The throne of Dunwall requires protection once again. Set fifteen years after the first game, Dishonored 2 gives you the choice. Choose Corvo Attano, the master assassin and royal protector you know from the first game, forced to enter the shadows once again.
Or play as Emily, once a child you saved in Dishonored 1 now an Empress and warrior trained by Corvo. Each character comes with unique abilities granted by the ever-curious Outsider. Dual gameplay Dishonored 2's protagonists bear different Outsider-given powers.
Corvo keeps the abilities every veteran of the first game will be familiar with, including iconic Blink and Possession, meanwhile Emily is given brand new abilities, suiting her birthright as the ruler of her people. Their abilities influence the way they are able to approach the levels, and give insight to the core of their personalities. New mystical superpowers The Outsider, Dishonored's infernal meddler, grants Emily five brand new powers, vastly different from those of Corvo.
The Empress can summon a totem capturing the attention of everyone around it, and drawing bizarre comments from those staring into the void. Her primary traversal with be powered by the Far Reach, a shadowy grappling hook she can use to grab far ledges, items and enemy heads. Or she can transform into a fiend of black smoke to sneak around and dismember her opponents.
Each power, including Corvo's, offer branching upgrades to let you customize your experience. A change of scenery Dishonored 2 PC's storyline takes you to the city of Karnaca on Corvo's homeland, the island of Serkonos. A locale inspired by Greece, Spain, and Italy it is a sun-bathed town, tormented by vicious swarms of blooflies spawning from corpses, and violent sandstorms in the Dust District.
Sunny scenery of Karnaca brings colour and light to the series, and the Void engine provides gorgeous visuals perfectly capturing the atmosphere. Play creatively Just as its predecessor, Dishonored 2 encourages players to be creative in the ways they approach each mission and area. Using Emily's Domino power to link the fates of several people and then toss one over the ledge, having Corvo stop time and possess several people so that they kill each other, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
The architecture of the levels provides enough opportunities to have you replay the missions to explore all the options for stealth, combat and creative disposal of enemies and targets.
An excellent sequel, whose mistakes are forgiven thanks to the fantastic level design and pure enjoyment of playing. A masterpiece? Not quite. But it is not too far from it. [Issue #269]
There's so much to explore, to experience, that I think it's essential playing — despite the slightly disappointing stealth.
Just like its predecessor, Dishonored 2 is another masterpiece. It has a great atmosphere, hundreds of different gameplay mechanics, a gorgeous presentation and therefore a flawless mainline.
Weak story notwithstanding, Arkane Studios has again delivered a truly excellent stealth action game. [Issue#258, p.53]
It may feel like just more Dishonored, but Arkane have improved everything they could’ve and made a truly satisfying sequel. We just hope it’s not the last.
I have noticed considerable framerate inconsistencies when trying to get around a level quickly or when using the spyglass to zoom. I feel as though I should mention these issues, but they didn’t detract from my experience of the game. I’m still in love with the level design and I still think the ability system favors the use of one or two abilities.
Dishonored 2 is a fantastic game. It may, in fact, be the best game you really shouldn’t risk buying right now, because right now it’s a technical mess. Yes, I hope a patch comes out soon which fixes a lot of these issues – but yes, I’m also worried that a lot of this is baked into the new Void Engine, and if that’s the case… well, this might be something to look into in a year or two. I’ll keep you updated, but for now, a definite “buyer beware” on an otherwise phenomenal game.
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