Dishonored 2 is a mysterious journey that excites your senses with beautiful locations, stunning set pieces, and two very different characters to choose from. Dishonored 2 is designed in such a way as to make every playthrough unique, and we experienced endless opportunities during the over 30 hours of gameplay. Every location was bigger than the original, with nooks and crannies to explore, and every hostile zone, had dozens of ways to utilize Emily’s and Corvo’s abilities.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Developer: Arkan Sudios
Distributor: Ster Kinekor Entertainment
Release Date: 10 November 2016
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15 years have passed since the events of the original game, and Emily, the Empress of the Isles, is now royalty, safe on her thrown after Corvo saved her all those years ago. The plague which ravished the land is gone, and life has returned to new. Besides the odd deadly Blood Fly nest here and there, civilization is now clean and disease free. This has also boosted research in new ways of mechanical use like robotic security guards, as well as various political events, that don’t impact the story, but are nice to know about by reading books and notes scattered around Dishonored 2. Peace is disrupted when Emily’s aunt appears to take the throne from her by force. A killer called the Clown Killer has been taking Emily’s enemies out, and this so-called aunt, now steps in to lock her away for being this killer.
The story goes on and often ties into the original’s by focusing on some characters that were in the last game, and events that took place. Dishonored 2 is playable with either Corvo, Emily’s father and protagonist from the original game, or you can choose to play as Emily herself. The story ends up being the same regardless of who you choose, but there are some moments that change dialogue depending on your choice.
We felt that Emily was a well-rounded character, just as Corvo was. There were no restrictions when choosing to play as her, as her wide range of abilities, made sure we could go all stealth, or kill everyone in a heartbeat. Both character have Dark Vision to see through walls for enemies, and traps, while both also have a blink-like ability that shoots them to a platform in the distance. The difference between the two becomes more apparent in the more advanced abilities.
All these awesome abilities, saw us stringing together different combinations to have the upper hand in combat zone. There were also moments when our creative path failed us, and that is the beauty of the game’s combat scenarios. We could not always rely on the same approach. Some areas have nice hidden paths to tuck away in when noticed, while others are open and we had to think fast.
It is fine attention to detail that makes Dishonored 2 stand out above its predecessor. The sheer magnitude of the level hubs had us spending at least 2 hours exploring the twisted Clockwork Mansion. Flipping switches and opening every cabinet to max out our health vials. Bone Charms are cleverly placed throughout these hubs, and sometimes we had to solve a puzzle, or just find our way into an area. It did not feel like a grind, as it becomes a great way to explore Dishonored 2.
It all looks gorgeous too. We ran Dishonored 2 on the standard PS4 before switching over to the PS4 Pro, and the visuals fidelity was superb. The increased resolution and locked frame rate, provided a stunning experience. Karnaca, the central city where Dishonored 2 is set, is a wonder to gaze upon. Massive skyscraper trees shoot into the sky, while deceased whales lie on the shore being used for whale oil extraction.
The steampunk theme gives the game its flair, with furniture pieces, TVs, baths, and even vehicles all belonging in the world of Dishonored 2. The areas in Dishonored 2 integrate well with each other, and the people and their fashion all create a world that feels alive. It is the age of a new industrial movement, and you can see this throughout Dishonored 2.
Emily and Corvo add enough background to the lore in Dishonored 2 during missions, and reading books and newspapers will add even more detail to the world. The issue here, is that not everyone wants to read a 300-word article every 2 minutes, so it would have been better to have the character expand on this without the reliance on reading.
Dishonored 2 needs no introduction. The game is a superb experience in a well-imagined world. The story and setting are simple, but with the ability to expand your experience as much as you like in Dishonored 2. Everything from the combat to the beautiful locations has been finely tuned. Every playthrough will offer a new way to approach Dishonored 2 thanks to the two playable characters, and the various routes to take. This is a must-own this year, as there is really nothing else like Dishonored 2.