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Arkane Dishonored 2 - Emily and Corvo's Serkonan Vacation

Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
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Chicago, IL, Kwa
And the level design in Dishonored 2 is pretty strictly superior to that found in the first.

No it's not.


Unless you want to elaborate I am going to firmly declare this nonsense. I like Dishonored 1 a lot, substantially more than most of the people on this forum, but Dishonored 2 has far more intricate and elaborate level design.

Or maybe you're one of those people who hated The Sword, in which case... :kingcomrade:.
 

orcinator

Liturgist
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
1,329
Location
Republic of Kongou
The issue with Dishonored is the constant tension, that underlying feeling that you're going to miss something important or screw up the mission. Which is part of the fun of the game but you have to admit it gets fatiguing after a while. It's a playstyle games in general are moving away from so I'm not surprised the sequel tanked.

What the fuck are you talking about? Dishonored 2 is just as easy and forgiving as the first game
 

Beowulf

Arcane
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
1,734
I came back to this game after a long hiatus and finally managed to finish it.

I played as Corvo (for Stephen Russel's voice), without using any powers, going for a ghost non-lethal playthrough and on custom difficulty (mainly increasing detection rate and vision ranges for the enemies).
Well - this playstyle is clearly an addition to the assassin approach and there are some moments where it doesn't work that well. But nevertheless it's viable.
There are many frustrating moments where you simply can't knock someone out with the Tyvian chokehold, as the person is leaning on some obstacle, and the choking relies on contextual button prompt. In Thief you could just apply your blackjack to the targets head and be done with it, but here you have to somehow trigger them to stop leaning, without alerting other guards (or spam lean and peak buttons) and hope that the chokehold prompt will show up.
Some loot is also not attainable without powers (one black bonecharm in the Addermire Institute, and one regular in the Death of the Empress - but you can spam jumping to glitch into the latter if you're patient or feeling lucky).
There are also some frustrating jumps that can end in multiple deaths until you can work them out. But those are optional.

But apart from my gripes with Arkane not creating my desired Thief successor the game itself delivers.
The level design is superb. There are many different routes, and the verticality of the available spaces is really impressive. Most, if not all, of those high places are also accessible for a non powers playthrough. The levels are also huge and include some decent environmental storytelling.
The High/Low chaos difference with streets looking more desperate and characters behaving differently is a nice cherry on top.
I also have to give them credit for the visuals - while this is a game developed also for the consoles, the textures are nice, the whole artstyle is very coherent and evokes a nice victorian era colonialist mood. There are cracks on the corners of some geometry, where the void is slipping through, though. It also performs decently on my, rather old, rig. The accompanying soundtrack also deserves praise, with distinct themes for various levels.


The main plot is totally forgettable, but they could make a better work with it, even if it only serves as a vehicle to move the players between different environments. I've read here that the side conversations and written lore features better writing, but that's a mixed bag and rarely reaches the standard of analogical findings in Thief games, for example. But there are crumbs of good things hidden every now and then, so that's not that big of a letdown.

It's also quite long, if you go for the no-powers apporach. It took me around 40 hours to finish it, but I tried to explore every nook and cranny and get all the paintings, upgrades, and whatnot.
I started a second playthrough, as Emily, this time not restricting myself, going for High Chaos, killing everyone and not reloading when I fuck something up, and it plays 3-4x times faster.

I'm playing on the hardest difficulty level and I must say, that the combat seems kinda wrong. It's really high pace with low time to kill, but to let the player control it somehow, there are some slow-time moments.
With the characters (both the player and the enemies) executing almost immediate jumps and powerful swings the sword-fighting feels lacklustre. It's far better to remove the the enemies group beforehand with some aoe item, or retreat and do the same when they are bunched up, than try to fight with them. Fortunately the arsenal is really versatile and quite diverse.

I didn't like the powers in D1, and while D2 is selling me on the concept of using them for fun, I still think that they trivialize the game too much. With all those traversal and stealth killing abilities you're just playing the power fantasy of a superhuman being mowing down doezns of mooks.

Anyway, a pity that the franchise is "on hold" apparently. Dishonored 2 has some problems (as its predecessor did), but it is a solid game, especially if you like to explore nicely crafted levels.
 
Last edited:

Curratum

Arcane
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
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hBO2rqB.jpg
 

Beowulf

Arcane
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
1,734
I forgot to add some more points for small negatives:
- sound propagation is not that great, with sounds being heard through several layers of walls/ceilings at times (but it's rare and happens mostly within some big areas)
- the Heart advices get repetitive very quickly and have one single negative tone, I have the impression that they were more varied in D1
- the difficulty setting with the increased player noise is bonkers - player movent can trigger suspicion more easily than a gunshot, and also can alarm guards separated by a ceiling/roof - it's more noticeable, as the footstep sound itself has not been increased
 

Latelistener

Arcane
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
2,286
I never had any issues with the first Dishonored, but Prey has serious sound issues. It's a shame to ready this about Dishonored 2 too.

Maybe they should've stayed with Unreal Engine instead of taming CryEngine and id Tech at the same time.
 

kangaxx

Savant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
850
Location
The Silver Shark
I forgot to add some more points for small negatives:
- sound propagation is not that great, with sounds being heard through several layers of walls/ceilings at times (but it's rare and happens mostly within some big areas)
- the Heart advices get repetitive very quickly and have one single negative tone, I have the impression that they were more varied in D1
- the difficulty setting with the increased player noise is bonkers - player movent can trigger suspicion more easily than a gunshot, and also can alarm guards separated by a ceiling/roof - it's more noticeable, as the footstep sound itself has not been increased

I don't know whether I'm imagining things, but sound propagation feels like it has become worse and worse in games as the decades have rolled on. Weird.
 

