Dunwall Days and Karnaca Nights – Dishonored 2 Review

If the original Dishonored was good, and the DLC’s were better, then Dishonored 2 is nigh perfect. It took onboard complaints from the first game and fixed them, as well as adding to the already rich world. Everything is bigger and better, but that’s not to say the game is without stumbles. At the time of writing this piece, I have platinumed Dishonored 1 (With it’s two story DLC’s) and sit one trophy away from the platinum trophy for Dishonored 2 (Well Funded can kiss the Outsider’s hairy ass). That being said, here is my somewhat professional, veteran thoughts on Dishonored 2.

Admittedly, my first playthrough of the game almost turned me off of any repeat visits to the gorgeous Karnaca. It was a Low Chaos Emily run that quickly descended into a High Chaos slaughterfest. The combat in the Dishonored games was always a little finnicky, and I was never very good at it. Combat encounters left me annoyed. Emily’s powers didn’t click with me either, and I stuck to Far Reach, Dark Eyes and a little bit of Shadow Walk. On top of these issues, that were on my end, there was an issue with the game’s story. It was familiar and unengaging.

I watched the credits roll for the first time, and I felt a conflicted feeling. Was this going to be one of the first games that would leave me with a sour taste in my mouth? Even after my wonderful Dishonored 1 Playthroughs? I suppose I took a gamble trying Corvo, and what turned out to be a low chaos clean hands ended up being the catalyst for my many repeat playthroughs of the game.

My little anecdote aside, onto the actual review part of the piece. Minor spoilers follow

Starting off with the World; Karnaca is a beautiful place to explore, the mediterranean inspired city is the perfect opposite to the gloomy industrial Dunwall. Each mission retains Dishonored’s ‘Play your way’ mentality, and with larger area’s to explore before reaching your objective, it feels better than ever to take a look around and plan out the perfect route to your target. Missions of particular interest are 4, 6 and 7

Play your way works best with powers, and Dishonored 2 adds a range of powers, as well as improving on existing ones. Depending on which character you choose, Corvo or Emily (More on that later), your powers will differ. Corvo retains his powers from the first game – Blink, Dark Vision, Bend Time, Possession, Rat swarm and Windblast. Notable improvements to these powers include the ability to possess dead bodies, and the Daud ability of freezing time while blinking. Emily’s powers are just as unique as Corvo’s. She shares Dark Vision, but her new powers include Far Reach (A momentum based physical Blink), Shadow Walk (Emily becomes a monster made of darkness who has enhanced stealth and instant kill potential), Mesmerize (Summons a spirit from the Void that distracts enemies), Doppleganger (Summons a clone of Emily) and Domino (Link enemies together so they share the same fate). While Emily’s powers didn’t click, they definitely saw usage in later play, especially in the NG+ mode. NG+ was added in an update and allows the player to access both characters powers.

For players who choose not to have powers, Flesh and Steel is an option in this game, and much like everything else, it has been improved from the first Dishonored. The inclusion of new bolts – the Howling Bolt and Stinging Bolts give players new ways to play.

Now that gameplay is out the way, we reach the story, which is Dishonored 2’s biggest weakness. When you look at the bare bones of the story, it is the same as the first game, just swap out an assassination for an usurping. Fair enough there’s not a lot that can be done with a revenge plot, but Dishonored 2 could have done more to build upon the story that Dishonored 1 had built. The main villain returns from the previous game, and is somehow worse here. You can find an article on how I feel about Dishonored 2’s villain in an upcoming article. The rest of the villains are poorly developed and one particular plot line is solved way too early. Many characters in the game stand at various points of the LGBT spectrum, and none of it seems forced which is a welcome change.

 

CONCLUSION

Dishonored 2’s gameplay is a step above the rest, and vastly improves upon the first games. The story line is acceptable, even with some weird narrative choices and poor development.
IF I HAD TO GIVE IT A RATING – 9/10

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