The Clockwork Mansion was so great last time, but this time a manor was just as fantastic a designed level. I enjoyed my whole journey to the Dishonored 2 Ending and wanted more without replaying the same game. Next I think I’ll start the Death of the Outsider DLC/standalone game.
Playing with Dishonored 2 Powers
With a new character (since I chose to play as Emily), I played with new powers. The reliable Far Reach is the teleport power that defined the previous game and DLCs (I think it was called Shift). It’s as essential now as ever before, but my favorite power is Domino.
With Domino, I can tag up to 4 enemies (once fully upgraded) to ensure they share the same fate. If one dies, then they all die. The same goes for knocking any of them unconscious. It felt almost like cheating when I’d tag enemies with Domino, then jump behind one with Far Reach to knock them all out. Those were my winning combo all the way to the Dishonored 2 Ending.
I did play with the other powers, but far less than my two favorites. With Mesmerize, a void entity distracts anyone within sight. A decent distraction, but I only activated it twice. Shadow Walk was creepy cool. I transformed into a spirit shadow that crawled along the ground and could attack enemies.
Doppelganger was pretty cool for distracting or drawing out enemies. A copy of my character materialized where I aimed it and proceeded to run away from enemies. I enjoyed watching them chase my double and think they killed her.
They celebrated victory right before I knocked them out. Fully upgraded, the doppelganger could also attack, but I did not upgrade it that far.
Taking No Sides in the Dust District
My trip to the Royal Conservatory after the fantastic Clockwork Mansion was great, but paled in comparison to the level design of the Aramis Stilton Manor. To get there, I wandered around the Dust District to find a way into the Manor. It was interesting how dust from the mines blew into the district at regular intervals, the perfect cover for crimes.
The other big draw in the Dust District was the opposing factions of the Howlers and the Overseers. Paolo led the howlers and carried a charm to resurrect once per day. I already saw how attempting to take him down failed (there were lots of rats though). The Overseers were led by Vice Overseer Byrne.
Citizen conversations made it clear both groups would attack on sight outside of the neutral area. Other conversations clued me into an easier way to proceed. I could take out either group leader and the opposing faction would give me a free pass. I love the choices.
Picking a Side Before Betraying Both
After previous run ins with Paolo and his gang, my choice was clear he’d go down, but death with him is different. I chose the non-lethal option to continue my low chaos playthrough. It was a bit tricky, but I bagged the Howler leader like any common thug after learning his secrets.
I enjoyed walking freely through Overseer territory with Paolo over my shoulder, taking in praise from the religious nuts. This choice allowed me to explore all of their territory and easily pick their pockets. It was nice, but I also did not want to let the Overseers win territory either.
Great numbers of choices in this game are great. There are so many on the way to the Dishonored 2 Ending. I found an option to dispose of the Vice Overseer quietly and non-lethally. There were so many different ways to approach the mission, but I felt mine was the best of both worlds.
Time Bending Greatness in Aramis Stilton Manor
Once I earned my way past the Jindosh puzzle to access the Manor, the game greeted me with the next challenge. This Crack in the Slab mission introduced some type of dark magic that left me powerless at the manor. No Far Reach, Domino or other powers. I was at a point where I was proficient with the powers, so the game timed taking those away at a perfect time to challenge me.
Despite the excitement of a new challenge, I was glad to see the manor was run down with no enemies in sight. The game also gifted me with something better than the powers, time travel. The black eyed Outsider gifted the Timepiece to me after finding Aramis Stilton had lost his mind.
The Timepiece was instantly one of my favorite game devices ever. Not only does it provide window into the past, but the ability to travel there. The first time I jumped into the past with the Timepiece, I was in awe to see the Manor in it’s former glory.
Ornate details were everywhere, but so were guards. Plus, my powers were absent still. That’s where things really took off. Although my teleport (aka Far Reach) was missing, the jumping between past and present proved useful in their place.
