Dishonored is an immersive-sim game set in a fictional world that recalls the Victorian Era imaginary. The player takes on the role of Corvo, the Royal Protector and master of spies that is accused of killing the Empress. To redeem his name and save the princess, Emily, he makes a deal with a mysterious demigod known as The Outsider. The game mainly relies on stealth and exploration mechanics, allowing the players to take on diverse approaches for solving each puzzle or given situation.
- In the game world, the most important source of energy is whale oil. Whaling is also a common activity for food consumption. Both issues are addressed in the narrative as problems that need to be solved
- The game is set during a plague carried out by rats. This becomes a relevant element in the game mechanics, as the player can feed incapacitated enemies to the rats and, by doing so, accelerate the spreading of the plague
- The player can control animals (dogs, rats and fish) with a shamanic power
- The player can also control human NPCs with the same power
- Economic inequalities and workers conditions are a background theme in the game narrative, largely inspired by the industrial era in Europe. Level design also emphasizes poverty, harsh difficult conditions of marginalized people in industrial cities
- A level of the game takes place inside of a whale slaughterhouse, showing both the atrocities of whaling and the harsh conditions of laborers