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  • 8.8: Fans weren't pleased by Jim Sterling's review, which he gave the game a 5/10, mostly complaining about technical issues and calling the game a retread that introduces nothing to write home about.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Delilah claims that Jessamine broke something and blamed her for it, for which Delilah was beaten, and then her mother was fired and they were thrown out into the street. Was Jessamine really so cruel (it's doubtful she would have faced any serious consequences, so if she did do this, it was likely For the Evulz), or is Delilah lying?
    • Or is she so insane that she's rewritten history in her own mind?
    • Jessamine was, at the time, a young child who, afraid to get in trouble, panicked and did a cowardly thing, blaming her friend/sister instead. But while Delilah blames Jessamine for her violent beating and the dismissal of her mother, it's made very clear that the guard-captain who interrogated them was the one who did those things. For all Delilah knows, Jessamine was horrified by the consequences and might even have tried to stop it if she'd known. Despite what Delilah thinks, there is actually a possibility other than that Jessamine was a two-faced lying coward. She was a little girl who made a single, selfish mistake.
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  • Anti-Climax Boss: The other empowered targets tend to go down quickly in straight combat. The Crown Killer can be killed in one stab like any normal enemy and is only immune to non-lethal takedowns, Breanna Ashworth is a slightly tougher reskin of a standard witch enemy (with a one-shot protection against ranged attacks), and Paolo's abilities are more defensive than offensive. Even Delilah's Final Boss battle wraps up quickly once you've disabled her immortality and destroyed her set of clones.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The abundance of nonhuman enemies like Bloodflies and Clockwork Soldiers means even Pacifist Run players get a chance to use the lethal gear that would have just gathered dust in their inventory in the first game.
    • Likewise, one can be a Technical Pacifist thanks to Combat Choke, Non-Lethal Drops and via Domino, one can sleep dart multiple targets at once, injure guards via shots to the legs and have a dynamic non-lethal playthrough. Emily's Powers (Doppelganger, Mesmerize) are not directly offensive the way some of Corvo's powers (Windblast, Devouring Swarm) are, allowing for a more robust non-lethal playthrough.
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    • The game’s morality system was redone to allow for a more fluid experience. Each level has an assigned “Chaos rating” of sorts where every NPC is gives the player a different level of Chaos points for killing them. There’s a low amount of points awarded if the NPC is a bad person (and as a result the Chaos level increases by a smaller amount), meaning that it’s possible for a low-chaos player to kill a lot more people this time around depending on the people they take out.
  • Awesome Art: The aesthetics of Dishonored 2 are on a level greater than usual in a video game. Its digital art direction, prop design, and wonderful incorporation of that in thematically dense levels, as well as the Scenery Porn of whole houses and locales, makes it one of the most visually rich games of the contemporary era.
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  • Best Level Ever: True to the Dishonored tradition of intricate level design, the sequel has a few contenders. The Clockwork Mansion being the main contender while A Crack in the Slab takes an Exposition-Heavy, No-Gear Level (i.e no powers) and makes it into an incredible tour de force with multi-dimensional time travel.
  • Broken Base: Fans are torn over the new voice for the Outsider, as well as the filters applied to it to make it seem more otherworldly. There's also the more mysterious characterization, contrary to the original's bored, indifferent Humans Are the Real Monsters attitude. Either it's a perfectly fitting evolution of the character or the voice makes him too weird, even by the series' standards. A smaller camp doesn't care either way.
  • Contested Sequel: A mechanically superior sequel, with a greater atmosphere, and social density in the original, with possibly greater amounts of replay value, or a glorified retread of the original game with no majorly different plot twists tied together with a shoddy PC port at launch? Take your pick.
  • Creepy Awesome: Kirin Jindosh is young, arrogant, and a little malevolent, but he's certainly earned his arrogance thanks to the awesomeness of his Clockwork Soldier designs, and the jawdropping Clockwork Mansion he designs.
  • Designated Hero:
    • In Low-Chaos, killing is bad but stealing, even from civilians, is fine and dandy. This was true even in Dishonored, but it was better contextualized therenote . You also mostly robbed the rich decadent aristocrats there, whereas in the sequel, you more often than not rob the struggling working and middle classes, such as the Winslow Shopkeeper whose property was taken over by the Grand Guard and is obviously not in good straits, and who was probably hurt even more so when you robbed his stash. The Black Market Dealer missions are rife with this especially in the case of the dealer in Aventa who warns you about the arrival of Paolo, and who later bonds with you if you choose to defy them. Doing a favor for the dealer in the Royal Conservatory also leads him to give you a discount. You can rob both of them at even after all that, and so long as you knock them out and don't kill them, your treacherous behavior somehow doesn't tip the karma meter any way at all.
