SO...... Where do I even begin. The first Dishonored then.
Assassin's Creed got nothin' on Corvo.
The first Dishonored was one of my absolute favorite games of this decade, since it was released in 2012. It had a unique blend of combat, stealth, exploration and RPG elements which made it really authentic and unique, indeed you won't find another game like it, in terms of themes or gameplay for that matter(ok, maybe Bioshock did but that's handled completely differently). The steampunk and grey setting of the first game made it stand out in terms of art design and world building. All in all, it was just so much fun and still remains a fantastic game to play, so much so, that I highly recommend that you go play it when you get the chance, it will not disappoint. So, what of the successor then? Does it live up to the hype? Does it surpass the original? Does it justify Bethesda's new review policy?
How Bethesda trolled us.
OK, so lets get right to it, on the PC the game just is a mess to play, I've had the good fortune of playing on my cousin's XBONE so I could finish the game on it twice, playing once as Emily and once as Corvo. Which actually did change the gameplay quite a bit, but more on that later.
Story And Plot:
I have got to say, I was a teeny bit disappointed with a story as essentially you just play the same story with two different characters, but, in its defense it does change quite a bit of the atmosphere when you play as either character. As both the characters are fully voiced now(although I felt a little more dialogue would have been good), they lend a decent character arc for each play through.
The story begins rather abruptly when Emily's evil aunt(who is incidentally her mother's half sister) steps in and slaughters all of Emily's loyalists(shockingly few) and just proclaims the throne for herself which nobody else seems to have a problem with(and this happens in the first five minutes of the game).
Like she is the waaaaay sexed down version of Poison Ivy.
Here, you've choose to play either Corvo or Emily and one whom you didn't choose is turned into stone after which escape and wreck havoc in the city of Karnaca, hunting them traitor dogs down while being Batman, so everybody rides of into the sunset and gets an happy ending, or not. That being said the campaign should take anywhere between eight to twelve hours to complete.
Campaign Rating: 8/10
Dishonored 2's strongest suit is its gameplay, which is saying a lot because few games incorporate the same synergy between gameplay, world design and choices like this game. So, depending on whom you choose to play as, your experience from both characters will be quite different. Old School players will likely favor Corvo and his set of ability over Emily, who is infact quite overpowered, her Domino ability lets you sweep multiple enemies at a time. Each character has a different set of supernatural skills which they can employ to f*ck shit up. And its just so much fun play as either of them. But if you want a challenge, do pick Corvo, he easily has the best balance, if you're looking for a easier time, Emily would be a better option.
Ofcourse, stealth purists can say screw it and disable the supernatural abilities completely. Yeah...
Also, you'll have to upgrade these abilities making them more powerful by using something called Runes, which are few and far in between, you'll really spend a good bit searching for them or buying them when they're available in the Black Market(they're expensive af). You can also equip something called Bone Charms which give you some cool passive bonuses and in rare cases, abilities, you can also craft your own bone charms which is actually more of a chore than its worth. All in all, to truly finish Dishonored 2, with all its side quests, should take you a good bit over twenty hours, so there isn't a lack of content as such and really there isn't a lot complain about here, the increased verticality gives a new dimension to gameplay which is like giving candy to a stealth lover. Gameplay is king for any good game and its no exception here.
Gameplay Ratng: 9/10
So, if you haven't heard, Dishonored 2 right now on the PC runs like crap, honestly, even with developers insisting that its not a console port, one has to wonder why its so horrible, no really, the game runs smooth, then lags out of nowhere, and then crashes. Even with my brand new, shiny, formidable 1060 GTX, 16 Gigs of DDR4 RAM and my Core i5 quad, I couldn't even run the game on low at 900p. Its a f*cking disgrace. My system which in theory is about four times as powerful as a PS4, struggles to sometimes get playable frame rates(not that it doesn't crash on consoles, it did, twice, on the XBONE, still waaay better than PC peformance).
I mean the game already had steep system requirements to begin with, don't get me wrong, its a good looking game, but its nowhere near as gorgeous as DOOM or the excellent Battlefield 1. Even the underrated Titanfall 2 and the not so underrated COD:IW look better while demanding less Dakka(gaming firepower). It was so bad, that I had go back to my gaming laptop, a Nvidia GTX 870m, with settings lowered to medium and the resolution scaled down to 720p, which really isn't all that bad because the screen size is 15.6 inches while my desktops is 37 inches. I manged to achieve a stable forty fps after following all of the developers nonsense to make the game playable. The experience was still so frustrating that I had switch to an XBONE and even then it looks nowhere as near as good as the PC's 1080p high settings. If I haven't said this before then playing the game on PC is like
No, seriously. Moving onto other things,
The sound design is good, just so good, it really makes Karnaca come alive as a game world, every zone having a unique theme and while being mostly in the background, the score just fits in and does a good job in setting the tone between exploration and combat.
Special mention to the art design, the attention to the steampunk is amazing, which makes the game(despite its drawbacks) unique looking.
Technical Rating On PC: 5/10(done it now Bethesda)
on Console: 7.5/10
Verdict And Closing Thoughts:
So, how does the game match up? I would still have to say that the first Dishonored is the better game of the two, and that's just not because of the technical issues, but also of how the first game set its pace. And, also because of the fact that it isn't that much of an improvement over the original. I think most people who would feel its a let down would think so because the first game just set the bar so high.
Should you buy it?
Well, people who've been fans or those who have followed the hype would most probably have bought it. If you're new to the game, then I highly recommend going for the first game. And wait till Steam sets its special discounts AND Bethesda actually lets Arkane Studios fix the game proper.
Overall, On PC: 6/10
On Console: 7.5/10