Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

Player Choice Matters

When Arkane Studios’s brand new IP, Dishonored, released in October of 2012, it took the industry by surprise with its open-ended gameplay, a beautifully dark world, and a solid narrative. I have poured hours upon hours into various versions of Dishonored, toying with different play-styles and options I hadn’t previously explored before. It was a breath of fresh air during a time that was crowded with linear games, and something I didn’t expect to spend so much time with. Naturally, I was incredibly excited when Dishonored 2 was officially announced, and 2 years later, it’s finally been released. Dishonored 2 does what everything the first game did and more, making for one of the best gaming experiences this year, albeit some technical issues.

Dishonored 2 gives you the option of playing as Emily or Corvo.

Take Back What’s Yours

Dishonored 2 is set 15 years after the events of the original, following Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano after the assassination of the empress Jessamine Kaldwin. Emily has taken her rightful place as empress of Dunwall, and is taking part in a remembrance cermemony for Jessamine, when she’s abruptly visited by the witch Delilah Copperspoon  and Duke Luca Abele. They attack Corvo and Emily, and here is where you choose who you want to play as. You’re then thrown out, and Delilah takes the throne for herself, as she claims she’s the half-sister of Jessamine, and that the throne is rightfully hers. It doesn’t help that a mass murderer called the Clown Killer, has been targeting all of Emily’s political rivals, framing her as the Crown Killer herself. You then set out to save Corvo or Emily (depending on who you play as) and to get back the throne from Delilah. It’s a fairly predictable story, but definitely enjoyable, with a likeable cast of characters and villains throughout. Voice acting is strong here, and some of the characters from the first game make a welcome return. Most of the narrative takes place in Karnaca, an isle just south of Dunwall. It’s a fantastic setting for the story, making for a more colourful, vibrant, and still dark world to explore. Once again, Dishonored 2 absolutely nails the setting and atmosphere of its world, and I was always incredibly interested in what it had to offer. Smaller side storylines with minor characters are also common, and there’s one in particular that’s very intriguing, which follows Meagan Foster. During both of my playthroughs I paid close attention to her and her dialogue, and I recommend you do the same thing.

Rats are ever-present in the world of Dishonored, but Karnaca also has another threat in the form of bloodflies.

An Assassin’s Tools

Part of what made the original Dishonored such a fresh experience, was its unprecedented player choice. You could clear the entire game without killing a soul, and it was this kind of player freedom that made Dishonored as good as it was, and Dishonored 2 takes it to the next level. The first choice you make in Dishonored 2 is definitely the biggest, as it determines who you’ll play as for the 8-10 hour campaign, consequently locking you into that characters set of powers for that playthrough. Naturally, I played as Emily for my first playthrough due to Corvo being mostly the same as he is in the original, and if you have played the original, I urge you to play through as Emily first, as her powers are entirely unique and different to Corvo’s. Choice only goes further from there however, with multiple pathways and options for players to take. You can go guns blazing, destroying and killing everyone in sight, or you can go through the entire game without spilling any blood at all. Both play styles are just as rewarding as the other, and both have negative or positive outcomes on the world around you. Powers this time around are just as entertaining to use as they were in the original, whether it be Emily’s ability to summon a doppelganger of herself, link the fates of two unfortunate enemies, or Corvo’s returning ability to freeze time and summon rats, Dishonored 2 never makes you feel like you’re playing it wrong, and player choice once again takes a front seat. The openness of the levels is also extremely nice and exploring each one is always enticing, further expanding the environment and feel of the world. Once again, runes can be collected to upgrade your powers, and bone charms can be found to gain various buffs. One thing that stood out to me consistently across both of my playthroughs, was the incredible level design and verticality found in each mission. Whether you’re exploring the docks of Karnaca, or the twisted halls of the Clockwork Mansion, each individual mission feels unique and of its own. It was an absolute pleasure to navigate each and every environment, and the verticality of each level is unprecedented. Much like the environments, the missions are incredibly varied as well, ranging from missions involving time travel, to others involving the supernatural side of Dishonored’s world. Various tools make a return from the original too, such as the crossbow and pistol, with new items such as various new crossbow darts. It’s truly fantastic stuff, and I enjoyed every second I spent playing Dishonored 2.

The Clockwork Soldiers a new form of enemy in Dishonored 2, and they’re quite formidable.

Karnaca, Jewel of the South

I played Dishonored 2 on my Playstation 4 Pro, and my god does this game look absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful water-colour art style comes into full effect here, and Dishonored 2 constantly treats you with amazing visual fidelity, with high quality textures, character models, an environment details. The level of visuals Dishonored 2 achieves unfortunately causes the game to run at 30 frames per second, and while it’s certainly stable, I much would’ve preferred a 60 frames per second experience. Dishonored 2, at least from my experience didn’t hold up terribly well in terms of other technical aspects. I experienced one game breaking bug, and experienced 3 or 4 hard crashes across 16-20 hours of game time. I also noticed that the game’s audio mixing was slightly off, with sound effects coming into play shortly after they were supposed to, and it seems to lack support for surround sound, but I’m sure that can be changed with some fiddling with the settings.

The Clockwork Mansion is one of the most beautiful missions, with ever changing environments, taking place during a gorgeous sunset over Karnaca

Verdict: 9/10

Dishonored 2 successfully takes what made the first game so great, and turns it up a notch, making for an impressive experience drowning in player choice. There’s no right way to play Dishonored 2, and that’s the beauty of it. Arkane should be applauded for crafting such an excellent game, and while it’s definitely got its problems, it’s easily one of the best games of 2016. It has a solid story, refreshing player choice, a beautiful world, and incredible visual fidelity. I cannot recommend Dishonored 2 enough, especially you’ve played and enjoyed the original.


