High - Dishonored
Low - AC3
WTF? - Why are these games ever seen as equals?
Recently I came out of my hermit-like state of eating frozen pizzas and watching Tarantino marathons, and went out to the bar with a few friends. One of my friends began talking with me, and stated "I like Dishonored, it's a bit like Assassin's Creed 3." We don't talk anymore. You see, I've now played both games through to completion, and I just can't see how Dishonored can be compared to Assassin's Creed 3, because in all seriousness, Assassin's Creed 3 sucks.
Let's take the story lines of both games first. Dishonored is the girl of your dreams, it's new, it's original, the entire campaign kept me engaged for literal days, I didn't leave the seat for hours. Then you look at the cast of this game, and you become honestly surprised at the amount of talent that's in the game. AC3 is a bit more like your least favorite aunt. The Assassin's Creed story line was solid, but it's overuse in 5 console games has left it tired and boring. Not only that, but it's now became so complex and surreal that people new to the franchise will be met with an instant migraine. Plus it's cast is still stuck in the C-E rate actor category. I mean c'mon, the most famous guy in this game is either Danny Wallace, a BBC radio DJ and writer, or the actor who played Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Then you've got the game mechanics, the foundation of any game. Dishonored has at its core possibly some of the most smooth gameplay I have ever experienced. With the key objective of each mission being to get past large quantities of hostiles in order to reach an assassination target, the game's fast and tight controls mean every move is completely on you, making it all the more satisfying if you can sneak past 40 guards. This feeling is amplified by a thousand by the game's weapon select screen merely slows down gameplay, rather than pausing it, meaning that rather than there being a break in gameplay, every move in one encounter with guards feels like it flows into the next, immersing you further into the game. To coincide with the varying routes and styles of gameplay you can utilise in Dishonored, your actions are reflected by your chaos meter, a semi-morality meter which influences the missions themselves by making your decisions in previous missions have direct impact on the environment, whether it be through an increase of security if you've being playing aggressively, or by adding bonus side missions if you've been playing a way it compliments.
To be fair, Creed has certainly improved it's gameplay, with movement being improved greatly. However, it falls down due to a poor control system, which means often when you want to run over a roof, you just jump off the top. Also, the fight gameplay still hasn't been improved since Brotherhood, meaning these movements are incredibly easy and dull, and the few weapons that have been added are merely variations of already established ones. I hate you bow. To top all of this off, even though almost all of the gameplay is the same as the last 3, what felt like a third of the game was one huge tutorial, making all of this time feel stilted and wasted.
In the end, when a developer does something original, with a lot of thought and planning put into every moment like what has been done by Arkane Studios in Dishonored, the game becomes a true experience, one you can't put down. When a game does the exact same thing it's prequels did, with a thin veil of improvement on top like Ubisoft have with AC3, making us all feel angry as consumers, who feel that we've been forced to pay for the same product again.