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Dishonored 2 Is A Bloody Good Sequel

If I could only use one word to describe Arkane Studios’ expansive sequel to their 2012 gem, Dishonored, that word would be ‘complex.’ Like the multifaceted innards of an intricate clockwork gadget, there is a lot going on underneath the stealthy surface of this game.

Whereas Dishonored permitted players to complete Corvo’s missions in either violent or sneaky ways, Dishonored 2 builds heavily on that unique formula. By the time that last severed head hits the ground (assuming it’s not yours), you’ll want to replay the whole adventure again just see how differently things could’ve gone had you taken a less lethal approach. Fortunately, the makers of Dishonored 2 counted on just that, so not only will the game leave you with an urge to attempt an entirely different playthrough, you can do so with a different protagonist.

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15 years after the events of the first game, we’re thrust back into another Shakespearean story set in the fictional Empire of the Isles. You can once again play as previous hero Corvo Attano, or you can opt for the recently usurped Empress Emily Kaldwin, who happens to be Corvo’s daughter. Choose wisely, because each character has their own set of powers that can either bring down chaos upon your enemies, or help you slip past them.

As someone who played the heck out of part one, I went with newcomer Emily and was pleasantly surprised by her unique set of skills, like taking out multiple targets for the price of one with the Domino ability, becoming an elusive target with the Shadow Walk ability, and hypnotizing enemies with the Mesmerize ability. Naturally, you’ll have to earn these powers by holding out your handy heart to locate nearby Runes that act as upgrade currency.

Also in your arsenal are a crossbow, pistol, mines, grenades, and your quick and dirty blade. Then there are the myriad Bone Charms you can find and craft throughout the game’s nine sprawling missions that can take several hours to complete if you really want to tear them apart, or you can breeze right through them in well under 30 minutes. So don’t be afraid to test different strategies, because each mission will bring new and unpredictable shifts in the gameplay.

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From bustling city streets to creepy old mansions, Dishonored 2’s visuals don’t disappoint. Like a lush renaissance painting, its attention to detail is often breathtaking, and with only few glitchy hiccups. What really make these areas come alive are its various inhabitants, especially suspecting enemies, who are notably cleverer than your average NPC. Even the new Clockwork Soldiers, robots with giant blades for arms, are incredibly fun to taunt and gradually dismember. It’s worth noting that destroying these tough machines won’t count toward your level of chaos, so mess ‘em up good.

With two unique characters boasting different sets of skills and nine massive sandbox levels to turn inside out, Dishonored 2 takes everything that was great about its predecessor and elevates it. If you ever had to reluctantly choose between a high body count or suspenseful stealth-action, here’s a game that offers both options.

Dishonored 2 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out the trailer below:

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