Disclaimer: I have only played through the game once as Emily, low-chaos.
The original Dishonored was one of my favorite games of the last generation. It was unique, had tons of lore, and was atmospheric with interesting and creative powers. The story was rich with twists and turns, taking you all over Dunwall to hunt down your targets. Dishonored 2 builds upon and improves the concepts that the original had; refining combat and options for non-lethal. In the original game, you really only had the option of choking enemies out or using sleep darts. Here, you have abilities such as Domino and Shadow Walk, allowing for non-lethal to be more viable throughout. In active combat non-lethal can also be used as you get a chance to choke enemies out if you stun them. However, lethal is also refined and improved, with sword combat feeling incredibly accessible and the integration of powers in open combat is nearly seamless.
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The maps you explore in the new city of Karnaca are large and intricate, especially the Clockwork Mansion. They are full of hidden rooms and small side activities to complete while you’re there, such as blowing up the back wall of a black market shop to rob it, or stealing a corpse. The enemies are just difficult enough to feel fair without feeling cheap. I like the choice the game gives at the very beginning, too choose between either Emily or Corvo. I can already tell that I’m going to be playing this a bunch, finishing up my first playthrough as Emily, doing a second playthrough as Corvo, playing with no powers, and doing a high chaos run. That sounds like a lot, but since I’m enjoying my time so much, it’s worth that kind of time.
The story presented here is entertaining, and builds off the events of the first game in an interesting and effective way. However to understand the state of the world, its characters, and just who the main antagonist, Delilah, is, playing the first game and its ‘Knife of Dunwall’ DLC is highly recommended here. Similarly to the first game, you’ll be seeking to clear your name and seek justice. You will also have a hub to explore between missions, but compared to the original’s Hound Pits, the Dreadful Wale, and boat, this feels largely uninteresting and doesn’t really have much too it. As you progress through the game, the allies you make will generally congregate in that one area, allowing you to keep up with their stories, and how they are involved in yours.
That sounds like a lot, but since I’m enjoying my time so much, it’s worth that kind of time.
To upgrade the mysterious powers you receive early on (which can be refused for a playthrough with no powers), you must find Runes and to gain random perks or other special abilities, you must find Bone Charms. These can affect your attack speed, damage, etc. However, there are also Corrupted Bone Charms that come with a detriment. For example, you can deal more damage with your sword, but attack speed will be slowed. Or your crossbow will do more damage, but the bolts will break more often when shot at enemies. Ultimately, it is a question of risk vs. reward that can completely change a player’s experience throughout. While these items are definitely important, the sheer amount of them can be almost overwhelming. I look at the area, and the icons for Runes and Bone Charms pop up all over.
Eventually, I just gave up on what I couldn’t reach and managed with what I had collected, but if you’re a completionist, you’re really in for a challenge. Especially considering that to 100% this game, you will have to play it multiple times.
Ultimately, it is a question of risk vs. reward that can completely change a player’s experience throughout.
Ultimately, Dishonored 2 ranks at a 9/10.
The game is largely similar to the last but adds a lot of newnesses so it doesn’t feel like a carbon copy of the original title. The refined gameplay, interesting world building and powers, along with the vertical and complex map design made this title unique and distinctive from the other games on the market. However, its uninteresting main hub, along with the overwhelming amount of Runes and Bone Charms bring it down slightly for me. But this game is definitely a solid title that more people should pay attention to. It would really be sad if this game went away unnoticed when it deserves more attention than it’s getting.
So what did you guys think of the sequel to Dishonored? Did you want more from it, or were you satisfied in its familiarity to the original? Let us know in the comments!
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