-Unprecedented player choice

-Engrossing world

-Incredible visuals and art style

-Intuitive level design, that’s refreshing form start to finish

-Solid narrative, with likeable characters


-Game breaking bugs and crashes

Thanks for reading guys! I really enjoyed this one, and I was looking forward to it too so I’m glad Arkane handled it well. Up next is the 4th Episode of Telltale’s Batman series, then Pokemon Sun and Moon!

Thanks again, Harry.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Progress at its Finest

If there’s one thing that Deus Ex consistently nails as a franchise, it’s that each game released is at the very least good. I personally haven’t played any of the old Deus Ex games, but I did jump on Human Revolution a few years after its release and I really enjoyed. So naturally I was looking forward to Mankind Divided. I’m incredibly happy to say that Mankind Divided reaches and easily exceeds the likes of Human Revolution, setting a new bar for Deus Ex, while simultaneously setting itself up for a very likely game of the year award. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is not only what I think is the best game in the franchise thus far, it’s also the best gaming experience I’ve had this year.

Rain effects are beautiful, and the occasional robot is too.

A World Divided

The Deus Ex games have always been well known for their intricate conspiracy ridden storylines, and I’m glad to say that Mankind Divided is no different. It picks up a year after the events of Human Revolution (if you haven’t played it or have forgotten about it you can watch a 12 minute catch up video) and once again follows the augmented protagonist Adam Jensen. The world is torn and unsurprisingly divided on the concept of progress and augmented human bodies. Augs are discriminated against, treated poorly, exploited, and Mankind Divided captures it perfectly. Without spoiling too much, I bomb goes off at a train station, killing and injuring many in the process, and it’s your job to find out who’s the culprit of said bombing. Various groups get involved with the storyline, and I found that it got a bit confusing once or twice, but after thinking about it for a while it became clear. The game has a fantastic cast of likeable characters, with the same protagonist as Human Revolution, and Elias Toufexis does another brilliant job as Adam Jensen. Mankind Divided serves as a satisfying continuation to Human Revolution with believable voice acting, a solid plot, and a fantastic antagonist.
Mankind Divided’s Breach mode has a very different setting to the main campaign.

Augmented Pathways

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was praised for its various options and ways to tackle various missions and objectives, and Mankind Divided takes it to new levels. There are many possible paths to get to an objective, and it always feels like there’s no wrong way to do it. If you want to completely stealth through an entire map, non-lethally taking out targets, the game rewards you for it, but if you want to go loud and guns blazing, the game appreciates that too. Mankind Divided rewards the player no matter how they choose to deal with the situation, and that kind of unprecedented freedom is refreshing and much needed among the games of today. Various Augments to Jensen’s abilities, and they cater to various play styles. Most of the augments from Human Revolution return, but a few brand new ones are innovative, interesting, and they often never failed to stump me on my decisions when it came to upgrading Adam. If I’d gone to upgrade one of the new augments, it overclocks Adam’s systems, meaning you have to permanently shut down another augment. At first I thought this would mean I’d have to sacrifice some augments for others, which makes for a very interesting mechanic. Unfortunately, completing the correct side mission completely removes the overclock function, completely unlocking all augments for upgrades, which I found surprisingly disappointing. I found myself playing through Mankind Divided using tools like the tesla to silently take out targets that I believed didn’t deserve to die, while I used nano-blades to take out the targets I believed should’ve died, and I was consistently rewarded no matter what. I generally progressed through the world silently, using hacking and platforming to navigate through the game world. Level design is fantastic, and eventually doing with various enemy types keeps the game interesting and refreshing. Gone are the notorious boss fights from Human Revolution, which makes for a more fluent, cohesive experience as a whole. Gun-play feels tight, and I was always finding other uses for my augments upon further inspection, which consistently surprised me. Level design is fantastic, and exploration is heavily rewarded for those who go out of their way to find secrets. Mankind Divided’s other main game mode is Breach, which puts you in various virtual reality-esc scenarios. I was enjoying it at first and I thought the progressions system would keep me interested, but I eventually drifted away for it. It can probably provide some extra gameplay once you finish the campaign, but it feels underdeveloped and shoehorned in.
The Gold Masks are some of the enemies you’ll see often throughout the campaign.

Technical Augments

Mankind Divided from a technical standpoint is literally flawless. The open world setting of Prague is open and beautiful, and the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps legitimately amazed me the first time I saw them. Mankind Divided consistently pleased me visually, with a beautiful art style and setting, and all of it runs at a smooth 30 fps. Would’ve been nice at 60, but 30 is definitely bearable when it’s consistent. I also surprisingly never ran into any bugs at all, which was definitely a pleasant surprise for a game of this kind.

To say Mankind Divided is simply pretty is a severe understatement.

Verdict: 9.5/10

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is in my opinion, the strongest entry in the series. It does what all the past titles have done so well, and more, with a fantastic story, excellent, unrestricted gameplay, and enough content to justify a full priced purchase. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been my favourite gaming experience this year, and I really do help Eidos Montreal keep putting out quality titles such as this.


-Unprecedented player freedom

-Fantastic story

-Looks beautiful and runs smoothly

-Rewarding no matter how you play

-Fantastic characters and believable voice acting


-Augment limitation system is mitigated

Thanks for reading guys! Up next is Attack on Titan.