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    Dishonored 2

    Game » consists of 11 releases. Released Nov 11, 2016

    Set fifteen years after the end of the first game, Dishonored 2 allows players to continue the story as either original protagonist Corvo Attano or his daughter and apprentice, the now-deposed Empress Emily Kaldwin.

    Nope, that's it. I'm done.

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    ShalashaskaUK666

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    Not to get all melodramatic about it, but yeah... I'm HAAAATING this, and I really liked the original.

    I just, I can't seem to go more than a few moments without some random enemy or NPC freaking out in the distance and raising the alarm. Drop-down kills seem finicky as hell and most of the time the basic kills themselves don't trigger, leaving me to yet again deflect-kill a room full of enemies.

    It gets tiring very fast, and I've tried slowing things down, methodically going room by room, but it still happens where the alert gets raised by someone or some thing I don't feel I could've ever prevented. On top of that there's the weirdly OTT gore that I think looks straight-up dumb, the bad framerate (regular PS4) and the general feel that doesn't make me feel like a trained killer - like I don't feel like it's me messing up, it feels like the game, if that makes sense.

    Honestly, I don't remember the first being so awkward to play, and I even did a run where I played it like an action game - that was more fun, but doesn't remotely feel like 'right way to play'.

    How are you guys finding it, and when did it all click? On the Bombcast, Jason was saying there's a ton of fumbling and trial and error, which after hours of trying to do a good stealth run, is just too infuriating a thing to accept to go on. I've just half rage-quitted back to the XMB, and honestly don't think I'll be going back to it - unless there's something I'm missing?

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    alistercat

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    @shalashaskauk666: Weirdly this was my experience trying to play the DLC for the first game after years of not playing. From my memory though this didn't happen when I knew how to play it originally. Not saying you're unskilled, just that I wasn't in the same frame of mind as when I originally played the game so maybe that's becoming an issue for you too? My copy arrives tomorrow so I'm hoping I will steadily learn again.

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    JMurph_93

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    #3  Edited By JMurph_93

    I haven't played Dishonored 2 yet but this sounds almost exactly like my experience of playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and to a lesser extent Watch Dogs 2. I just somehow get spotted while trying to do stealth and I can never save myself from the mess I get into. I almost always end up restarting. It almost feels like I just can't wrap my head around the stealth mechanics and then when it becomes a firefight, I can't figure out how to stay alive and get away.

    In fact what I loved about the first Dishonored so much was how instantly the stealth mechanics clicked and I always felt like no matter how much of a mess I got my self into, I would always figure a way out.

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    handlas

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    #4  Edited By handlas

    I also loved Dishonored 1 (beat it with only the teleport power and no killing) and I ended up refunding Dishonored 2 after a couple of hours of playing. Normally I wouldn't do that but I spent too much money on games this past weekend.

    Dunno if anyone watches ACG reviews but he mentioned how the sound design was bad and I figured it wouldn't bother me. But hearing people talking on the floors above you or below you in a building and it sounding like they are right next to you is very distracting when you are trying to stealth around looking for enemies. Plus the frame rate was really inconsistent even when I dropped settings down. The game just feels kinda sloppy in areas.

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    The_Nubster

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    @jmurph_93: I really had this problem with Mankind Divided. I ended up getting the no-kill achievement on my first run thanks to plenty of save scumming, but man, I never felt like I was 100% in control of the stealth. Something about the movement patterns of the enemies along with really wonky controls made it hard to make snap decisions. For example, playing M+KB, I found myself throwing A LOT of grenades when I meant to quickly slip into cover.

