Dishonored is depressing as hell but it is one of my favourite games - definitely on my personal top 5 list. So, I was hyped for Dishonored 2. I was so hyped that Justin bought it for me as an early birthday present to put me out of my misery. Also, my birthday comes AFTER Christmas.
There was something special about the first game. It was simple in concept and brilliant in execution. You play an assassin who has been bestowed magical powers by an amoral entity with a beguiling voice. Well the voice was beguiling and intriguingly neutral in the first game, and aggressively petulant in the second. A bad decision on the part of the developers. Compare:
Othertimes, the voice acting feels rushed in cadence during the cutscenes. A bit like certain cutscenes in the Witcher 3. I do appreciate a voiced protagonist, though.
"Having a voiced main does limit some dialogue options, but it's still much better than dozens of heroes who all seem to have lost their voice-boxes in tragic childhood boating accidents."-- pokeybanana (2012)
I also resent the way that the game spells out the objectives every level and recaps at the end of the level. And the plot points. In the first game it was only implied that Corvo was Emily's father. In this one the game slaps it right on us in the tutorial and then tells itself that's OK with flavor text later in the first level because it was "the court's worst-kept secret."
Also crafting. Every game has crafting nowadays. If Mass Effect Andromeda has crafting I will be a little bit unhappy (It will definitely have crafting). And it's not even good crafting, it's half-assed crafting designed to check the "crafting" box in Bethesda's publisher checklist. It really breaks realism if I can slap together a trr-effect whalebone charm while perched on top of a streetlight. There are vices all over every single level, couldn't crafting be limited to those vices only?
However there are many aspects of the game that I feel are improvements on the original. Nonlethal drop-takedowns and combat moves now exist! Karnaca is painterly and beautiful. The level design is as good as in the first game but bigger
. Emily's powers suit my playstyle better than Corvo's in the first game. I spam F5 and F9 less frequently but according to the stats I've died about 150 times and I haven't even finished my first playthrough yet.
Different game, same principle.
There have also been a lot of reports about performance problems on PC - mainly mouse acceleration weirdness, low frame rate, and stutter. Though I haven't turned on Fraps or anything I haven't personally experienced any of these issues playing on (mostly) Medium settings.
Some of the level design, in addition to being much sunnier and varied than in the original Dishonored, is really creative. The clockwork mansion, for one, is a house whose configuration shifts if certain levers are pulled. In another level, you have to use time travel to solve puzzles and traverse obstacles in an overgrown mansion. My sense of direction is not great so I got lost and confused frequently. It was great. The level design in the original game was also very good but this was better
. That said I sure am sick of overgrown mansions and bloodflies. Or for that matter, an overgrown asylum or an overgrown conservatory... Would have liked to see an industrial setting too, like the whale processing plant from Knife of Dunwall. Or a prison.
I also found some unexpected consequences to my actions in unmarked and unlisted objectives. I don't want to spoil this one too much but you can kill nearly anyone
(and it only sometimes leads to a game over.)
I feel a little uncomfortable having so much of the plot hinge on the original Dishonored' DLCs - The Knife of Dunwall and the Brigmore Witches.
- Level design
- Extreme replayability
- Outsider's voice acting
- Objectives really spell things out for you
I think I would be a lot more impressed if I hadn't played Dishonored. To put it another way, Yahtzee says a good sequel should build on the original.
A good sequel--like Half-Life 2, Silent Hill 2, Tranmere Rovers 3--is one that uses the original as a jumping-off point for a whole new story with whole new technology, while a bad sequel merely wallows in the original, like a hippo in a vat of liquidized children.-- Zero Punctuation: Bioshock 2 Review
Dishonored 2 doesn't do anything particularly innovative but it does make a lot of improvements over the original. The ratio of Dishonored 2 / Dishonored is close to the ratio of Mass Effect 3 / Mass Effect 2 or Portal 2 / Portal. It's lower than the ratio of Mass Effect 2 / Mass Effect 1 but a lot higher than Assassin's Creed Brotherhood / Assassin's Creed 2. I'm not gonna try to compare the Dragon Age games in this context; they're just too different.
This review comes off as kind of negative but at the end of the day I hurt my hand because it's fun to play and I'll happily buy the DLC when it comes out and the university reimburses me for the dang conference.