The next chapter of Dishonored has arrived, bringing back the traditional stealth gameplay formula with a little bit of supernatural flair sprinkled throughout.
Originally released in 2012, the first game put players in the shoes of Corvo Attano to seek revenge after he was framed for the murder of the Empress of the Isles. But, as it turns out, his story and that of Dishonored are far from over as Dishonored 2 continues the tale with both Corvo Attano and his daughter Emily Kaldwin at the helm, diving deep into the conspiracy touched on in Dishonored’s downloadable content.
This time around, Arkane Studios has worked to build a better experience with their own engine and introduce plenty of new mechanics. Here’s what you need to know before hopping back in.
Actions Once Again Have Consequences
Just like the first game, Dishonored 2 features a system where every action you take has a severe set of consequences that follow it. Each enemy you encounter in the game can be dealt with lethally or non-lethally, with every death you cause adding towards your total chaos level. These actions are measured by a screen at the end of every mission.
Taking lives will cause Corvo, Emily, and their allies to become more cynical in the eyes of the public during their quest to reclaim the throne. Too many deaths will lead to higher levels of chaos (measured by bloodfly infestation) and a much, much darker end to the story. Tread carefully depending on the outcome you desire.
You Can Play as Emily or Corvo
When you first boot up the game on your platform of choice, you’ll progress through a tutorial which works to get you up to speed on the events leading into the conspiracy of Dishonored 2. Following this introduction, you’ll be able to choose which character you’d like to play for the duration of the campaign.
While the tools and weapons at your disposal don’t differ too much between the Emily and Corvo, both have a unique set of supernatural abilities available with their own skill trees and upgrades. Emily obviously has many new abilities previously not seen in-game, such as Domino, which allows her to connect enemies together to share the same fate. Corvo retains many of the same abilities from the first Dishonored, such as Blink, allowing him to teleport at will. Your decision will also impact the narrative to a degree, but once you pick you’re locked in for good — just keep that in mind.
Exploration is Key to Success
Like many other open-world titles, exploration of the areas around you is a key piece to the gameplay loop of Dishonored 2. While you can aimlessly walk straight towards your objective with each new mission, you’d be doing the game a huge disservice by ignoring all the options Arkane has created for you to take advantage of.
The game world in Dishonored 2 is packed with collectibles that help tell the story of the people around you which are usually accompanied by upgrades for your character and a few helpful pieces of equipment. More importantly though, are the characters you can speak with. Often, these individuals will offer you side objectives and agree to help you with your main objective for your cooperation. While every option may not cater to your current run, it doesn’t hurt to consider every offer and see if it matches your current goals.
Non-Lethal Combat Is Now Possible
Previously in Dishonored, playing through the game with a non-lethal approach was a bit of hassle due to the lack of combat options allowing you to send enemies to the ground without killing them. You were only able to knock enemies out in combat with Sleep Darts or Shock Traps, and if you were detected without them you had to run away to get the option to knock them out from behind while in stealth.
In Dishonored 2, things have changed for the better though, namely because Arkane added the ability to knock enemies out in combat. Now, when you perfectly block an attack from an enemy in melee combat you’ll be able to knock them out instead of killing them, making things a little more accessible for those who prefer a less violent approach.
Photos via Nicholas Bashore