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    ivdamke

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    #6  Edited By ivdamke

    The worst thing I've found with Dishonored 2 is that all types of guard alerts are accompanied by the same visual alert meter and the same audible stinger. For example in the mission where you're first at Karnaca I had just made it to the rail station. I shot at a guard with my crossbow, hit him in the head but his corpse flung into the window behind him and smashed it. I pulled his body up with far reach and thought that was that. What happened after that was periodically the guards would 1 by 1 notice said broken window. Unlike every other stealth game I know they didn't just say "huh, a broken window" but instead an alert stinger audio cue (the exact same one as when you are spotted) gets played and their "I'm getting alerted" lightning bolts on their heads started filling up. This is all happening while I'm off in another part of Karnaca about 30m away and needless to say its very misleading leading me to believe I was being spotted over where I was at. This happened like I said periodically over the course of about 5-6mins because every single guard (about 7-8 guards I think) in that area would eventually walk past that window and notice it. The only discernible difference with this alert is that broken windows don't fill the lightning bolt red, just white with the red outline. Problem with that is you have to be looking at it to notice and tell the difference.

    And yea I fell off it somewhere in the 2nd mission, not because of this however I've just got other games to play that have grabbed me more than Dishonored 2 has. That being said, the AI leaves a lot to be desired it's very binary making the stealth feel very one note once again. Also does the main characters talking give anyone else the major shits? Like shut the fuck up no one audibly comments about shit like that.

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    glots

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    I played on 'Very Hard' setting as Emily on PS4 and don't really remember NPCs spotting me all that often, or that those few cases would've lead to any situations I couldn't escape from. The few times they did, I just quick loaded the whole thing because that's relatively fast even on consoles. That said, there were a few times when something I did, somehow alerted *all* the surrounding guards and they'd come to stab me right away. But other than that, it was mainly smooth sailing for me. Now Watch Dogs 2 and it's stealthing...

    I've seen surprisingly many comments about people disliking this one, while saying that they really loved the first Dishonored. I played Brigmore Witches maybe two weeks before the sequel came out and I feel like this has been just as great, if not better. Gameplay-wise, that is. Somehow the story and voice acting is even worse than with the first game, not sure how they succeeded in that with their casting and writing team.

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    bybeach

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    I'm very schizoid about this game. I love what it is doing with it's setting and such, a very believable other world.

    BUUUT...well, I've written off the screaming and aggression not near to me, it seems just to be there to make me jittery. But I feel like the worst player in the world, trying to go about it low chaos (not non-lethal) That could be true to some extent, but it feels fiddly.

    It's load times between deaths that are just about a death sentence in themselves. They have gotten a little better in the area rescuing Anton Sokolov. The loading meter moves quickly to the last 1/4 of the line, maybe even further, then just dies for 2-3 minutes, even worse before. Other times, just 20-30 seconds, very livable. But except for me yelling at the loading meter, I still am not beat.

    There is something to this game.....

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    Zevvion

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    It certainly isn't a good stealth game. There are so many reasons why it isn't. For one, it doesn't always tell you if you're in hostile territory. So I'm walking about minding my own business and I get 'spotted' and attacked. I thought this was neutral territory? What? You get spotted way too easily too.

    It seems encounters are by far the easiest if you just murder dudes. Killing is faster, makes less noise, is less noticeable, is chained more easily and is permanent. But in the meantime the tooltip keeps telling you killing people is bad? Fuck this nonsense. Let me play how I want to play and stop this stupid Paragon Renegade shit already.

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    ArtisanBreads

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    #10  Edited By ArtisanBreads

    I haven't played it yet but I have heard similar things from even the games bigger fans. I think MGSV and Hitman have really raised the bar for stealth game AI. Both are outstanding in that regard. It's not even that the AI as individuals are so advanced, they are just very well communicated as far as their state towards you to the point where you can really even manipulate their status intentionally with the knowledge that they will react a certain way (for example, I would shoot unsilenced shots in MGSV on purpose to get enemies in the alerted state and lure them to where I shot, away from an area I wanted to sneak into, or in Hitman you can purposefully let enemies find guns knowing they will take themselves our of position to deal with that).

    The AI is good in those games but like I say a lot of it is feedback to the player and knowing reliably how the AI works after time with the game. That really adds a lot. I went back to play Blood Money recently (a game I consider one of my favorites) and that game doesn't give you any feedback like that and when you've gotten so used to that feedback it feels extremely jarring to deal with. In both those games the AI is a bit generous with seeing you as well which helps. Dishonored 2 seems pretty severe in that regard. I'm sure it's to encourage power use but it seems harsh still.

