Dishonored 2 Is The Thief Successor We Deserve

I’ve been playing Dishonored 2 [official site] for nine hours but I’m not here to spoil any surprises for you, so don’t worry about precisely how much I’ve seen or what beans I might spill. What I want to do is to reassure you that developers Arkane haven’t fluffed their lines with this sequel. Quite the opposite in fact – they’re firing on all cylinders.

Even if the remaining levels are so badly designed that I find them intolerable, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe that would be the case, I’ve already explored enough beautifully realised and densely packed areas to see this as a sequel that understands what its predecessor did well, and knows precisely how to do it better. Here, with no spoilers, are my thoughts on what I’ve seen so far.

The best level design in the business wouldn’t be worth a damn if the spaces weren’t enjoyable to navigate, and before getting on to what feels fresh here, it’s worth reiterating a few points about the original Dishonored. It brought kinetic energy to the first-person stealth game, allowing protagonist Corvo not only to bampf across city blocks like a murderous superhero, but providing all the tools necessary for escape, concealment, confusion and acrobatic combat.

Stabbing and slaughtering your way out of a situation often feels like an unsatisfactory last resort in stealth games – all the ingredients for the perfect steak were there, but too much slicing and dicing left you with a casserole – but Dishonored went some way toward making violent alternatives satisfying. The perfect non-lethal, ghosted playthrough is still a worthy ambition but improvising with sword, pistol and razor-traps isn’t a dull or ineffective enough solution to make an instinctive quickload occur as soon as a guard raises the alarm.

All of that has returned, with a new selection of lethal and non-lethal options, as well as additional ways to navigate the scenery. As in the first game, there’s an occasional helping hand, with the aiming tips for the teleportation skills and the like, but movement is manual- there’s none of the automated parkour of Assassin’s Creed here. That can make for uncharacteristic clumsiness on the part of the protagonists, but the precise control it provides is precious indeed.

And, yes, on current evidence, the pleasing flow of movement is matched with some of the best level design in the business.

I’ve been playing as Emily, the new Empress. Corvo is playable as well but for my first run through the game I wanted to try out Emily’s new abilities and the framing of the story makes it seem like her tale, though I might be unfairly excluding Corvo simply because he’s already had one grand, grim adventure. Let someone else have a go, old man.

Upgrades to existing skills and the unlocking of new ones requires runes, as in the original game, so if you want to dart around causing supernatural havoc you’ll need to explore, using the returning Heart as a divining organ to track down bones and runes. Here’s the first bit of extremely good news – it feels like there’s an entire world to explore this time around.

Dishonored 2 hasn’t quite gone open world but the hubs in between mission areas make the city blocks in the first game seem like tiny little tableaux. Though it doesn’t have the crowds of Hitman (what game does?), Karnaca feels inhabited in a way that Dunwall never did. There’s no plague as an excuse for empty streets, though there are other sinister forces keeping things quieter than you might expect in such an important city, and when you first arrive at the docks, there are workers and wanderers aplenty. Even before you arrive, the Dunwall-set prologue is more than a simple single-route escape. I spent an hour and fifteen minutes exploring and only found half of the cash hidden around the place.

When I started exploring Karnaca, I spent three hours uncovering side stories and treasures before even approaching the first mission.

The areas, both in the streets and interiors, are larger, but the density is more impressive than the scale. During development, Arkane have been keen to point out the verticality of the city and the importance of looking up, for a pipe to climb or a window to enter, is immediately apparent. When you do find your way into a building, you’ll usually find plenty of rooms to explore, all with their own stories, either written into the environment or told through letters and encounters with civilians. I loved the world-building in the original game, so much of it spilling out of background detail, and Karnaca feels like an oil painting next to Dunwall’s charcoal sketch.

I loved the setting of the first game so much that I feared Karnaca would feel like a pale imitation, or – worse – so different as to feel like a city in a different world entirely. There are enough familiar threads to make it feel like another part of the same Empire, however, and its overall character feels far stranger and more novel than the Dickensian whalepunk of Dunwall, which always looked like it had crawled out of a drug-laced tributary of the Thames no matter how strange the stories within it became.

Karnaca is stranger still. Take the bloodflies, which might have been little more than an echo of the first game’s rat plague. Instead, they’re like a Cronenbergian nightmare, blistering infections that corrupt individual sections of the host city rather than running through its entire bloodstream. Despite all the weird and wonderful things, it’s how well Arkane modelthe ordinary things that impresses me most strongly. Houses look as if people live in them and every drawer and closet contains items that belong there, and look like they could be used. The level of detail is fantastic and I adore the commitment to making the city feel like a possible place rather than a set of convenient passages and navigable stealth-spaces.

