Dishonored 2 Early Impressions

As of writing this I am over 5 hours into Dishonored 2’s Emily campaign on PS4. It seems much harder to stealth right out of the gate. Guards’ vision seems greatly enhanced from Dishonored 1 and their sighting notification meters are harder to see on your HUD. Emily’s powers are incredibly fun to use and they lead to different playstyles than Corvo’s from DH1 even if “stealthy” and “lethal” are the defining factors. Performance on the PS4 seems lacking with extremely noticeable pop-in and a frame rate that struggles to maintain 30 FPS. Despite the performance issues the art style and overall aesthetic are still incredible and different from anything I can remember from AAA games recently. But most of the voice acting doesn’t match it, with actors seemingly not aware of the weirdness of the world they’re inhabiting. Or perhaps that’s just a symptom of the insanely expository and clunky dialogue. DH1 was never jaw-dropping in its writing but there was some degree of subtlety. All told I’m interested in playing more to see the new levels, the ones I’ve seen so far have ranged from ok to fascinating, but the story doesn’t quite have the simplistic, visceral thrust of the original, and isn’t the morally grey, winding story it seems to want to be. Full review later this week.

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