With November 11th still two months away, my excitement for the release of Dishonored 2 has pretty much reached critical. Pax West has given us another little teaser, so now is the perfect time to revisit the city of Dunwall and get familiar with all of the critical details of the first story.
The original Dishonored was released back in 2012 and received rave reviews, but I actually only started playing it until sometime last year. A travesty, I know, and I didn’t even pick up The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches DLC to round off the series until even more recently.
(Full disclosure: when I say I finished the DLC “recently” I actually mean just a few days ago, so you could say it’s still pretty fresh in my mind.)
Despite being late to the party, Dishonored is quite easily one of my favorite games of all time.
Arkane Studios were so thoughtful in crafting that very first scene – Corvo arriving on the boat, the vaguely menacing members of the queen’s court, and the cute game of hide and seek with Emily Kaldwin – all of it designed to immerse you in this strange world.
The tone for the game was established with such ease, I wasn’t even aware of how deep my investment went until the devastating moment that Empress Jessamine Kaldwin lay dying in my arms.
(I don’t like to talk about it.)
I think my only complaint about the game, originally, was that it felt unfinished; like there were too many ends left loose. Of course, after playing the DLC that criticism went right out the window.
Since then, I think I’ve spent hours poring over the Wiki in an effort to suck up any information I may have missed.
The writing team has a knack for interesting and subtly crafted lore – it is also skilled at creating deplorable characters and bringing to them a little spark of humanity. I am still haunted by Bundry Rothwild, who made his living farming whale oil but feels immense grief when he hears the whales cry.
“We make our choices, and take what comes.”
Then there is Daud, another terrible man whose humanity we see laid bare in the DLC. As we get a glimpse into his life post-Jessamine’s assassination, we see a man consumed with regret. The Empress’ murder sets Daud on a path where he will, inevitably, have to face Corvo for what he has done.
It becomes abundantly clear that Daud, like Corvo, was never entirely in charge of his own fate.
So where does the last game leave us? There were plenty of questions still to ask, but I think the biggest question all of us have is: what’s up with The Outsider?
“You find your way into such interesting places, Corvo.”
I find The Outsider endlessly fascinating – and not because he looks like Gerard Way circa my 2006 crush. There have been and will be others like him, which means that the Void and the magic therein actually pre-dates the existence of the Outsider himself.
This sets up the Void as a background character in the story, and while that character is currently represented by The Outsider, the representative will eventually change to suit the whim of the Void.
Pretty cool, if you ask me!
While I try to quash my disappointment that the Outsider character will no longer carry the original iconic voice of Billy Lush, here’s to hoping that his replacement Robin Lord Taylor keeps that creepy feel, and that the Void is explored a lot more in the next game.
So, if you haven’t visited our friends over in Dunwall for a while, I highly recommend you take a trip down memory lane and refresh your memory before the new game comes out. And if you have never read the wiki before, head on over there now.
Just make sure you have plenty of time on your hands for the inevitable link-hopping!