This week we were lucky enough to get an early hands-on with Dishonored 2, the sequel to 2012’s original first person stealth action-adventure game. Having never played the latter, (I’ve been meaning to for so long, I swear) this was definitely a trip into the deep end of the world and its gameplay, so forgive me if I completely misunderstand anything.
And full disclosure: I play 90% of my games on PC, so my controller chops are way off in these snippets but hey, I think I did pretty alright, don’t judge me.
I was thrown into a level about 4 hours into the game and tasked with killing a bloke named Kirin Jindosh and saving another bloke named Anton Sokolov, a character from the previous game. I had little context as to why I had to kill old mate other than he made nasty robots. Good enough reason I suppose. To surmise: Sokolov = good, pls save. Jindosh = BAD, kill him in a way that pleases you. Got it.
The game is playable as 2 different characters, each with their own special abilities. The first playthrough was as Emily, who’s special ability is gettin’ all sneaky and close to the ground, allowing you to get past enemies without engaging in combat. Corvo, the second character, allows you to slow down time, which is fkn RAD and by far a favourite of mine.
The level starts off on a monorail type deal, then inside a dope mansion. Once inside, first thing’s first, I’m starving. Better get some grub.
Right, now we can continue. The level is called The Clockwork Mansion and man, it’s one hell of a mansion. The joint is littered with levers that transform the layout of the room you’re in and often give access to other areas of the map. There’s also heaps of food lying around that when eaten, replenishes your health. I’ve only been in the game for 2 minutes and it’s already the greatest eating simulator of 2016.
I worked my way through the wacky mansion and decided I would head downstairs to find Sokolov first, then work my way back to Jindosh. Mates before assassinations, ya know? Moving around felt fine, though it’s hard for me to pass any kind of accurate judgement without playing on a keyboard and mouse first. Old school for lyf.
My first taste of any kind of combat came in the form of 2 guards with their backs turned. Being the sneaky devil I am, I stabbed them in the back like a coward.
There are definitely a lot of options available when it comes to killing. So much so that it became hard to choose and I’d generally just stick to the easy options of shooting them square in the face with explosive rounds. I was told, however, that this version of the game made me very powerful and enemies quite weak, so upon release, there will likely be a need for creativity in tricky situations where there are multiple foes or when you have limited resources.
I made it to the dank basement and into a maze-like area that required stepping on certain tiles to change the structure of the room to allow me into other areas. It was tricky, but I finally got to my mate Sokolov and frankly, he was stoked about it. I left him there for the moment to hunt down and pulverise Jindosh, that smarmy prick.
After navigating the mansion, I found him pacing the top floor with a couple of his robot pals. After taking care of them I decided to simply hurl a few grenades at Jindosh, flinging his corpse into the air which, if I’m honest, was very satisfying.
I went back to collect Sokolov and carry his passed out ass out of the mansion. Objectives completed, I am the god damn master. Now to replay as Corvo.
I followed much the same path as I did with Emily, but utilised Corvo’s ability to slow time and fuck with people while they were slow as all fuck.
Brutal. All-in-all, Dishonored 2 will be an enjoyable time, though others have told me it seems to be much the same as its predecessor. From my perspective – as someone who hasn’t played the original – the choice between stealth and run-and-gun action could definitely be stronger, but playing the game on a harder difficulty will likely make the stealthy approach a more desirable way to play.
Gameplay mechanics aside, the graphics are very schmick and the overall look and feel is very similar to the Bioshock series. What stood out the most was definitely the detailed and intricate level design. It’s well executed and a complete and utter mindfuck when the walls and floor transform to create an entirely new space.
Also, pro tip: don’t hurl a bottle at Sokolov. You will kill him and that’s bad.
Photo: Dishonored 2.