Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Dishonored Dilemma

As you readers may have noticed, I've been pretty MIA lately, something that is not very normal for All Things Fangirl. Life has gotten pretty busy in ways that haven't let me geek out as much as I like. Yes, I started both Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad and have been making my regular trips to Golden Apple, but I still haven't *opened* Uncharted 3, my most anticipated game of last year, and have a list of no fewer than 15 movies currently in theaters or on VOD that I absolutely must see ASAP. And fall TV starts *when*?!!?

So today as I finally have a day off and decide to do some spring (or fall, whatevs, shh) cleaning, I come across all of my E3 goodies and am reminded of the game that took my breath away perhaps most at the conference, Dishonored. So I immediately took to the internets to see about where to pre-order.

I was aghast to discover that there are four completely different pre-order packages available, each of which is supposed to cater to a different style of game play. Um. Look. I watched a phenomenal half hour demo and played the game for 20 minutes at E3 and I certainly have no idea what style of game play I prefer - so how is anyone who hasn't even done that much supposed to know? This led me to discover that Assassin's Creed three has SIX pre-order packages. But let's stay on Dishonored. Here are the pre-order options broken down

Best Buy
* $20 coupon towards next game
* USB Whale Oil Lamp Shadow Rat Pack :
* DELICATE TOUCH: Breaking Glass noise reduction
* VOYEUR: Key-hole peeping magnification
* DEEP BREATHER: Underwater breathing capacity bonus
* GOLDEN RAT STATUE: Unlocks one additional slot for bone charm bonuses (start with an extra slot earlier on)
* UNHIDDEN BOOK: "Filed Notes: The Royal Spy"

Backstreet Butcher Pack:
* FENCER: sword vs. sword advantage bonus
* FIRE WATER: increased whiskey bottle explosions
* BLAST RESISTANT: reduced explosion damage taken
* WOLFHOUND IN-GAME STATUE: unlocks one additional slot for bone charm bonuses (start with an extra slot earlier on)
* UNHIDDEN BOOK: "Early Life and Times: Slackjaw"

Acrobatic Killer Pack:
* RAVEN: Health bonus for drop-down assassination
* QUICK DODGE: Bolt / arrow dodging bonus
* RIVER AFFINITY: Increased swimming speed
* HAGFISH IN-GAME STATUE: Unlocks one additional slot for bone charm bonuses (start with an extra slot earlier on)
* UNHIDDEN BOOK: "Rumours and Sightings: Daud"

Game Stop
* Dishonored 72 Tarot Card Deck
Arcane Assassin Pack:
* VOID CHANNEL: Powers duration and damage bonus
* WHITE RAT FRIEND: White rats will not be hostile
* GUTTER FEAST: White rat consumption for mana
* WHALE IN-GAME STATUE: Unlocks one additional slot for bone charm bonuses (start with an extra slot earlier on)
* UNHIDDEN BOOK: "Filed Notes: The Journal of Granny Rags"

Is this a thing now? I mean I know for a while you could get a deck of cards from one place or a coupon from another or free DLC from another, but these packages are too much. To give away actual *abilities* that change the game, without knowing which you would want or how to even know which ones you would want? Why?? Especially for a completionist like me, it's torture to know that there are certain elements I will never get to explore or sample. If it came down to items, then sure, narrow it down to Game Stop or Best Buy, and decide between the cards or the lamp. It it comes down to value, Best Buy gives you the money towards your next game, so, great. But it's not just items or value here, it's changing the entire effing gameplay experience.

So here, readers, for you, in case it helps, is my step by step process in deciding where to pre-order. Well. We'll see if a decision is made by the end of this experiment.

In terms of simply powers, Wal-Mart sounds the best, especially considering at the very least I know I like stealth, so a health bonus for stealthy kills interests me greatly, but it's Wal-Mart, the one place I *won't* buy *anything*!  Wal-Mart, you're out.

Amazon, I get free shipping and extra points on my Amazon credit card, and probably have some credit stashed away, but the powers seem to lean most towards playing specifically with fire, and melee. Generally I loves me some melee, but in a game that could be played entirely without direct confrontation if you wanted, why would I want to choose a package that is only valuable if I engage? Amazon, you're out.

So this brings us back to the options with items, Best Buy vs. Game Stop.

But honestly, how often are you going to use either one? Moot point.

So let's take a look at the powers, Shadow Rat vs Arcane Assassin. At Best Buy, the Shadowrat Pack seems to be the one *most* useful for stealth. Stay quieter, spy more efficiently and swim for longer without needing to come up for water. While all three of these are very specific and you only get the benefits in the situations where you need to break glass, look through a keyhole, or go swimming, the combo of the three really ups the chances of you kicking some stealth ass. But feel like playing bloody and these perks do pretty much nothing, unless you are escaping from someone via water. Speaking with what little knowledge I have of the game after spending roughly an hour with it, I have to say that Arcane Assassin's Void Channel is looking *really* good to me. Why? Powers duration and damage bonus works whether you play the game bloodily or stealthily. And frankly, so do using white rats for Mana (think EVE from Bioshock) and not getting damage from white rats! From the perspective of best in game value, I might actually be leaning towards Arcade Assassin from Game Stop.

But Best Buy will save me $20 when I buy Assassin's Creed 3 or Bioshock Infinite or Grand Theft Auto V?

Effing damnit. I don't know. At least I've narrowed it down to Best Buy vs Game Stop, right?

So which one are you going for, readers, and if you think Shadowrat > Arcade Assassin, please tell me why!


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