    • This is also the case for the main targets. Kirin Jindosh has exactly two ways to take him out either kill him or lobotomize him, and either way, destroying the mind of a scientific genius in the prime of his life. Neither action by itself results in Low Chaos. While Jindosh has committed crimes, and should face consequences for that, some fans don't like the fact that he's judged far more harshly for his actions than Emily/Corvo who in the past associated with Piero Joplin, a pervert, Anton Sokolov, a sexual predator with a history of human experimentation, and furthermore Corvo himself has canonically forgiven Daud, who killed the woman he loved.
  • Designated Villain: The Heart can be used to pass judgment on NPC and guards as to how much chaos their deaths may or may not carry. But there are moments where the Heart's judgment clashes with what we see in many jarring ways. For instance, in the Royal Conservatory, on the smaller building overlooking the building, you have a brief scene where a female Elite Guard meets a civilian woman, who is her girlfriend and they are obviously stealing some private time in the middle of patrol. If you apply the heart on them, it states that the Guard is a thug-in-uniform and the civilian is an abusive mother, which feels incredibly nasty and ridiculous given the well animated and well-written dialogue encounter between them.
  • Demonic Spiders: Clockwork Soldiers. Very difficult to sneak up on, as they have vision in both the front and the back (but not the side, interestingly enough). They avert Cranial Processing Unit, so cutting off their head doesn't kill them, it just makes them rely on sound and attack anything that makes a noise. Rewire tools do much of the same. They can't be knocked out because they're not organic, and the prompt to execute them is very finicky. They also do heavy damage, can close the distance to melee range very quickly with a huge long leap, and can take out Corvo or Emily in about three hits without any upgrades. They even have a ranged electrical shock attack they can use if they can see you but not reach you. Thankfully, there are only between eight to ten in the whole game on a low chaos playthrough.
  • Ear Worm: The cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman" used in the E3 2016 gameplay trailer was overwhelmingly loved by the fanbase.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • While it it hard to put one of the powers here (as they are meant to be extremely overpowered) Emily's Domino power is probably the best ability she has. It allows you to "bind the fates" of two people(what she does to one is inflicted on the other) which is often enough to make the difference between an alarm and a stealth run — especially since she can mark the targets in advance at no extra mana cost, then take her time choosing how to eliminate them. Better yet, it can be upgraded to up to four targets; she'll rarely see more than four guards patrolling at any given time, and she can take them all out in one stroke. The best part is that it can be used lethally or non-lethally, making it useful even on a non-lethal run.
    • The New Game+ option for this game is allowing you to bring both sets of powers with you regardless of who you pick at the beginning. Can you say Bend Time and Domino both being available to use?
    • Bonecharm Crafting, to a degree. Whilst you can't learn special traits from Black or Corrupted Bonecharms, you can still stack many other traits up to four times; a custom-made Strong Arms charm, for instance, will allow you to choke out enemies in half the usual time, giving you that much less time to be detected in stealth or to nonlethally dispatch enemies when in combat.
  • Genius Bonus: You get an achievement for opening the Jindosh Lock, without first obtaining an explicit solution from an NPC. The puzzle is a randomized variation of the infamous Zebra Puzzle, where the setup is that there are 5 women, each with a unique heirloom, and you have to figure out who owns 4 of them. You can either solve the crunchy logic puzzle, or notice that despite its intimidating setup, it is about 8 times easier to brute-force it than any other code lock in the game: a regular three-digit safe has 1000 possible combinations (i.e. it takes 500 tries on average to guess the code), while the "unbreakable" Jindosh Lock only has 120 (5-factorial optionsDefinition ), so if even you don't read any of the hints, it takes 60 attempts, on average, to brute-force it — although, of course, figuring that out requires some combinatorial/cryptographic background, as well.

    If you do read the hints, you'll know who owns at least one of the heirlooms, meaning that there are only 24 (4-factorial) possible options, needing only 12 guesses on average to brute force, given that the first sentence of second paragraph is of the format (emphasis added):
    So [character] showed off a prized [heirloom], at which the lady from [city] scoffed, saying it was no match for her [heirloom].
  • Ho Yay: Aramis Stilton and the former Duke are implied to have had a relationship before the Duke's death - there are many references to how close they were, a note you can find has Stilton indicate he's gay (or at least has no interest in women as he refers to one trying to hit on him as "missing the obvious"), the heart can later confirm that he was in love with Theodanis (leaving it only a matter of whether this was one sided or not), and Stilton's bed in his destroyed mansion has clothes laid out with the Duke's portrait on the pillow. Word of God confirms they were indeed in a relationship.
