Dishonored is a pretty amazing game, but its so-called "morality system" always seemed a little weird to me. I mean, story-wise, the plot centers around revenge, and the protagonist Corvo is an assassin with magical powers. And yet, if he actually does his job — and does it really well, complete with creative and imaginative use of powers — the game marks you as a "bad person" and you get the Bad Person Ending.

Now, I think I understand the reasoning behind it. The game's designers wanted multiple endings for the story, all based on what the people choose to do over the course of the game. But by sticking to a straight "good/evil playthrough" system, I think the designers might have missed an opportunity here. I'd like to think there were better alternatives.

For example, instead of "morality," how about an "espionage" system? Let's say that in addition to eliminating high-priority bad guys, each mission also had optional objectives, like stealing secret plans, sabotaging equipment, etc. If you did them well, your Espionage score goes up, while not doing them (or doing them badly) negatively impacts your score. At the end of the game, your score decides whether you get a good ending or not.

"That's too bland and straightforward," some people might say (and they might point out how that pretty much just rips off Mass Effect 3). Also, you could argue that part of what makes the story interesting is how Corvo reacts to being given magical powers, and what he does with them.

This leads to another system. There are Dishonored players who prefer to rely ONLY on Corvo's non-magical abilities, and who see the use of magic as a crutch. So what if the game's designers made that decision a major part of the game? Instead of a Morality system, what if there was a — for lack of a better name — Supernatural-ness system? The more Corvo relies on his powers, the more it affects his thinking. Heavy magic use might turn the protagnist into a monster as deranged and delusional as Granny Rags or Delilah; a warped creature who exists solely as entertainment for the Outsider, and the players get some form of Bad Ending. On the other hand, if Corvo relies purely on cunning and human skill, then when the game ends, he's still sane and gets the Good Ending.

And that's just two ideas; I'm sure people can come up with others. The point is, when it comes to things like multiple endings for video games, a straight "good/evil" morality system isn't the only one that exists, and in some cases it might not make all that much sense (such as when you're playing a supernaturally-skilled assassin!). The Mass Effect series did a pretty good job with this, and I kind of wish that other video games would follow suit.