Beowulf

Arcane
Joined
Mar 2, 2015
Messages
1,734
I forgot to add some more points for small negatives:
- sound propagation is not that great, with sounds being heard through several layers of walls/ceilings at times (but it's rare and happens mostly within some big areas)
- the Heart advices get repetitive very quickly and have one single negative tone, I have the impression that they were more varied in D1
- the difficulty setting with the increased player noise is bonkers - player movent can trigger suspicion more easily than a gunshot, and also can alarm guards separated by a ceiling/roof - it's more noticeable, as the footstep sound itself has not been increased

I don't know whether I'm imagining things, but sound propagation feels like it has become worse and worse in games as the decades have rolled on. Weird.

Depends on the game. From recent games Hunt Showdown has great binaural audio - it's a nice example how soundscape should look like in games where sounds and their interpretation by the player are one of gameplay elements (as in theory should be the case with Dishonored).
 

toro

Arcane
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
12,246
I forgot to add some more points for small negatives:
- sound propagation is not that great, with sounds being heard through several layers of walls/ceilings at times (but it's rare and happens mostly within some big areas)
- the Heart advices get repetitive very quickly and have one single negative tone, I have the impression that they were more varied in D1
- the difficulty setting with the increased player noise is bonkers - player movent can trigger suspicion more easily than a gunshot, and also can alarm guards separated by a ceiling/roof - it's more noticeable, as the footstep sound itself has not been increased

I don't know whether I'm imagining things, but sound propagation feels like it has become worse and worse in games as the decades have rolled on. Weird.

Devs got lazy. Why bother with sound when you can sell any crap !?
 

kangaxx

Savant
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
850
Location
The Silver Shark
I think the sound design was fine, I was talking about the way the sound sits in the level. It isn't a Dishonored-specific problem though, to my mind it's become worse over the years in most games with complex levels when I'd have expected the opposite (am not a techy though).
 
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
179
Location
Nairaland
Ah yes, the classic "more content = better level design" argument about Dishonored 2. The second game has more but better? Lots of overrating Jindosh's mansion, it really wasn't all that unique compared to any number of classic mazes.
 

Latelistener

Arcane
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
2,286
I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with this game.

Okay it didn't run well on my previous hardware and we all know about the optimization, but I managed to get my hands on a new laptop with i7 12700H, 16GB of DDR5 and RTX 3070.

And you know what? The second mission, dips up to 30fps, runs like an absolute ass even at 1080p and doesn't even utilize CPU nor GPU above 50%.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
Messages
3,476
Location
Chicago, IL, Kwa
I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with this game.

Okay it didn't run well on my previous hardware and we all know about the optimization, but I managed to get my hands on a new laptop with i7 12700H, 16GB of DDR5 and RTX 3070.

And you know what? The second mission, dips up to 30fps, runs like an absolute ass even at 1080p and doesn't even utilize CPU nor GPU above 50%.

Weird. It ran fine on my work laptop from 2015.
 

JarlFrank

I like Thief THIS much
Patron
Joined
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Messages
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Location
KA.DINGIR.RA.KI
It runs fine on my rig which has an ancient CPU from 2011, but the GPU is pretty new-ish (8192MB ATI Radeon RX 580)

Ran very fluid when I played through it, no stuttering at all.
 

Curratum

Arcane
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
3,822
i5 3470, RX 570, 16 ram, game runs mostly fine but there's some major drops in a number of levels.
 

Morgoth

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
Messages
31,049
Location
Apple Strudel Food Inspection GmbH
I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with this game.

Okay it didn't run well on my previous hardware and we all know about the optimization, but I managed to get my hands on a new laptop with i7 12700H, 16GB of DDR5 and RTX 3070.

And you know what? The second mission, dips up to 30fps, runs like an absolute ass even at 1080p and doesn't even utilize CPU nor GPU above 50%.

Perhaps the engine doesn't like those e-cores of your Alder Lake CPU. Or try disabling ReBar and/or GPU Hardware-Accelerated Scheduling of your GPU.

It's usually these newfangled hardware features that can rub older engines the wrong way.
 

Latelistener

Arcane
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
2,286
I have no idea what the fuck is wrong with this game.

Okay it didn't run well on my previous hardware and we all know about the optimization, but I managed to get my hands on a new laptop with i7 12700H, 16GB of DDR5 and RTX 3070.

And you know what? The second mission, dips up to 30fps, runs like an absolute ass even at 1080p and doesn't even utilize CPU nor GPU above 50%.

Perhaps the engine doesn't like those e-cores of your Alder Lake CPU. Or try disabling ReBar and/or GPU Hardware-Accelerated Scheduling of your GPU.

It's usually these newfangled hardware features that can rub older engines the wrong way.
I'll try that, thanks. The CPU usage is actually where it should be more or less. This game cannot possibly load more than 50% of this CPU. It's the GPU I'm worried about.

I've seen a bench from a guy with i5 12600 and 6600XT and his GPU is loaded on 99%, while CPU stays on 50%. Obvious the performance is a lot better.
 

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