So far, I haven’t experimented with many of Emily’s unique powers, which you can see in the video below. Her first ability is almost idential to Corvo’s short-range teleportation skill, ‘Blink’, but later unlocks focus on manipulation of enemies rather than avoidance. I’m not convinced I’ll ever be the kind of high-level player who can use all of the abilities in combination to create exquisite scenes of controlled chaos, but I look forward to trying my best to put together a highlight reel before I’m done.

It’s possible to commit to a full playthrough without any supernatural abilities at all, and if the level design is strong enough to support the skills of both characters while also allowing a ‘vanilla’ attempt, it’s even more well-crafted than first impressions indicate. I’m already planning three playthroughs: this first with Emily on normal difficulty (I’ve picked normal to speed things along given that I want to complete the game twice before writing my review), a second with Corvo on hard, and a third with Emily untouched by the Outsider.

Ideally, I’d like my non-supernatural playthrough to use Corvo but I’m not sure if that’s possible. He’s already marked by the Outsider, carried over from the first game, and Emily’s rejection of the mark is a player choice that may or may not have narrative consequences. The reason I’d like to play as Corvo without superpowers is for a slightly personal reason that gets right to the core of what I’m loving about Dishonored 2 so far.

Corvo, voiceless in the first game, speaks this time around. His voice is provided by actor Stephen Russell, who you’re most likely to know as the voice actor for Garrett in the first three Thief games. He’s not the only reason Dishonored 2 feels like the true Thief successor I’ve wanted since Deadly Shadows (TWELVE YEARS AGO), but his voice certainly helps to take me back. There’s something of the gothic, grim mischievousness of Thief’s nameless City in Dishonored 2 as well though. Machine cults, mechanical menaces, class warfare and ancient horrors scratching at the edges of reality.

Emily and Corvo have entered The Metal Age and, so far, it’s as inventive and beautifully crafted as I’d hoped it might be. There are loads of options for visual settings, including a wide range for FoV, and I’ve had to move down to ‘high’ settings across the board to keep a consistent framerate on my GTX 970 at 1920*1080. It looks great though, stylised and detailed in its design rather than top of the tech tree. The only real technical issue of note is a habit of quitting, invisibly and without leaving an error message behind, if I alt-tab away and don’t return quickly enough. Quicksaving is your friend.

I’ll bring a full report about the game as a whole as soon as possible.

Dishonored 2 is out tomorrow, but can be played now if you preordered. It’s available for Windows, via Steam.


  1. Crimsoneer says:

    Sometimes, pre-orders DO work out :) So, so chuffed.

    • General Advice Bot says:

      General advice: Never preorder.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        Thanks General Advice Bot!

        • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

          That’s “Yes, sir! Thanks General Advice Bot, sir!” to you, Private.

      • Zombievac says:

        BAD ROBOT! Pre-orders’ EXISTENCE does suck for the consumer overall, usually because of the bonuses that people miss out on if they don’t pre-order (or the ability to play it early, get a discount, or whatever).

        However, for the gamer who is likely to buy a title they’re anticipating (especially from a developer you trust), it only makes sense to pre-order… just to make sure you get a copy ASAP and get any bonuses. Sometimes it’s discounted more as well. And, most importantly, you don’t HAVE to go through with the purchase if you don’t want to – they’ll refund your payment or allow you to transfer it to another pre-order. There is NO downside to pre-ordering, except that you have to bother at all to get the most out of your favorite games. Luckily, the pre-order incentives are usually pretty lame anyway, but not always – and it really sucks to miss out on some things in a game you end up really liking, just because you didn’t pre-order.

        It’s the only way the situation works well for the consumer, unfortunately. It would be nice if we could reliably get everyone to reject pre-orders entirely so companies would have to stop doing the bonuses, but since that is impossible, you might as well not miss out on the extras/discounts just on principle, since no one else is showing any signs of stopping…

        • April March says:

          No. Pre-orders are bad on principle. Arguing that pre-ordering sometimes is okay because some games come out great is like arguing that gambling is OK because sometimes you hit a jackpot. You should never preorder, period.

          Yeah, sometimes you know you’re such a sucker for a series that you know you’ll buy the game at a far higher price than it’s worth, but even then it’s better to wait for the reviews so at least you’re aware of how much of a chump you’re allowing yourself to be. Plus, the more you preorder games the more you tell the industry that preorders give them money.

