During the past generation few games managed to conquer our attention beginning to the end as much as Dishonored, a title of stealth and action in first person so unique and with such an overwhelming personality that even couple years after Dishonored feels still so unique so fresh and fun as the first day.
Unlike current trends, Arkane Studios preferred to bet on giving us immense freedom when it comes to advancing through each level of adventure. And not only a “false” freedom to decide the order in which we want to do things, but a real one in which the same situation can be solved in dozens of different ways, since the enormous detail and complexity of the scenarios And a number of possibilities opened up by our protagonist’s powers, resulted in a hilarious play field where we can experiment and unleash our creativity and ingenuity.
Whether we decided to go through the front door slicing heads and grabbing everyone’s attention or as if we preferred to infiltrate the place quietly without drawing attention to incapacitating our targets in a non-lethal way, both styles offered us enough incentives as we wanted to repeat each one of its missions multiple times, since soon that we changed the plan a little and gave us to explore we would experience a development of the same very different in each attempt.
All this amazing work of art also rewarded us with a fascinating setting, in a world where steampunk and supernatural blended naturally, giving us a universe we always wanted to know more. Luckily for everyone, this jewel did not go unnoticed and ended up enjoying a great sales success, especially considering the modest budget it had, ensuring in this way the development of the fantastic sequel that we are going to review today.
A very familiar revenge
The first thing we would like to point out is that we are facing a tremendously conservative game in its proposal, as it follows every step of its predecessor without changing them in the least. In fact, even the structure is practically a rubble, with an area that will serve as our improvised base of operations (a ship this time) and from which we will access the missions, where we will have to meet a specific goal and eliminate the target That we are told, either by executing them or by looking for an ingenious way to incapacitate them so that they do not come back to be a problem in the future.
For this, we will have complete freedom to decide how we want to play and take advantage of our powers. The goals are often clear, but the route and approach is solemnly up to us. All options are valid, but just as in the first part, if we kill a lot of killing then chaos will begin to take over the game world, and we will see a much worse ending.
A very interesting detail and it should be noted that both styles (action and stealth) have been very fun and satisfying, showing that none of them has been neglected in favor of the other. Few games have managed to make us feel special for reaching seemingly inaccessible places without anyone being able to see us, but at the same time the ravaging of an area full of enemies putting our powers into practice is an experience worth living , Since if we consider the fighting well we will feel like authentic gods unleashing our murderous fury with such spectacular, brutal and varied executions and that is something hard to get bored while playing Dishonored 2.
The masterful level design from Arkane Studios
There are two key elements without which it would be impossible to understand the work of Arkane: level design and powers. Regarding the stage, we can not find enough adjectives to do justice to what has been achieved with this sequel thanks to elaborately designed of an overwhelming complex city. Not only do they offer us a multitude of different possibilities, routes, and secrets to exploring them for hours, they also become an active part and protagonist of the gameplay.
If you see a roof, chances are that you can access it (the verticality they offer has never ceased to amaze us at any time), there are multitude of multi-storey buildings made from top to bottom with every detail in which We can glue through almost any window or door that we see and has managed to avoid having to rely on the invisible walls to save us, so we will always have the feeling that we can reach anywhere we see and that the possibilities are endless .
Now they have a much larger scale than the first delivery, and there are more objects and elements with which we can interact in unique ways, although probably what has caught our attention has been the tremendously varied they result. So soon we will be solving puzzles and looking for the way to continue in a mansion that changes its form and structure in real time that infiltrates us in a coven of witches or taking advantage of storms of dust to arrive at places without seeing us, as well as many surprises more that will force us to rethink our way of playing constantly to adapt to its unusual characteristics.
Each level is a real insight into design, and you will see things in them that have never been seen before in a video game, credit to the art team for originality and ingenuity. If all this was not enough, we found that there are hidden a lot of interesting collectibles, as documents with which to expand our knowledge about the argument and the game world or money that we can then invest in the black market to improve our equipment and buy all kinds of items.
