Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4) Review – Murderous Playgrounds

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4) Review - Murderous Playgrounds

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider offers players some delightful playgrounds to ply their stealthy abilities—or simply use brute-force. Beautiful cities, banks filled with clockwork machines, and underground boxing arenas offer multiple routes for completion, allowing players to decide how to best deal with interference. Even better though is seeing these places come alive and gain meaning as players catch hints of scattered conversation, collect information, and read notes, each piece giving the environments and people within them a deeper context that makes the world more satisfying.

Read moreDishonored: Death of the Outsider (PS4) Review – Murderous Playgrounds

Dishonored 2 (PS4) Review

Dishonored 2 (PS4) Review

When a dark but forgotten secret re-emerges to claim the Kaldwin throne, players must reprise their role as a mystic imbued assassin in Dishonored 2. Sequel to one of the best first-person action titles of the last generation, Dishonored 2 builds off the powerful gameplay of the original game in a number of new ways and gives players more choice in how they can tackle their objectives. Add in a new lore-enriched setting coupled with a heavier focus on despicable villains, and this game ended up being one of the most fun experiences I’ve had so far in 2016.

Dishonored 2 (PS4) Review 3Dishonored 2’s story is set 15 years after the events of the first game with the young Empress of Dunwall castle, Emily Kaldwin, and her Royal Protector, Corvo Attano, attending a remembrance ceremony in honour of her late mother. The role of Empress has become a hard one for Emily to cope with in recent months thanks to the new appearance of a royal-killing assassin known as the Crown Killer, thought to be Corvo taking out Emily’s enemies. Tensions continue to rise with the appearance of the immortal witch Delilah, who claims to be the late Empress’s sister and rightful heir to the throne.

After this event players make their first critical decision in Dishonored 2: whether to reprise their role as Corvo or try a fresh experience with Emily. Whichever character players pick, the other becomes locked out for the rest of the campaign. Now on the run from the very people they’ve sworn to protect, players must find out the secret to Delilah’s immortality by hunting down all of her lieutenants for answers if they ever have a hope of taking back their home. Fundamentally the two characters will experience the same story, and they feel identical to each other during gameplay. The big differences between the two are their ability sets and dialogue.

During my first playthrough of Dishonored 2 I gravitated towards playing as Emily so I could get a hold of all her new and unique abilities. Compared to Corvo, who has access to more direct damage abilities like summoning rats and stopping time, Emily will appeal to players who like to play stealthier. Her Domino ability is the star of this set and allows players to link together targets into sharing the same fate, which completely changes how you approach any encounter. Her shadow walk ability is another favourite of mine because of all of its upgrades, allowing me to traverse into all of the hidden nooks and crannies of the environment as a cloud of smoke but also serving as a powerful weapon that can literally rip my threats apart.

Dishonored 2 (PS4) Review 4While I loved the diverse abilities of our two protagonists, their dialogue left me feeling disappointed. This is the first time the Dishonored protagonists have been able to speak and unfortunately, their performances come off as sub-par. Compared to the life and drama I felt from the world’s citizens and cast of villains, the two main characters suffer from a distinct lack of expression. Everything Emily and Corvo say is delivered in bland monotone and ultimately their individual dialogue offerings are just different ways of the saying the same thing. I would have loved to see some more development out of these characters, but instead I was left craving the dialogue choices of the first game.

The key ingredient that made me fall in love with the original Dishonored was the land of Dunwall, and the new setting of Karnaca feels even better. Brimming with colourful detail, architecture and even richer lore than the first, I recommend players take their time and soak in all that Karnaca has to offer because Dishonored 2’s missions only come to life when players explore the game’s various themed environments. By venturing into rundown buildings, dark alleys and listening in on conversations between citizens, players will quickly become informed on who their main target is for that mission and how their actions can affect the world by stopping them in either a lethal or non-lethal matter.

Every action players make in the world of Dishonored 2 contributes to unlocking a corresponding ending. By killing everything in sight and assassinating key targets, players will be considered as High Chaos assassins. These decisions will also make the world behave differently, such as seeing more guards out on patrol because they know the mindset of the player is to fight them instead of stealthily infiltrating. My first run as Emily resulted in me achieving a low chaos ending. I always looked for the non-lethal way to eliminate my targets, but if any guards spotted me I quickly took them out with my sword before returning to the shadows.