  2. renzollama says:

    It’s a poor PC port. Make sure you read some reports on gaf/reddit before you buy on PC if you have sub-1080 hardware.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      Is this another one of those cases where everyone is trying to run it at max settings with 4X or 8X MSAA and they’re complaining because their 970 is only churning out 25-30 fps? That’s been happening a lot recently, and people keep on blaming the games…

      • Aitrus says:

        There’s a bit of that, but also reports of some GTX 10-somethings getting 30 FPS on medium settings and stuff like that.

      • ludde says:

        No, just a quick glance at reddit and you can see people with 1080s getting dips down to 18 fps.

        • Cleave says:

          Obviously other people’s experiences will vary but I haven’t seen less than 55fps on my 1080 with the automatic settings which set everything at ultra except for a few things like shadows which were very high, I did notice a significant frame drop with all of these options at ultra. For the most part it’s running between 75 and 120fps. Maybe the low frame rates are due to the CPU, I haven’t had a look at CPU usage yet though.

      • Zombievac says:

        It’s not even that bad. Even though most posts on any technical forum about a game are mostly people posting trying to get help with their systems’ performance, there are plenty of posts everywhere, including reddit, that show most people who have a positive experience and bother to post about it are common. Which means, this is very likely a configuration issue, or a system maintenance issue (if you don’t clean install video drivers each time, you will have troubles eventually. If you don’t clean install Windows 10 Post-Anniversay, you’ll definitely have problems. If you have your settings in the NV Control Panel set wrong, like not at “Maximum Performance” for the power setting, you’re going to encounter problems eventually. I don’t mean any of these necessarily apply to Dishonored 2 or the issues people are having, but they’re some of very many issues that are purely the result of poor system setup and maintenance. It’s a lot of work, but worth it when I NEVER experience significant issues in any game that isn’t broken for 100% of the PC users. I think that right there says a lot, not about my mad skillz or lack thereof, but that MOST of the complaints I’ve seen this year about PC games being completely broken or “poor ports” are due to the user, not the game, most of the time.

        • LacSlyer says:

          From what I’ve been reading it’s not configuration issues but simply that the minimum settings are too low of a minimum and should be raised to reflect what the game actually requires to play it with a decent framerate.

        • liquidsoap89 says:

          That’s what I’ve been noticing as well. It’s become a trend for games to get a mixed rating right away on steam simply because nobody seems to be able to run the game properly.

          If I can run The Witcher 3 at high/very high settings and still get 45-55 fps on a 970 then they’re definitely doing something wrong.

        • renzollama says:

          Okay. But you’re wrong in this case. I realize condescension is easier than research and consideration, but you might try reading some reports and doing some analysis on this particular scenario rather than concluding that everyone on the internet is an idiot except you.

          • Zombievac says:

            LOL, first of all, I didn’t say that at all, nothing like what you just claimed. And, I did research it. It also runs, as expected, flawlessly on both my desktop PC and my laptop. Many others are having teh same good experience. Of course not all bugs are the fault of the user, but if people with the same or very similar hardware as you can play it just fine.. obviously the fault is likely the user’s system or config (and it’s usually the config, the OS, other software, bad drivers, bad DPC Latency, etc).

            MOST people are getting great performance at settings that produce great graphics. This is not a “poorly optimized port” – at least, not nearly as bad as some.

          • Zombievac says:

            Also, FYI, what you consider as “condescending” is just me stating facts, and I was specific that what I said did NOT apply to everyone having problems.

            I’ve been building my own, and other peoples’ gaming and work PCs/Laptops/Macs/Servers for almost 25 years. I’ve been the IT Manager for 10 years at the company I work for, and I deal with this sort of thing (troubleshooting) ALL the time. It still amazes me how many people use a PC as their workcenter for 20+ years and still don’t know the first thing about how it works, or how to handle minor issues. Same with many gamers, especially young ones who prefer to go on a tirade on the Steam reviews, bitching and moaning, rather than spending 5-10 minutes finding a solution or workaround for their problem.

      • Pizzzahut says:

        That does tend to be happening much more as of recent. It’s now very common to see people complaining of a game being ‘unoptimised’ because they can’t play at high frame rates on old i5’s, 970 GPU and 8gb RAM.

        • brucethemoose says:

          And, more importantly, they don’t know how to adjust settings.

        • liquidsoap89 says:

          If their toxicity continues I can see it causing some harm to the PC side of gaming in a few years. People need to realize that an $800 PC isn’t going to present them with the second coming of Jesus. I fully believe that if people were just SLIGHTLY more knowledgeable about what those requirements actually mean then these claims about every AAA game being unplayable would disappear over night.

          I played through the entirety of DXMD at about 45 fps on my 970. That card is 2 years old now. Like another commenter here said, 2 years for a GPU is like its midlife crisis. It’s not going to be the young go-getter it used to be.

