Dishonored was a very late entry to the seventh generation of consoles, and was also a surprise hit of 2012 with great sales and also highly positive reviews. It was also one of my personal favorite games of the last generation because of it’s incredible gameplay, story, setting, characters, and well I could keep on going on about what I liked so much in Dishonored. Lets just say, I thought the game was impressive. Now with that being said, it caused me to have extremely high expectations for Dishonored 2, and I’m happy to say those expectations were met.
I felt the expectations were met because the game managed to capture the same feel that the first Dishonored had, but did it even better. I feel that sometimes developers force changes to make their sequel different for the sake of it. Dishonored 2 feels almost like it was an expansion pack of Dishonored, and I mean this in very good way. How does it feel similar? Well there’s many different gameplay elements of Dishonored 2 that have been brought back from Dishonored which I will discuss throughout the review.
Dishonored 2 first of all has a very similar mission structure to the first Dishonored with the Hound Pits Pub being replaced by the Dreadful Whale boat. As in Dishonored, the boat acts as the hub before a mission actually begins. The Dreadful Whale sections of the game are mostly used to build up character relationships with others who are on there along with giving a briefing of the upcoming mission. Like Dishonored as well, you will ride a smaller boat to get to the mission but instead of Samuel (Your boat rider from Dishonored), you instead have Meagan Foster who is the captain of the Dreadful Whale. The main objective of each mission is to confront the target you are given, but the journey usually comes with some twists and turns before finally getting to them. For example one main objective in a mission is to actually find and save a certain target before trying to go for the main target.
One of my major reasons why I was so impressed with Dishonored 2 was because of the locations chosen along with how open they are. I never felt bored of my surroundings in the game, as each mission finished I was anticipating the next location that this great game would bring next. I also anticipated the next location to also see how open it would be compared to the last. These areas are so open that there’s multiple ways just to get through a single obstruction that is blocking you from you target.
One of my favorite features in the original Dishonored game was the chaos meter which makes a return in Dishonored 2. If you are unaware of this feature, it is basically Dishonored’s karma system. You can choose whether you will take a lethal or non lethal approach throughout the game. The more you kill, the higher the chaos meter will be, but if you’re not killing at all then the chaos meter will be low. This means you can go through the whole game without killing anyone, and that includes your targets who also have a non lethal option. I like having that option of being able to complete a mission without killing a single person, because it makes the game a lot tougher as well as rewarding for completing the optional task.
I’m a big fan of choice in video games, and the Dishonored series does this better than most games. It really does feel that each kill or non lethal takedown you do in the game means something. Could that one extra kill you decided to do in a mission cause a high chaos meter? Would it be better to take the more humane option when dealing with targets or did you make a bad choice when you thought you was doing something good? Dishonored 2 brings that feel of choice from just its gameplay alone which is not something you see much in video games, usually it’s based of what dialogue you choose. There’s many choices to make, and many different scenarios that can play out in Dishonored 2.
As you can see from what I’ve discussed about Dishonored 2, it’s not going to be a game that you only want to playthrough once. There’s so many different ways of playing Dishonored 2, Corvo/Emily, high/low chaos, and then there’s the optional missions and different routes you can take in missions. I have complained this year about some AAA games not offering enough content or being a game that you finish once and never play it again. Dishonored 2 is the complete opposite of that, and will give you plenty of content for your money.
Powers also return in Dishonored 2, but this time they are completely optional. Very early into the game, you have a dream were you are offered these powers and you have the option to take the powers or to reject them and play the game in no powers mode. It was pretty much just a much more in depth way of using the options menu. Like Dishonored, you need to collect runes to obtain new powers which have a new skill tree attached to each power were you can get some interesting upgrades for your powers.
Now I’ve been extremely positive throughout the whole review, but is there anything that I would say is a negative about the game? I had one negative that came to mind straight away, and that was the load times. Most mission areas are split up to around 3 parts, and to enter a new area, you will have to endure a loading screen. Those load screens can really take you out of the game, as some have been as long as 40 seconds which can really spoil the fun you’re having with Dishonored 2.
The Final Verdict
Dishonored 2 is a fantastic entry to the series, and made me an even bigger fan of the extremely talented Arkane Studios who developed both games in this amazing series. If you were a fan of Dishonored, then you are going to be a big fan of Dishonored 2 as well.
Final Score: 9/10
Note: Reviewed with a retail PS4 version of Dishonored 2.