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Dishonored 2

#1
Arkane and Bethesda announced Dishonored 2 at E3 today.

I haven't seen any word on features or a release date. In the meantime, I thought I'd create this thread for discussion of Dishonored and the upcoming sequel.

If you played the original, what did you think?
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Re: Dishonored 2

#3
Dishonored was (is) at least for me a masterpiece. I played it because everyone was saying that it was a wonderful game, but after reading some reviews and watching video reviews on Youtube I was unsure. (First person stealth-action adventure? Ridiculous.) Luckily, I was wrong and the game was actually wonderful as everyone said, probably with the best first person controls ever made. (I played it with a gamepad.) But you need to be conscious about how you play it.

People complain about its duration and difficulty, but for me that was not a problem. It took me months to finish it, playing slowly (in stealth mode) four days a week, buying upgrades for the character and equipment only when I need them. If you try to optimize your character don't complain saying that it is too easy. It will be. However, if I was enjoying the game (and I was) I didn't buy anything. In this game upgrades and powers don't give you just bonuses, but also change the gameplay, so don't change the gameplay if you are enjoying your experience. Eventually, you will feel that you want something new to make the game fresh again, and then -and only then- you should buy something. But only if you actually need that something or if you want it.

For example, I never bought the power to reduce the choking time (that would reduce the difficulty, and for me, playing on Hard, difficulty was perfect), and I never bought the power that transforms death bodies on ashes. (That would make the game too easy as well, eliminating the need to hide the bodies. Besides, I almost never killed anyone anyway.) I hope that they will improve that part of the game for the second chapter, because it seems that most players are not used to play consciously.

If you feel that the campaign is too short (which is not) don't worry: the second and third DLC are a new full campaign, is probably longer and better that the main campaign, and even the main character (which this time has a voice, and what a voice) is better, and that is something extraordinary on its own. I hope only big things for the sequel.

Note: It's not a Bethesda game. Is an Arkane Studios game, and these guys are awesome.
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"Playing" is not simply a pastime, it is the primordial basis of imagination and creation. - Hideo Kojima
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Re: Dishonored 2

#5
Etsu wrote:(Everything)
Ooff. This is a really good point, the everything there. Yes. Whenever I have the opportunity to buy an upgrade, I generally tend to "fix a hole" in my own personal flaw that would make things that should be easier easier, but hopefully not less fun. A few actions took a little bit too long to do. Moving bodies, for example. There felt like there was a bit of a lag between hitting the button and moving the body to me, so I "fixed" that part of the game. Then I was good to go.

Can't wait.
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Re: Dishonored 2

#6
For me Arkane Studios seem to be trying to be the resurrection of Looking Glass.
Their first game "Arx Fatalis" was said to be a spiritual successor to the Looking Glass Ultima Underworld series and Dishonored seemed like a spiritual successor to the Looking Glass Thief series. Judged with that criteria I was disappointed in Dishonored but perhaps that was unfair of me.

I do think Dishonored was a significantly better successor to the original Thief series than last years actual Thief reboot. I also found it slightly better than Deus Ex: Human Revolution (a game I overall enjoyed) so in hindsight I'd have to say Dishonored is actually the best stealth game I've played in years. Perhaps my memory of those older games has just become so idealized that I set unreasonable expectations. I have the games on GoG.com but I'm afraid now to go back and play them as I'd prefer to retain me glowing memories over risking finding out they weren't quite as awesome as I remember them being.
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Re: Dishonored 2

#7
Raphael Colantonio, who founded Arkane, did so specifically because he loved the early Looking Glass games (starting with Ultima Underworld) and wanted more of them.

Pretty much everything Arkane has worked on since then, including Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah: Might and Magic, as well as Dishonored, is a love letter to those early Looking Glass games. And note that Harvey Smith, who worked with Warren Spector on Deus Ex, joined Arkane to work on Dishonored. So there's some Looking Glass DNA over at Arkane Austin.

I generally enjoyed Dishonored. I thought too many of the perks you could buy were weapons that were weighted toward the high-chaos, kill 'em all playstyle. And the "feel" of the game was too simplified-for-consoles to me. But those were minor defects; the game overall was solid fun for me, with some occasional very nice moments (such as the later consequence of letting the guy from the prisons live).

I suspect the sequel will be a good quality game.

(Side note: I see there was zero mention at this year's E3 from Bethesda about Arkane Austin's supposed takeover of Prey 2 from Human Head. Rumor had it that Arkane were going to turn it into System Shock 3. Heh.)
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Re: Dishonored 2

#9
Unlike most of Bethesda's offerings, Dishonored features excellent writing. Though it does not have the extended playability of a large, open world, game like Skyrim, it does feature an engaging story, palpable atmosphere, and a gameworld that goes far beyond mere eye candy.

Lest I forget, it features the writing talent of Austin Grossman whose clever (if ultimately somewhat shallow) take on the superhero genre and gaming culture in, respectively, "Soon I Will Be Invincible" & "You: A Novel" are well worth a read.

