Dishonored was a surprising new IP from Bethesda that became a huge hit back when it was released several years ago. From its memorable characters, almost-perfect narrative, and of course an enthralling execution of what a stealth-game should be, made Dishonored one of the best games of 2012. Combining all of the good things from the first game, Dishonored 2 is exactly that and adds on top all of the new things implemented is a sequel that fans should definitely check out. It’s definitely worth the risk with what they did in the sequel and fans will not be disappointed.
Fifteen years following the events of the first game, Emily Kaldwin has finally become an Empress and Corvo Attano, his father, has become her royal guard. When everything seems to be going so well, Emily has been accused of being the Crown Killer who has killed several of Empress’ enemies. On the day of Emily’s mother’s death anniversary, Delilah, the witch from the DLC released in the first game, appears in the throne room to claim that she is the rightful heir to the throne as she is the long-lost sister of Emily’s mother. She then blames Emily for all of the killings and leads a coup. The player must then choose which character to choose – Emily or Corvo. Upon choosing the character you want to control, your journey to find a way to stop Delilah and uncover the mystery of the Crown Killer will begin.
For fans who have played the first game, Corvo is playable for you. While he is cool and very agile when it comes in executing his enemies, his daughter apparently is the same, if not better. With the ability to now play as Emily, players will be greeted with new skills and supernatural powers. Compared to her father, Emily is geared towards being more stealthy, as hinted in the tutorial mode. Even her supernatural powers hints that those who play as Emily should do the stealthy approach. In terms of her supernatural powers, the majority are aimed in being stealthy as certain powers like Far Reach allows her to travel to different points in seconds. Also, the skill Doppelganger also allows Emily to create a duplicate of herself creating a diversion to enemies. Of course, you can however change your approach from being stealthy to just murdering enemies left and right. As for Corvo, he pretty much has the same skills and supernatural powers. His iconic powers to bend time returns, also his ability to summon rats on enemies and possess animals is also back.
One of the best things about the Dishonored games is the ability to choose what approach you can do. But in my playthrough on both the first and second game, going for the stealth approach feels very rewarding and challenging. For those who want to go all-out on enemies, finishing the game will be pretty quick but those who go for the stealth approach, it can take up to one or two hours to do a single mission. Yes, it’s tough and patience will be pretty much required. Players who want to play in a stealthy way, I suggest going for Emily where as Corvo should be the all-out character.
Similar to the first game, Dishonored 2 will encourage you to play more than one play through. With its chaos system and the way you do your missions either the stealthy way or not, it affects the epilogue that you get to see in the end. Sadly, choosing either Corvo or Emily doesn’t bring drastic changes to the storyline, also with their lines being so identical. You still get to choose which enemies to kill or spare along the way and yes, it does make a difference in the end that’s why it’s highly advisable to do your first playthrough the non-lethal way and the other the lethal way or vice versa. Don’t worry, regardless of what style you choose, the gameplay will feel very different as your approach and strategy will differ.
Character customization is still a thing in Dishonored 2. Bonecharms that are scattered throughout the game will allow you to upgrade both Corvo and Emily’s skills to make them more competent. Some of the skills that you can upgrade is the time it takes to choke an enemy or make yourself produce less noise while moving. In addition, there is also now a way to craft skills and it’s by collecting the much smaller bone charms. With those charms, you can create up to four abilities in a charm. It’s useful to have as many skills as possble when playing the game but always note that the more skills you have for either character, the easier the game gets.
On the visual side, I don’t see much of an improvement compared to the first game. It’s more of the same except some textures are more vivid than its predecessor. However, the visual problems like pop-ins and low frame rate issues are still present in the game. For the most part, players will encounter low frame rates during heavily populated areas. Also, I encountered several times some textures that load very slowly. It’s somewhat disappointing but it certainly doesn’t change the fact that the game is still fun and better than its predecessor.
Moving away from the streets of Dunwall to Karnaca, the environment and its level designs have improved. Those who are tired of the dark and gloomy atmosphere of Dunwall, Karnaca is the opposite where the sun shines brightly in the majority of the places and it’s now easier to be detected by the enemies, thus making it more challenging to do the stealth approach. As far as level designs are concerned, Karnaca is bigger and offers plenty of secret areas that you can discover. Fans can expect multiple paths to take as you venture through Karnaca. Some will be populated by NPCs where they’ll give you information while others will be entirely underground with just you trying to find a way out.
Dishonored 2 expands on everything that made the original game memorable. The characters are unforgettable with intriguing backstories and it’s an amazing take on the stealth genre with a rewarding experience regardless of what choices you make. In addition to that, the newly added character Emily adds a refreshing way to play, along with impressive level design that encourages exploration. All this goes to encourage multiple playthroughs, which increases the overall replay value. Sure, there are performance issues, but they don’t hinder the fact that this is an excellent follow-up to the first game.
[Editor’s Note: Dishonored 2 was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Dishonored 2 Review,