Dishonored 2, Tyrany, Robinson

Some games I have been playing recently and thoughts

Dishonored 2
I loved the original stealthy teleporting mutant whale powered steampunk assassination game and the sequel that just came out embodies much of the same ideas. This time you can play as either Corvo from the original or Emily (a child in the first game who is now all grown up and empress but also trained by Corvo in the ways of stabbing people in the face). The game starts out with a betrayal and then you pick either of the main characters (I picked Emily) the other getting turned to stone and serving as someone to rescue then a run for your life.

At first you just have normal stealthy abilities sneaking and back stabbing and climbing etc. Then you are accosted by the outsider god of the void and root of arcane powers who offers you abilities (you can actually refuse his offer and then presumably play the game with none of the special abilities not sure why you would do this except perhaps you were some sort of masochist). Emily gets a power called far reach which is like a mystical grapple hook you fling yourself across space in the blink of an eye. People react if you do this in plain sight but you aren't seen if you far reach across someones field of vision. Corvo gets blink which is similar in locomotion but I think the upgrade path maybe different.

Emily also can get dark vision (which allows you to see enemies and their view cones) Mesmerize (which I never got but distracts enemies) Doppelganger (which creates a double that people chase and then think they killed (has upgrades to make it actually fight but I never got those) Shadow Walk (where you assume a stealthy shadow shape which can be even more sneaky and grab people to incapacitate and kill and also go through air vents) Domino (where you can mystically link a number of enemies together so if you incapacitate or kill one they all fall which is spectacularly useful) and a load of stat's boosts to health agility and so on. Corvos has different powers including things like time stop and possession.

All the abilities have upgrades some of them add extra number of uses and others add new functions. For far reach one of the upgrades allows you to pull objects to you another allows you to grab enemies and pull them to you which is hilarious and often fatal they come flying at you and if you forget to hit the grab button they just keep going till they fall to their deaths or smash into something. I made extensive use of domino at higher levels you can tag everyone in a room then knock one out and they all fall at once. It also saves on ammo for things like tranquilizer darts one shot take out up to 4 people.

You also get a variety of weapons and tools which can be upgraded stun mines, death mines, a crossbow with a variety of darts, a pistol, and a sword. It adds for a lot of flexibility I found the stun mines useful for takeing out the robots leave them on their predictable path they just wander onto them and fry.

The environments are varied and quite large full of paths and secret entrances optional objectives and alternate ways to get to places. It has that same steampunk with magic sort of esthetic with sprawling city areas full of pipes and sentry towers electric fences and weird mechanical railways. Prototype mechanical soldiers wander about hunting you spouting recordings from their creator telling you what they are upto often saying things like "note remove this recording from final machine" and "if this recording is played the machine has lost its quarry". The soldiers and civilians also talk and sometimes overhearing them gives you clues as to alternate paths or hidden loot.

I played a mostly stealth path with an attempt not to kill. The game has a chaos system which influences the outcome of the game the more you kill and cause trouble the higher the chaos. The more stealthy and non killing you are the less chaotic things are. You also tend to have options for how you deal with the final target on each level you can kill or find some other way to deal with them some non lethal approach.

I spent most of my time sneaking about in the rafters then leaping down behind an unsuspecting target knocking them out and then hiding them out of sight. I had fun stacking bodies in the light fittings. The ai is relatively clever sometimes removing a guard even if done out of sight will alert them that something is up. They will investigate sightings and if you are seen will give chase. Being able to grab people off the street into the air then knock them out then and there was great and setting up a whole room with domino then shooting one with a dart watching them all fall asleep then jumping down and stacking their bodies like firewood on the roof where noone would find them.

I love the art of the game it's grubby and bloody full of odd creatures the swarms of blood flies the rats that run about underfoot. It's gritty and dark yet wonderfully detailed. I'd love to know more about the world the void and the outsider the game only gives scant details but it's intriguing.

It's a very fun game with lots of options for how to play it and some really fun powers and it really rewards exploration of it's sprawling levels.

Another old school RPG in the baldur's gate style but with modern graphics made by Obsidian using the same sort of engine (Well it's unity underneath but on top of the pillars of eternity base). In this game you are a representative (a fate binder) of a tyranical overlord who had conquered most of the world. Now the final corner of this world is under attack to be subjugated to the ruler Kyro's. You are the youngest fate binder sent to help secure victory by the archon of justice Kyros second in command (archons are sort of magical badasses).

The game starts with a series of short story options that setup your initial back story and reputation with the overlords two armys the scarlet chorus (a horde style of army who force any prisoners they take to join or become slaves they rely on strength of numbers) and the Disfavored (a small but elite highly trained army who rely on training discipline and superior weaponry to win). These two armys are at each others throats and you can support either side or try to maintain a middle ground or betray both.

the game starts off with you declaring a magical edict from Kyros on the area with the two armys (who rather than crushing the enemy together are bickering like school children) they must crush the local fort in 8 days or all will be killed. The area is then magically sealed with the armys and you inside and you have a set number of game days to accomplish the task or you all die and it's game over this adds a bit of pressure to the start of the game.

The game has lots of dialogue options and often these are affected by your stats and also can affect you favor with the various factions and your own followers. It's difficult to see how that will change the long term game as I've not gotten far enough in to see but everything I've seen suggests this opens up all manner of unique game paths depending on who you back and how you back them making them fear or respect or hate you. The game has a variety of combat options including a fairly unique magic system where you learn various components and then combine them into spells with different runes adding different effects. There are also a variety of combo attacks where you and companions team up to perform some more devastating move.
It's pretty hard I'm playing on normal and a lot of the more indepth battles completely killed my party off several times before I managed them.

So it's mostly an old school RPG with an emphasis on being the bad guy graphics are pretty but nothing amazing interface is fairly standard mouse driven affair.

Robinson PSVR
Interesting game all the initial screen shots and videos seemed to indicate it had ps move controls but it's look and joypad based. Movement system is slowly sliding along and interaction is with the look to aim which did make me feel a little unwell at times. Feels a bit like a missed opportunity to not have move controls the ingame interaction object is even shaped like a move control. Anyway it is about a kid who was on a colony ship that mysteriously explodes just as it arrives on planet and he is seemingly the only survivor. He has a flying helper robot called higs and a pet tyrannosaurus baby called laika. It's a sort of first person adventure puzzle game on an alien dinosaur planet. The puzzles can be pretty fun involving fixing various dinosaur mauled machinery but it does sometimes not really tell you what you should be doing leaving you wandering about prodding things.

The environments are pretty the animals you encounter nicely done. It's an interesting experience which in a normal game would probably have been a bit dull but vr adds some extra spice to it. The poor controls and locomotion make it less enticing than it could have been though.


Your write up has me sold on Dishonored 2. I really like the first one and am thrilled of the choice of Emily and that it's "like the first but better". That's a massive win for me. I'll be probably playing it in a year or so 'cos of bebe-incoming.

Tyrany sounds cool but never would have time for and Robinson sounds like many VR games read right now: a near miss!

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