I picked up Dishonored 2 from the Steam sale and I’ve put around 3 hours in so far. I played through the first game and I enjoyed it a bunch. I felt it did a good job at putting you in a fun stealth sandbox and gave you plenty of tools to have fun. This was even in fairly early hours of the first game. I remember being introduced to the ability to become a rat and that really opened up a lot doors.
The sequel feels like it’s lacking all of that. I started the third mission and so far it’s felt incredibly linear and constricting. The scenarios I’m being placed in lack the fun of the first and honestly I’m struggling to care about what’s going on because everyone is so lifeless and the world is gray and dull.
I feel frustrated because I can’t tell if I approached this game at the wrong time or if I’m actually bouncing off. I’ve hear the Clockwork mission is super good but I just couldn’t get through the intro to that level. It annoyed the heck outta me that the game is so bad at indicating if I’m about to enter a hostile area or not and it’s annoying running into an area to suddenly be surrounded by enemies because you figured you were heading into a neutral zone
So yeah. Those are my thoughts so far on this game.
I didn’t bounce off of DH2 at all actually? If anything the writing disappointed me more than the level design or gameplay, both of which I thought were really good (though I will say that the earlier levels are a lot more disappointing than the later ones Ademire isn’t a strong start to a game with the clockwork mansion in it).
I also don’t know if this is because I’m Bad At Videogames, but it took me a really long time to get to the intro of the clockwork mansion, like I’m fairly sure it was more than 3 hours. Like I think i spent about 2 hours in ademire alone … but I’m also the sort of player who explores every nook and cranny, partly because I’m bad at combat and rely a lot on stealth, so finding new paths either to traverse the environment unseen or different exit strategies is important to me. Plus I love moving through the environment using the traversal mechanics. I discovered a way to get through all of the mansion in the Lady Boyle mission in DH1 for example, because that was important to me personally.
I also never felt like DH2 was leading me or pulling my nose. idk maybe you feel constrained in these environments because you’re rushing them? Like the intro areas to me felt really cool, and not gray or lifeless at all? It was like an extra level i could explore with all these little vignettes in different places. I really liked them! (sometimes more than the mission [gives a meaningful glance to Death to the Empress])
(also don’t they usually tell you when you enter a neutral area with that banner at the top? I found it pretty clear when I entered and exited a neutral area… but maybe that’s just me?)
Yes the opening mission / Hypatia mission are pretty lame. What I enjoyed about those though is the interlude of exploring Karnaca and getting a feel of the environment. It’s much more deep than the actual estate that you go to once you meet Hypatia.
The beginning of Dis2 is mostly a underwhelming to me because it doesn’t really give you anything but a straight line as a level. When the maps open up once you get to Karnaca, that’s where the game really shines.
I think the issue here is that with a game like Dishonored, you really do need to spend a certain amount of time straight up ignoring the objectives in order to get any sort of fullness out of the world. The game gives you opportunities to do that with the Heart. The intention is that you’ll go around exploring the level to get to these bonecharms and runes. There’s a few achievements around for doing things like listening to the music players around the map. Following signs will take you to shops (a great addition to the game). Usually, along the way to this, you’ll run into things that might pique your interest.
You want something interesting to do in Addermire? Climb that shit to the top. It makes kind of a fun Blink puzzle tbh, and there’s a fun reward for you on the roof. The Heart tells you as much. The middling levels that you go through on your way to get to targets are just places waiting to be explored and squeezed of all their charms and runes and little lore notes. I love them to pieces.
In Dishonored 2, as in the first game, it really is up to the player to explore in order to get the fullness of the world out of it. If you’re running through the game trying to get from target to target like it’s Corvo and Emily’s Grim Sandman Sprint, you’re not going to get a lot out of the game and you’re not going to have that much fun.
Also, remember that half the fun of Dishonored is fucking up in hilarious ways. My personal favorite Dis2 story is that time I tried to put an unconscious guard on a hanging lamp, only to throw him harder than I intended. He slipped off, hit two ledges on the way down to the staircase landing and then just laid there for a bit. After a beat, I looked down to check if he was sleeping or dead, and he immediately started bleeding all over the place. Definitely dead.
I get the impression Dishonored 2 was designed in a way to accommodate players who did not experience the first game. Compared to some of the later levels of the original game, the openings missions in DH2 do feel quite linear and restrictive in what you can do. It threw me off at first, but when you compare it to the opening of the original game it makes much more sense. It was similarly designed as a tutorial that would slowly introduce mechanics and systems to the player as they traipsed through mostly linear levels. There’s a lot going on in these games so throwing player right into something like the Clockwork Mansion may have been overwhelming?
In hindsight I wasn’t bothered about the level design in the first couple of levels but I do still find the introduction in Dishonored 2 to be disappointing for other reasons. I wish the game wasn’t in as much of a rush to get on with the plot, so that we could spend a little more time getting to see what Emily and Corvo’s lives look like when they’re not on the run. So much is thrust upon the player in the opening minutes that it’s hard to take it all in. We’re meant to feel the weight of what was taken from us by the antagonist and yet we never really get to experience what we lost.
(all that is to speak nothing of the PC issues I encountered, which was the real reason the opening hours were so rough in my playthrough)
i am mixed on 2. by gameplay standards its much better. but the story and the world story kinda just suck. i am more annoyed that they got rid of alot of the mystery that surrounded various stuff, like stuff about characters or the outsider, instead they just exposit you to death about it. the first one knew you were smart/savvy enough to scrounge around and figure stuff out. this one just hands you it.
on topic. the first level was ok but it didnt really do much for me. no build up for anything or character development, it just throws you in.
I thought Dishonored 2 had a very similar structure to the first game.
In Dishonored (D1) You start with your arrival at the palace, which was an interactive cutscene with an optional tutorial. Followed up by the prison escape and sewer section. Once escaped, there were character introductions at the Hound Pits Pub, then the Void dream before starting the first mission.
Dishonored 2 (D2) starts fairly similar with an optional(?) tutorial, the throne room scene, escaping from the palace and subsequently escaping from Dunwall altogether, then the Void dream and introductions on the Dreadful Whale before getting to the first mission.
Both games really get going by the third mission or so. Those are D1’s House of Pleasure and D2’s The Clockwork Mansion, both are around the same point in the two games.
@Zak said more or less the same with different words. I echo those thoughts, including the shoddy PC port. Bummer.
Still excited for Death of the Outsider. Too bad it’s looking like the last bit of Dishonored we may see for a long while.