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    DharmaBum

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    #11  Edited By DharmaBum

    I've been struggling to articulate why, but I simply have not been in the right stealth mood to pick up where I left off in Dishonored 2. I loved the first game enough to do every achievement (minus the challenge trials) but perhaps after doing the no detection / no kill run in 1, I just don't have it in me to do essentially the same style playthrough again. Playing around with powers might alleviate some of the tedium, but I'm rarely satisfied with the outcome of a dynamic encounter in this game.

    I've been hesitant to start Hitman for similar reasons despite admiring its mechanics and level design from afar (courtesy of GB's coverage). I wish more stealth games would rip off the almighty Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and include a sound/light meter so you know exactly how exposed you are at any given moment.

    Edit: I think I'm also suffering from too many options for games to play right now, when I typically am the type to focus on one game at a time to wring as much from it as possible.

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    ArtisanBreads

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    I've been hesitant to start Hitman for similar reasons despite admiring its mechanics and level design from afar (courtesy of GB's coverage). I wish more stealth games would rip off the almighty Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and include a sound/light meter so you know exactly how exposed you are at any given moment.

    I really don't think you should have that concern about that game. Trust me, huge CT fan in particular. I think what made that game stand out and be so great mechanically was that yes it gave you that feedback in a stealth game (when almost no stealth games were doing that), but Hitman does as well in its own ways, just differently because it is not a game of hiding in shadows. Just brought this up in my last post, but MGSV and Hitman are stealth games with just so much more feedback to the player in different ways which makes games that fail in that area hard to play once you get used to it.

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    cikame

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    I completed the first game despite really not liking it, it received a lot of praise from critics so i felt the need see it through, and i like stealth games so why wouldn't i.
    The abilities, weapons and stealth were functional but not at all interesting or fun to do, but it's also the art style and animation which really didn't gel with me, after the first game i didn't want to subject myself to it all again and it's sounding like i won't have to. By most accounts this game improves on the first but there's a overall iffy feeling i'm getting from people, even those who are enjoying it, games are made from many parts and when combined it creates an overall feeling, i think Arkane Studios games feel spongey, loose, like lots of effort goes into it but it still needs some work, or maybe direction i don't know, but i can already see it in the new Prey which sucks because i'm a fan of the original.
    I can simply ignore Dishonored as it's its own thing, but now they're making new entires in things i do like.

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    DharmaBum

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    @artisanbreads: Word, I have very little firsthand experience with the Hitman series, but I do appreciate that there's more mechanical depth beyond avoiding line of sight (e.g. hiding in plain sight with a disguise).

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    LawGamer

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    Gotta hide those bodies man. The civilians are freaking out because you're leaving them where they can be seen.

    Also, learn to love the Stun Mine if you're going non-lethal. One body + stun mine and the group of dudes that runs over to see what's going on will immediately get knocked out.

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    ShalashaskaUK666

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    Thanks for making me realise it's not just me haha - I also kinda can't believe they left in the 'slow choke out' animation, when it's such a laborious, pace-killing move. I really adore the world design and general presentation (character models/HUD/environment etc.) but it's just clunky to play in a really off-putting way.

    Building a game around combinations of powers but then still having them be selected from a wheel one at a time/from a shortcut menu instead of just have designated buttons feels antiquated as hell. I think it's all in service of creating a deliberately contemplative pace that wants you to think about everything, every step of the way - but that's anathema to a game about superpowers and experimentation with guard A.I. anyway.

    Thrice I've started it over to try and have a smoother run, but honestly, I'm giving up haha, I don't want to fight a game's base systems just to have the experience that was advertised.

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    wildpomme

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    #17  Edited By wildpomme

    Yeah, I totally get why people won't like this game, since it has a lot of issues that altogether make playing the game a frustrating experience. The drop takedowns only seem to work with a significantly high fall; the positional audio is completely broken; enemy alert states are inconsistent, especially after loading a save; enemies are too fragile when unconscious; Far Reach never seems to work right; and there's probably more I'm forgetting.