    • Delilah and Breanna, though it is more from Breanna's side; Delilah's feelings are more ambiguous.
  • Idiot Plot: A common criticism of the game is that the beginning makes everyone look like idiots. Essentially, they're all like "Hey, do you know the man who was framed fifteen years ago for murdering an empress because we all jumped the gun and believed in it despite a lack of evidence (and not making a lot of sense)? Well, we have this killer that's going around killing people and it's totally the same guy (PLUS our empress) and we should all believe it despite the lack of evidence!" Of course, not everyone believes the Crown Killer frame, and if you read the late Ichabod Boyle's diary, there were at least two separate plots against Emily's reign before Delilah ever showed up, and likewise, Emily herself wasn't such a good monarch, being aloof and distant from her responsibilities, an attitude that definitely leads to frustration among the people.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • This was a complaint with the first Dishonored as well. The length of the actual time to complete a playthrough does not take into account for its sheer density, its side missions, collectibles, and the back-and-forth traversal needed to find the bonecharms and runes. In addition, the games are intentionally short to allow for considerable Replay Value (especially with two protagonists with entirely different skillsets, let alone a second playthrough that allows all powers for both protagonists).
    • Many feel this way for Karnaca. It's such an unique and beautiful location and settng, and so richly realized in the themed levels, that fans lament the fact that Karnaca is present for 7 out of 9 levels, with the first and last taking place in Dunwall, made out of repurposed assets from the first game, namely Dunwall Tower. This is essential for Emily's story, but fans believe that the story would have been improved if the entire game from beginning to end was set there.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • The finale is a virtual replay of the Daud DLC where a battle takes place in a Void/Painting realm and the low-chaos ending has Delilah once again trapped in a painting. The fact that she worked her way out of that prison the first time around makes this resolution especially unsatisfying to some.
    • The overall plot, as pointed out by the Outsider, is virtually identical to the plot of the first game: the rightful empress is deposed and usurped by a conspiracy, whose members are dealt with one by one over the course of the game.
  • Lost in Medias Res: A lot happens in the first cutscene. After an Intro Dump explaining the events of the last game and the Crown Killer murders, we get a short conversation about Jessamine before the Duke and Delilah rock up, usurp the throne and have Ramsey lock you in a pathetically crap prison. Throw in the death of Alexi Mayhew and all the guards seemingly believing a random stranger instead of the empress, and you've got one hell of a rushed opening that seems desperate to throw you right into the action.
  • Memetic Mutation: “WELCOME TO THE FINAL MYSTERY, JINDOSH.”Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: In a High Chaos playthrough, Corvo and Emily will cross this if they decide not to save the other from their petrified state, proving that the only thing they care about now is power.
  • Narm: Some reviews have stated Stephen Russell's performance as Corvo as jarringly cartoonish compared to how restrained the rest of the game's voice acting has been. All the more tragic due to how pleasant an homage the casting choice is.
  • Nausea Fuel: The trailer shows off a human corpse with very large holes in it being inhabited by swarms of insects called "Bloodflies." Yep, corpses that have been turned into insect hives with very large holes. That has to be enough to sicken some people.
    • Even worse, they don't always wait til you're dead. According to the developer, some people are walking around with those things inside them! And as if that wasn't enough, they can have said host attack those who come near their nests.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: The general criticism is that the game's plot is straightforward and that the game really works in terms of level design, gameplay and presentation. This was also the criticism of the first game as well, and more or less a general flaw with games with multiple choices and pathways (which demand a simple plot and situation to accommodate multiple variations) but many felt that the 2-Part Daud DLC had a better story and saw that as a sign that Arkane was improving in the direction.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • Dishonored 2 is up there with No Man's Sky, Hitman (2016) and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided for one of the poorest AAA PC launches of 2016. Along with a veritable host of other strange issues like rapidly fluctuating framerates regardless of your rig or settings, weird mousesmoothing that's turned on by default and not looking good enough to justify its technical issues. Various patches have been released to fix these issues, though there are still more than a few having problems.
    • The performance issues mainly plagued users with an AMD GPU, whereas user with an up-to-date, even mid-tier, NVIDIA GPU and drivers were mostly unaffected. This tended to be a common issue with games using id Tech 5, which Dishonored 2's Void Engine was based on.
  • That One Achievement:
    • While not requiring any particular skill to acquire, the Songs of Serkonos achievement is a huge pain to unlock. It requires the player to simply hear songs from three musical duos in Serkonos in Missions 2, 6, and 8. However, the duo will not appear in mission 8 if the player has been robbing black market stores, as the area that would normally include the duo will host a Howler ambush instead. There's no indication at all these are connected in any way; a player robbing the stores for coins/supplies would never realize that the final duo is supposed to be there. In addition, the trigger for actually "hearing" the song is still unclear, some say you have to listen to the whole song, while others insist that merely listening for a few seconds will do the trick.