          • Sin Vega says:

            If anything’s going to harm PC gaming, it’s a return to the nerd dickwaving contest of the 90s/2000s that made buying a PC for games pointless if you weren’t willing or able to piss hundreds of pounds away on it every 18 months just to break even. The escape from that culture is a major reason why the indie/gog golden age was possible to begin with.

        • pepperfez says:

          It’s been so long since new generations of CPU and graphics card meant anything that I can see people being shocked when they do.

    • Greg Wild says:

      Running beautifully on my system, FWIW:

      – Geforce 1060 6gb
      – i5 4670k
      – 8gb dd3

    • renzollama says:

      The amount of condescending elitist garbage being spouted here by people who haven’t spent five minutes looking into the actual issue in question is staggering. How can you all be the smartest person in the room at the same time, doesn’t it get confusing?

    • AutonomyLost says:

      I will attest to the sub-optimization. I’m running a near top-of-the-line rig and it’s apparent even in the tutorial level that the PC version of the game has not been given its proper due.

      That said, I will happily wait for the first couple of patches (and god damn SLI implementation) before re-visiting Dishonored 2. I have multiple other games, including a couple I just started playing, with plenty of meat left on their bones. I’m in no huge rush, though it’s sincerely disappointing yet another high-profile game has been released sans due diligence paid to it.

      I can appreciate the distinct aesthetic and clear visual upgrade immediately, however, and that excites me insofar as the ability to become immersed in the world. I am VERY excited to play this game. Just gotta give it a couple weeks, hopefully no more.

  3. Genophix says:

    Love how you compare the combat to a good steak :)

    Just going to start playing now on PC, can’t wait

  4. w0bbl3r says:

    Seeing a lot of reports of bad performance in steam reviews and community hub.
    Glad I didn’t pre-order it now. Thanks for pricing it so high devs, worked in my favour it seems.

  5. CaptainDju says:

    Every positive review will push me a bit closer to buying this game full price, god knows I loved the first one…

    But Denuvo? That can’t be good :-(

    • Creeping Death says:

      So what’s the problem with denuvo? I’ve played a few games that have had it now and can honestly say that, until I googled a list just now, I would never have known that they had it. As far as I’m aware the only issue was with the (never proven) idea that it shortens the lifespan of SSDs?

      • Ignorant Texan says:

        I believe the fear that games will not be able to “validated”, if/when they go out of business, such as what’s happened with SecuRom “protected” games. There are also reports that if you change components(SSDs,CPUs, GPUs), Denuvo will no longer recognize your PC.

        • trashbat says:

          OTOH, Denuvo has apparently killed piracy stone dead, so much less chance of them going out of business. Swings and roundabouts eh.

      • nearly says:

        Denuvo also tends to add an always online function so that if you don’t launch a game after its last update, it’ll throw you an error message when trying to play offline for the first time. It usually doesn’t cause much trouble but it’s just something that shouldn’t really be necessary.

    • Emeraude says:

      Definitely going to get it later on console, second hand, once it hits flee market prices.

  6. Creeping Death says:

    I dont know if anyone will be able to answer this yet, as I expect it’ll require knowledge of late-game abilities, but do either of the two protagonists lean more towards non-lethal stealth than the other?

    I’m curious because, while I certainly intend to play the game twice with both characters, I usually take a non-lethal stealth approach first, then I stabby murder death playthrough after. I’m just wondering if either character leans more in a specific direction that will result in a more satisfying experience.

    • august says:

      I could be wrong but I think Emily is the more “loud” overt character of the two, but the cool thing is that there are actual non-leathal “loud” options now.

    • GepardenK says:

      Arkane stated both characters are made with equal approach to combat and stealth in mind. Looking at the powers they have available and imagining what you can do with them confirms this. Sure, in a top tier min-max situation one character may turn out to be better at stealth than the other simply because balance has never been a perfect art, but for your average gamer both characters should be equally competent at stealth and combat

  7. Jerppa says:

    Trump. Holy shit.

  8. FriarZero says:

    The review says, ” Emily’s unique powers, which you can see in the video below.”

    There is no video.

  9. LacSlyer says:

    I just couldn’t get behind the Dishonored style of stealth. It’s far too lenient by design no matter the difficulty you play, and requires you to completely ignore game aspects in order to actually have a challenge. The abilities of teleporting and seeing through walls completely negates any actual challenge stealth games provide.

    Hopefully the no-powers mode makes this more interesting, but when levels are designed around having them I can’t imagine the experience being nearly as fun or interesting.

    • GepardenK says:

      The game is designed around not having powers too. They stated it as a core feature of their level design and it’s the reason why they give you a official story choice to play without powers.