    Also, the clockwork soldiers and the ghost dogs are garbage enemies. I hated having to deal with them.

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    aktivity

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    #18  Edited By aktivity

    I've been going for ghost and non-lethal, can't say I've run into any issues with the game-play. I approach every encounter the same way I did in the first game.
    Always Far Reach to a high spot, use Domino to clear the room and then hide the bodies. As long as you treat the floor like lava, you'll rarely gonna be in a position where line of sight is a thing.

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    Tennmuerti

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    #19  Edited By Tennmuerti

    @aktivity said:

    I've been going for ghost and none-lethal, can't say I've run into any issues with the game-play. I approach every encounter the same way I did in the first game.

    Always Far Reach to a high spot, use Domino to clear the room and then hide the bodies. As long as you treat the floor like lava, you'll rarely gonna be in a position where line of sight is a thing.

    This has generally been my experience as well.

    I can't say I'm having any more detection issues then I've had in any other similar stealth game.

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    ghost_cat

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    @dharmabum said:

    I've been hesitant to start Hitman for similar reasons despite admiring its mechanics and level design from afar (courtesy of GB's coverage). I wish more stealth games would rip off the almighty Splinter Cell Chaos Theory and include a sound/light meter so you know exactly how exposed you are at any given moment.

    I really don't think you should have that concern about that game. Trust me, huge CT fan in particular. I think what made that game stand out and be so great mechanically was that yes it gave you that feedback in a stealth game (when almost no stealth games were doing that), but Hitman does as well in its own ways, just differently because it is not a game of hiding in shadows. Just brought this up in my last post, but MGSV and Hitman are stealth games with just so much more feedback to the player in different ways which makes games that fail in that area hard to play once you get used to it.

    I will play and defend the old Hitman games with all of their flaws (maybe not Absolution), but the new one is the best and most realized Hitman game. One of the main reasons is like what @artisanbreads stated: it's about feedback. Hitman teaches you the rules and gives you enough feedback on AI and situations to figure things out and be enjoyable. If you are discovered doing something illegal, it's probably because you weren't being careful enough.

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    NeverGameOver

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    #21  Edited By NeverGameOver

    Hm, I played through dishonored 1 last week and am now playing through the sequel. Dishonored 1 was pretty good, not great, whereas I am absolutely loving 2.

    I agree that stealth is broken very quickly in this game -- largely because dark version has been nerfed considerably -- but man, I'm really digging how it's basically a more open version of the first game. We'll see how it ends but it'll definitely be on my goty list, likely near the top.

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    militantfreudian

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    #23  Edited By militantfreudian

    I'm playing on the second hardest difficulty and it hasn't been frustrating at all. Although, it did take me more than a couple of hours to get acclimated to the controls, movement and the game's nuances. I didn't feel fully confident with my ability in stealth or combat until probably the end of the Addermire Institute mission. I just finished the fifth chapter and it felt like there were long stretches of gameplay where I didn't really need to reload or anything. Also, I find that with the double-jump upgrade, drop assassination/knockout is so much easier to pull off.

    I haven't been bothered by how perceptive enemies are in this game; quite the opposite, actually. This fixes one of the major issues I have with stealth games in general. That is, once I come to grips with how much I can get away with (which often is a lot) my experience becomes less enjoyable. I end up exploiting enemy AI in the most utilitarian way, which typically isn't the most immediately fun way to play, especially since being careful and meticulous is my preferred play-style. I just find myself playing less cautiously because the illusion of being vulnerable – an essential aspect of many stealth games – is diminished.

    I don't know, I like that enemies are very perceptive, and more importantly, I think they make it work. I find it relatively easy to slip by enemies by gaining higher ground and using Dark Vision to scout a new area.

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    NeverGameOver

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    I love me some hitman but I will say that the AI in this game is so much smarter than the idiots in hitman that it isn't even funny.

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    zeushbien

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    Yeah I dunno.. Something about this game didn't click with me quite like the first one either. I'm really not sure what, but perhaps it's mainly that the first game was such a breath of fresh air at the time, and this one is largely just the same game again. Also I couldn't really get into the story in this one. Some of the art design is amazing though.

