*This article will be discussing the latest entry within the Dishonored series. It may contain spoilers in some areas of the game.
Arkane Studios comes swinging out of the gate with this first person, action-adventure, stealth based game. Dishonored 2 features two playable protagonists: the return of Corvo Attano, as well as his daughter Emily Kaldwin, Empress of the Isles. Taking place 15 years after its prequel, we find ourselves set in the biggest betrayal yet. Utilizing different powers, abilities and more, will we be able to restore our name back to the throne?
Systems (s): Microsoft Windows, Playsation 4, Xbox One
Developer: Arkane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Release Date: November 11, 2016
Retaining many of the gameplay elements from its predecessor, Dishonored 2 encourages the player to follow whatever play style suits them best. As the player progresses throughout the game, different types of weapons are unlocked for combat, though it is possible to complete the entire game without taking a life.
Not only did players gain more adaptable choices for their playstyles this time around; the NPCs also received a new element to the chaos system. This new addition is affected by killing random NPCs which are procedurally assigned either a sympathetic, guilty, and murderous state. Along with this change to the chaos system, we are able to use non-lethal combat moves for the first time, along with more in-depth approaches to the stealth aspects of the game. Overall the amount of chaos the player incurs ultimately shapes not only the dialogue used by Corvo and Emily but also the world around them.
The various level designs offer different approaches to how you choose to complete them, each with its own unique theme. Ranging from dust storms raging in which the player can seek cover, to a level featuring time distortion and much more! The themes of the levels and character designs keep the playthrough experience fresh and invigorating over the course of 9 chapters (12-15 hrs long). The different side missions, as well as the different runes/bone charms, encourage the player to explore Dunwall and Karnaca.
Outside of combat with weapons and stealth-like maneuvers, both protagonists have different powers and abilities. These are optional though as the player is given the choice to complete the game without them. The upgrading system follows a skill tree progression which unlocks both powers and enhancements using runes the player finds in the game. To help guide in finding runes as well as bone charms (mystical charms that have unique effects on different abilities) we are given The Heart. The Heart is a vessel created by the Outsider from Empress Jessamine Kaldwin upon her death.
The Single Player:
Dishonored 2 takes place roughly about fifteen years after its prequel, and stars the return of Corvo Attano (protagonist from Dishonored) and Emily Kaldwain (Empress of the Empire of the Isles.). After playing the prologue as Emily, which acts as the tutorial as well, the player is given the ultimate choice to either continue the game as Corvo or as Emily. Corvo and Emily both have different playstyles, as well as skills and abilities. In between the different missions you can upgrade your gear and rest offshore on a ship called the Dreadful Wale.
Depending on how the player approaches a scenario, different elements of the game change. High body counts result in more bloodflies. Levels were designed to feel more organic, with NPC interacting with the environments in a realistic manner, while enemies all have different mannerisms. Different side missions, puzzles and inviting designs combined with choosing between 2 characters, the replayability is pretty high
Final Judgment: 85%
Dishonored 2 not only picked up the pace that its predecessor left, it amplified it as well. Although many of the side missions were lackluster, overall my experience was pleasant. The level and character designs felt enriching to the environments, and the attention to detail really improved the ambiance of the story. The puzzles at times either felt like they were lacking or just difficult. Worth mentioning was the puzzle in the Dust which was rather challenging and changed every time you started it. The combat was fun and easy enough to master, but at times felt overwhelming or glitchy. I suppose this was due to it being on my High Chaos run, while during the stealth run I avoided combat. The boss battles, as well as the different enemies, broke any monotonous feelings throughout the game and the varied playstyles really played off of that. Overall, Dishonored 2 was a fun playthrough, maybe not as fulfilling as I would have liked but enjoyable nonetheless!
- Introduction of a Female Protagonist, Emily Kaldwin
- Both Protagonist are voiced
- High Replayability with multiple endings
- Challenging stealth approaches along with how adaptability the Player’s abilities were to their playstyles.
- Introduction of non-lethal combat moves
- Deeper approach to the Chaos System
- Some of the puzzles were simple or easily solved
- Glitches in combat and other various movements
- Side missions felt thrown in at times without much substance to them
Below is the official trailer for Dishonored 2!