Real Talk By: Haggy
This week, I’ve been tinkering around with Dishonored 2, the newest game in the Dishonor series by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is set 15 years after the first game, with Corvo Attano taking the role of Royal Protector to his daughter, Emily Kaldwin. Their rule is beset upon allegations that Corvo is behind a recent set of killings by the one known as “The Crown Killer” for the suspicious nature of the targets, and it was at this point that a duke serving the throne appears with Emily’s long lost Aunt, who with a claim on the throne, starts a coup. With the player choosing whether to follow this adventure as Emily or Corvo, it is up to them to set things right, and take back what was so forcibly taken from them.
A very decent story, even if my summary didn’t do it enough justice. Indeed, story and narrative are things Dishonored 2 does quite well! However, there is plenty more to a game than just those, so Let’s elaborate.
The first thing to notice (After a rather strange initial load time) is the game’s artstyle. It is a Dark, Victorian-Gothic look that is more than a little industrialized. This continues as you even get into the game, as the dark colors and bleak lighting only serve to improve the wonderfully designed and wonderfully depressing backdrops. The music adds to the ambiance as well, which means one can get immersed in Dishonored 2 really quickly and easily.
Next, the player will get a nice taste of the lore and story going into this game. With cutscenes, both in engine and drawn, giving good insight to the world you’re in. Indeed the story will keep you hooked,and keep you following the plot, with even a fully realized world around you. Documents, notes, and other texts are easily accessed as you progress through the levels.
However, once the player begins playing the tutorial, cracks start to show in an otherwise stellar game. On PC at least, the controls are incredibly awkward and hard to master, with several game concepts not immediately clear this also means that console players will also be struggling to learn some things as well. However, once the player begins to get used to these controls, it does begin to get a little better.
Aside from controls, the gameplay is rather reminiscent of the first Dishonored. You are playing the role of a supernatural assassin that has powers that almost make you a literal shadow while going through your foes, among a few other things. However, to those unfamiliar with the first game, things do get a bit confusing, as figured with the fact that some abilities are in separate tutorials from the game and not taught through the campaign itself. This also goes to items, and other accessories you can get while playing.
Now, another PC complaint, though I’ve heard there are some of these on consoles as well. Instability problems. Bethesda, whether they are developing or publishing a game, always do tend to bring some instability with their products. Sadly, Dishonored 2 is no different, a point that was made immediately clear to me as the first time I tried to open it I crashed on the initial loading screen. The issues didn’t stop there as the game refused to go into a windowed mode, came with several animation and frame rate issues during play, and otherwise came with some oddities in sound source and other aspects.
However, when it all works, it is certainly a worthwhile experience, even if it’s a full $60 and glitches occasionally. The feeling of sneaking past unaware guards as you act as a force of nature teleporting from hiding spot to hiding spot, or taking down guards silently or as loudly as you desire is mesmerizing. Especially since at the end of each mission it doesn’t penalize you for any approach. Instead of telling you how sneaky you were, it instead compares your stealth levels to your aggressive levels. With that in mind, this game was made for multiple playthroughs as there are several goals to each mission and several stipulations you can add or take away during your game.
In summary, Dishonored 2 isn’t a bad game by any means, it’s lore is rich, it’s story is engaging, and the world itself is beautifully crafted. If you were a fan of the first and/or you can you can look past many rough edges and frustrations you will definitely enjoy this game.
Dishonored 2 gets
3.5 out of 5
+Great Story and Voice Acting
+An Excellent Stealth Game With Great Game Feel
+It is Definitely Accessible to Those Who Haven’t Played the First
+The Choice of Player Character is Very Well Done
-Glitches and Bugs! (This one is pretty big)
-The Game at Times Feels Slightly Unfinished
-The Game Has a Steep Learning Curve if You Are New
One thought on “Dishonored 2 Review: On its Own”
The first Dishonored never clicked with me, but I just picked up the definitive edition of the original to give it another go. I dig the look and feel and hopefully I’ll enjoy it a bit more this time around, since Dishonored 2 looks pretty great.
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