December 29, 2019 at 6:51 AM #1287
Rating: 4.5 – Outstanding
Best sequel ever
Dishonored was a pretty good game when if first came out, so it’s no surprise that a sequel decided to roll along a few years later. It’s heads and shoulders above the first game, and I consider it to be 2016’s Game of the Year. Cue the hate from FFXV fans.
Dishonored 2 is a stealth game, with a lot of emphasis on freedom and player choice. You can sneak through levels without hurting a fly, or you can leave a bloody trail of bodies behind you. The choice is yours. The game is divided into 9 seperate missions, and every mission, excepting 2 and 7, has its own target for you to dispatch – whether than means killing them or finding an alternative way to render them harmless is up to you.
Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the first game. Emily Kaldwin is the Empress with her father and Royal Protector Corvo Attano at her side. Recently there have been a series of killings by a person known only as the "Crown Killer" and Corvo is being blamed for the killings. At ceremony honouring Emily’s mother is interrupted, Emily is dethroned, and an otherworldy figure takes the throne. The plot is very good, and has just the right amount of twists, turns, suspension and cleverness. My only issue is that the plot is essentially a complex form of "kill all the people who wronged you" which was essentially the plot of Dishonored. The plot of Dishonored and it’s sequel Dishonored 2 feel too similar.
In Dishonored 2, you have to chose between playing as Emily or playing as Corvo. It’s one or the other, although creating a new save allows you to play as the opposite character. Both characters play through the same missions, but how they play through them is very different. Emily and Corvo both have a wide array of supernatural powers that you can use – unless you chose not to have these powers and play through the game like mortal human. This is just another aspect of the freedom Dishonored 2 grants you.
Corvo’s powers are mostly unchanged from the first game. Blink is short-range teleportation, Dark Vision allows you to see through walls, Bend Time allows you to slow time, Posess allows you to briefly control an enemy and Devouring Swarm summons a crowd of rats to attack your enemies. Emily’s powers are utterly different. Far reach is a Blink replacement, allowing you to reach areas you couldn’t before. Share Fate allows Emily to link one guard’s fate to another, so that if one dies, the other dies. Then there’s Doppeldanger, which creates a clone of Emily to distract enemies. Finally, Shadow Walk makes Emily smaller and harder to see.
The gameplay is similar to the first game. Missions take place over wide, open areas that you can explore. While it’s not quite a open-world game or a sandbox, Dishonored 2 is suitably non-linear. There’s always an alternate path, always a different approach. The stealth is particularly satisfying, and it’s challenging without being too difficult or impossible.
The graphics are very good. The environments particularly shine, and the lighting effects are very good. The facial animations aren’t really the best I’ve ever seen. There’s something a little odd about the facial expressions and lip-syncing, which is a shame, as the graphics are otherwise stellar.
The audio and sound is even better than the first game. Corvo is now voiced, and the voice actor does a very good job of conveying the right balance of emotionless assassin and worrisome father. The audio shines, as swords clang realisticaly and gunshots sound genuine.
My only concern about Dishonored 2 is how replayable it is. The first game had 2 story packs and a challenge map pack, adding tons of replayability. Dishonored 2 has no such challenge mode, and all you have in the game is an 8 hour campaign. Of course, you can replay it, but the game itself doesn’t last for more than 20 or so hours. It has no additional modes, and that’s disapointing considering I paid $60 for it.
Overall, Dishonored 2 is a worthy sequel, and should be picked up by anyone who is interested in stealth games, or anyone who wants to play a good game.
- Excellent plot
- Graphics are beautiful, environments are especially good
- Excellent stealth-based gameplay
- Lots of freedom and choice in the game itself
- 2 playable protagonists adds depth and replayability
- Voice acting and sound is excellent
- Despite 2 protagonists, game lacks replayability of other games
- Facial animations are not amazing and lip-syncing isn’t great
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