      That said I agree with you that Dishonored is lacking in the stealth department, particularly compared to something like classic Thief. But it’s not because of the powers. When playing D1 without (or with!) powers it is apparent that the core gameplay loop for stealth is simply a bit boring and tediously repetitive. The game is not as consistent as it should be in creating thrilling emerged situations and cool moments when doing stealth, and levels are designed as endlessly similar and repetitive “stealth puzzles” that keep the pacing down rather than having guards with very long intermingling patrols like we see in Thief (that you can tiptoe around at your own pace provided you safeguard against getting caught). I still enjoy it though because they sell the stealth fantasy well and the exploration part is top notch, but the actual stealth gameplay is bland.

      Dishonored (and most other stealth games really): Solve stealth puzzles with X amount of guards paroling in a small area. The next room will be exactly the same puzzle but structured differently so you have to spend just as much time waiting in a corner and memorizing patterns. Rinse and repeat.

      Classic Thief: Explore a mansion while trying not to get caught. Watch out though, a whistling guard might come strolling down the corridor when you least expect it

      • LacSlyer says:

        Well, the difference in Dishonored stealth gameplay and even modern stealth games is other games offer considerably more stealth options to change up the gameplay so it’s not stale despite not being as creative as older stealth games. On top of that, the additional options most modern stealth games offer don’t allow the gameplay to become noticeably easier.

        Dishonored unfortunately doesn’t offer those kind of options and so it becomes incredibly stale even with powers over time. So in general it’s a relatively stale stealth game that seemingly has stealth favored by people who dislike stealth games.

        And that’s fine if a game is designed in that way, because the core gameplay is unique enough to make up for that. I just dislike it being referred to as a stealth game when it’s merely an option, and the worst option at that. It’d be like calling MGSV an action game.

      • Machocruz says:

        Thing is, I don’t think Dishonored are “stealth games.” They are action games to me. Stealth is an option, but combat is equally viable and perhaps even more effective. And the stealth isn’t particularly developed compared to standards that have already been established by other games. Imo, they are no more stealth games than Dark Messiah of Might and Magic was. But I’ve noticed that there are certain mechanics in games that tend to dominate in people’s minds. So any game with even a slightly fleshed out stealth system becomes a “stealth game”. I’ve seen the same with thing with first person perspective. If a game has it and there is even an iota of shooting, even a bow, you’ll have people grouping it in with FPS.

    • Cropduster says:

      Thief is still pretty unique in terms of it’s mechanics to be fair. Pretty much every other stealth game is focussed around powers & gadgets while thief is all about movement, light & carpets.

      I don’t necessarily think one way is better than the other or anything, but the first two thief games are still weird exceptions inside the genre they helped create.

      Still though I had a blast with dishonored 1, and I’m happy to see that the sequel is looking promising. I’m yet to play a game by Arkane that wasn’t great.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Thief does have gadgets, its arrows are pretty much gadgets too. Also Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (and old-gen Double Agent) has sound meter on top of light meter which makes Thief less unique and even a bit inferior in terms of stealth mechanics.

  10. august says:

    Btw: I bet Arkane sure would have liked to have a bunch of glowing reviews leading up to launch, huh?

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Well, yes.

      Is this a dig at Bethesda releasing review code before launch day?? Is that this month’s cardinal sin now? Last month’s being devs NOT releasing code until launch day so no one could make an informed decision? I can’t keep up with you cynical internet people.

    • Cropduster says:

      Mate, Zenimax/Bethesda know what’s best for you.

      Imagine how angry you’d be if someone else played a game before you did. Thank god we don’t live in that world anymore.

    • pepperfez says:

      I think we’re all just supposed to imagine the glowing reviews and purchase accordingly.

  11. Henas says:

    Performance issues are concerning, but not unsurprising given the recommended specs. Could it be the same case as DX:MD wherein a singular setting (eg MSAA) is causing the dramatic drops in frames? Or classic internet PC users expecting their PCs to do ‘Ultra’ and complaining noisely when it fails?

    Is it a Mafia 3 type debacle?

    • MultiVaC says:

      I would really like to know this, too. I don’t put too much stock in the notoriously hysterical Steam community, but with this being on an entirely new in-house engine (and one that looks pretty cutting-edge) there is a good chance of there being some valid issues. That would be a shame. I would have really liked to have rock solid performance like DOOM, because everything else about this sounds like my ideal game.

    • woodsey says:

      GTX 980/i5 4670K and a consistent 60fps is unobtainable on High, Very High, and Ultra presets.

      There’s still Lowest, Low, and Medium presets, but a) I paid £300-£400 for this card a year ago, so… no, and b) the game’s riddled with awful aliasing and the only AA options are FXAA Low, High, or TXAA. Only the latter actually does much good, and that’s at the cost of being able to see anything. Feels like I should be wearing corrective lenses.

