I must admit, it’s something of a minor miracle that I enjoyed Deathloop as much as I did given the amount of complaining I’m about to do.
Dishonored: Death Of The Outsider is an expandalone for Dishonored 2 that came out towards the end of 2017. Given that Dishonored 2 and its sci-fi stablemate Prey are two of my favourite games of the last few years it’s possibly a little surprising that it’s taken me two years to get around to playing it; however they also came out within six months of each other and Death Of The Outsider looked like more of the same, so I decided to let it breathe for a few months and come back to it when I was ready. As it is now 2020 I appear to have gotten a little bit distracted between now and then, but that’s actually done Death Of The Outsider a considerable favour: it is, arguably, just more Dishonored, and if I’d played it so soon after Prey and Dishonored 2 I’d likely be much more critical of it. However, since both games underperformed it’s highly unlikely we’ll see more of either from Arkane in the near future. Death Of The Outsider is the last Dishonored thing we’ll be getting for some time, and if you view it through that lens it being more of the same is no bad thing at all.
Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a collaboration between Wolfenstein developers Machine Games and Dishonored and Prey developers Arkane. The idea is that Machine Games supply the excellent (most of the time) Wolfenstein shooting gameplay, and Arkane supply the excellent (most of the time) Dishonored level design. What’s not to like?
Well, quite a lot, as it turns out.
I have done a terrible job of a) posting and b) responding to comments recently, for which I can only apologise. I was having some severe motivational issues and needed to take a break.
Here’s a fun game you can play when reading a review of Prey on a mainstream gaming outlet. Do Ctrl-F, and count how many times the reviewer mentions Bioshock. Then do the same thing for System Shock. Then correlate those mentions with a score, or the overall tone of the review. I guarantee you the better reviews will have name-dropped System Shock at least once; these are the ones that really understand where Prey is coming from, because it’s System Shock 3 in all but name.
I’m a big enough man to admit that my review of the original Dishonored was a little on the harsh side. Indeed, it was deliberately so, since I felt at the time that the universal praise it was receiving from all practically all quarters of the internet was a little bit over the top and wanted to provide some balance. And so I went to town on Dishonored’s structural problems and gave it a thorough kicking, and in the process glossed over far too much of what it did that actually worked, and worked well. Much of that has only really become apparent to me in hindsight as I’ve played other games that have tried similar things only to stuff them up quite badly, but that’s just made me quite excited for the Dishonored 2: the first one was a good game with some serious flaws, but what are sequels for if not fixing what you couldn’t get quite right the first time around?