When Dishonored 2 was announced, I was ready to go back to the world of Dunwall. To blink across the rooftops of a much different city. Little did I know that Dunwall had much different plans....
Welcome to the City of Karnacas, Corvo's home, and depending on how you play a place to fill with the screams of your enemies or hear them whisper your name as if you were a ghost. During my playthrough I actually went through the game twice, once in high chaos and the other low chaos. Both playthroughs I spared all end targets and depended mostly on my magic rather than gadgets. Just like with the first Dishonored you get to choose how to approach each level. Ive always enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny in these kinds of games because while you may be extremely limited to where you can go, there's a lot to discover in each area including runes for upgrading powers, blueprints, ammo and cold hard cash.
Now the biggest difference I saw in Dishonored 2 from its predecessor was the enemy A.I. has been improved and the challenge was really brought forth, in the first game you could get away with just level 1 blink to achieve your goals but the developers clearly wanted you to get more abilities so each area is a little more tricky to navigate and the enemies are numerous and require quick timing to avoid. Also in some levels there is as beginning area that is considered neutral territory that you can freely navigate in the open and you wont be attacked but if you decide to start bashing people the guards will come into defend them. Overall I never felt cheated when I did die which wasn't often, and the levels were varied enough to keep me going, especially the jindosh mansion now that was a crazy house to traverse through id play that level over and over again just experiment with interchangeable floors.
The abilities Corvo had at his disposal were pretty much the same thing from Dishonored, Blink for easy travel, whirlwind for offense and possession for loads of fun are a few that return. As Emily you get a whole host of new abilities like Far-reach, Doppleganger, and Domino being my favorites. My only grief in regards to the powers of Dishonored 2 is that they cost significantly more runes to acquire the final stages therefore causing you to explore more of the levels to acquire more runes.
The story of Dishonored 2 is a bit more interesting this time around, the long lost sister of the late empress has return to reclaim her throne Delilah Copperspoon aka Delilah Kaldwin the antagonist of the brigamore witches DLC of Dishonored 1 and depending on which character you choose after the reveal of the new empress, the other gets turned to stone and your left in the middle of a throne room full of enemies and deadly mechanical soldiers. Escaping from the confines of your private chambers you take to the rooftops and streets of dunwall to escape and take the fight to the traitors who stole everything from you. YOu get the list of conspirators and travel to the city of Karnaca, how nice of them all to live within walking distance of each other! Now you get to explore the city and see how its degraded much like Dunwall did under the corrupt spymaster 15 years prior and the city gets better or worst depending on how you play the game, I rarely saw much of a difference between the high chaos and low chaos scenery of the city, even in the final level of the game. In the first dishonored depending on how high or low your chaos was dictated how the final level looked, either everyone was fighting amongst themselves or everything was somewhat tame. However dunwall looked like an utter mess regardless of chaos which sort broke the narrative to a degree for me. Once your primary targets are taken care of over the course of the game whether lethal or non-lethal, you finally take on the mastermind of this entire plot Delilah herself, disposing of her frees your city from her and the gang of witches that followed her to Dunwall. The fight has been finished and concluded with Delilah either dead or trapped in an imaginary world if you chose the non-lethal method.
In closing Dishonored 2 was a great game, distracted by a few bad points but the story was better this time around, my only concern was that no matter which level chaos you had, Dunwall was still a mess by the time you've returned. But the journey was great, abilities felt more refined, levels were more diverse and the graphic fidelity was greater with the void engine in use, on my rig I was able to play at 60 FPS on high settings and never dropped below 50. Thanks for reading the first review in my 52 week quest, next week will be The Nonary Games 999.