      • TonyB says:

        That’s a two year old graphics card and a three year old (and not completely top end then) CPU. When you bought them and what you paid for them is irrelevant, it’s entirely reasonable to suggest your system isn’t up to high-end settings anymore.

  12. TightByte says:

    Good for you, Adam.

    Personally, I cannot get the game to run. Pre-ordered in June, pre-loaded last night, stayed up until 1am (having misunderstood that when Steam says “this game will unlock in 1 hour” it means two, and when there is truly 1 hour left or less, Steam says “this game will unlock in approximately less than one hour”)

    Twin GTX 980s, 64 GB ram, some ridiculous 6-core Intel extreme CPU that I’m too tired to look up. All Windows updates in place. Absolutely no joy in seeing anything but the “Zenimax” white screen after the half-Emily/half-Corvo facery loading screen.

    I think you can only get “hyped” for the release of a game, then subsequently disappointed, a limited number of times. And I’m old enough to remember the struggle of getting old DOS games to run by finding the right IRQs for your soundcard and whatsit. This is just a silent crash to desktop.

    I’ll bet you anything this is some kind of DRM that’s misfiring. Thanks a fucking ton, Bethesda.

    • Henas says:

      Certainly sounds like the Dunevo DRM could not ‘phone home’ and was summarily quitting the game.

      Occurred with the release of DX:MD on launch day if I recall.

    • Matfink says:

      Anything logged in Windows event viewer for the crash?

    • darkteflon says:

      I remember soundcard IRQ conflicts. Goddamn I’m old.

  13. shagen454 says:

    Having not played the last Thief game and anticipating playing Dishonored 2 – I started playing that Thief “reboot” and gotta say I was having a lot of fun with it. Sure, some of the missions are fucking retarded, but I still found a lot to like in there. My new thing this month has been playing AAA “B” games… like Mad Max & The Division (and Thief).

  14. skyturnedred says:

    I’m very curious what you mean by Dishonored The First having “acrobatic combat”.

    • gbrading says:

      Videos like this help to show off some of the genuinely acrobatic stuff that Dishonored could allow you to pull off.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I get the objection to the word acrobatic because most of the stuff in that amazing video isn’t actually physical gymnastics.

        There was one acrobatic skill in the game called Agility that reduced falling damage and gave Corvo a high jump. You can see a little of that in the video, but it’s mostly blink, possession, slowed time and other magic tricks.

  15. Muzman says:

    It’s one thing to be able to finish it without powers, but can you finish it without auto maps, tool tips and objective markers?

    That’s at least an equal test of Thiefiness. The first suffered from a failure of ‘immersive design first’ in that department on several occasions, with GUI aides being the only way to obtain certain kinds of information rather than in-world ones. Showing that the option to turn them off was an after thought rather than the game being build from level design on up. (although design wise it was closer to the first Hitman than Thief in many respects, including having mainly small and relatively uncomplicated level designs punctuated by a few larger, more open ended ones ones).

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      Yes, very true. I turned the UI stuff off for my DLC play through and, yeah, there were a few points where it was impossible to know where to go without prompts. One particularly stupid bit set in what’s his name’s assassin’s hideout from the main game: you had to ‘go to the roof’ by which it meant one specific square metre of the roof impossible to locate without the objective marker. I actually got frustrated before remembering I could just turn them back on. Not ideal though.

      • Emeraude says:

        I’m finding the worst offender was the “need to get that guy in that one dumpster and no other”… thankfully there were alternate ways of saving Callista’s uncle.

  16. Monggerel says:

    Looks cool, will probably pick up in 6 years when I get another PC.

  17. Unsheep says:

    Dishonored is not a ‘stealth game’ though, in the same meaning as the Thief games.

    If you get caught-out or discovered by the enemy in Dishonored you can easily and comfortably get out of it, either by “teleporting” or by simply slaughtering the enemy. In the Thief games you couldn’t do any of this if discovered.

    The Hitman and Splinter Cell series are also good example of this; play them as an action game and you’ll die quite easily.

    • Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

      Playing Dishonoured 2 on ‘Flesh and Steel’ mode at the hardest difficulty makes stealth almost as essential as it was in Thief.

  18. Jaykera says:

    Launched the game before work, just a few minutes. Couldn’t find a way to exit the first room right away. Gonna feel dumb the whole morning. :'(

    • spacedyemeerkat says:

      I haven’t played it yet. But I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your comment.

    • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

      This feels like the start of a great gaming diary. Need to know, did you get out?

