Dishonored 2 Review
The sequel to what I considered one of the best stealth games is finally out. I have been dying for this game for so long. The first game was addictive, innovative and allowed you to play your way to get the results you want. Lots of games do the good/bad options and let you tweak the ending scenes through it. Sadly like in most of these games, being ‘good’ is significantly harder than being evil… maybe they are trying to tell us something?
Now you don’t need to have enjoyed the first game in order to embrace the sequel. The plot is kinda like Taken, a bit cliche but still enjoyable. In the first game, you play Corvo, a royal protector who kinda fails at his job and lets the ruling Empress die. He is of course blamed for it and forced to go on the run, where a higher being called the Outsider grants Corvo his blessing. You figure a godly being outside of space-time with nigh infinite power would have more to do than to watch mere mortals fumble around after giving them powers (actually that sounds like a reality show I’d totally watch). The Outsider is part angel, part devil and neutral about the ways of the world, thus he grants you power but doesn’t fault you whether you are good or evil and just enjoys the show. You progress through the game collecting his relics and the like and gaining extra powers to make the game more fun.
You journey through the lands of Dunwall, a beautiful and dark victorian town with some steampunk elements mixed in. Doing what you must to clear your name and gain vengeance against those that betrayed you and rescue Emily, the rightful heir to the throne. Emily is Corvo’s daughter. After a series of missions, you rescue her and meet with several loyalists who aid you in your quest to put her back on the throne. This is actually most noticeable where your actions affect the game. Sparing the lives of certain characters and not going on a killing spree will increase your supporters and even who shows up in the ending. In fact, even Emily’s artwork will change depending on your actions since she dreams about your adventures (most likely a connection to the outsider). In the ending, whether she is a good Queen or bad one depends on of course how Corvo acts.
In part 2 it is sadly a bit more of the same. A rash of murders by a man in a mask titled the “Crown Killer” which refers to the fact that the murderer targets political enemies of Emily. Killing the most vocal opponents to her reign, many speculate that the Crown Killer is Corvo Attano; some even claim that Emily herself is the Killer. Corvo tells Emily that the Crown Killer is trying to make Emily look guilty by targeting her enemies. When suddenly during the death anniversary of her mother’s passing a coup occurs led by the “sister” of the departed Queen. Corvo and Emily are blamed as conspirators of the Crown Killer and attacked by their own guards, at this point you get the choice of being Emily or Corvo. Whichever character you don’t choose is turned to stone by the evil Empress. Overall story-wise it isn’t too different being either character.
The main differences come from some slight character interactions, and most notably their powers. Most of Corvo’s skills are the same as the original, but Emily gets some interesting new ones. My personal favorite is the shadow crawl power. There are some creative ways to use some of the powers too, from clinging to the ceiling to using one enemy to kill others. Of course, if you are a glutton for punishment or enjoy the challenge, you can choose to turn away the Outsiders help and actually go the full game no powers. I see no point in doing that, the powers are half the fun.
The easiest way to get through the game is to follow some very basic guidelines and things won’t be too hard on you. Remember to play whichever way feels fun, be stealthy if you enjoy that, be a crazy killer savage if you enjoy that, but don’t forget it will change how the NPCs treat you and how the bad guys respond as well. Lots of killing will increase ‘chaos’ and people will panic around you and guards will increase patrols, also more rats. Always save, like a lot like after every kill or movement. It’s the best way to keep your stealth game going and get the bone charms you need/want. Also, don’t forget the rats are carnivorous, you might leave a guy knocked out in an alley in trying to not kill anyone, but then the rats devour the body ruining that.
A little cheat for the mid to late game is to use Domino ability along with possession/knockout darts for clearing full rooms in one shot.
Overall the game is a bit more of the same with enough new twists and additions to make it worth playing. It has enough hidden collectibles and ways to kill or knock-out your foes that it’s actually worthwhile to play through more than once.
I give Dishonored 2 a 5 out of 5 paws~ a great holiday addition to any game collection. Now I shall go run around wearing the awesome mask that came with my pre-order.