The world of Dishonored is a robust paradise of grimy cities and even grimier people and from the first title made by Arkane Studios, it’s definitely a world that drew my interest. A setting that employs technology with a darker deep-rooted magic in its history, there’s a little something for everyone. With Dishonored II, the studio seemed to outdo itself and like many others, I was already looking forward to when it released. Visually beautiful and some of the smoothest gameplay I’ve ever had the pleasure of operating, the experience of Dishonored II was as magical as its original was for me.
Looking back on when I finished it, let’s get into the 10 things I loved about Dishonored II.
1. Beautiful Serkonos
The world of Dishonored II takes place primarily in Serkonos and I can see how a gorgeous country made such gorgeous hunks like Corvo and Daud. Serkonos is a rich environment packed full of the same amount of lore that the original Dishonored had for Gristol. The history of Serkonos is immense and everything is thought of down to even what types of food are commonly found in the dishes around the homes. The architecture of the various cities that you visit are all so culturally different compared to Dunwall that when you eventually go back to the gothic city, you miss the sunny Karnaca all the more.
2. The Visuals
Simply said, the game looks beautiful. If you can afford to play the game in Ultra, you won’t be aching in terms of looks. The lighting is so impressive and how it interacts with objects in the game world, the texture of the water is so much more beautiful than previously seen. Everything about the world of Dishonored II is an impressive visual masterpiece.
3. The Intricate Clockwork Mansion
It’s hard to see the brilliance of the Clockwork mansion when it’s not in motion but trust me, it’s so amazing. From the announcement trailer to when I finally got there in the game, the Clockwork mansion built by Jindosh is a masterpiece that will be as frustrating as it is fun. A labyrinthine deathtrap, various objectives are littered throughout the home and you’ll need to flip switches, crawl behind the walls, and climb through areas that can only be accessed while the house is in motion. It truly was an experience.
4. The Unique Brilliance of Stilton’s Manor
Stilton’s Manor literally took my breath away when I first arrived and discovered just what the game had in store for me. With your powers being taken away from you for the duration of the level due to remnants of corrupted magic, the Outsider gives you a timepiece that allows you to jump back and forth in time at will. Emphasis highly be on at will. The manor of the past and the present exist as two separate entities so while you’re traversing your way through the manor of the present, you’ll find that the guards of the present are also doing their own thing.
Using the shards of glass on the timepiece will allow you to see the same area in both time spaces and honestly, the level took that much longer for me just because of how gorgeous it was. The image above barely captures how breathtaking it was to have the manor exist in those separate planes of time while at the same time being able to be interacted with so seamlessly.
5. Playing as Emily
Since Emily was the reason for everything that Corvo did in the first game, it was nice to see her as a playable character in the second one. Completely independent and brimming with personality, Emily doesn’t come off as one dimensional even with the limited amount of time we have before the player needs to choose which of the two to progress the game with. Seeing the bond she shares with her father and mother is also a huge highlight, though I’ll be real. It was weird seeing them so open about what seemed like a dirty little secret in the first game.
6. The Combat
Whether or not you choose to play as Corvo or Emily, the combat is smooth. The controls are perfect and not clunky and using the dark mark abilities feels weighted and balanced in all the best ways. Emily and Corvo have two different means to achieve the same goals and if you play too long on one character, you may forget how to do it on the other. For example, I kept forgetting that Emily’s body was propelled across areas with her Far Reach ability vs Corvo’s Blink that just blinks him in and out of space.
Naturally, both were fun.
7. The Enhancements for Corvo and Emily
I’ll complain about the rough nature of High/Low Chaos of Dishonor a bit further down in more detail, but Dishonored II did it correctly this time around. The abilities that the Outsider’s mark grants to Emily and Corvo don’t feel as if they are predisposed towards certain play styles. Completely up to the imagination of the player implementing them, both Corvo and Emily have various skills that help traverse the locations in a way that they wish to. A great example of this is Emily’s Domino. You can either use it to mass sleep a bunch of guards…or mass murder them. All up to you.
8. The DLC – Death of the Outsider
Going into Dishonored II, I knew I needed to see Daud come back since Knife of Dunwall was such an amazing DLC from the first installment. While Billie and I hadn’t connected so much, just the idea of killing the Outsider was enough to intrigue me and immediately flash my cash. I was far from disappointed with how jam-packed it was with lore entirely based on the Outsider and how the areas of the game were designed. Nothing felt reused, the environments felt and played so uniquely, and the different abilities of Billie were so much fun to jump into.
Plus, I got the conclusion with Daud that I needed.
9. High Chaos or Low? Doesn’t Matter Here
A common complaint with Dishonored was that High Chaos play style rewarded you with an outcome that was considered by everyone to be a bad ending. With low chaos being forced on players, the game went from action to strictly stealth based and that wasn’t an issue until you noticed that pretty much all of Corvo’s abilities were designed for High Chaos.
Dishonored II does away with that. While High and Low Chaos still exist, the player is rewarded with story options that seem to exist in a bubble. Killing someone here doesn’t mean the world hates you, it just means that Corvo may become a Duke. Your wanting to be more violent basically isn’t rewarded by having to feel shame so, I of course thoroughly enjoyed that.
10. The Childishness of Delilah
The expansion of Delilah’s backstory was an interesting choice because with each new fact I learned about her, it just made me smirk at how silly her and Jessamine always really were in the background. Upset over things that happened when both were little girls, Delilah’s attitude of non-forgiveness for her sister was downright hilarious and really silly because it seemed like everyone in Dunwall didn’t really care anyway if she really was the true daughter of the previous Emperor.
Like seriously, our villain here was low-key saying the entire time while stamping her foot, “But Jessamine blamed me and lied!” Yeah, Delilah. That’s what little girls do.
So what did you love most about Dishonored II? Lemme know!