The wait is over, the hype has come to its head, and now we are here to play Dishonored 2. The follow up to the amazing franchise started by Arkane Studios that takes some of the best stealth gameplay to date and throws in some mystical powers on top of it. Bethesda has been pushing really hard for Dishonored 2 and now that the day has come and gone, the game is out for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC and we had a chance to sit down and give it a solid play. Here's our review of the game and if you should pick it up for yourself or a loved one here soon. Sit back, have a drink, and get ready to enjoy.
Time passes on as it always does and so is the case for Dunwall. Corvo, the hero of Dishonored, has help restore order to the lands and Emily has taken here rightful seat as Empress. That is until some odd killings begin and a mysterious relative shows up to stake a claim for the throne. Of course that is where the proverbial shit hits the fan and you must choose if Corvo or Emily will save the day; or become completely corrupt. Your actions have consequences so your story may be a bit different than mine after all is said and done. Keep that in mind when playing Dishonored 2.
To be honest there wasn't too much that I hated in Dishonored 2 here. One of the glaring things that truly got on my nerves had to be the fact that there was almost no consistency to the detection abilities that enemies have. Even when you are able to see their vision cones via powers later on, sometime they would completely overlook you when they should see you and other times they notice the minutest of details that should have been outside of their view. It was extremely odd and something that relied more on luck at many times than actual skill. This was even on some of the easier modes of the game. On the hardest mode I could see it, but on "normal" it shouldn't be the case that they can spot you while hiding in an alcove, not move, and way above them. This actually happened to me.
Next up, and this is probably only going to be a small subsection of player out there, but the controls of Dishonored 2 always seemed to have a learning curve to be overcome. It looks and plays a lot like a first person shooter, not knocking that, but there are actions that don't crossover from the mass genre and what Arkane Studios has here. Like the instance of how you zoom in with your weapons to strike. The instinct of pressing the left trigger, bumper, or whatever is always there and it fires off the weapon or power you have activated currently. This of course led to a lot of mission and section restarts on the stealth play due to accidental gun fire going off generally ruined it.
Lastly, it felt like Dishonored 2 was a very short game. While my play through did take a nice long time due to me personally trying to make it stealthy and peacefully through, I can see that in a "High Chaos" play one could beat the game in a few hours of time. Of course that would mean skipping the few side missions and collectibles in the game but the bulk of a game shouldn't surround the fact that gamers are going to keep resetting things to be sure to perfect the stealth gameplay. That was my takeaway on it at least and even if it is not the true case, I know other will feel the same way and ignore that there are multiple endings and paths out of frustration. I just wanted more…
While the game did feel on the short side, ultimately, that is not to say that there were not a lot of ways to get distracted in Dishonored 2 and keep things going. Not only that but given that there are multiple endings and branches based off the character you choose and how you play, there is a lot of replay value in the game. Not many titles out there get to claim this as they are generally a "one and done" kind of experience now a days. Not only were the levels and designed well enough to give you multiple paths to get on through but Dishonored 2 has a story that is different enough each time to make you want to go back and keep playing it over and over. I guess it makes a bit of sense for things to be on the shorter side when you look at this aspect of the game.
One of the other things I was worried about with Dishonored 2 was that Arkane Studios was going to try and fix things that were not broken from the last game. This would be the powers and their uses. Not only did the classic powers come back with a vengeance, the new abilities and powers expanded the fun even more. Be it the new set that Emily brings with her or the updates that came to Corvo's; I don't think I ignored a single one once they were all unlocked. Unlike the first Dishonored where I found my perfect set of powers and skill and never looked back at anything else. This is just how games like this need to keep advancing and I truly hope we get to see more as the craft here gets perfected down the road.
Lastly, and slightly building off the above, was how the progression of everything in Dishonored 2 played out. I'm speaking of character progression and how that happens in the game. It is completely open to the players and not dictated at all by much else outside of the basic trees you have to go down. We are able to see everything right from the start and then it is up to us to choose which powers and skills we want and how fast we get them. By this I mean that the runes and everything are hidden in the world again and not gained through anything but exploration and a few shops. If you wanted to power on through you could. If you wanted to be the best around you could do that as well. It was up to us the whole time and it was a nice breath of fresh air in the gaming world to see that.
Most of what I didn't like about Dishonored 2 really boil down to nitpicks and things that can be "trained off." The overall story of the game was a bit short but thankfully it has a whole lot of replay value. Mix in the fact that Dishonored 2 is more open that the previous title in terms of character choices you will want to keep playing it over and over again. It is a rare title that does this and does it well. If you can look past the few issues I had above with the game then you will want to make sure Dishonored 2 is in your list of titles. The fact that it is short even helps a bit as it won't bog you down when you need a break and want to give something else a try. It will always be right there to suck you back in and reclaim what was yours.
I give Dishonored 2 9 Bone Charms on the Bone Charm scale.
Dishonored 2 — Launch Trailer
Dishonored 2 was developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 11th, 2016. A digital PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.