I've been enjoying Dishonored 2, but I find it really, really tough.
I'm just rubbish at stealth games. Vision cones, guard patrols, sneaking about, the whole thing gives me a headache. I almost always end up getting spotted, and then invariably end up dying in the firefight that follows.
And Dishonored 2 starts off particularly tough. At least, I feel like it does. I'm sure stealth fans will breeze through its opening few hours, but I found them a bit of a slog. You're imprisoned, and without any meaningful powers, you must escape the city of Dunwall. Guards are everywhere. And Dishonored 2's guards don't mess about. Good eyes. Must eat lots of carrots.
When guards are alerted to your presence and all gang up on you, and it's hard to defeat them. This is not a complaint. I like a game with a decent combat challenge. It's just that Dishonored 2 is the kind of game I'm desperate to impress. It's wonderfully-detailed levels have been designed to encourage players to explore and to experiment and to take down guards in creative ways. I don't want to let the game down by bludgeoning my way out of Dunwall like some dagger-wielding dinosaur.
And so I read a Dishonored 2 pro-tips article by co-creative director Harvey Smith with great interest. In it, Smith outlines best practice and offers his advice for getting on with the game.
I'd like to pull out a few of the tips that are most helpful for me, but it's worth checking out the entire article if you're planning on playing Dishonored 2.
- Always look around for alternate pathways: Side alleys, back doors, unlocked windows, overhead balconies, rooftops, tunnels (for rats), or water-ducts (for fish).
- In sword combat, don't forget to BLOCK! (And counter-attack while an enemy is off-balance.) Play through our little Tutorial, which also sets up the fiction a bit.
- Our stealth model is mostly based on enemy view cones and occlusion. Darkness only matters at a distance, making you more hidden. Up close, enemy facing and field of view matters most. (Stay behind them or behind something that blocks their line of sight.)
- Don't forget to lean! If your body is behind something like a wall, you can lean out to peek ahead.
- Peep through keyholes before opening doors.
- Look up! Go vertical when you can, along ledges, rooftops, pipes, etc. You can often sneak past an encounter that way or find an alternate entry or path.
- Unless you're trying to get a Ghost Achievement for never being detected, resist the temptation to immediately load a save if you get busted while playing stealth. Play it out and see what happens.
- Distract enemies with sound by throwing a bottle or setting an alarm clock.
Now, I'm not saying these tips have all of a sudden made me a Dishonored 2 stealth pro, but I'm finding it slightly easier to avoid alerting guards to my presence. Maybe you will too!