In spite of this, the most interesting ones are the Runes and the Talismans of Bones. The first ones are necessary to learn new powers and the second ones will give us many different advantages so that if we want to progress and develop our character, we will not have other than to look for these “secondary” objectives. The good news is that, like its predecessor, we will have a special item that will tell us where to find them, although it will almost never be enough to know where they are, since what is really complicated and fun will be to reach them, making these objectives really fun and satisfactory.
Emily and Crow
One of the great novelties of this sequel is the fact that this time we have two playable characters: Corvo, the protagonist of the first installment, and Emily, the girl we had to rescue in that adventure, now turned into A woman and the Empress of Las Islas. During the prologue, we will have to choose who we want to play with, and this decision will be maintained until the end, so if we want to try the other, we will start a new game.
This could lead us to think that there are two different campaigns with their own stories and missions, although this could not be further from reality. The game is practically the same at the level of development and plot, regardless of who we choose , so only vary some videos and conversations to adapt to the fact that Emily is not Corvo and vice versa, so that the rest of characters are They will direct us to one way or another depending on who we incarnate. A pity that the opportunity has not been used to offer unique content in each campaign and to make two complementary stories.
Where there are notable differences and very palpable is in the powers of each of them. Corvo maintains almost all its previous abilities from the first game and counts on a series of techniques something more oriented to the direct combat, whereas the new additions can be experienced if we decide to play with Emily since she shows off of almost all the new powers which have been included.
The young Empress is not only as capable as her father, but has a number of techniques that have seemed much more interesting, useful and versatile , including things like taking the form of an elusive shadow to move without being Detected, create ghostly doubles to distract our rivals or link to several enemies so that the damages one receives will also suffer the rest.
As in Dishonored, all these powers are hilarious to use, and each one of them opens a lot of different possibilities to face the situations that we are encountering, so depending on which ones we are unlocking we can do some things or other. As much as the missions are repeated, as both characters are so different, the playable experience that we will get will be radically different with each one of them, something that brings a very high replayability. In the end, with something as simple as this has managed to double our number of tools and game options.
Also, there is a very interesting synergy between our powers and tools, allowing us to create really ingenious combos, like creating a ghostly double and hitting a proximity mine to explode when enemies approach him or link this doppelganger to our rivals and make it disappear To finish them without moving of the site.
As you can imagine, the duration of a title like this is very variable , as it will depend on both our style of play and the difficulty chosen (we strongly recommend that you opt for the highest, since in the middle of the game the powers facilitate the things over the account), as well as if you need to explore more or not. In our case, the first round in secrecy, without killing and stopping just to collect runes and meet optional targets has lasted for about 12 hours, although this number of hours can easily expandable if you chose to achieve everything.
The beauty of Karnaca
Graphically we are facing a game that is far from exploiting the potential of today’s consoles and computers. The textures are no wonder, the modeling of secondary characters are nothing out of the world (although they did a great job with the main characters), and the animations could get more attention. However, all this remains in a second level before its spectacular artistic section, which has managed to recreate a first class atmosphere and personality, inviting us continuously discover what will be the next and detailed scenario we will visit. Obviously, aesthetics continues to mix the steampunk with the supernatural.
We had the opportunity to test the PlayStation 4 version on a PS4 Pro , which looks really good and in a very similar way to that compatible with all options to the maximum, at a 30 Fps rate.
The sound does not detract from the rest of the sections thanks to a soundtrack selection and quality, and very ambient that adapts with mastery to everything that happens on the screen. The effects are really good and varied.
Dishonored 2 is by its merits one of the great games of the year and of what goes of generation. In spite of having lost the surprise factor that had its first delivery, has managed to conquer once more with its overwhelming level design and almost infinite possibilities when facing each mission. And all this not to mention how hilarious the new powers play so perfectly, how tremendously satisfying it can be, or how much we have enjoyed with its fascinating art section.
If you played and liked first one or simply seeking a great adventure of action and secrecy game which is full of possibilities, this sequel seems to us an essential purchase that you should not let slip under any circumstances.
We performed this review with a PS4 download code for the final version provided by Bethesda.