Dishonored 2 (PS4) Review 5

However, when I reached my high chaos ending with Corvo I felt cheated. I won’t spoil the endings I got in Dishonored 2, but I will say that I felt disappointed that all of the time I spent diversifying my playstyle only resulted in brief variations of the same ending I experienced as Emily. If I make a decision as a player to completely dedicate myself to a certain play-style, or even change my character, I want to be rewarded with an ending or epilogue that’s worth the weight of those choices and that’s where I’m left unsatisfied with Dishonored 2.

While Dishonored 2 takes multiple strides to improve off of the original I’m left feeling only half of them hit the mark. The gameplay and the world hooked me in exactly as before and I had high hopes for the story, but the decisive part Arkane Studios wasn’t able to execute on was the choice between playing as one of two characters. Since they have to experience the exact same missions, Corvo and Emily’s monotone dialogue and lack of diverse endings only resulted in them feeling merely like different ability sets when I reached the credits for a second time. I believe Dishonored 2 will still be loved by fans of the original who have been craving for more since the game’s reveal at E3, just don’t expect an Assassin’s Creed 2 jump in quality.

More Details on “Dishonored 2” Revealed

More Details on "Dishonored 2" Revealed

Set fifteen years after the first game, Dishonored 2 is confirmed to include Emily Kaldwin as the second playable character.

Arkane Studios’ sequel will give players the choice of playing as the previous game’s protagonist, Corvo, or Emily. From the beginning of the game, both protagonists are forced to flee their home of Dunwall and travel to the region of Karnaca.

Gameplay of the upcoming sequel was shown off, demonstrating some of Emily’s unique abilities. These include supernatural abilities found in the last game, as well as a new grappling hook. The dynamic, varied gameplay of the first game will be making a return, giving players a chance to either take a more stealthy route, or storm into situations with blades a’swinging.

Also shown off was a setting in which time doesn’t progress in a linear fashion. The mansion depicted changes time period from room-to-room, suggesting that time travel and alternate timelines will play a major part in solving puzzles or dispatching targets.

There will also be a collector’s edition, and those who preorder the game will get a free copy of Dishonored Definitive Edition.

More Details on "Dishonored 2" Revealed 1

Dishonored 2 will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 11.

“Prey” To Be Rebooted

"Prey" To Be Rebooted

After several cancellations, reboots, and false starts, it appears that Prey 2 has been officially halted. Arkane Studios, developer of the hit Dishonored, is now working on a reboot of franchise simply titled Prey.

The cinematic reveal showed off a new protagonist, as well as an even more far-flung future setting for the franchise. There appears to be a sinister corporation acting as the antagonist, and it looks as if players will be taken to space at the outset of the game.

Not much else was revealed, nor was a release date, but it looks to be relatively early in development.

It will be interesting to see a new take on the franchise, especially one as radically different as this.

Prey 2 Documents Leak

Prey 2 Documents Leak

Two powerpoint presentations for Prey 2 have leaked onto the internet.

The first has four possible storylines that the team is deciding between, and examples of cliches that they want to avoid.

The second shows that Arkane Studios mentioning that it’s a spiritual successor to System Shock 2 and outlines how the game can be like it. And also Monkeys.

