Dishonoured 2: A truly beautiful game, visually and conceptually
Dishonored was, simply put, an absolute masterpiece. The minor problems that it did have I could have counted on one hand with fingers to spare. Bearing this in mind, how could Bethesda possibly follow up on such a monumental title? Here's how: the developers didn't try to reinvent the wheel, nor fix what wasn't broken. What we have as a result is Dishonored 2: a game elevated past the dizzying heights of its predecessor by the sheer attention to detail afforded to it by Arkane, as well as the addition of big set-piece missions.
Dishonored 2 is set 15 years after the events of the first game, following the story of either Empress Emily Kaldwin or her father, Corvo Attano. The game opens with Emily being deposed after a coup by the Duke of Serkonos. You, as either Emily or Corvo - a choice you are forced to make at the start of the game - must escape Dunwall and travel to the Southern city of Karnaca. Your aim from the start will be to work your way through a hit list of traitors, with the goal of retaking the throne.
The core gameplay is much the same as the first Dishonored. You'll use strategy, stealth and magic to incapacitate or kill your targets in a world that is designed in such a way so as to allow the player a generous amount of creative license. For instance, Emily has a power called 'Domino' that allows you to link multiple characters together so that whatever happens to one, will happen to all. Emily also has a power called 'Mesmerise' which can hypnotise up to three people, allowing you to pass unseen. The kicker with 'Mesmerise' is that it only works on three people, but with 'Domino' also in effect you can set up huge chains, allowing you to pass through the busier rooms unnoticed. This is just one of nearly countless examples of the fantastically creative gameplay in Dishonored 2.
The writing in Dishonored 2 is predictably excellent, though perhaps a little more restrained when compared to the original game. In Dishonored 2, nothing is black and white. Although the people you kill may be 'bad' in the commonly understood sense of 'people who kill and maim are bad', their stories are often tragic and fraught pain and grief. The actual amount of writen plot in Dishonored 2 is astounding, with a wealth of written notes and manuscript fragments contributing towards a world that feels real, alive and complete.
Dishonored 2 is a truly beautiful game, both visually and conceptually. What is perhaps most striking is that in the developer's quest for a brilliantly executed plot, they haven't sacrificed an ounce of fun and exhileration in the actual gameplay. A no-brainer for anyone seeking a rich gaming experience.
PC / Xbox One/ Playstation 4