EGX PREVIEW: DISHONORED 2 IS “NOTHING SHORT OF MAGICAL”

Originally published at: https://www.gamespew.com/2016/09/dishonoured-2-preview/

It’s been an exciting few years for Bethesda Softworks. Fallout 4, Fallout Shelter, DOOM, Elder Scrolls Online, Elder Scrolls Legends, Skyrim Remastered… the list of unstoppably powerful games that Bethesda have released recently is endless. 

Always ones to go above and beyond the port of call, they decided to showcase theor most highly anticipated game of the year at EGX this year. That game, of course, is Dishonored 2.

From 10 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Sunday, the queue for 30 minutes in heaven with the demo of Dishonored 2 was about three hours long. Non-stop, the crew sent in thousands upon thousands of avid Corvo Attano fans who have waited long enough for their time with new protagonist Emily Kaldwin.

I was lucky enough to be one of those avid fans playing as a level 4 Emily and attempting to do a quest named “The Clockwork Mansion”.

From the get-go, Bethesda, and their effortlessly talented developers Arkane Studios, have gone out of their way to bring us something I can only describe as beautiful. Though the mansion itself is wonderfully creepy and atmospheric in its own right, everything still glitters with a regal tint of gold contrasted with deep reds and purples. The clockwork droids, namely, which stand out in an antique room. They loom well above Emily’s sight and stalk her with razor sharp arms and haunting, hollow faces. Your only defines is to stick a blade through their legs and snap them in half.

We are soon introduced to the creator of these robots, Kirin Jindosh. This is his mansion, he built the whole thing, and he isn’t too happy that Emily has broken in and has started taking out his minions. As creepily as possible, this arrogant so-and-so walks up to us along one of his unusual hallways, smoking and boasting about his “work”. I already hate this dude.

Dishonored 2 then turns into an eerie game of human cat and mouse. Jindosh sends in traps, droids and guards in an attempt to drive us out his house. This isn’t enough to send Emily running for the hills however; in fact, it is our duty to run head first into the danger.

You are directed to go down a set of stairs, which are guarded by a couple of droids – which can be fairly easily taken out at this point – but soon after you are faced with a couple of human guards. Before going in we were told you can do this mission with no kills, but goddamn would that have been hard. These two are the ideal first stealth kill; in one beautifully sweeping movement Emily throws her hand over their mouths and slits their throats silently, one at a time until both lie motionless at her feet.

Then it gets a little harder; figuring out how to sneak up to the guard on the other side of the room without getting zapped by the giant lightning rod Jindosh has now brought out. I will admit it took me a good five or six attempts before I figured out you can’t actually get past the lightning nightmare, you have to get the guard’s attention before you can take him out.

After all that effort, you can finally make your way to the lift. There are three buttons in the lift and if you are like me, you’ll press the wrong button and go up instead of following the quest downstairs like you are meant to.

Turns out going up was a bad idea too; it’s really hard. Or at least it was for my first 10 attempts when I immediately died trying to sneak up on two guards and two droids. Individually they would have been easy to take out, but altogether I was stumped; how the hell did I get out of here?

After a subtle hint from one of Bethesda’s crew I found out that the canisters you see upon exiting the lift can actually be thrown and explode, killing everyone in sight. Simple as that.

So after all that, I managed to take the lot out in one swoop only to discover that I was in the completely wrong place and ended up in Jindosh’s eccentric bedroom, filled to the ceiling with telescopes, experiments and droid parts. Everything glitters with wealth and stature, not least the enormous bed in the centre of the room, stood proudly on its own podium. Jindosh tells us he doesn’t actually sleep much (what a surprise) and that there’s nothing really to be found here, so we are wasting our time.

Unfortunately, this was a perfect metaphor for my time playing: by the time I jumped back into the lift and its doors opened in the basement where I was immediately taken out by two guards, I had run out of play time.

My time wasn’t wasted, though. Every second I spent in that booth I was in another world, a universe that was so familiar, yet so much more than I remembered.

From this small glimpse I believe Bethesda and Arkane have done nothing short of magical. I’m certain Dishonored 2 will be a hit, in fact I think it will be their most popular game since Fallout 4. Please, whether you are a long standing fan, a casual gamer, or someone who feels pessimistic towards assassin games, I implore you; get this game on November 11th.

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