Developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, the original Dishonored stands as one of the hallmarks for immersive sandbox design and player agency. Its intricate, level-by-level plot allows players to tackle each mission as they see fit by using both creativity and exploration, while still allowing for either a stealthy or no-holds-barred, kill-them-all approach as Corvo's weapons and Void abilities are used. It is a game that prides itself in its replayability and the mixing of its mechanics in various, sometimes unpredictable ways, with a fully fleshed-out setting and remarkable world building. Pair that with the dark, moral choices that are demanded of the player (do you kill a woman or do you send her to live with an obsessive lover? Do you kill two members of the aristocracy or send them to work in one of their mines?) and you've got a recipe for much deserved success, which Dishonored definitely claimed.
Dishonored 2 stands as Arkane Studio's second entry into the Dishonored universe, exploring the empire of the Isles yet again, but leaving behind (for the most part) the city of Dunwall for the coastal city of Karnaca, where the rat plague never occurred - though you will now have to contend with the so-called bloodflies. The game builds on the mechanics introduced in the original, with improvements in mission scale and design and additional refinements to concepts such as the chaos system. The game also allows for your choice of protagonist by allowing you to play as either Corvo, the original's protagonist, or his daughter, Emily Kaldwin, for another distinctive playstyle.
Engine and graphics-wise, Dishonored 2 ditches the original's Unreal Engine 3 in favor of a much modernized, internal "Void" engine based on the id Tech 5 engine, same as for Rage, for example, but with DirectX 11 as the API instead. The developers claim to have stripped it to its core, keeping only about 20% of it and building up the rest in-house, overhauling the game's graphics by reworking the lighting, post-processing, and enabling subsurface scattering. It is expected that the game will offer vastly improved visuals over the original while keeping Dishonored's distinctive art direction – hopefully in a well-optimized package.
In this article, we took the game for a spin on contemporary graphics cards priced anywhere between $100 to $700, using the latest GeForce 375.76 (NVIDIA) and Crimson 16.11.3 (AMD) drivers across 1080p, 1440p, and 4K Ultra HD resolutions.