The Dishonored series brought fourth a refreshing take on the tactical stealth franchise by providing a gritty steampunk universe teemed with corruption and crazy magic. Gameplay wise, Dishonored combined the frustratingly fun stealth and assassination mechanics and added a bit of supernatural powers to aid you on your objectives. Ultimately what made Dishonored such a fantastic stealth game was the environment the player is thrown in: He or she can choose where and how to complete the objective. You were given different windows of opportunity to attack your target as well as different environments, weapons, and locations to take out your target. Of course, you were also given the challenge of doing so without being spotted or metaphorically going in guns blazing in dealing with your target. Dishonored 2 continues the satisfyingly fun gameplay, continuing where the first game left off 15 years later.
In Dishonored 2 you’re given the option of playing the original protagonist Crovo Attano or Emily Kaldwin, Corvo’s daughter. I only got to play as Emily for this review, but each character comes with their own stories and abilities to utilize to take care of their targets. Dishonored 2 takes you away from Dunwall and places you in Corvo’s hometown of Karnaca, where you will fight or sneak your way to your targets and retake the throne. Aesthetically, Dishonored 2 continues to provide beautifully bleak landscapes, this time with a more coastal touch in Karnaca. Dishonored 2 continues to make the most use of your environment as well, giving Karnanca and its different segments different opening to traverse the area stealthily.
As this was my first time playing a Dishonored game on the PC, I was a bit worried that the keyboard controls would be unruly and confusing but I was surprised to see how intuitive everything is. It may not have the compact feel of a controller, but stealthy movement and combat in Dishonored 2 is still top notch like its predecessor. Moving through the environment for the most part is pretty solid with the occasional movement glitch here. At times, trying to jump into smaller enclosures or nooks will be difficult because your character has a small animation glitch that at times prevents entering the smaller enclosures. Your powers play a significant role in maneuvering the maps, but if you chose to do a no powers run you can also easily manage your way around without the ever useful Far Reach power. When using your Far Reach and other powers, you’ll be able to expedite your item hunting or objectives significantly through the several alternative shortcuts you uncover as you explore each zone.
This ultimately brings me to the reason I personally found Dishonored 2 to hold up with the original: it makes traveling and exploring fun. Sure, this game is not by any means an open world adventure game, but the intricate alternative paths coupled by the different ways you can silently or loudly deal with your target are vast. Even though I know I’m stuck within the confines of the zone the mission puts me in, I feel like there are so many hidden areas that unlock more to the story behind the Dishonored universe. The collectibles further entice the player, giving context to what’s happening to the world outside your character’s environment. The combat and stealth elements are extremely satisfying as well, but just knowing that the map is so well planned out that you can find hidden lore through your attempts to deal with your target makes for a satisfying adventure, albeit in limited quantities.
Dishonored 2 continues to follow the impressive level design and strategic stealth gameplay that its predecessor started and adds fun little things with each character to provide a truly unique experience. The game may run a bit dry at times depending on your play style, but when it comes down to it the combat and stealth elements can get very exciting, especially during the target assassinations. Dishonored 2 is out now for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, so check it out if you want to release your inner supernatural assassin.