Dishonored 2 Xbox One Review

Dishonored 2 is a fantastic sequel and a game you’ll want to play multiple times

By Grayshadow, Posted 12 Nov 2016

Back in 2012 Dishonored launched with critical and commercial acclaim. The freedom to play either violently or peacefully allowed players to shape the story and the world of Dunwall. Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the events of the first game in the coastal city of Karnaca and builds on everything the first game succeeded on. Dishonored 2 is a fantastic sequel and a game you’ll want to play multiple times.

Dishonored 2,Review,Xbox One,Arkane Studios,Bethesda,NoobFeed,Screenshots,Gameplay

Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the events of the first game. Instead of porting your decisions to influence the story, like in BioWare’s Mass Effect or Dragon Age franchise, the story assumes that Corvo, the protagonist of the first game, made all the peaceful decisions. Emily is now the Empress and Corvo serves as her Royal Protector, as he did when her mother was alive. 

Within the first fifteen minutes, Emily is usurped from power, Emily and Crovo are branded as traitors of the state, accused of being responsible for a series of murders, and forced to flee Dunwall. A woman named Delilah Copperspoon claims to be the half-sister to Emily’s mother and the rightful heir to the throne, and she’s taking it by force. Right at the beginning, the player is given a choice, to play as Corvo or Emily. Once you pick you forfeit the chance to play the other character.

Emily and Corvo share basic skills such as jumping, strangling, and lethal takedowns. Enhancements remain the same between both Emily and Corvo, allowing players to upgrade health, speed, durability, and combat effectiveness. What differs between the two are their supernatural abilities. Corvo’s abilities from the first game remain largely unchanged and include teleporting, possession, slowing time, and summoning rats. Emily uses a different set of abilities that radically change the gameplay. All thanks to The Outsider.

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Speaking of The Outsider the dark deity has a larger role this time around. Unlike the first game where the god simply acted as a narrator, verbally explaining Corvo’s actions, this time around we see The Outsider offer some much-needed context to the game’s plot. Here he explains the origin’s of characters, who they are, and what they’ve done. Emily and Corvo may be the stars of the game but The Outsider steals the spotlight. 

Both Emily and Corvo can be gifted with the Mark of the Outsider, which is optional in Dishonored 2. Emily can force humans and hounds to fight at her side, assume the form of a shadow with increased speed with limited visibility, summon a doppelganger, and link enemies together so what happens to one happens to the linked target. Every ability can be upgraded using Runes that are collected throughout the environment, some offering more than one branch. Other items include Bonecharms that add specific boosts, all of which can be located using The Heart. This item shows the location of all hidden special items, with the exception of paintings and whale bones, as long as it’s equipped.

Unlike the first game all upgrades and items are purchased through the Black Market. Money is plentiful but upgrades are limited. Everything is upgradable including gadget. You’ll  have access to a pistol, grenades, stun mines, sticky grenades, and springrazers. If you wish to switch between items and powers without opening a menu you can assign up to four items to the d-pad quick select menu. Since money is finite choosing which upgrades suit your play-style is just as important as investing points to your skills and which bonecharms to equip.

Dishonored 2,Review,Xbox One,Arkane Studios,Bethesda,NoobFeed,Screenshots,Gameplay

One major change that should be noted is Dark Vision. Available to both Emily and Corvo this ability allows players to see through walls and the cone-of-vision of enemies. Unlike the first game this new version of the skill now emits a small radar pulse that periodically scans an area. At times I found the skills to be unreliable, sometimes picking up no one unless I stood still even when fully upgraded. When compared to the first game’s version of the skill this one is clearly inferior.

Enemies in Dishonored are smart. They’ll notice when doors and windows are left open if their allies are missing, and call for backup when in trouble. Certain enemies are stronger than others with soldiers with red coats possessing superior combat skills than blue coats, clockwork soldiers able to see in front and behind themselves and armed with painfully sharp blades, and supernatural beings capable of teleporting. It’s vexing that no close-range forward facing non-lethal attack is available to either Emily or Corvo. Where games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Human Revolution offer a punch option Dishonored 2 leaves you unable to defend yourself without resorting to killing or running.

Levels are separated into segments, each with a specific task to complete. Side objectives become available throughout the mission, mostly these tasks help you in completing the main task. Most of these main objectives have you targeting a specific person to eliminate, either lethally or non-lethal. This is where Dishonored 2 shines.

Dishonored 2,Review,Xbox One,Arkane Studios,Bethesda,NoobFeed,Screenshots,Gameplay

Like the first game, players are given a myriad of options of how to complete each mission. Ledges, secret entrances, and creative abilities allow you to choose how to tackle each mission. Since upgrades are entirely dependent on collecting optional items you’re never penalized or gifted extra bonuses for choosing one path over another. After each mission, a detailed report shows how many people you killed if you were seen, and the amount of chaos you caused. Just like the first game you can choose to complete the game without killing anyone. Depending on whether you leave a trail of bodies or everyone alive effects how the story will play out and change the environment. 

High valued targets offer the best challenge. While simply rushing up and murdering them is efficiently Arkane Studios designed various unique options for players to take these targets down. Lethal takedowns are limited to your own creativity with the tools given. The iconic save anytime feature has returned, allowing you to save whenever you wish, allowing players to experiment with different routes and tactics. 

Regardless of who you choose, you’ll take on the same challenges. Both Emily and Corvo have very different perspectives on the journey ahead. Corvo feels lost after living in a palace for fifteen but determined to save Emily, traveling through Karnaca reinvigorates the veteran warrior by reminding him where he came from. Emily, on the other hand, seems excited to see the world, especially the place where Corvo grew up. After playing as Corvo I immediately started a new campaign as Emily and had an entirely different experience despite playing through the same areas and against the same adversaries. 

Dishonored 2,Review,Xbox One,Arkane Studios,Bethesda,NoobFeed,Screenshots,Gameplay

Graphically Dishonored 2 is an impressive looking game. The lighting and water physics have dramatically improved and character models are visually detailed. On the Xbox One version I played I noticed that the game’s draw distance would suffer greatly in wide open areas, creating blurred textures to the point I couldn’t properly see enemies in the distance. This only happened once but it was a shocking moment that I thought something was wrong with my monitor. 

It is impossible to experience everything Dishonored 2 has to offer in one playthrough. Like the first game, this is a campaign that must be played multiple times. Both Emily and Corvo bring something new and exciting to the table, coupled with the branching paths available and different options Dishonored 2 encourages you to experiment and play again. 

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Dishonored 2

88/100

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Developer(s): Arkane Studios
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Fantasy
Release Date: 2016-11-11

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