    • The "Royal Spymaster" achievement requires you to keep track of and collect every bit of lore on the Dreadful Wale as it updates over the course of the game. This includes every in-game lore book, every note, and so on. It's easy to miss and at times a little like finding a needle-in-a-haystack.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • You can find a series of offices in the Clockwork Mansion mission owned by a group of extremists called the Regenters, people who have made a martyr of Hiram Burrows from the first game, and who attempted to assassinate Emily when she was fourteen. Other than this location, they are not mentioned or seen anywhere in the game, and Emily doesn't even have a comment on them.
    • Mindy Blanchard has a surprisingly deep story for a character that appears for maybe five minutes total in the game. She's the second-in-command of the Howlers, and a transgender tattoo artist who is implied to be attempting to hand-craft an Outsider's Mark for herself for unknown reasons. When you meet her, she has you rob a corpse at least in part so she can copy the tattoo designs. If you side with the Howlers in the Dust District, she offers to ink you up some time, but this is essentially all of her interactions.
    • Paolo and the Howlers on the whole feel pretty underdeveloped as characters and factions. Unlike the compelling and endearing Slackjaw from the first game, Paolo, despite being voiced by Pedro Pascal, comes off as too generic, and his Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters shtick feels too shallow, nor does his quest have a climactic payoff in the manner of the Slackjaw v. Granny Rags feud in the first Dishonored.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A huge part of the early narrative hinges on the Crown Killer, a brutal Serial Killer whose assassinations of Emily's political rivals and critics build the suspicion against her needed for Delilah and the Duke to pull their Frame-Up and dethrone her. The idea of a Psycho for Hire stealthily assassinating important figures for the villains' ends is a tantalizing one with a lot of narrative potential and could have been the sequel's Daud figure. Many players expected a chained series of encounters in multiple missions. Instead, the Crown Killer is barely a Disc-One Final Boss, being the first target in Karnaca. She is revealed to be an Ax-Crazy Split Personality of an otherwise kind doctor forced to commit the killings by the Duke, with limited special powers, and she can either be killed in one hit like any other human target or spared by retrieving a cure for her madness from another doctor's office. Also qualifies as They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
    • The Outsider reveals his origin and how he became a god, and states that Delilah unearthed the secret. Many were hoping that a High Chaos ending has the option for a Dark!Corvo or a Dark!Emily to use the same procedure to become a god after defeating Delilah, especially given that it fit the theme of power and corruption and He Who Fights Monsters that works out in a High Chaos scenario.
    • Even fans who loved the game felt that the story should have focused on entirely different characters or a new corner of Dishonored-verse rather than the ruling family of the Empire, whose story was mostly closed at the end of the first game. Indeed, fans enjoyed the Daud DLC precisely for its gritty, lower-class, anti-heroic look at the Empire, and while they would agree that bringing Daud back would ruin the point of his DLCs (One Last Job and Redemption Quest) others felt a similar character, such as Billie Lurk would have been a better fit. Especially since Billie is in the game as a supporting character and the finale implied a Sequel Hook anticipating Dishonored: Death of the Outsider.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Mecha-Mooks shown in the reveal trailer are almost completely inhuman... except for the fact that have perfectly human mouths stuck in an eerie grin apparently made of porcelain. The effect is extremely creepy. Sadly, the porcelain Clockwork soldier has been Dummied Out and replaced with the much more intimidating but less creepy Wooden Clockwork soldiers (who have heads resembling bird skulls).
      • Hilariously Lampshaded in-universe, a book found at the Clockwork Mansion reveals that these soldiers were an earlier design that Jindosh scrapped because criminals found them goofy rather than intimidating.
    • Likewise, the humans of the Dishonored setting have exaggerated builds and frames which resemble either a burly gorilla or a lanky scarecrow. And their facial features look more like Victorian caricatures from Punch magazine. Emily's limbs in particular are a bit too long to be ordinary by our standards.
  • What an Idiot!: Mortimer Ramsey, your first target. He takes the player characternote  hostage and takes no steps to disable or kill them, apart from locking a door.
  • The Woobie: Aramis Stilton, mining magnate with blue-collar origins and rare Benevolent Boss in the setting, watches his paramour Duke Theo Abele's life work undone by Abele's vicious idiot son, and is a broken shell after seeing the Void during the fateful seance. Poor guy just wanted to fit in with the elite crowd.


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