Dishonored 2 review

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Dunwall is at peace, and as the ruler, Emily Kaldwin seems to be doing alright. At her side is Corvo Attano, who serves as her right-hand man. That all comes crumbling down when Delilah and her army attack Dunwall and dethrones the empress, claiming that she and Corvo are connected to the Crown Killer, a murderer who kills anyone in opposition of the Empress. Everything has been taken away from the two, and it’s up to one of them to clear their names and take back the kingdom.

Dishonored 2 is the sequel to the first stealth action-adventure game by developer Arkane Studios and publisher Bethesda Softworks. The first game followed Corvo Attano, a guard who became an assassin after he was framed for the murder of Empress Jessamine Kaldwin of Dunwall. The sequel starts 15 years later and once again, Corvo is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, along with Jessamine’s daughter,¬†Emily, the new empress.

Players will get the chance to play as either Corvo or Emily. Choose carefully because you’ll be playing that¬†character from the beginning to end. I decided to play as Emily first because the idea of an empress losing her title and power sounds more interesting, and plus, I don’t want to witness Corvo having to regain everything again for the second time. (If you do choose Corvo, he’ll lose his powers and will have the option to gain them again). Both characters will get to meet the Outsider, and they’ll have the option to refuse the supernatural powers, but where’s the fun in that?

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The new setting is Karnaca, the coastal capital of Serkonos, a region south of Dunwall. It’s where Corvo is from and it’s where you must go to find out who’s behind the coup and how it happened.

When starting out, the game can be a bit unforgiving. Enemies will swarm you and fleeing will likely be your go-to option. Once you start to get used to your environment and gain new abilities, you’ll start to get the hang of it. As Emily or Corvo, you’ll get to gain new powers and enhancements. These include giving you more health, enhanced vision to see enemies, increased strength and/or vitality, and more. One of the most useful powers for Emily is “Far Reach.” It allows you to pull yourself across a distance, which is great for evading and for sneaking up on enemies. If you prefer to go stealth, you’ll have plenty of Powers and abilities to help you like “Shadow Walk,” where you can assume a stealthier form for a short time, and “Shadow Kill,” where you can turn unaware enemies to ash as they die.

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Of course, certain abilities will either help or prevent you from getting a certain type of ending. The more you kill, the higher your chaos level. If you want a happier ending, you’ll need to have a Low Chaos level. This can be time-consuming and tough, but it’s the price to pay when you want Emily and Corvo to come out as champions.

There are different types of enemies including humans, robots and animals. A single human is easy to dispatch, but once there’s a group, that’s when you’ll need to be crafty. One way to take a group down is to use your Linking ability. You can link an enemy with another enemy, and depending on what you do to an enemy, it’ll affect the other. For example, if you decide to choke an enemy out, the other linked enemy will also get knocked out. The same when killing the enemy.

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Each mission will contain a target where you’ll have the option of assassinating them or taking them out in a non-lethal manner. You can complete the game without killing a single person. Of course, you’ll find clues along the way to help you with planning, and the game gives you a variety of ways to proceed. The same goes for entering certain areas where you can either go in by force or by sneaking inside.

Emily’s arc is particularly fascinating as she observes the slums of Karnaca and the new regime’s oppression. She starts to become humble and will try to use what she has learned to improve her kingdom.

Dishonored 2 has many interesting characters you’ll need to take out, and it’s all fun and games when you have a lot of abilities at your disposal. Being stealthy or noisy is up to you, and Karnaca is your playground filled with enemies waiting to take you out and some NPCs willing to reveal your location. The story, gameplay and setting combine together to give you an immersive and action-packed experience (or slowly paced experience if you’re doing stealth). It’s a game that is definitely a contender for game of the year.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10383 posts

Assassin, scoundrel, head honcho.