a franchise you should consider wearing sunglasses, because it's just bright enough to be blinding. If people aren't talking about it yet, they will be very soon.
  • Spong: 9/10 - Everything about the design feeds into a very complete, considered package. Every design choice serves the sense of an off-kilter world into which you can step to make a difference in the way you best see fit.
  • Invision Community: 4.5/5: A mind-Blowing, truly impressive stealth game not seen since Thief from Eidos, Highly recommended.
  • 1UP: A+ - In Dishonored, every bit of conversation, piece of real estate, and game play element feels absolutely experience to the complete experience -- something that's difficult to claim with even the best of games. The lack of longstanding series recognition may give Harvey Smith's studio a bit of unfair competition in this sequel-heavy deluge of new releases, but when the press starts heralding their favorite games of 2012, expect to see Dishonored hovering at or around the top of just about everyone's list.
  • G4: 4.5/5 - Dishonored delivers on almost every admirably/crazily ambitious promise made by its creators. It's impeccably crafted gameplay and exquisitely haunting and detailed world stand in loving tribute to all of the iconic and acclaimed franchises that inspired it, and yet it still has a soul and style all its own.
  • GamerZines: 95% - An interactive masterpiece which will leave you clamouring for more!
  • ShopTo: Excellent: Dishonored may be based in the age of terror and corruption, but as long as you choose to have Corvo by your side, then you can't really go wrong.
  • The Sixth Axis: 9/10: Dishonored is a complex game, although there are only nine distinct missions, there's a lot involved in each one of them. The ability to return to any mission you've already completed and play through it in numerous ways not only provides plenty of longevity, it also encourages you to experiment and learn the intricacies of the game. This is not a first person shooter and it's not a stealth game: it's both and neither all at once. Dishonored is complex in its design and function but it's also narratively smart and well scripted for its stellar cast of actors. Names on the bill include Lena Heady, ChloŽ Grace Moretz, Michael Madsen and Susan Sarandon - all established, well known actors lending their considerable talents to this tale.

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