I finished Dishonored 2 and have reflections [SPOILERTOWN]


#1

I finished Dishonored 2 last night and found myself wanting to talk about it, so here I am! I would note that for anyone who wants to play the game fresh, this whole post should probably be considered to be cordoned off with SPOILER tape. Though the broad strokes of the story are uncovered pretty early, I’d hate to ruin discovering some of the details accidentally. I’ll still deploy a few spoiler tags.

I’ll try to be brief, but want to share three things that will be particularly memorable:

  • I finished the thing! I don’t get to finish a lot of games. My primary time-sink since I picked up gaming more again a couple of years ago has been Destiny, and that’s a game that doesn’t really end, though there’s lots of end-game content. Dishonored 2 tells a story, finishes that story, and says good job, you’re done and rolls credits. This is just hugely satisfying to me. I feel good about that.

  • My wife does not like video games. I work to balance family time and Dad Game Time and this sometimes creates tension when I get particularly into something. She and I solved the Jindosh Riddle together while making waffles one lazy morning last weekend: Don’t get me wrong: She didn’t particularly care about the in-game result of having done that [huge payoff! got to skip a big difficult-looking section of game and go right into what I think is one of the best game levels I’ve ever seen, a mansion that plays with present and past time mechanics] , but dang was it fun to take something from the game, scribble on paper for a while with her, and solve something difficult. What a great memory.

  • I accidentally solved a puzzle on the final level while mis-interpreting a mission clue. One way to defeat Delilah involves crafting a corrupted rune on her alter. One of the in-game powers you can gain is to craft runes, but you don’t actually need that skill to complete that in-game objective. I didn’t realize this, so I thought I had to complete the skill tree for rune-crafting. Which I gave the game credit for: This path requires real commitment I thought to myself. I was one rune short of being able to develop the run-crafting skill, so I had to go hunting for one. That hunt brought me past two mechanical soldiers and several witches – there may have been grenades deployed in my otherwise low-chaos game, I so hate fighting the witches – into a basement where, turns out, I needed to make my way anyway in order to turn on the power in the building so I could take the elevator upstairs… but my route through the level hadn’t revealed that need to me, yet. I got the rune, went all the way back to the chapel, upgraded the skill, use the rune-crafting skill but nothing happened, so I read the objective more carefully and realized that this was a different event that I could trigger without the skill. Done. Corrupt rune crafted and ready for Delilah’s throne! And, got the power turned on by pure chance of discovering the generator room deep downstairs. So, mis-interpreting the objective led me on what I thought would be a short side quest that turned out to be core to completing the game, purely because I went after the closest rune I could see from my rune-seeker heart artifact. That was rad.

So, there we go. Finished a game. Thought it was great. I’d love to hear about others’ favorite moments/memories from this game.

I guess I’m into this genre and so Prey is waiting for me, next. (After some Destiny this week, I think…)


#2

I completely agree about the procedurally generated logic puzzle. That was really fun.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I think A Crack in the Slab and The Outsider’s Timepiece may have my favorite level design of all time. It was just so clever, slick, and satisfying that I didn’t want it to end; I’d give anything for a whole game with that mechanic.

My favorite combat mechanic was 100% domino, especially linking guards to a doppelgänger and then choking it out for knockouts that were technically nonlethal but also macabre as all hell!

It was just such an unrelentingly clever, kinetic, and satisfying game from start to finish.


#3

Got any favorite little details? I think I’ll be remembering the sound of creaking wood in one of the later levels for a while. It wasn’t anything scary, it just sounded really good! The whole aesthetic of the game is big fat Y E S !


#4

I went the whole game and never unlocked Doppelgänger! And so never got to try that trick, but it sounds really cool. I did develop linking to the point that I could take out a roomful of witches with one sleep dart.

The outsider’s timepiece is the kind of gear that I really think a whole game could be built around, Portal-esque. I would so buy that. That level… so much to say about it. I went back and looked at this walkthrough to check on a detail and, I see that my play through was almost completely different. I really admire a game that can have such fully-realized and very different ways to play it.


#5

The sound design is really extraordinary and truly made everything so alive.

There are so many great details. I loved the painting and small picnic on top of the Duke’s palace. I also thought it was really smart that on most levels, even after completing the primary objective, you still have to make your way back to the exit – no magic hyperspace transmat back to the Whale! You’ve got to carry Sokolov all the way back! This keeps tension high.

In addition to all the world-building touches that are very strong: The posters, letters, and other snippets of life that almost, almost made me feel guilty about breaking into peoples’ apartments and eating their pears.


#6

Dishonored 2 is absolutely fantastic, even with all of its performance problems. I think the Clockwork Mansion is easily one of my favorite levels in a game, maybe ever, from how beautiful it looks while shifting, to the pure scale of the entire thing. It gets even better in New Game Plus, especially when you use the other character’s powers. I’m hoping Bethesda announces some sort of DLC for it at E3, since I would love another excuse to play it again.