What is Dishonored 2?
Dishonored 2 is a steampunk-styled stealth game, set in the coastal city of Karnaca. Plunged into a nation in the midst of a shock royal coup, the game give you a choice of two different playable characters - either Emily Kaldwin, the recently deposed queen who finds herself hunted by her former guards, or royal enforcer/bodyguard Corvo Attano, who was the protagonist in the first game. As the story does follow on from the events of the first game, it can be a bit tricky to follow if you haven't played the original first - and needless to say, it contains plenty of spoilers for the original too.
How do you play Dishonored 2?
A stealth game through and through, Dishonored 2 is all about staying hidden, and doing everything you can to stay that way. While you are armed, you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed should you attempt to play the game as though it's a shooter - and so sticking to the shadows is essential. You'll need to scout areas out, keep an eye on where guards are, and scoot past while they're not looking if you want to survive. Often, that's easier said than done.
Luckily, though, Dishonored 2 is a fantasy stealth game, and so you'll have an array of special powers that you can use to help you get through the level. From abilities like "blink", which essentially let you teleport from one location to another (and you can only imagine how much easier that makes it to sneak past guards), to "domino" - a power that links the fates of two enemies together, so anything that happens to one will also happen to the other, there's plenty of room to experiment as you make your way through the game.
How easy is Dishonored 2 to pick up and play?
In a word, not very. With a city that's packed full of enemies, and some rather narrow streets to make your way down, getting through Dishonored 2 alive is something of a challenge to say the least. Once an enemy spots you, they aren't easily shaken off, and they'll often come running after you with several other men in tow. It's all too easy to end up accidentally coming out of cover at just the wrong moment, only to end up finding yourself with half an army on your tail. You'll need a heck of a lot of situational awareness, fast reactions, and several get-out plans if you want to make it through the game.
Should you need to defend yourself, you do have a choice of weapons, although their potential uses are fairly limited. While you do have a pistol, ammo is fairly scarce and limited in number, so you'll mostly find yourself getting into swordfighting duels with enemies. But while you may be a master assassin, you're no knight, and so you can only take a few blows from your enemy's weapons - on normal, two hits is all it takes to kill you, and send you back to the last checkpoint. Turning the difficulty down to easy does help a little bit, but make no bones about it - Dishonored 2 is a very challenging game, and one where you'll need to stay hidden if you want to survive.
With strong bloody violence from the very beginning, along with reasonably frequent swearing, and the odd piece of sexual innuendo, Dishonored 2 is a game designed for a mature audience.
Explicit and bloody, the violence in Dishonored 2 comes thick and fast. Decapitations and dismemberment are frequent occurrences, and as the game's played from a first person perspective, you'll often be given a front row, up close seat of any gore. Killing an enemy with your sword will almost always see you dispatch them with a gruesome special finisher, either stabbing your sword through their jaw and into their skull, or simply cutting their head clean off, as blood flies everywhere. Non-lethal takedowns see you strangle enemies from behind, and hold on tight as they gurgle and slump to the ground. See the gallery above for some good examples.
Much less frequent than the violence, bad language is nonetheless a fairly regular fixture in Dishonored 2, with f*ck, sh*t and as*hole all heard.
With nothing in the way of nudity or actual sex scenes, the sexual themes in Dishonored 2 are limited to the minor innuendo you'll hear about the town - a few references to men demanding "sexual favours" is about as bad as it gets.