  19. Halk says:

    Dishonored 1 had parts where you actually forgot that you were not playing Thief. Those were basically the parts that made the game worth playing. Unfortunately these parts amounted to about 25% of the time you spent with it. The rest was disappointing filler.

    So can you say how much Thief-iness is in D2 _quantitatively_?

    I am particularly scared about the open world aspect. One of the strongest points of T1 and T2 was that it was NOT open world. It gave the game much more focus and made the story and level design much tighter. You had lots of freedoms w.r.t. how you solved each level, but no control over the sequence of levels. That’s the best kind of freedom in games, much too rarely seen.

  20. popedoo says:

    Thank you. Thank you. You could not have picked a more pleasing headline to my ears.

    I was so pumped finding out Stephen Russell was voicing Corvo I tweeted him. :)

    link to

    • Jay Load says:

      Hearing that gave me HUGE happies. His inclusion in Skyrim was a delightful bonus, too. Long Live Garrett!

  21. Mungrul says:

    These performance issue reports concern me a bit. I thought they were using the id engine for Dishonored 2?
    People saying it’s not running well on 970s worries me in that case, as I have one. Yet new Doom is as smooth as butter on my rig. Ah well, I’ll see when I get home.

  22. gabrielonuris says:

    Oh no. Dishonored doesn’t hold a candle to the atmosphere of the Thief series. Dishonored is too sterile, I don’t know if it’s because it’s almost always too bright while Thief is always too dark, but it doesn’t has that feeling of complete vulnerability and misery you got with the Thief series (and yes, even with the reboot).

    While Thief is always dark (literal and figuratively speaking), Dishonored is too gamey and arcadey to be compared with that one; in Thief, you have notes throughout the game explaining what must or could be done, you get crucial information listening to guards and other NPCs, observing the environment to get clues and being patient. In Dishonored you simply rely on wallhacks, quest pointers and instantly magic tricks to compensate for bad level design.

    Oh yes, you can disable those things, can’t you? So, for instance, if you disable quest pointers will it automatically enable crucial dialogs and notes to guide the player through the level, once you disabled the quest pointer? Will it enhance the dialogs beyond robotic sentences like “indeed I believe so” and “should we gather for whiskey and cigars tonight”? No, it won’t.

  23. gbrading says:

    I adore Dishonored 1 and I’m really looking forward to playing this. To me what Dishonored 1 had was an excellent setting coupled with a great core gameplay loop, be it aggressive or stealthy. I think that freedom to choose what way to approach a situation makes Dishonored more like Deus Ex than anything else.

    • Emeraude says:

      I definitely agree, I find that though it had both Dishonored had more Deus Ex than Thief in its DNA, really.

  24. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Ooh, this sounds good. You better not be leading me on Adam! 10 hours in is often peak excitement when playing a new game. Hope you feel the same come conclusion.

    Did know, but completely forgot, about Garrett being back. That’s awesome news. I am seriously tempted to do a no powers playthrough first, then use them to dick about in a second one. I much preferred clambering about than using blink in the first game, with that jump upgrade and the mantling animations it was a joy to traverse without cheaty teleports.

  25. nanotechnics says:

    “Dishonored 2 Is The Thief Successor We Deserve”

    Read that title and decided, yes i will get it.

    • Jay Load says:

      Pretty much me too. D1 was a great game but that one choice elevates it to another level for me. God, I miss Thief. :*(

      • nanotechnics says:

        Same here, Thief was such a strong, well done series that i’m surprised the industry hasn’t paid anymore attention to it. Lets hope there’s some sequel in the works.

    • pepperfez says:

      Funny, I read it and assumed it meant the game would call me abusive names and punch me in the stomach.

      • Emeraude says:

        The two propositions are not mutually exclusive to everyone, I gather.

      • A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

        Come ‘ere, you Taffer! *Biff*

      • nanotechnics says:

        Lol, those Hammerite guards were pretty enthusiastic in chasing Garrett down.

    • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

      Add me to the list, nanotechnics. Adam said the magic word and now D2 has my complete, undivided attention.