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    ArbitraryWater

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    It's probably worth mentioning that I play all of these sorts of games by quicksaving like a maniac, but I managed a no kill/no detection run without a ton of trouble. The AI is a lot more observant than the first game for sure, but I eventually got a pretty good feel for what worked and what didn't when approaching situations. I was a pretty big fan of sticking an upgraded arc mine in a doorway, then making enough noise to make the enemies come investigate and all get shocked one by one.

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    deactivated-58a3c9b2cc154

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    Honestly, I don't remember the first being so awkward to play, and I even did a run where I played it like an action game - that was more fun, but doesn't remotely feel like 'right way to play'.

    To be honest, I honestly can't even literally right now. But seriously and literally, I am being honestly honest. I am a millennial, and must always point out how honest and literal I am being.

    And to be perfectly honest, the stealth in this game is fine.

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    mems1224

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    Im loving the game and Im having very few issues stealthing through the game. I think I've killed one person and that was intentionally at the beginning. Enemies are definitely more aware this time around but you have so many powers to distract them, especially as emily. My only real issues so far are that emily's far reach is really inconsistent and the sound design is bad. i often hear footsteps right next to me or people talking like they're right behind me only to see that they're like a floor or two below me. Im also quick saving a ton. I'll move like 5 feet and then quick save but thats my own dumb habit.

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    mems1224

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    I love me some hitman but I will say that the AI in this game is so much smarter than the idiots in hitman that it isn't even funny.

    the first time a guard actually bent down and looked under the desk i was hiding under freaked me the hell out lol

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    WorldDude

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    #31  Edited By WorldDude

    @shalashaskauk666 said:

    Honestly, I don't remember the first being so awkward to play, and I even did a run where I played it like an action game - that was more fun, but doesn't remotely feel like 'right way to play'.

    To be honest, I honestly can't even literally right now. But seriously and literally, I am being honestly honest. I am a millennial, and must always point out how honest and literal I am being.

    And to be perfectly honest, the stealth in this game is fine.

    You're so cool. How can I be cool like you?

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    Tesla

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    I don't think it's all that hard to be stealthy if you use the high ground to your advantage. Even on Hard, the NPCs have trouble seeing me if I'm in an elevated position. I also speced my Far Reach powers in such a way that I can pull dudes towards me and grab them out of the air. That combined with the bone charm that makes that move stealthy has been pretty awesome.

    And honestly, Dishonored really shines in those moments that go from stealth to fighting. That might not sound true because it takes some getting used to, but you really can do some serious work if you aren't afraid to get your hands dirty and use all those powers and weapons when shit hits the fan.

    Also, stun mines all day. Especially if you upgrade them to take out multiple people.

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    MetalBaofu

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    I didn't like the first game, and I didn't like the second for much the same reasons. The game play just never really felt good/fun to me in either game. For Dishonored 2, I tried to sneak some, but as soon as I got spotted I just killed everything. High chaos run.

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    matiaz_tapia

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    @shalashaskauk666: I'm guessing I don't have to tell you the "people don't look up" rule, or the part where dark vision is super essential since you've played the first one.( tho it's worth pointing out you can upgrade it to show the exact path npcs will take and where they will stop)

    But I guess the important thing to remember is that normal alerts ( white) are not as big of a deal as they might seem ,so don't feel like you are failing if they happen. You can also get away pretty fast before it turns into an actual alert...so it's just about keeping calm and running away if you have to.

    A few things to note about those kind of alerts is that they are somewhat consistent. npcs will react to open doors and any defence equipment that is turned off, so closing the doors after you have gone through them helps as well as preparing for people to freak out after you turn something off.This can be either a pain...or a way to lure them into mines, lethal or otherwise.

    Some npcs will notice if a fellow guard is missing if they are running the same route. Point is, there are some new rules to get used to when it comes to that stuff.

