Dishonored: 7 Launch Day Tips

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Dishonored: 7 Launch Day Tips

By now, you may have already picked up Dishonored, Arkane Studios’ well-reviewed stealth-action PS3 game that’s now available on Blu-ray and PSN as part of PlayStation Store’s Day 1 Digital program.

Dishonored is a complex, nuanced game that empowers players to make important decisions — not the least of which is who lives and who dies. To ease the learning curve, I’ve put together some helpful (and spoiler-free!) tips to get you sneaking smoothly on day one. If you picked up a copy of the game, share your own strategies in the comments below.

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1. Playing lethal is easier, but nonlethal is more fun. One of Dishonored’s fundamental charms is that a properly motivated player can progress through the entire game without killing a soul. The nonlethal route requires patience and sacrifice, and as such you’ll rely on running, hiding, and stealthy strangulations punctuated by the occasional Sleeping Dart. But it’s also immensely rewarding, giving the game a supercharged nervous tension as you stalk your prey, then Blink in from behind to deliver a sleeper hold using R2.

Of course, slashing off heads and slitting throats is all in good fun too, and it may be an easier approach for beginners. Because your death count has an effect on Dishonored’s storyline and even some of the enemy types you’ll encounter, it pays to make a choice early on and try to stick to it.

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2. Max out Blink and Dark Vision right away. Whether you employ lethal or nonlethal tactics, these two skills are flat-out indispensible. Blink is a short-ranged instantaneous teleport that’s useful for both navigation and offense. Spend extra Runes and you’ll upgrade your teleporting range. Dark Vision is also a go-to, and enables you to peer through walls to see patrolling guards and other lurking threats. Upgrade Dark Vision to highlight any nearby loot or traps, too.


3. Shadows won’t save you. Most stealth games task you with using darkness to cover your movements. But Dishonored puts the emphasis on line of sight — that means you’ll want to keep objects and structures in between yourself and enemies as much as possible, peeking out using the Triangle button. Shadows still help conceal you, but only to distant enemies.

4. Upgrade your Bone Charms early. With the help of a gruesome device called the Heart, you’ll be able to see hidden Runes and Bone Charms that are stashed amongst Dunwall’s many nooks and crannies. Bone Charms bestow passive bonuses such as more health, extra mana from potions, and faster nonlethal takedowns; Runes go towards new skills and skill upgrades.

By default, you’re limited to equipping three Bone Charms at a time. But spend a few Runes and you can raise that limit to six Bone Charms, a price absolutely worth paying as soon as you can afford it.

5. Sleeping Darts are the best weapon in the game. These little beauties are worth your attention whether you’ve chosen lethal or nonlethal tactics. Sleeping Darts are cheap, quiet, and knock out most enemies with just one hit. In fact, their only shortcoming is the fact that you can carry just 10 at a time. Use them wisely!


6. Use grenades as pest control. Dishonored’s grenades pack a punch, but they’re best saved for close encounters with ravenous rat packs — one well-placed explosive will smear the whole lot of them, saving you a lot of frantic leaping and shrieking. Grenades are also handy against river krusts, the acid-spewing barnacle-like creatures you’ll sometimes find breeding underneath docks and near sewer drains.


7. Fight only when you must. That towering Tallboy makes for a tempting target, right? Though you could probably pop an oil tank with a well-placed Incendiary Arrow, it’s safer and smarter to avoid conflict, using stealth to bypass it or the Possess spell to temporarily assume command. Weepers are another major nuisance, especially later in the game — your best bet is to run and hope they lose interest!

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5 Author Replies

  • My biggest tip that I can give to everyone is that the game is so good that it’s worth playing a couple of times

  • Thanks for the tips, Sid. I’m probably going to get this, but much later when I whittle down my backlog. My backlog which started 11/11/11 when Skyrim dropped. I’m still peeved with Beth, who is just the publisher of this game. But I do love the stealth mode. I’m using it to great, if slow, effect in Dark Souls.

  • My biggest tip: Don’t buy this game, Bethesda’s name on it alone should deter all PS3 users. Arkane is the studio who hurts the most from boycotting the PS3 version but they never should have partnered up with Bethesda. Bethesda are the worst publishers and developers in the industry.

  • @ 3

    I have the game and it runs really smooth.

  • @#3, RichieAppel: “My biggest tip: Don’t buy this game, Bethesda’s name on it alone should deter all PS3 users. Arkane is the studio who hurts the most from boycotting the PS3 version but they never should have partnered up with Bethesda. Bethesda are the worst publishers and developers in the industry.”

    Awful advice. It’s not Arkane’s fault they partnered with Bethesda. Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry already did a detailed technical analysis of all versions of Dishonored and the PS3 version is fantastic, besting both the 360 and even PC in some respects.

    • Really?! I’ll have to check that out. I know they’ve made no bones about the fact that they’re really proud of the PS3 version

  • To be fair, @4 infamous, Skyrim ran pretty well the first 100 hours for me, or maybe 200. It all started to go awry when the filesave size hit 11 meg. So it’s too soon to pass judgment on Dishonored. But yes, a different developer, we know. I’ll be interested to hear further reports.

