‘Dishonored 2’ Tested

Domino-effect, dagger, or crossbow? As assassins with super powers, Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano are spoiled for choice. ‘Dishonored 2’ is set 15 years after the events of the first in its series, but starts right where its predecessor left off. After only a few minutes you already need to make your first important decision: Which character would you like to conquer the stealth-adventure with? Empress Emily Kaldwin or her father and protector, Corvo Attano? Once you pick, you cannot change your mind.

A Deadly Family

The chapters and tasks themselves hardly change depending on the hero you choose, just the dialogue has been changed to suit each individual character. However, the two characters play so differently that it is definitely worth playing the 20-hour campaign a second time. If you choose Corvo, the game will be strongly reminiscent of the first ‘Dishonored’ in that you can transport from one place to another or slow down the time to fool your opponents.

You will travel by boat to most missions
You will travel by boat to most missions

Emily Kaldwin is anything but a noble aristocrat and reveals herself to be even more brutal than her father. Using ‘domino-effect’ she can connect the fates of up to four opponents so that if one dies they all do. Shadow walk, on the other hand, turns her into a sinister monster and she crawls along streets in the dark while throwing enemies into the air and tearing them apart. In addition, the father-daughter team shares a large arsenal of conventional weapons including crossbows, swords, guns, mines, or traps. If you ever run out of any equipment all you have to do is find the local blacksmith where you will get anything your assassin-heart desires.

Fascinating Game World

In ‘Dishonored 2’ you will conquer the Throne of Dunwalls after a coup through Emily’s aunt Delilah. You begin your journey from the first part of the famous port upon which you will travel into the coastal metropolis Karnaca which will quickly become a bit of a battlefield for your protagonists. After all, Delilah has already sent her rioters and you can never be sure if a guard or worse is waiting just around the corner. Although you are not exploring an completely open world and have to take breaks between chapters, the developers have created the illusion of connected city. In direct comparison to Dunwall, Karnaca is more lively, complex and gives you plenty of scope.

Destroy blood flies' nests- otherwise they’ll annoy you forever
Destroy blood flies’ nests- otherwise they’ll annoy you forever

The architecture of the areas allows for a much more three dimensional approach than the first game. If you just creep through streets and alleyways you are more likely to get caught, clever players will seek alternative ways to escape enemies e.g. over roofs or by transporting into stranger’s homes. Furthermore, Karnaca is more animated and atmospheric than Dunwall, which is characterised by a plague. If you listen carefully, you can learn the locations of secret treasures or secondary tasks from the city’s residents (or you’ll overhear what passers-by think of Corvo and Emily’s actions).

Controlled Chaos

Traditionally there is a coup at the beginning of the story
Traditionally there is a coup at the beginning of the story

‘Dishonored 2’ gives you a lot of freedom, but is also demanding, even at a low difficulty level, guards and clockwork soldiers react quickly and mercilessly. However, it is important to keep in mind that your approach to the game will affect the so-called ‘Chaos factor’ which in turn directly affects the game world. The more corpses you leave behind the higher the chaos value will be as civilians will be more hostile and more enemies will patrol the streets. Even visually there will be consequences, the battlefields appear more downcast and there are nests of the feared blood flies in every corner. Also: the higher the chaos value, the more likely it is that you will experience a sombre finale to the story.