About a year ago, my husband and I were facing another long summer apart. Army training is always during the summer (ask me how many birthdays he has missed). Being the dear man he is, he bought me a PlayStation 4 with a copy of Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy has been my go to game since I was quite young… well, that and Mario of course!
It is an understatement when I say I threw myself into playing FFXV. The game play is simply stunning and I found myself thanking my lucky stars for the lack of turn by turn action. This game played like a dream, and I was actually having fun playing the series again. Yet, in every FF game there comes that time when you have to grind for EXP and you need a break in a big way. Enter Dishonored 2.
I had never heard of this game until several years before when some truly amazing cut scenes were being aired on TV. I quietly told myself I’d love to play that game “some day”, but I didn’t think I would ever be good at that style of game. The entire Dishonored franchise is played as a first person shooter and my attempts at playing this style of game before always ended up in tragedy. I had tried to play Left 4 Dead on XBOX some years before and could not figure out up from down! Plus, those witch things just terrified the holy moly out of me.
From the moment I began playing Dishonored 2, I was completely hooked. The company that publishes Dishonored, Bethesda Game Studios, also makes Fallout, and The Elder Scrolls games. Arkane Studios is the imagination machine behind the entire Dishonored series, as well as the newer game Prey.
I think one of my favorite parts about this game is that I get to chose which character I am going to complete the game as. You can play as Corvo Attano or you can play as Emily Kaldwin, and each character has their own sets of strengths the first play through.
I chose to play as Emily the first play through, because it just felt like this was her game more than Corvo’s game. The beginning of the game has you going through everything as Emily anyway, so it just felt more organic. Having never played the first Dishonored, I was a bit concerned I wouldn’t “get” the game, but everything is explained so players that pick up the series at DH2 don’t feel confused.
Aside from getting to play through the game as a female character (a kickass female character) I loved the “Play Your Way” style of this game. Every choice you make effects the way the game ends as a whole – you can finish each mission in Low or High Chaos. This is not something I was familiar with and after a couple play throughs it was interesting to see how different the game could end. And since this is not a walk through for the game, I won’t be going into details about missions.
From Dishonored 2, I went right to Dishonored: Death to the Outsider. This isn’t really a part three to this series, more like a long quest. This story doesn’t feature either Emily or Corvo and instead focuses on Billie Lark. Billie is a character we met in Dishonored 2 as Megan. I have only played through this game once – I haven’t found any drive or desire to play through it again. There is something about this game that feels rushed and I am also just not sure I liked playing through as Billie. In talking to other fans of the DH franchise, this is a common sentiment. I was told to circle back to the original game and leave DotO.
I found an amazing deal in the Playstation store for the Definitive Edition of Dishonored. It included some downloadable content (DLC) that I have only barely begun exploring. This original game is all Corvo and just like Dishonored 2, you play your way and each decision you make effects the world around you. And despite this game coming out in 2006, the game still plays really well (it has been remastered for the Definitive Edition).
There is something darker in this game than in the other two games. There is a rat plague happening, and the people infected turn into this zombie like creatures. They are honestly quite disturbing, but I have read on IGN that if you play the game in a Low Chaos play through, the number of these infected people are significantly less.
The only thing I haven’t completed with this original game are the DLC. There are three episodes you can play with here: The Knife of Dunwall, The Brigmore Witches, and Dunwall City Trials. I have been told by other DH fans to play through The Knife of Dunwall, as we get to know the assassin that sets off the entire Dishonored series.
To a casual video game player, this series may seem overwhelming. But honestly, I was a casual game player for a long time before I discovered this series. This series gave me the push to explore more and learn more about games today. So often, girls are made to feel like we aren’t allowed to play gamers or be into series like Dishonored. And as a mother to a girl, I am actively rejecting this notion.
If you want to play any of the Dishonored series, I really do think starting at Dishonored 2 is very fine! There is no need to play this series in order (unless you are one of those people that HAS to) and being able to play as a strong female character is thrilling. Good luck in your adventures through Karnaca and may the Outsider harass you often.
This post was not paid for by Arkane Studios or Bethesda. The links to Amazon are not affiliate links. All images are stock images and belong to Arkane Studios and Bethesda. PlayStation 4 image is from Unsplash.