I decided to play something more action-y, but not too-action-y, so I’ve finally got around to playing Dishonored 2.
I loved the first Dishonored and finished it on maximum difficulty with what should have been zero kills, but mysteriously wasn’t zero kills (I suspect someone fell off something or got eaten by animals whilst unconscious or something). Like other stealth games of its generation, the maximum difficulty was less of an achievement because if you were playing no-killing and as much stealth as possible, it was basically the same as normal difficulty (as you didn’t really interact with people’s healthbars and so on).
With Dishonored 2 they apparently saw me coming on this and Very Hard makes the enemy into wildly unrealistically quick-off-the-mark monsters who sprint towards you like the Flash. They’ll spot you in under three seconds, in shadows, at thirty yards, when you’re crouched, and not moving. I wish I was kidding. I’m still on Very Hard but good god this actually is kind of tricky and results in a lot of reload-from-checkpoint.
Some things are easier than I remember though - tranq darts aren’t noticed until the person goes unconscious, for example.
The other interesting point for a “no killing” run (which is going a lot better than full stealth - I have yet to get Ghostly on any levels, though I was only spotted twice in the last two levels - annoying! Once it was a civilian and I feel like that shouldn’t count! It’s not like he told anyone!), is that there are a LOT more non-human enemies, so you can actually use the lethal tools - just not on people. Though the intro is so angering that it much more justifies a killing run than the previous game, where people were more legitimately “just doing their jobs” and so on. Also, at one point I had to actively decide not to tranq-dart a dude because he kept falling off a cliff, which felt a bit I dunno, like at some point it’s like maybe don’t stand near cliff edges? Maybe I can’t be blamed for every death I’m involved in?
It’s a really astonishingly beautifully designed game, from a visual perspective. I can take or leave the exaggerated people, but the architecture and the vehicles and so on are wonderful, an alternate 1910s, really, in both those senses. The uniforms are also fantastic, especially with the default guards bringing to mind the French Foreign Legion. I was not amused to learn that those helmets aren’t for show, either, after a tranq dart pinged off one of them! I’d never really put together than Prey was doing the same thing, with it’s weird-ass retro-future which screamed “alternate 1970s” as the dominant motif. If only Prey had been a bit more actually y’know… fun!