  26. PaulieXP says:

    Just wanted to chime in on the performance discussion.
    I’ve only played the tutorial(since I haven’t finished playing Brigmore Witches in D1 so I didn’t want to jump into the main story)
    All settings are maxed(except for adaptive resolution since I have no idea what that is, it’s at the default 75 now), resolution is 1080p(my monitor can’t go higher) and well.. the tutorial ran smooth as silk. Used the latest version of Fraps and during the tutorial the framerate didn’t drop below 53fps. Now for my hardware:

    CPU: i7-4790K@4.00GHz
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970(Gainward Phantom)
    RAM: 16GB Corsair Vengeance
    HDD: System installed on INTEL SSDSC2BW120A4; Game installed on ADATA SP550
    Windows version: Windows 10 pro(64bit) up to date
    Nvidia Driver version 373.06

    One last thing I should mention is that I accidentally left the anti-alias setting in the Nvidia control panel on override and 8x while playing.(played an old game before that didn’t have native anti alias settings). Don’t know if that made the game run better or worse. Anyway there it is, ye old 970 can run the game just fine at 1080p. Of course, there’s not much detail and stuff to process in the tutorial, the game proper might run a little worse but I doubt it will be 30fps bad, especially if I pull back on the anti-alias.

    • fish99 says:

      You need to play beyond the tutorial. Everyone is reporting good fps in the tutorial, then a big drop/stutter-fest afterwards.

      • PaulieXP says:

        Finally finished D1 DLC and got to play a bit of the main game last night, while I did notice a drop in performance(didn’t bother enabling fraps again) Dunwal was still playable, didn’t feel like a console either so it must be over 30fps. From what I’ve read it seems the real test will be after the prologue so we’ll see what happens when I get to the new city(right now I’m on the boat and it runs smooth). Hopefully if it gets too sluggish I can compensate by turning off anti alias and some shadows

  27. Psychomorph says:

    Comparing Dishonored to Thief? Really…

    Dishonored’s stealth (not using abilities, non leveled) is not even in the same universe as Thief.

    Thief is an actual stealth simulation. How the fuck can you even bring Dishonored to that table?

    • whale says:

      I’m 10 hours into the game and I completely agree with you- here a few simple reasons, though there are many:

      Enemies do not make sound when they walk on stairs, as in ZERO sound- making it so you cannot place them through walls. (in thief you can place the location of an enemy in relation to you)
      There is no way to know if you can be seen or not unless you are looking at the enemy that is seeing you. (eye indicator in thief)
      Explicit vision cones are hidden under a power.
      Leaning (peeking) does not lower the amount speed at which you are seen. (its also a toggle in D2 which is insane)
      There is a no-powers mode that should be “like thief” but the levels aren’t designed with this in mind and there are several bottlenecks that make playing this way not viable, or at least no-fun to do.
      Enemies can see you, and doors you’ve opened, and bodies, through certain types of walls (that are opaque to the player), and it DOES come up on a regular basis.

      Dishonored is a fine game but its a game designed to break down when you try to play it like thief, and fun when that happens- which it is, but it ain’t thief.

      • Psychomorph says:

        Thanks for confirming.

        It is fine to like Dishonored just for what it is, but the constant Thief comparisons are more like a spit in LGS’ face rather than honouring them. Looks like a lack of understanding what Thief actually really is.

  28. saillc says:

    Just wanted to come comment about performance. For those saying things about MSAA, it doesn’t even exist in the game. The game is really, unbelievably badly optimized. While Steam forums are known to overreact and freak out, there is a large growing thread about performance issues on reddit, steam reviews are tanking, and i have direct experience with it. On my GTX 1070, i5 4690k, and 16 gig of ram in 1440p and 1080p, i have massive framerate fluctuations. When i mean massive, im talking 120fps in the tutorial, and now in the second city outside areas cant even hit 50 fps. The entire thing looks like a slideshow when you step outside, the frame-timing is off because 60+fps does not feel like it at all. There is mouse smoothing issues, antialiasing issues (as there is only TXAA and FXAA, the TXAA is tanking performance and the FXAA just doesn’t work that well.) and of course the framerate issues.

    This is a seriously badly optimized game. There are reports of people with GTX 1080s unable to hit a consistent 60 fps in both 1080p and 1440p. I’ve noticed a serious lack of discussion on major gaming sites about this, but reports are starting to noticably crop up more and more. PCGamers updated performance analysis reports many of these similiar issues with a GTX 970, and i personally have them when im WAY over minimum required and still over recommended.

    Another bizarre issue is how the difference between “Very Low” and “Ultra” settings is a measly 10 fps. Something is very, very wrong here. I hope it’s fixed.

  29. fish99 says:

    The Thief/Dishonored comparisons always irk me a little, because while I love Dishonored, it’s stealth is very basic in comparison to Thief. I think what people are actually noticing is that both have fleshed-out, solid-feeling worlds, with lots of lore, and that both can be played lethal/non-lethal, but in terms of mechanics there’s not much to compare.

  30. darkteflon says:

    I love a good CoD/TF2 shooty-bang as much as the next person, but I have to say that what Arkane are doing here is true craft. Seriously impressive.

  31. Edgar Allan Poes Toes says:

    Aye ponk fliyd