Is the journey to Karnaca, the jewel of the south, worth your time?
The Dishonored franchise is known for being tough and challenging. The next installment in the franchise, Dishonored 2, continues this trend. The question becomes “is the game worth your time?” I would recommend playing the tutorial before you start but you can always jump into the tutorial during the main campaign.
Without giving away too much of the story in Dishonored 2, Emily Kaldwin has had her rightful place in the royal family taken from her. Its up to you to either play as her to get to the bottom of what’s going on or take the role of Convo, her father/body guard. It’s only the start, whichever role you decide to take, as you’ll have to deal with tons of challenging puzzles and choices.
You’ll find out early on that saving your game often is a good decision. Having multiple save files will give you the option of getting back that extra ammo that you might have lost during the fight. It could also give you the option to replay a certain part of the level, allowing you to play it a different way.
There are auto-save features but that only occurs at checkpoints, which isn’t a bad thing but being able to save frequently is always a good thing. However, I found that there were times when there was a lot of action occurring onscreen; it wouldn’t let me save my game.
Super natural powers/abilities can play a factor in the game. You have the option to not use them/acquire them and that will make the game much more challenging. If you decide to use the abilities and most players do, you will need the heart item to locate runes and bone charms.
The more of these items the better because you use these to upgrade your powers. You also use blueprints that you can purchase in the Black Market shop to upgrade your abilities. Some of the better abilities allow you to regenerate health faster as you will need all the health you can get during the challenging parts of the game.
Stealth is key in Dishonored 2. Players will want to stay out of the guards sight as well as try and not cause trouble. If you start something in a town or in a building, guards could be called to check on what’s going on. Townsfolk could take things into their own hands and try and kill you. Every time you go near these people, they will want to attack you so it’s best to not start things you can finish.
It’s interesting to make a decision to kill or not to kill townspeople. While playing, it was easier to knock out the guards and townspeople first and then kill them if I needed to. The game gives you that custom action where you can kill if you like as well as different abilities equipped. This lets the gameplay feel different for every person playing it. If you want it tougher there are ways to play like that such as changing the difficulty level, which you can do from the pause menu.
The Clockwork mansion was one of the toughest locales to play in. It was tough to sneak around inside as well as dodging the clockwork soldiers and the guards. Most of the rooms had multiple guards and a clockwork soldier. The puzzles were really tough too such as getting to Sokolov and deal with the soldier in the puzzle maze. Getting through this part of the game will make you earn it and will feel like an accomplishment!
The different locations make the game feel like steampunk and the future. The different puzzles and challenges give Dishonored 2 a Legend of Zelda vibe. Having different abilities and powers give it that feel as well.
I was able to attend a prerelease event in New York City at the Jane Hotel and after seeing the locations in game, the hotel felt more like the perfect place for the party. The game also has the certain ambiance that some people might not notice while playing. If it isn’t water dripping off pipes and into barrels, it’s the underbelly of Karnaca having mobster type criminals to deal with.
My one real issue with Dishonored 2 is the camera was not as tight as it should have been. There were times where my camera would point straight up when it shouldn’t have been doing that. Another instance like this was that it was tough to aim sometimes. Load times for the game were pretty long at times.
To recap, Dishonored 2 is a really challenging game but the challenges are worth it. Emily Kaldwin is a great character that players will enjoy using. The supernatural powers add to the gameplay and I really feel like you can’t skip them. The camera angles were “so-so” and the load times were lengthy at times but worth the wait. It’s these reasons that I’m giving Dishonored 2 for the PlayStation 4 a 9.5/10.
I would like to thank Bethesda and Arkane Studios for the review copy.
Score: 9.5 / 10