Giving players a free digital copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition with Dishonored 2 was a fantastic idea. I remember liking the original game four years ago but not really being all that impressed with its story. Picking up the sequel was a bit of an afterthought. During Gamestop’s Black Friday sale I traded in some games to get Skyrim, which was only $30 at the time, and had another $30 in credit left over which I impulsively used to get Dishonored 2 since it was also on sale for $30.
I’m telling you this so you understand why I decided to play the original before diving into the sequel. It was a matter of happenstance. I wasn’t itching to play the sequel, it just sort of fell into my lap. And it turned out to be a phenomenal decision.
My Overall Thoughts on Dishonored
Dishonored is a good game on the cusp of greatness, and you could easily make the case that the DLC gets it there. It’s a solid story built around solid gameplay that has so many options and choices it feels like you’re playing an open world game even though you’re not.
The biggest problem with Dishonored is its misused potential. Through books and subplots the game feeds you lore about this massive mystical world, but then decides to weave an incredibly predictable tale that many children could guess before you knock out your first guard. The Outsider and The Void are mishandled, serving as little more than a bit of spice you’ll never get enough of. As impressively detailed and polished as Dishonored is, the game’s main story ultimately feels undeveloped. Is a simple assassination tale of kidnapping and revenge really the most interesting tale waiting to be told in this world?
That being said, I found the game incredibly enjoyable and highly recommend it. Anyone who enjoys the Thief series will probably find something to love in Dishonored, and anyone looking to play something rather unique likely will find the experience entertaining if nothing else.
After finishing the main game it becomes quite clear that Arkane Studios wasn’t expecting to make a sequel. They hadn’t seen massive success prior to the title and I’m glad they designed Dishonored to stand on its own. No game, or movie for that matter, should have the arrogance to rely on potential sequels that may never see the light of day.
I’m happy the game did get a sequel though, and having played through Dishonored and it’s DLC I’ve jumped straight into Dishonored 2.
Dishonored 2 First Impressions
My first thought in the budding hours of Dishonored 2 were, “I’m so glad I played the DLC.” Having that background information definitely enhanced my experience of Dishonored 2’s beginning and made it feel like a direct continuation.
I’m not very far into the game but it feels like Arkane Studios took the feedback they go from the original to heart. There are a lot more options and tools for people who want to go the deathless route –now deathless players get the joy of drop assassinations too – and the graphics feel like they’ve been improved ten times over.
My greatest fear is that the game will ultimately be too short. A ton of runes and collectibles were jammed into the first level, which makes me think the game will repeat the same major issue I had with the last game. To build a world with such rich lore and yet again not explore fascinating aspects of it like The Outsider, The Void, the magical whales, Pandyssia and whatnot would be a travesty against good storytelling that would severely hurt my overall view of what’s otherwise shaping up to be a fantastic sequel.
Of course I’ll let you know what winds up happening and try to be as spoiler-free as absolutely possible. Despite what I said about Dishonored’s main story, if you haven’t played it then I suggest you pick it up. It’ll be easy to find Dishonored: Definitive Edition on sale for practically nothing this holiday season, and if you have a bit extra lying around you can get it by purchasing a new copy of Dishonored 2 too.
I’m going to get back to the game now. Hope you’re enjoying whatever you’re playing right now as much as I’m enjoying mine. Feel free to let me know what you’re playing the comments.