  Prey 2 Documents

  Prey 2 Leaked Documents

Dishonored (Xbox 360) Review

Dishonored (Xbox 360) Review
A good game will carry the player through a story, presenting moments of enjoyment and leaving behind a fun experience. A great game will present you with a story that not only is engaging but changes the way you want to interact with the game world. Dishonored from Arkane Studios is a great game, and throughout the story it presents a world that was deep, well thought-out, and corrupted to its very core. It is up to you to choose what will be left at the end of the day, chaos or a new prosperous empire.
You play Corvo, bodyguard to the empress and victim of betrayal after the Empress is killed. You :have one real goal, save the daughter of the empress. You can either take revenge in the process or work from the shadows to change the course of an empire as you bring the orphaned princess to power. The way you play will determine how the overall story plays out, but also how the world looks, how people act, and the way you are viewed.
With Dishonored you can cause chaos or order
It is rare to find a game that can be played in such a variety of ways and have each way be valid and completely acceptable. Dishonored is reminiscent of games from the 90s such as Thief, Deus Ex, and Hitman. Each mission is a puzzle and it is up to you as the player to decide how they want to take on the puzzle. Dishonored has been built to be as much an action game as a stealth game. Corvo the protagonist of the story is skilled in fighting as well as stealth. This open concept extends to the way you purchase weapons and upgrades. All are useful but depending on how you plan on working your way thought the story, even the starting equipment may be enough to get the job done.
The dystopian, steam punk world of Dunwall felt complete and well-realized. From the palaces and towers of the empire to the dark plague infested streets of the common folk, this felt like a living, breathing world that was once great and is now slowly falling to ruin. Despite the fact Dishonored was built with Unreal technology the world feels new and exciting, each new location offers something new and rewards the player for exploration. As every new basement, hidden room and catacomb is experienced, it gives an idea what Dunwall would have been like at its pinnacle of splendor.
The powers are one aspect that may be reminiscent of Bioshock, using elemental abilities in one hand and your sword in the other. They are given to the player by “The Outsider”; a god-like character that seems to enjoy playing with the people of Dunwall, reveling in the outcome be it good or bad. The powers range from calling rats, teleportation, and even possession. These can be used to cause death and destruction or to simply avoid detection, the choice is always there. This freedom is what makes Dishonored such a rewarding experience, it is not only deep combat wise. The more you explore the more the world of Dunwall is fleshed out.
Dishonored (Xbox 360) Review
As with most games of this type upgrades are given by collecting items from the world. As you collect runes you can spend them on new abilities or improving the existing abilities. There are also bone charms around the levels that will grant minor improvements to your character such as more health, faster reloading etc. These are just one side of the game’s upgrade path with coins and valuables being used to upgrade weapons, purchasing bullets and even upgrading gear. The choice in how upgrades are spent is up to you as the player. The more you explore end experience the world of Dunwall the more upgrades and coins you will find, making exploration a necessity to fully equip your character.
Arkane Studios chose not to include a half-baked multiplayer to extend this experience and I for one am happy to see it. This story and single player experience stands on its own, being deep if not predictable at times. The more chaos that you cause, either by killing, raising alarms, or just sowing general mayhem around the world will make the views of people worse and worse. Characters that were once bright and cheery will begin to sound depressed and hateful. This also will change the way the game inevitably ends. Will the empire be in ruin filled with death and plague or will it be a new age with only hope before it? This is up to you as the player and is refreshing to see real choice based on action rather then a few prompts that move the story one way or another.
I cannot think of the last time a game, though the use of story, made me change my style of play. At times the stealth non-violent method seems to go against everything that you as a character in the world would be feeling. When you see characters you grow to care for being mistreated or exploited it can often be hard to maintain a controlled play style. The simple fact that the story and the events presented can alter the way you play is astounding and something that must be commended. Arkane Studios have crafted a world that will suck the player in. With the use of dialog and optional activities, you get a real sense of what the people you are protecting mean to Corvo, and why he would risk everything to save them. The way Corvo and the Princess interact and the way she responds as you return from missions can be heartbreaking, many times making me question what I had done in the previous mission.
All this being said, Dishonored is a hard game. There will be many saves and each attempt will teach you how something can be done. Even with the difficulty, the check points in the game are fair and the constant auto saving allows for an easy reload if anything goes horribly wrong. The game’s length will ultimately depend on what you put into it. If you want to go guns and powers blazing most of the enemies will be destroyed with little to no trouble. Dead bodies will litter the streets of Dunwall and chaos will reign. But if you take your time and complete each task, listening to the idle banter of the guards and NPC’s you will be rewarded. The world is full of secrets and as you slowly discover them, new options and paths for the game open up, making everything that much more rewarding.

Dishonored (Xbox 360) Review

Despite everything that was done right, there are a few problems that were encountered during the process of reviewing the game. The lack of any real map made some missions needlessly hard. The markers on the screen for runes and targets, although useful can at times be misleading causing you to go in circles looking for something. There are often some situations where the lack of guidance can hinder progress, making some missions seem longer then they need to be. The need for load times from area to area was too frequent and the experience is sub-optimal if you do not install it to the console hard-drive. None of these issues are major, and overall do not take away from an otherwise fantastic experience.
Dishonored is a welcome surprise and a game people need to be playing this holiday season. With a deep world and a breathtaking visual style, this is a game that does not come around very often. Characters are deep and complex, missions are open ended and intricate. This is a world that needs to be explored to truly appreciate the full experience. This game has something in it for everyone and if the time is invested, can be one of the best experiences you can spend money on this year.