As far as Dishonored 2, the official trailer seems interesting enough:

https://youtu.be/32LDc_66r5U
I know not what life is, nor death.
Year in year out-all but a dream.
Both Heaven and Hell are left behind;
I stand in the moonlit dawn,
Free from clouds of attachment.
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Re: Dishonored 2

#10
That's an apt description, Tom; I pretty much agree entirely with you.

There's a big area in between an open-world BethSoft game and a linear, on-rails corridor shooter. Dishonored picked a nice spot somewhere in there -- a directed story told through sequenced areas. That's actually not too far off from how Looking Glass classics like System Shock were constructed, so Arkane's in good company there.

I am hoping Dishonored 2 achieves a better balance between lethal and non-lethal modes than the original, which I felt was tilted (in its rewards) toward the high-chaos, excitement-satisfying play style. But either way, I think we can expect that the world of the game will be even more detailed than the first game, which suits me just fine.
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Re: Dishonored 2

#11
Flatfingers wrote: I am hoping Dishonored 2 achieves a better balance between lethal and non-lethal modes than the original, which I felt was tilted (in its rewards) toward the high-chaos, excitement-satisfying play style. But either way, I think we can expect that the world of the game will be even more detailed than the first game, which suits me just fine.
Yeah, my first playthrough was with clean hands, zero kills, and I felt that I hit the ceiling of non-lethal very quickly, having to ignore a bunch of fun-looking skills and upgrades in favor of remaining non-murdery. I hope they build a bit more on that route (since it's supposed to be a valid path), but I won't even get mad if it stays where it was, as long as the world is deep and gameplay is smooth.
panic
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Re: Dishonored 2

#12
Mistycica wrote:Yeah, my first playthrough was with clean hands, zero kills, and I felt that I hit the ceiling of non-lethal very quickly, having to ignore a bunch of fun-looking skills and upgrades in favor of remaining non-murdery. I hope they build a bit more on that route (since it's supposed to be a valid path), but I won't even get mad if it stays where it was, as long as the world is deep and gameplay is smooth.
I can't even play the game lethally any more, my first two runs were pacifist (first was just pacifist, second was pacifist no magic upgrades at all (blink 1 sucks) )

Now I struggle to move quickly unless it's non-lethally...
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Toba - A Development Dump
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Re: Dishonored 2

#13
Dishonored 2 lead designer Harvey Smith has some interesting comments in a Rolling Stone interview on how morality is being handled in this game.

One component, for example, is that in the first Dishonored you tripped the high-Chaos consequences simply by killing 20% of NPCs. In the sequel, the character of the NPC will matter: killing an honest guard will increase Chaos, while killing an evil guard will have less effect.

Will this change how you choose to play Dishonored 2? Can you stick to a fully non-lethal playthrough when killing an NPC who will otherwise do more evil in the game might not cost anything, and might even generate some in-game benefits?
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Re: Dishonored 2

#14
Flatfingers wrote: Will this change how you choose to play Dishonored 2? Can you stick to a fully non-lethal playthrough when killing an NPC who will otherwise do more evil in the game might not cost anything, and might even generate some in-game benefits?
In the original Dishonored -- one of my favourite games ever -- I didn't appreciate the fact that the game more or less imposed its morality on me, by means of presenting an objectively better ending. I gravitate towards stealthy and nonlethal play by default, but I didn't like that a game touting a free-form approach to level design and morality actually favored one option over the other. The otherwise excellent DLCs maintained this attitude.

As such, that is the main metric I'll hold the sequel to -- to see whether its morality clears the low bar of being a caricature.
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Re: Dishonored 2

#15
"Favored" is a little tricky to apply to Dishonored as there was a disconnect between its story and its progression mechanics.

Story-wise, I don't think there's much dispute that the ending you got for a low-Chaos style was the morally "good" ending (or at least as morally upright an ending as was possible). It's fair to call that a kind of reward for playing nicely.

What's weird is that the progression mechanics arguably favored a high-Chaos, Stabby McMurderface style of play. Of the possible upgrades, most were only useful in lethal ways. There were a much smaller number of useful tools for stealth and non-lethal takedowns, and those were dispensed with well before the last third of the game. The result was a pretty clear message: play violently, get rewarded with more/different gameplay verbs.

I'm still not sure whether this discrepancy between the narrative and the mechanics was a conscious design choice meant to create a tension, or if it's just evidence that the writers and the gameplay designers didn't talk to each other.

Either way, though, I like the sound of the more context-aware morality system they're said to be baking into the sequel. One hopes they don't take it too far -- I don't necessarily want to assign a ten-minute personality questionnaire to every NPC standing between me and my goal before deciding whether to shishkebab them or not.

But for more important NPCs... I like it because it makes a pure non-lethal run (which I prefer) harder to justify.

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