Review Roundup: Dishonored 2


The original Dishonored came out of nowhere and was some people's favorite first-person stealth game. Dishonored 2 sounds like it could be an improvement on most fronts, with strong performances from it's cast, and solid mission design.

IGN - 9.3

Lucy O'Brien hails the game as a sequel that largely either matches or beats the original, though noting, much like our own Sandy on our latest podcast, that the PC port has issues. 

Dishonored’s broader story is ultimately predictable if you’re familiar with the first game (which you should be, because it’s excellent). It’s a particular shame that Dishonored 2’s intriguing villains aren’t given the character-building scenes they deserve - their primary drive appears to be ‘evil for the sake of evil’ - and finding diaries and audio logs that explain their motivations isn’t sufficient, nor is it quite the same as a story presented as cinematics with dialogue.

What does work, however, are Dishonored 2’s protagonists and its secondary players. The voicework of Corvo and Emily is delightfully understated - Erica Cattrell does a fine job at balancing subtlety, vulnerability, and disgust, while Stephen Russell (best known as Garrett in the Thief series) is warmly familiar as Dishonored 2’s (cut-throat) father figure.
— Lucy O'Brien, IGN

Gamespot - 8

In Gamespot's review, Scott Butterworth calls into question the game's difficulty, but praises the AI, especially on harder difficulties.

if you’re a stealth player, enemies are aware enough to present a real challenge, frequently breaking from the “preset pattern” behavior observable in many stealth games. Tricks that might not draw attention in other games get noticed here. Guards remember, for example, that another guard was standing nearby a moment ago. Rather than shrug off the absence, they’ll either investigate or jump straight to sounding the alarm. This definitely creates a bit of a learning curve; you can’t sloppily run and fight everyone and expect to get far. I had to play for a few hours before I really started to understand and enjoy the game—though the payoff for that upfront investment proved substantial.
— Scott Butterworth, Gamespot

Game Informer - 9.25

Game Informer hi lights the game's new setting, contrasting it from the original and calling it an improvement. He goes as far as to mention game doesn't let him spend enough time in that world.

The sunny island city of Karnaca feels radically different than the cold and foggy industrial capital of Dunwall, and its locales are much more diverse and many environments bustle with civilian activity. Eavesdropping on passersby gives more color to the experience, and Arkane deftly created several navigational puzzles that must be solved to reach the location of the various runes, bone charms, and lore. The minute-to-minute experience isn’t radically different than the first game, but feels honed.

...Given the excellent environmental storytelling, the rushed and underdeveloped main story beats surprised me. From the abrupt usurpation of the throne to the final showdown, Dishonored 2 never slows down enough to create meaningful context to the events or banter between the main characters.
— Matt Bertz, Game Informer