Excellent stealthy-stabby sequel Dishonored 2 and its also-excellent standalone expansion Death Of The Outsider have followed in the steps of other games late in their lives and removed Denuvo DRM. Arkane and Bethesda likely figure that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar – those who buy the game and provide a Bethesda store or launcher login will get a pair of new (if minor) perks. You get a Disho-noired black, white & red graphics mode and the option to replay any mission with your choice of powers, plus the pre-order bonus items for Dishonored 2.
For those late to the Dishonored party, I’d highly recommend playing the first game (and its great expansion – Arkane are really good at those) and going from there. They’re a trilogy (of sorts) of super-powered stealth games, set in a stylish dieselpunk alternate earth with its own weird magic and monsters plus fantastical super-science. Considered by many to be successors to the Thief series, your ultimate goal is to complete each level without ever being seen, while ideally setting your assassination targets up for a fate worse than death. Or, being super-powered, you can just cut loose and kill everything.
While some grumble about the ‘Chaos’ system of the series feeling like punishment for playing violently, I consider it a reward. If you really cut loose and slash, stab and burn your way through a mission, the tone of the games slightly shifts, dialogue alters to reflect the damage you’re doing, and more enemies (extra stab-targets) will be added. Sure, you might get a slightly less happy ending, but the first game’s final mission almost entirely changes if you’re playing as Super Killguy instead of Sneaky McNicefella. That’s it playing along with me, not punishing.
The sequel adds a second playable character, with her own set of abilities, and Death Of The Outsider introduces a third with her own bag of supernatural tricks on top of the mini-crossbows, pistols, grenades and folding swords that you’ll be using. Better still, just about possible in the first game as a self-imposed challenge, Dishonored 2 offers the option to turn down your dark magical ‘gifts’ and rely entirely on man-made solutions instead. This mode gives the already highly exporable maps even more replay value. These are games built for replay.
The black, white and bled all over mode and Mission+ feature are live now, with details on Bethesda’s blog here. Credit to RPS pal Richard Cobbett for Disho-noired. It’s only fitting that I’d steal it for a Thief successor.