If a guard caught me or I wanted to sneak behind them, then I could jump to the future to position myself better and jump back to the past. True, I could not instantly teleport up high or across a room, but there was no chance they could find me when I jump to another time.
Bending Time to Solve Puzzles
The shard portion of the Timepiece showed me what’s right in front of me in the other time period. It’s a very useful feature to position myself without the need to constantly jump back and forth between time periods. This was great for dealing with enemies, but also for solving puzzles.
A perfect example was a door blocked by bloat fly nests in the present. The only other entrance collapsed. To find a way around it, I crawled into a space under a desk, then traveled to the past to access the room. Unfortunately, I did not have the code to the safe in the room.
In the present, the safe laid face down and no way to access the inside. A few back and forth tripss, then I noticed a furnace and dead hound in the past. I burned the hound in the furnace to prevent the bloat fly nests in the future.
With that little change, the safe broke this time and the door laid face up with the combo on full display. I finally traveled back to the present, entered the code and opened the safe. That’s just one of so many great puzzles.
After I became a master of time, I found away to deal with Aramis Stilton in the past without killing him or him going crazy. I was pleasantly surprised to see how my actions changed the present for the better. The manor was not back to its former glory, it was better. Another fantastic bit of level design.
The Grand Palace of Dishonored 2 Ending Missions
Duke Abele’s Grand Palace was impressive, but I left it a complete mess. There were plenty of guards, civilians and some clockwork soldiers there. They found me fairly early and things went to hell. For previous missions, I was mostly careful, but sort of rushed through this a bit.
After I was detected by guards, I killed them and destroyed clockwork soldiers. From there it was half non-lethal, half bloodbath. I was able to keep low chaos in the end, but boy was I sloppy. Most of the civilians I left alive and just knocked them out to stop them running around scared.
The part I was not sloppy with was the non-lethal disposal of Duke Abele. I found he had a body double as any wannabe dictator would. Lucky for me, his double was tired of gaining weight trying to keep up appearances with the real Duke.
We hatched a plan to replace the real Duke with his double. The double would be more caring for the people and it is a more complex way to dispatch the Duke without violence. Sure it’s more complicated than simply killing them both, but more satisfying in the end.
The real icing on the cake was the real Duke would go to the asylum (guards though him a crazy double) where the doctor Hypatia (whom I saved) was waiting for him. Hypatia is the same doctor he drugged and manipulated for his benefit. Sure killing him is easier, but enduring her “treatments” is a more fitting punishment.
Cruising the Duke’s vault at the end was a nice payoff too. It was fitting I literally stole Delilah’s heart for use in the final battle.
Death of the Empress, but Which One?
Dunwall was in much worse shape than where I left it at the beginning of the game. My final battle was preceded by a dark nostalgia tour of Dunwall. I recognized the Prison I escaped from in the first game and the sewer I escaped to.
Even deeper than that, I visited the memorial stone of Empress Jessamine at the sight the Knife of Dunwall assassinated her in the original Dishonored. It was a good throwback to the first moments of the first game. I loved to see the look of the city with upgraded graphics, eventhough it’s in a much darker place.
There were plenty of witches, clockwork soldiers and hell hounds in my path to the throne. It was tough when spotted by them, but the combination of my Domino power and Far Reach was killer. At this point in the game, there was no chance against my powers.
Dishonored 2 Ending Delilah the Right Way
Keeping with my low chaos playthrough, I was happy with my ultimate choice to dispatch the false Empress, Delilah. The usual option to kill her was available, but it was great to choose a win-win scenario. She thought that she won and unknowingly locked herself away and I restored the throne to the rightful owner.
It was such a great game that I sat through the credits, but first I enjoyed the ending cutscene of my accomplishments. The ending was obviously the “good” one, but I could resist checking youtube for the “bad ones”. Choice and consequences are even better in Dishonored 2 ending than I imagined.
There really are many other ways to play through the game, but next I’ll tackle the Death of the Outsider. After that I’ll probably move onto Arkane’s Prey to close out their series of games for me. I can’t wait to see what they do next.