French developers, Arkane Studios are back with the second entry in the Dishonored series, Dishonored 2. The setting of this game takes place 15 years after Empress Jessamine Kaldwin was assassinated, Emily kidnapped, and Royal Protector Corvo Attano being the main suspect. The rat plague and Loyalist Conspiracy have now been destroyed while Emily Kaldwin has taken the throne.
Dishonored 2 utilises the new Void engine which is a highly modified version of id tech 5 engine and it runs and looks very good. There have been some reports of blurriness on the XBOX One versions Link 1, Link 2 but no reports with issues on the PC or PS4 versions. The architecture of Karnaca, capital of Serkonos, has more of a Mediterranean feel compared to the locations in the first Dishonored title.
The Outsider character has received a makeover now with a different actor and appearance compared to Dishonored the original while being much more involved in the plot development. The upgrading system has been changed to a skill tree system with multiple paths and more possible upgrades for players to select from. Each protagonist character has unique powers while “Dark Vision”, is available to both characters, which identifies the player’s surroundings.
Corvo has most of the same powers from the first Dishonored, such as “Blink” which teleports him to a chosen location. This power can be upgraded to freeze time or impart damage on impact from the movement gained from teleportation. Corvo can also summon rats with the “Devouring Swarm” power to clear dead bodies before bloodflies have the chance lay eggs in them. “Possession” allows Corvo to take control of dead bodies as well as multiple hosts at the same time. “Bend Time” slows down time or can be used to avoid dangerous checkpoints.
Emily has new powers including “Far Reach” which lets her pull enemies or objects toward her and travel without physical movement by clasping onto something to propel herself forward. “Mesmerize” can be used to distract her enemies, “Domino” allows Emily to connect several of her enemies together so that they share the same outcome. “Shadow Walk” turns Emily into a shadowy cloud that moves swiftly. “Doppelganger” is useful for conjuring a clone of Emily in order to trick her enemies, which is handy to use in conjunction with the “Domino” power.
They’ve made some good improvements from the first Dishonored title which was a bit of a surprise hit, it will be interesting to see where they can take the series from here. You’ll quite easily get your money’s worth in this game with a playthrough clocking in at around 20+ hours but the replayability is good as you can see the differences between playing as the two protagonists and see things unfold as you approach levels from a different perspective.