‘Dishonored 2’ offers peaceful path for victory

By Luke Mattingly

A young woman, sprinting across the rooftop, blade in hand as the cold air bites at her through her dark cloth mask. Any trouble she encounters isn’t enough to even slow her down.

This feeling of power, of achievement, is what the recently released sequel, Dishonored 2, is all about.

When the first Dishonored came out in 2012 it was a kind of spiritual successor to the Thief franchise and a great example of a traditional first person stealth game.

That being said, it also vastly innovated in its field, adding powers like teleportation and animal possession to make your way around the maps. Dishonored 2 improves upon this already enjoyable format and gives players the option to play as a female protagonist, a rarity in many games.

Dishonored’s art and world stand out from many open world games because of its deep lore and intentionally dark and dreary outlook. It’s clear that Dishonored derives an inspiration from steampunk, and mixed with a gothic, plague-like time period, it creates an interesting dynamic.

Dishonored 2 does not drastically change the formula of the game, and mix everything up, rather it is a refinement and a continuation of the original. With more, sharper powers; better, stealthier weapons; and the choice between two protagonists, the game is an elaboration and continuation of the first.

Though this improvement feels nice and is very enjoyable, it’s not always beneficial to the game. It is clear in the improved graphics and gameplay that voice acting wasn’t a massive concern, as the voice acting in Dishonored 2 can at times be atrocious. Corvo, the male protagonist, has some especially uninspired lines.

The combat system, while easy in stealth is extremely difficult without it. Guards outnumber and surround you, calling for help even when outnumbering you six to one. No matter how good you are with a short sword and a tiny crossbow, fighting six at a time is extremely difficult, and can be downright frustrating.

Meant to be puzzles now, are the walls of light: impenetrable barriers that don’t allow access through an area before you power it down. I appreciate what they were trying to do, but it comes across as tedious and stale. You just have to sneak along the wire to where it’s powered and turn it off. These long and convoluted routes can be annoying.

However, overall, the innovation present in the game is brilliant, and the creative ways that you can take down your enemies are exciting and fresh. In Dishonored 2, not only can you spare the lives of innocent people, but you can also spare the lives of all the enemies too, whether through sending them to a jail or wiping their mind of memories, not a single person has to die to complete the game.

To wrap things up, Dishonored 2 provides an intelligent, enjoyable experience, which occasionally falls flat. Yet even in such a miserable, dreary setting, the world is enjoyable and worth exploring if you get a chance

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