Dishonored 2 - Review

Author: Francesco "Checco" Destri
Date: 2020-07-30 23:57:43
And here we are, after the impressions on the first four hours of the game, with the complete review of Dishonored 2 tried for thirty hours on PlayStation 4 Pro playing both the characters. Yes, because the main novelty of this sequel, which comes four years after a first episode loved by critics (but also the sales have not disappointed), is the choice between Corvo Attano and Emily Kaldwin, faces already well known to those who have played Dishonored. A choice that occurs practically at the beginning of the game and that is not reversible, thus forcing the player to commit himself to an entire run with Corvo (protagonist of Dishonored) or with his "protected" Emily.

Although the plot, the settings and the missions remain the same, the magical skills of the two characters change (and not a little), with Corvo keeping the powers already seen in Dishonored and Emily who instead has completely new spells available. This is also why I opted for Emily, while playing for a few hours as Corvo in a second run. Emily's choice will probably be the most popular, even if giving up some of Corvo's powers means not being able to enjoy an important part of the game. Just think for example of the power to slow down and stop time, which in Dishonored gave life to some of the most spectacular executions of the game and which Emily does not have.

In short, the choice between the two is not to be taken lightly and although many have criticized it, Arkane Studios has found an intelligent way to ensure very high replay value. Yes, as we will see in a little while, the game itself offers other elements that stimulate a wide replayability, but the two characters further increase this factor. After three hours in the role of Corvo, in fact, I realized that a second run with this character opens new and interesting glimpses even after finishing everything in the role of Emily.

As already mentioned, the plot remains the same for both characters and, even without reaching who knows what peak, the narration of Dishonored 2 reserves pleasant surprises. The main theme is that of revenge embodied by the wicked witch Delilah Copperspoon, alleged sister of Jessamine (and therefore Emily's aunt) who one day, 15 years after the events of Dishonored, breaks into the imperial palace together with the Duke of Serkonos, transforms Corvo into a statue and imprison Emily. After escaping, our heroine begins a long and dangerous journey to take revenge on Delilah, discover its origins and fight it, not before having neutralized other characters closely related to the witch.

Emily, to be honest, is not a great character and apart from some nice gimmick (the crazy inventor Kirin Jindosh seems a steampunk version of Andrew Ryan), the plot of Dishonored 2 flows away without boring but without at the same time exalting the player despite the huge amount of documents, books, newspapers and letters that can be found in the game world. The two allies who accompany Emily (or Corvo) on this trip are also quite anonymous (better still Sokolov's Meagan), while the narrative background manages to be intriguing, especially thanks to the occult elements that are the basis of the whole story.

Coming to the gameplay, Dishonored 2 is in fact an expansion and a "more of the same" by Dishonored. So if you liked the first one, you will also love this sequel, while if you do not know that little gem of four years ago, you will still not struggle to love Dishonored 2. Arkane Studios did not want to change anything of the original formula. Here then is the great freedom of action and movement, the stealth or more direct approach, the exploration of play areas characterized by a highly inspired level design, the alternation of weapons, magic and escapes.

Everyone can really play Dishonored 2 as they see fit and the more or less chaotic type of approach also slightly influences the game world. Personally I preferred to alternate stealth and action, but if you want you can play even without magical powers, or reach the end by killing only a few enemies (or not killing at all). Or you can stock up on bullets, grenades and mines and play more "boarding", or continually hide using the fundamental rapid movement (similar to that of Prototype). In all cases, the game works well, although it is not without defects.

For example, stealth is double-sided. On the one hand, enemies can notice the slightest change taking place (an open door that was previously closed, a noise, the sudden absence of a guard), also responding quickly to an alarm and also attacking 6-7 at the same time. On the other hand, however, once we are in front of them, their behavior is often unwary and confusing, other times suicidal and rambunctious and all this without there being differences between the various types of enemies (human and otherwise) at the level of intelligence and readiness.