    Also if you feel you have done well for a while, quick saving will lessen some frustration. I think they made this game more save scumming dependant in some ways...I save scum so it fits me, but as a result more unpredictable things can happen.( like people falling to their deaths because they where close to a ledge when they noticed a door was open)

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    TheHT

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    @shalashaskauk666 said:

    Honestly, I don't remember the first being so awkward to play, and I even did a run where I played it like an action game - that was more fun, but doesn't remotely feel like 'right way to play'.

    To be honest, I honestly can't even literally right now. But seriously and literally, I am being honestly honest. I am a millennial, and must always point out how honest and literal I am being.

    And to be perfectly honest, the stealth in this game is fine.

    Yikes.

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    august

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    #36  Edited By august

    I had problems with guard AI initially, but that was because I was stupidly trying to do a stealth no-powers run right off the bat. Once I got my teleport back and got above dudes everything was good.

    Also, I could not disagree more about the drop attacks. They made them amazingly more easy to pull off in this game and I love it. And now that there's a non-fatal one I don't have to worry about killing dudes. I just finished the second mission on my second playthrough and straight Batman dropped on half of those fools and am currently wondering if I can get good enough at aiming blink to consistently drop down on dudes even if there's no higher ground.

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    Tyrrael

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    #37  Edited By Tyrrael

    @shalashaskauk666: I liked the first game, but the more I think about it, the more I don't really need more. It was rather clunky with the stealth, with at least a couple areas being glitched, where you would have maybe a 50% chance of being seen no matter what you did. I like to play games completely stealthily when it gives you options and bonuses to do so, but it never seemed to be as smooth as something like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I was hoping for a steampunk(or whalepunk)-ish style of that game, but it just didn't feel like it all clicked quite as well. I still liked it, but after a play through, I was done. With Deus Ex: HR, however, I started a new playthrough almost right away.

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    ArtisanBreads

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    @shalashaskauk666 said:

    Honestly, I don't remember the first being so awkward to play, and I even did a run where I played it like an action game - that was more fun, but doesn't remotely feel like 'right way to play'.

    To be honest, I honestly can't even literally right now. But seriously and literally, I am being honestly honest. I am a millennial, and must always point out how honest and literal I am being.

    And to be perfectly honest, the stealth in this game is fine.

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    Brendan

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    This thread is bumming me out since I had a lot of fun with the original Dishonoured. Ah well, I'll find out for myself in a little while.

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    august

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    Corvo's automatic time stop on blink + double jump is making drop attacks even more op for me than they were already. Straight Super Marioing these dudes.

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    Sackmanjones

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    I've been having a bit of trouble with the stealth too. I'm slowly getting the hang of it but I feel like I should have a little more world awareness. I tend to be seen by people Turning a corner at just the right time or someone I didn't see cause my vision ability didn't highlight them.

    I'm currently playing Emily, is there a difficulty difference between her in Corvo? I only have vision, far reach and shadow walk right now so I'm still early in the game but I'm curious who people think is just an easier character.

    I beat the first game 2 or 3 times with one time being non leathel so I'm hoping I turn a corner with this one.

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    L33T_HAXOR

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    #42  Edited By L33T_HAXOR

    I'm really glad I read this post and that this thread exists. The first Dishonored was one of my favorite games of last gen, but something just feels off with this sequel. I really enjoy the environments and just existing in this world they created, but whenever I get spotted, it doesn't seem "fair". I wind up reloading, not because I'm trying to get some perfect no-kill run, but because I'm totally confused by the stealth mechanics and trying to figure out how I was even supposed to avoid getting spotted.

    It doesn't help that the voice-acting and story has gotten worse. I watched the intro to the first game on YouTube (which is still totally fine), then watched the intro to the second game and it seemed downright embarassing. Like some of these lines sound like they recorded one take and said "Fuck it, good enough".

    @artisanbreads said:

    I haven't played it yet but I have heard similar things from even the games bigger fans. I think MGSV and Hitman have really raised the bar for stealth game AI. Both are outstanding in that regard. It's not even that the AI as individuals are so advanced, they are just very well communicated as far as their state towards you to the point where you can really even manipulate their status intentionally with the knowledge that they will react a certain way (for example, I would shoot unsilenced shots in MGSV on purpose to get enemies in the alerted state and lure them to where I shot, away from an area I wanted to sneak into, or in Hitman you can purposefully let enemies find guns knowing they will take themselves our of position to deal with that).

