Dishonored two tells the tale of the world 15 years after the rat plague in Dishonored 1. The game’s prologue has you playing as the Empress of the Isle, Emily Kaldwin, the daughter of Corvo Kaldwin, the main protagonist of the first Dishonored.
During the first few moments of the game, Emily is stripped of her title as the Empress of Dunwall – a plague-ridden industry city located on the Wrenhaven River – after a powerful witch named Delilah Copperspoon and the Duke of Serkanos stage, a bloody coup to dethrone the Empress and her grizzled father.
You are given a choice to play as either Corvo or the dethroned Emily who was secretly trained by her father, a former assassin in the previous game. Whoever you do not choose, has the fate of being frozen or turned to stone for a remainder of the game. Straight after Delilah’s violent takeover, players are forced to seek retribution against Delilah and her group of miscreants.
As in the first game, how you deal with enemies is up to you. You can make your way through the game’s levels as a stealthy peacekeeper, by not killing a single enemy, and sneaking your way through each area’s borders to reach your designated target. You can also adopt a more lethal approach by taking out single opponents quickly and then drawing back to the shadows. All out attacks and brutal executions via sword, a deafening handgun and a host of different magical powers and abilities, also makes for a fun and rewarding gaming experience.
Both Corvo and Emily can use their powers to teleport to a desired location, which allows you to move from cover to cover, hop across chandeliers and pipes. Just like in the first game, Corvo can inhabit the bodies of rats, fishes and humans, which allows him to move around silently and undetected.
Now gifted with the powers from the Outsider, Emily also has a range of unearthly skills to play around with, powers that are completely different from her fathers. Emily’s Domino power links the fate of several enemies, allowing players to perform multiple kills with just one move. She can also call upon a Doppelganger or a clone of herself to confuse enemies as the real Emily slips away unnoticed. Regardless of the lack of changes made towards Corvo’s powers, experimenting with both characters still leads to some very interesting outcomes.
Attention to detail is equally stunning at times; the way a sandstorm blows into a deserted town alley or how the rogue waves slam into the Dreadful Wale, a ship that you use as your main base, all of these components typify the game’s art aesthetics. You can see the game’s renowned art aesthetic in the art style of paintings, and in the faces of anguished enemies. Dishonoured two can at times look like a snapshot taken from games like Bioshock.
It is a huge upgrade from its predecessor, however, character designs and animations suffer from shading issues, shadow problems, and flat textures. Loading times can also be a painful wait, which also took away from the game’s overall experience. As a package, it is impressive but also wild when it comes to animations and graphics.
Despite having some graphical issues and loading-delays, the game still has more to offer than its predecessor does. It is packed with hours of re-playability and exploration that both action and stealth enthusiasts have come to expect from the franchise. The games richly coated story, unforgettable characters, and different play styles are enough to keep admirers coming back for more throat-slitting.
Graphical issues – Flat textures, shadow problems, shadow problems