Scattered Thoughts on Dishonored
Alexius and I have been playing Dishonored recently and trying different play through methods — pacifist runs, blood bath runs, etc. With the expansive world of the game, there are many options and branching pathways to choose from. The replay value in this game is high.
One thing I’ve noticed is the concept of noblesse oblige implicitly explored. The empress killed at the beginning of the game was one concerned for her people ravaged by the rat plague. The men vying for power in her absence likely couldn’t care less. If you get the better ending (low chaos), the empire reaches a golden age thanks to your efforts. The newly crowned Emily assumes the throne and rules with wisdom, while scientists Piero and Sokolov develop a cure for the rat plague that ails the city. Get the darker ending (high chaos), and Emily instead is a tyrant. But you only have yourself to blame as she imprints her behaviour from you. Slaughtered all of those in your way? She’ll learn to do the same, and the empire suffers for it. It’s “with great power comes great responsibility” with a gilded yet grungy Victorian setting.
I also find it interesting that some of the ways to eliminate your enemies non-leathally involve kinds of dishonoring. High Overseer Campbell can be branded as a outcast instead of killed, while the Lord Regent can be exposed as, essentially, a traitor to his people. These are also the preferred methods of disposing these characters in order to get a better ending. Perhaps revenge is best served bloodless with a large helping of irony?