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    SamanthaK

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    Be happy you can play it because i can't. :(

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    Humanity

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    @l33t_haxor: Weirdly enough I read this thread and was worried about the game, but it was on sale so I got it. Finally got around to playing it and the first level had me thinking this might have been a bad purchase. Surprisingly though, the more you get into it the better it gets. Yah some stuff is finicky, plenty of times when the choke-out prompt wasn't showing up for some reason and you end up deflecting next to a guard which, in my case, just leads to reloading a Quick Save - and God Bless them for implementing the quick save option on consoles. Air assassinations can be weird too. Leaning is still a weird grey area of "can they see me? Sometimes they can sometimes they can't.." Another small grievance is that I chose Corvo, because I like blink a whole lot, and it's a little disappointing that 90% of his abilities are the exact same as the first game with half of the tree being made up of offensive powers that I never use (but more on that later). The lack in diversity for his void magic is especially annoying since they set up a narrative explanation for why he would have new ones, and then it's just the same set with one or two new twists. They could have at least given you the Blink upgrade that freezes time from the get-go. Performance is the last big issue I have with the game, which is kinda crummy on consoles with some textures looking real bad. I had an option to get this on PC but I saw all these complaints about poor optimization and thought I'm not going to risk it. I think megatextures might have been a decent idea for this game? They are using Id tech after all, and yet it seems like the engine is kinda struggling with the huge maps, even though the artstyle doesn't call for insane texture work or anything.

    Apart from that though, the gameplay itself is still really great as are the levels. It really feels like after the intro each area is better than the last, and the alternate elimination options for your targets are more twisted than ever. The sad part is that if someone wasn't really into the first game, and decided to maybe give the second one a shot, that opening level really doesn't do the game any favors in winning people over. You have no powers and the areas you need to traverse to get to that boat seem kind rough for just starting out, especially if you haven't played one of these before. The opening should have been the classic, almost cliched, start with everything fully leveled and then they strip you of your powers forcing you to build them back up. The way it is now, being powerless from the start, they're hiding the best parts of the game away from newcomers for the first hour or so which might be an hour too long for most.

    Still it's such a satisfying game for those of use that played and loved the Thief franchise. So far I'm near the very end and I'm really loving the time I've spent with it. Yah some stuff is still funky, shame on them for not fixing that stuff up. Also too bad that yet again I feel like the game gives you a ton of options, but then implies that if you do kill people you will get a bad ending with allies turning against you. I'm not even doing one of those no-kills, no-detection runs, I'm simply not killing anyone because I don't want to get boned in the end. Thats a real shame because the spring razor trap is awesome and lord knows I have tons of arrows that I never use for anything. After close to 100 hours spread between Dishonored 1, the great Knife of Dunwall DLC and this sequel I don't know if I've used the pistol more than 10 times either. At one point I imagined I could use the crossbow on animals, but I've since found bonecharms to nullify that problem so.. yah..

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    Colonel_Pockets

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    I've gone through this game once with Emily's powers and once with no powers. The level design is awesome and AI is greatly improved. I loved it obviously, but I will say the Dishonored games have steep learning curves because the powers are not easily mastered or understood. Once you understand how the powers are used, it becomes so easy to manipulate the environment.

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    ShadyPingu

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    #46  Edited By ShadyPingu

    @humanity: I actually found playing as Daud in the DLC gave me license to just stab the shit out of everybody. That was actually the most fun I've had in this entire franchise.

    But yeah, in general, I've got really mixed feelings on the karma system in Dishonored. The idea of morality branches that lead to totally asymmetrical circumstances is kind of bold -- I always felt there was something a bit cowardly about the Little Sister approach, where the narrative suggests there's a high price to being moral, but the systems let you off the hook. It might've been more interesting if the game said "hey, being good ain't easy, you get less ADAM now." I'm not sure Dishonored has it right either, though. Though theoretically neat, in practice, the Chaos stuff is a punitive measure that discourages fully engaging with the full breadth of the game's systems both because it's narratively coded as "bad" and because it leads to additional obstacles like more bloodflies.