  • For anyone doubting the quality of the PS3 version of Dishonored:

  • Anybody else seeing HORRIFICALLY slow downloads for the digital copy? I’ve been downloading for an hour now and it’s at… 3%. Won’t be playing at all tonight at this rate!

  • @7 hour and half !

  • @8 WOW. I have a 40Mb connection too. WTH is wrong!? 11% now… so lame!

  • Thanks for the tips, Sid!

    Just picked up my copy a few minutes ago, installing now. :)

  • Great tips SId!
    That’s reassuring to hear the PS3 version is just as awesome.I’ll be picking this up next week :)

  • I’ve really been looking forward to this game for a long time, and the trailer alone using “Drunken Whaler” gives me chills. But I’m not a real big fan of games in first-person. Is there any chance of a demo? I’m pretty sure this is a must-buy, but even some of my favorite series have burned me before.

  • @7, @8, @9

    Why would anyone want to download the game, when it costs just as much at retail, is beyond me. It would take you less time to run to your closest game store and just buy the damn thing. You’ll be playing in no time. Plus, you would hold something in your hands, so you’re not just buying ones and zeroes.

    Also – thanks Bethesda for including an actual manual. So few publishers do this nowadays, it’s actually really sad.

    • The appeal to a digital version, at least for me, is the ability to load it up quickly without digging around for a disk. It’s a minor thing, but I think I play more games because of it – sometimes I’ll think “I’d love to play game X” but then I realize I’d have to dig in my closet for it. I guess I’m lazy :P

  • @5 whatisdelicious

    You exaggerate quite a bit there. X360 and PS3 versions are pretty close, PS3 version has a bit of frame rate chop here and there in the beginning, but nothing to spaz about. Lack of Anti-Aliasing hurts this game a little.

    PC version hands down still better and i’m saying that based off of what I played on a Geforce GTX260 running at true 1080p.

    All in all the PS3 version is a worth while version to pick up. I’ve been playing for about 9 hours across all three platforms ( 3 each), I’ll be shooting for my platinum on this one. It’s a must pick up for PS3 owners. Only real downside about the X360 version is the install is not mandatory and the game feels it.

  • @13
    Some people just like the novelty of launching games from their hard drive. It does have its appeal, but I agree with you. I had my copy sent to me from amazon with their release date delivery where I work. Came home, poped the disc in for the install and update (wouldn’t know if it had one since I didn’t need to baby sit, good job on this account Arkane Studios) and by time I was done cleaning up from dinner it was ready to play.

  • @13
    i bought this digitally because it was $53.99 for preorder (plus users). i also took advantage of another promotion where you spend $100 and receive $20 back next month. so technically, this only set me back $33.99

  • @ Comments about Bethesda as a pub. I think there is a bad taste with lots of games, either poor performance, Day 1/ On Disc DLC, Season Passes, the list goes on….too many new things for people to swallow in one console generation imo.

    Sucks because maybe a game is amazingly phenomenal but due to whatever has happened in the past people think twice or pass all together…

    I have passed myself on this day 1 due to issues with skyrim, separate dev but same pub, and Publisher is what is smacking everyone in the forehead.

    Game does look awesome, I might pick it up after Borderlands 2 is finished with ” me “.

    DD is great for Handhelds, pass on full blown console releases, You never really own anything digital.

  • I was looking forward to freezing time and killing anything with a heart beat. Oh well, I might still do that and play more stealthy on my second playthrough.

  • will check this out :P

  • sid I have to say man thank you very much for the tips to the game still need to buy it off my psn account uh just been very busy and have been trying my very best to get myself back into the gaming world I am REALLY!!!!! looking forword to putting my free time tours this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I should be receiving the game in the mail today from Gamefly. I’m not flat out buying this game until i know for sure the PS3 version is up to snuff.

    Plus Bethesda’s name being attached to this in any way leaves me with a bad feeling about this.

  • looks like good game

  • I really love this game!! And why wouldn’t I? It’s made in the old “looking glass entertainment” style of divergent gameplay that made games like Thief and dues ex instant classics. It’s also made by the ARkane these guys know this style of game. They mastered it with Arx fatalis and Dark messiah of might and magic , plus to some extent bioshock 2 which offered a lot of freedom to accomplish missions. The game also has co-creator of deus ex 1 and the art director from half-life 2 in their team. All that alone makes it worth a look, and the actual great divergent gameplay makes it worth a purchase and the combination….bam instant classic!

    I have been hooked playing this. if only i had more time. I really hope more people buy it though. I haven’t seen anyone in my fiends list playing it and that bothers me. You gamers need to buy new Ips like this and stop filling activision coffers with cash…or we will only have tripe cod clones forever… This is a single player masterpiece and if you haven’t picked this up yet..get it! You dont know what you are missing!

  • I was on the fence about this game but with all the positive comments here, I think I’ll pick it up. I just need to finish Darksiders 2.

  • MidnightShade I completely agree with you man, loving it so far. Nice Avatar by the way! :D

  • I was thinking of maxing out my Blink and Posess spells first but after reading this I’m going to have seriously reconsider my strategy.

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