As you know, I am a gamer and have been for a long time. I know on this blog I focus more on book reviews, writing updates, or tags, but I wanted to do something different. Today I wanted to talk about a particular game I finished recently – over the summer.
My older brother introduced Dishonored to me about two years ago, and I am so glad he did. The following is a short summary with a few spoilers seeing as how I wish to talk about the second game more.
In the fictional city of Dunwall, which is going through its Industrial Revolution, the Empress Jessamine’s bodyguard Corvo returns to Dunwall after seeking aid for the rat-plague that threatens the city.
While Jessamine and Corvo discuss the situation of the city, assassins show up using magical/supernatural means and kill the Empress, and her daughter Emily is kidnapped. Of course, Corvo is blamed for her death and sent away to prison.
With the aide of a few loyalists, Corvo escapes and meets these people at their hideout. But then Corvo is aided by someone else – a supernatural being known as the Outsider who gifts Corvo with powers. Through a series of assassinations (whether lethal or nonlethal, your choice), Corvo works his ways to rescuing Emily, revenging Jessamine’s death, and getting Emily on the throne.
Dishonored focused mainly on Corvo and his story. When Dishonored 2 came out, at the very beginning of the game (which was several years after the events of the 1st one) you had a choice of playing either Corvo or Emily.
Now, Dishonored 2 starts out with the anniversary of Jessamine’s death, but during the event, an unwelcome guest arrives – Emily’s aunt Delilah who is supposed to be dead (DLC played through Corvo – I believe, it’s been a while 🙂 ). She and her allies kill the guests, and whoever you choose to play as, Delilah turns the other into stone.
The rest of the game is pretty simple. Whoever you play, your goal is to take down Delilah’s allies and ultimately Delilah herself.
Now, for my first playthrough, I played as Corvo because I loved him in the first game. I enjoyed the second one a lot and months later, I decided to play another round but this time with Emily, and I enjoyed the game so much more.
I’m glad the makers give a choice on who you could play the game as, but even if they didn’t, I think Emily should be the required choice. And here’s why.
After being rescued and placed on the throne, Emily must rule the people of Dunwall. Throughout her 15 years on the throne, Dunwall has prospered but not all has been well. A serial killer known as the Crown Killer has been killing off Emily’s enemies and everyone thinks it’s Emily or Corvo. But they have no idea who the Crown Killer is. After Delilah and one of her allies the Duke of Serkonos disrupt the ceremony, Emily is taken to a room to be locked away until Delilah figures out what to do with her niece, but Emily escapes and joins up with a woman named Meagan. The two of them have a mutual friend, Anton Sokolov, who was an important character in the first game, who needs to be rescued in order to help Emily with finding out how to defeat Delilah.
The setting in the story doesn’t remain in Dunwall. Emily and Meagan travel south to Karnaca, where Delilah was brought back to life.
For the first time, Emily gets to see a world outside of Dunwall (as far as I know, most of her life has been in Dunwall). She gets to walk among the crowd, her face covered of course. She gets to see how people live, what they believe and think and how they act. She gets to stay in the shadows rather than how she’s been in the spotlight most of her life. She gets her own adventure. She doesn’t have Corvo to help her, but she does have the Outsider who visits her as well. In this game, you get a choose whether to accept the power or not. I chose to accept it because Emily has different powers than Corvo and they are pretty handy. It’s Emily’s time to take what Corvo taught her and put it to use. Again, you can choose to play as low chaos or high chaos (high being you kill everything that crosses your path).
With Corvo, the story would’ve been relatively the same as the first: rescue Emily again, get her back on the throne, kill or remove the enemies standing in his way. But with Emily, the main villain is her aunt, her throne has been taken from her, she doesn’t have Corvo to help her, she has to fix things herself this time, she has to put things right, while keeping in mind that her choices do play out in the end and affect her people and the future of Dunwall.
The conflict with Delilah is more personal than it would’ve been if you played as Corvo. Emily never knew she had an aunt. She loved her mother and looked up to her, and to hear horrible things about her mom, how she’s lied, how she treated Delilah, etc. All of these things Emily is skeptical about and doesn’t entirely believe Delilah, which I like about Emily. She’s not completely naive. She places her trust in the people she knows – but sometimes even that can backfire.
This is Emily’s story, this is her adventure, and her time to shine and show the world (in the game) who she is, how she rules, and the lengths she goes to put things right and make the world better.
If you’re a gamer and haven’t checked out this game, I highly recommend it. It’s one of my top favorites and it is purely gorgeous. The style is amazing and everything about it is just wonderful, and of course, it has a great story.