    Maybe they both had it wrong. Bioshock's approach to systemic morality betrays an ambitious story for gameplay convenience, and Dishonored's stifles its systemic freedom to make a narrative point. It feels backwards.

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    RiotControl

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    #47  Edited By RiotControl

    I'm actually contemplating giving up on the game right now as well. I'm also having a excruciatingly difficult time trying to play the game stealthily. I've probably loaded saves hundreds of times and I'm on the fourth level. I got all the way up to the Clockwork Mansion which is hailed as some amazing work of master craftmanship in level design and I find it to be one of the worst levels I've played through. For the record, I've played almost every major to minor stealth game to have been released since MGS1 and Thief and I actually enjoyed Dishonored 1 even though I thought "play however you want" approach to the design of the game made it worse as a stealth game.

    I'm playing through the mansion right now for the first time and because I want to explore everything, the amount of stress this level is causing is insane. It's such a massive waste of time. The saddest part is that there's no real payoff. There's never a worthwhile secret, there's never a great encounter or puzzle or story set piece. There's never an interesting conversation. I don't really find the fact they spent who knows how many work hours designing rooms that change all that impressive. What does it really do gameplay wise? How does it make this stealth/action game better? There aren't even enough guards to make it challenging, so it's not like it's a difficult level, it's just a ****ing waste of time.

    Also, of the first few levels, none of them have even come close to being as interesting as any of the levels in the original. The original didn't have that amazing of a story (better than this one thus far), but the environment really sold me on the world. I really did like the whalepunk aesthetic then. This game fails to provide that Half-Life-like hook just picking up the story through the environment and it's a damn shame.

    I would play through the game as an action game, but it's far too easy and still as mediocre a first-person combat experience as Dishonored and Dark Messiah of Might & Magic before it. So yes, the stress is my fault as I could bypass it by just killing everyone, but... that's not really the experience I want.

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    Humanity

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    @encephalon: When playing as Daud I also didn't feel as constrained because it was fairly short. I didn't feel this lingering buildup of negative karma over 20 hours of gameplay. I think Bioshock did it a lot better in that killing the sisters gave you an immediate reward of more Adam, but a "bad" ending in the long run. Choosing to save them gave you less Adam for each sister but not only did you get a feel-good ending of sorts, but the little sisters would leave you packages lying around.

    Dishonored is, as you mentioned, only punitive. There is nothing to be mechanically gained from being the good guy. As such you don't feel rewarded for doing the right thing as much as you feel forced into the that role for the sake of a good ending. I think limiting myself to non-lethality would feel a lot better if you got an extra rune or two for your trouble or maybe unique bonecharms that aided you in this high-road pursuit. As it is the game says "play however you want! But if you don't play it this specific way then we'll screw you in the end!" I haven't beaten the game yet but I recall the bad ending in the first one being REALLY bad - like you're suddenly worse than the bad guys bad, and it's not something I'd want to experience here.

    Although I do wonder if Corvos ability to turn his enemies into ash from a stealth attack negates some of the negative karma as you're not leaving any bodies behind for the plague to spread.

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    ShadyPingu

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    #49  Edited By ShadyPingu

    @humanity: that's fair, it kind of reminds me of Fable 3 in that they're trying to make value judgments on the morality paths they lay out for you, but both the paths they lay out and the point they're making are childish and simplistic.

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    Humanity

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    @encephalon: yah I completely agree. It's especially strange since they present you with these rather intricate non lethal options that enter a weird moral grey area - you don't kill the man but you destroy his intellect for example. Then they turn around and lock you into these very basic black and white paths. It's strange that your companions, who all have tainted and rather dark backgrounds of their own, would suddenly take issue with you killing corrupt guards that prey on the helpless citizens of Karnaka and help dethrone the rightful empress in a violent coup.

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