Sending you off on a breathless hunt for vengeance, Dishonored 2 continues the Steampunk-infused story of the beloved 2012 game. Controlling a bitter protagonist who wields otherworldly abilities and lurks in the shadows to exact revenge on a cruel society, you feel a growing sense of power as you collect upgrades and experience. You shape your character to your playstyle. You can become a ninja who slinks through deadly situations like a ghost, a sadistic tormentor who traps and tortures your enemies or a guns-blazing warrior who unleashes torrents of death and loots the corpses in your wake. Whatever choices you make, Dishonored 2 feels like the right way to spend your gaming dollar.
Game: Dishonored 2
Consoles: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PC
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Arkane Studios
Release Date: November 11
Developers Arkane Studios took great panes to retain the feel and rhythm of the original Dishonored as they took massive steps to upgrade the graphics and gameplay to current-gen standards. The biggest change-up this time out is the introduction of two characters. After a brief introduction, in which a monarch emerges from out of nowhere — Game of Thrones style — to seize control of the throne and send you packing. You choose whether to play as Corvo, the protagonist from the first game, or his daughter Emily. Subtle differences between the two characters can change the way you experience the game greatly. Corvo, by nature, is more of a bruiser who excels at hand-to-hand combat, while the slightly more athletic and agile Emily makes for more effective speed runs and dazzling takedowns.
Because Dishonored 2 is a single player-only experience, the variability greatly boosts the replay value. The game is built from the ground up to give you reason to come back for multiple play-throughs.Choices you make alter the way the story unfolds, leading to varied paths that change the way you approach and react to various situations. Missions are generally open-ended, leaving it to you to decide how to approach and achieve your objectives. You may find yourself locked in a tower, deciding whether to spook the guards into accidentally opening the path for your escape, or sneaking up on one of them to swipe a key that will let you slink out unnoticed. Some of the more elaborate set pieces tax your creativity and planning ability to the max, making you feel like genius when your crazy plans come to fruition or a moron when you fail miserably.
A certain subset of fans prizes the ability to make their way through stealth games with minimal combat, and Dishonored 2 keeps that playstyle in mind by presenting multiple nonlethal options throughout the game, rarlely falling back on the copout of letting you knock out enemies rather than kill them. Multiple settings options help you tweak the game to your liking, whether you want to up brightness so you can more easily see tiny objects that are stuck in the corners of catacombs or adjusting the difficulty level to provide enough of a challenge to keep things interesting. You can collect materials to craft and upgrade items to your liking rather than grind for cash to buy them. The truly hardcore can even switch off the HUD so they get no hints as to level objectives or enemy whereabouts, and even opt to work your way through the game without supernatural powers.
It would have been easy for Bethesda Softworks to cash in on the popularity of the first game and start cranking out annual sequels in the manner of Assassin’s Creed, but the restraint the publisher showed by giving developers four years to craft a sequel that not only equaled but topped the original in every way paid off masterfully. Dishonored 2 is a colossal undertaking that oozes detail in every dank corner. Exploring its intricacies is a joy for fans of stealth-action hybrid games. The array of powers available and the customization options make you feel as though you’ve got just as much of a hand in creating your story as developers did. You can easily lose yourself in the story, which tends to feel like an interactive TV series or novel that you can’t put down. What sets this game apart from those mediums is that you can return again and again for new experiences every time.
Dishonored 2 Reviews Around The Web:
“The sheer anticipation of seeing the next cool gadget, spectacular spell, or awe-inspiring environment can be a driving force on its own.” –IGN
“I’m newly in awe of Arkane as a studio capable of taking the immersive sim forward.” –PC Gamer
“The boundless number of variables that determine your second-to-second existence is incomprehensible.” –Venture Beat
Dishonored 2 Screenshots
The publisher provided a review copy.
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