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boxartThe next chapter in the award-winning Dishonored series

Bethesda’s Dishonored 2 has been high up on my list of most anticipated games since it was announced at E3 2015. In this sequel, you once again become a supernatural assassin with the ability to choose to fight your way through this epic tale using brutal combat, sneak your way around unseen, or use a blend of both. Dishonored 2’s story reacts to your decisions and play style, resulting in a personalized experience with fascinating outcomes.

Game Details

Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
Developer: Arcane Studios
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Genre: Action-adventure, stealth
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

The fate of the Empire is left up to you

Set 15 years after the events of the first game, Dishonored 2 takes place in the exotic coastal city called Karnaca. Corvo Attano, Emily Kaldwin’s bodyguard who was framed for her mother’s assassination, has succeeded in restoring the throne to Emily. Under Corvo’s guidance, the city continued to thrive and during this time, he took the opportunity to train young Emily to defend herself against assassins.

However, all is not well as a serial murderer known as the “Crown Killer” has been brutally murdering Emily’s enemies, leading many to believe that Emily and Corvo are responsible for the murders. At an evening event commemorating the assassination of Jessamine Kaldwin, the witch Delilah Copperspoon appears in the center of the throne room and proclaims to be the half-sister of Emily’s mother and the worthy heir of the kingdom. With little effort, Delilah and her soldiers eliminate the loyal guards of our queen in addition to stealing Corvo’s powers.

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Enhanced gameplay

Dishonored 2 begins by giving you the choice to play as either Emily or Corvo. The two are exact opposites of each other; Corvo is a guns blazing in your face type of guy, while Emily uses stealth and the element of surprise to take out her enemies—an element of strategy to the game that was not found in the first. Although whatever character you choose can use both types of gameplay, you should always keep the proper approach in mind according to the situation.

In Dishonored 2, your supernatural powers have been improved and Arkane Studios have implemented a new skill-tree upgrade system. So now, a power might have a lethal or non-lethal upgrade—adding another strategic element to the game. One of my favourite supernatural powers is Corvo’s “Possession” ability; it has been enchanted to take control of dead bodies as well as multiple hosts in succession.

gameplay

One of the most interesting elements of Dishonored 2’s game design is the option to forego the use of your powers. Although, in Dishonored you could play with only using the teleport ability, Dishonored 2 takes it to a new level. The fact that Arcane Studios haqve designed the entire game so that it is possible to complete it without using any powers is an incredible achievement. It shows the passion of the design team and the commitment the developers have towards the Dishonored franchise.

Improved AI and the chaos system returns with a twist

Compared to Dishonored, Arcane Studios has greatly improved the artificial intelligence in Dishonored 2. While still not perfect, enemies are more aware of their surroundings and their field of vision has increased compared to its predecessor.

Dishonored’s “chaos” system makes a return, but this time with a unique a twist. Now at the start of a mission an arbitrary non-player character is randomly assigned one of three states: sympathetic, guilty, and murderous. When you take down a “sympathetic” person, you get more chaos than killing others, while in contrast taking down a “murderous” character will reduce your chaos. Ultimately, the amount of chaos you acquire affects the dialogue used by Emily and Corvo, as well as the world itself. This allows you to develop your character any way you choose.

chaos

Highly distinctive visuals

Dishonored 2’s visuals are nothing short of spectacular and sports a highly distinctive visual style. Using the new Void Engine, built from id Tech and highly customized by Arkane Studios, Dishonored 2 is brought to life with an amazing realism that is simply stunning. The detail and elements included have been designed perfectly to match with the style of atmosphere that this game provides.

The places you visit are lively and filled with a whole host of characters waiting for you to offer you a new secondary quest or others that entertain various discussions that allow us to learn a little more about the game’s story. Playing Dishonored 2 on a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 4K TV provides super-sampling and a beautiful picture that stays at a near constant 30 frames-per-second without any screen tearing. However, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One suffer from minor screen tearing and run between 25-30 frames-per-second.

visuals

PlayStation 4 Collector’s Edition

PlayStation fans of the Dishonored franchise are in for a treat, with the Dishonored 2: Collector’s Edition of the game. In this special edition, you get a copy of Dishonored 2, a digital copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition, the Digital Imperial Assassin’s DLC Pack, and a whole slew of collectibles. The limited edition full-colour print is simply beautiful and the wearable replica of Emily’s ring is stunning. If you love Dishonored 2, you will want to pick up the Dishonored 2: Collector’s Edition available online only.

collectors

Final Thoughts

Dishonored 2 is a remarkable sequel to an amazing game. Everything that you loved about the first game has been improved upon and made better—more levels, abilities, and characters. Though there are some graphical flaws that happen every now and then, it is nothing that distracts from the game’s excellent gameplay.

If you didn’t get a chance to play Dishonored when it came out on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I highly recommend picking up Dishonored 2 Limited Edition or Dishonored 2: Collector’s Edition, which includes the remastered original game.

+ Gorgeous graphics
+ Compelling gameplay
+ Great replay value

– Load times can be long
– Some technical issues on PC still to be sorted out

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5 /5

Overall Rating 4.4/5 (88%)

Get Dishonored 2 for PlayStation 4
Get Dishonored 2 Limited Edition for PlayStation 4
Get Dishonored 2: Collector’s Edition for PlayStation 4
Get Dishonored 2 for Xbox One
Get Dishonored 2 Limited Edition for Xbox One
Get Dishonored 2 for PC
Get Dishonored 2 Limited Edition for PC

Jon Scarr
Based in Toronto, Jon is a proud Canadian who has a serious passion for gaming. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry with over 20 years experience. Jon loves to talk about gaming and tech, come say hi and join the conversation with Jon on Twitter @4Scarrs_Gaming.