This action-adventure game does an amazing job of encouraging players to find their own way to play, which makes it very special. Right from the start, the game not only challenges players to make the hard choices but to live with the consequences of those choices. After the game's opening sequence sets events in motion, players must choose whether to continue as either Corvo or Emily, each having their own unique set of skills. This choice is permanent for the playthrough, so if you want to see both characters' perspectives, you'll have to play from start to finish more than once. And whether you play stealthy and nonlethal, aggressive and deadly, or with or without powers, the game never lets you forget that there are consequences to your choices. It's a struggle to get the best results, but it's also a challenge to players to find creative solutions rather than just charging in, guns and blades blazing.
Speaking of creative solutions, there's plenty in Dishonored 2's toolbox for players to get creative with. Both Emily and Corvo might have powers from the same source, but they're different enough that neither feels like a copy of the other. Corvo's Bend Time skill sees the former bodyguard slip in and out of well-guarded areas in the blink of an eye, while Emily's Domino ability can turn a guard into a sort of human voodoo doll, spreading whatever damage he takes to others. As diverse as the two heroes are, it's almost a shame that you'll completely miss out on experiencing one of them until you finish your first playthrough. Still, even though the game can take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to complete, there are so many ways to play that each time feels different from the last. And while Dishonored 2's plot can be a bit predictable, that never stops it from being engrossing. Even though you have an idea where the story is going, you can't help but be eager to see how it gets there. It's not just Corvo and Emily's struggle that catches your interest either but also the supporting cast with their own stories to tell. Even the random NPCs in the background have conversations that feel real and expand on their daily lives in this fantasy realm. You get invested not only in the heroes but in the world as a whole.