I completely missed Dishonored when it came out in 2012, I even missed the opportunity to get it when it later became available for free on Games with Gold. I know, I know, it’s a glaring omission from my game pile that I really should rectify.
Anyway, I digress… Both myself and Ross managed to get our hands on the first ever playthrough of Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2 in the UK, possibly even Europe (if I remember right) and it was an absolute delight. So much so that it definitely makes me want to hunt down the original and pre-order its’ follow up too.
Before even getting stuck into the demo though, we had a choice; take control of returning hero Corvo, or have some fun with Emily and her new powers. Although I hadn’t played the first one, I picked Emily as her powers sounded a lot of fun…. and they indeed were.
“…the game revels in brutality, with slow motion executions proving to be intense experiences…”
Dropped into one of the early levels of the game, we were tasked with infiltrating the beautiful clockwork mansion of inventor Kirin Jindosh to take him down and rescue an old friend, Anton Sokolov. A veritable puzzle in itself, the mansion is a glorious site to behold and reached via a beautiful introductory roller-coaster that really allows you to take in the scenery around you. The vista is reminiscent of Sorrento and parts of the Amalfi coast in Italy if you’ve had the pleasure of being there. It is breathtaking in its splendour.
Arriving at the mansion, the game brings to mind some of the style and imagery of Bioshock Infinite. Jindosh’s mocking tones inviting you into his domain mask a hint of menace in his voice as he deems you prove yourself worthy of an audience with him. It’s also safe to assume that, although we’ve been thrust into the game, he knows exactly why we’re here and for what purpose!
“The vistas are reminiscent of Sorrento and parts of the Amalfi coast in Italy. It is breathtaking in its splendour.”
After we’ve gotten over the arrival, it’s time to get our hands dirty in the search for Sokolov and hunt for Jindosh. The Clockwork Mansion is one giant puzzle in its own right. As you navigate your way around it, you’ll find levers that actively transform the layout and open up new pathways to your goals. It’s an integral part of this particular segment of the story and positively hypnotic as you watch the mansion twist and transform around you. But you are, of course, not the only one there.
The enemies that you can choose to either take on or avoid (but where’s the fun in that with your powers right?) are a mix of human security or house staff and creepy, soulless automatons created by Jindosh, his clockwork soldiers.
My first few encounters really did not end well. Several times. I was struggling to get to grips with the controls and powers, especially with the sword . This is not to say that the controls weren’t intuitive though, more that I hadn’t really paid attention to the controls map sitting next to me. Multiple gruesome deaths quickly changed that and before long I was artistically and enthusiastically taking out clockwork soldiers and security with reckless abandon and at times ruthless efficiency.
It’s safe to say that the game revels in brutality, with slow motion executions proving to be intense experiences, be it from your powers like the shadow walk (anyone remember The Darkness?) where enemies are thrown into the air and ripped apart to take downs with your sword. They’re all viscerally graphic and of course immensely satisfying. Speaking of which, Emily’s other core attack is her domino effect which can be devastating as you chain your attack between enemies. Dismember or decapitate one and all tagged with the domino suffer the same fate. As I said before, deliciously nasty!
Sadly before I knew it my thirty minutes of playtime in the world of Dishonored 2 were over. It was long enough though to get a thirst for more of this world, its characters, its story and those ever so brutal takedowns. Roll on November 11 and the game’s release. This one is an instabuy for me!
For more on Dishonored 2, follow the game on Twitter @Dishonored and @ArkaneStudios