First time through, Nonlethal and All-Ghost run. Wouldn't recommend doing that on the initial playthrough, since it gets pretty frustrating. Completion time was 18 hours, only skipped a few runes/charms, played on Normal. I won't dwell on the obvious points like atmosphere and graphics (both of which were great on PC).
Pros: - The low chaos ending is great.
- Story does a great job of crafting realistic, flawed villains.
- Sneaking around and systematically taking out enemies is absolutely exhilarating when there are no technical hiccups.
- Exploring in search of runes and treasure is a very fun way to extend your playthrough. Optional areas often hold pretty substantial secrets.
- Entire Boss Fights can be skipped with a single, well timed choke or dart. Take note, Deus Ex!
Cons: -Blink can be difficult to aim. The reticule can be annoyingly finicky about giving you the landing point you want.
-Powers other than Blink and Dark Vision, and Gadgets other than Sleeping Darts are virtually useless in a nonlethal run. Even Possession and Bend Time are pretty underwhelming by comparison.
-Choking can sometimes be entirely unresponsive in crucial moments. Nothing is worse than blinking behind an enemy only to block and have them turn around.
-Nonlethal lacks any sort of direct melee or fast alternative to choking. Corvo should have been able to use the environment more cleverly to knock opponents out, instead of always needing to awkwardly maneuver to their backs.
- PC Only: The Quicksave option is unreliable. I would often find that my quicksaves failed to register upon quickloading, despite the save icon appearing. This can cost a good 5-10 minutes of progress, which is a lot given the amount of precision required in a nonlethal run.
Overall I'd say the pros outweigh the cons, but there is definitely a good bit of technical frustration that I hope sees a patch in the near future. The low chaos ending feels so thematically appropriate that I can't recommend going down the dark side without seeing the best outcome first. Going entirely ghost and nonlethal, however, might be a bit much for a first run.
I look forward to going insane in my next run and making good use of Corvo's deadly arsenal.
That's my biggest complaint so far. Is that for a game that definitely encourages you to be nonlethal you can only choke them out from behind. In reality, even someone who is untrained should be able to smack someone hard on the head or something. There's fifty million ways to kill people in this game, but really only two ways to incapacitate enemies nonlethal.
I am not even half way done but I agree with your review completely.
"Every game with online has jackasses, they're the thing that brings balance to the force.........." -kylekillgannon
Yeah, I've also gotten used to CQC from Metal Gear and fistfighting from Assassin's Creed. Corvo isn't a particularly muscly guy, but neither are Snake and Ezio and they still have at least some inherent martial arts training.
If Corvo doesn't, it makes you wonder how non-lethal he was as a bodyguard in the first place.