No two playthroughs are the same in Dishonored 2. Developer Arkane has doubled down on the original’s play-your-way formula with two separate sets of skills, a deep and multifaceted world, and a dizzying array of level designs that affect your approach to each new area. Whether you choose a stealthy or bloody approach, each one of your playthroughs is an addition to the wide range of stories that can be told within this wonderfully twisted universe.

15 years have gone by since the events of the original Dishonored, and the world of Empress of the Isles, Emily Kaldwin, is once again thrown into disarray when her evil aunt appears with suspicious designs on her throne. It’s a pedestrian catalyst to your most vital decision in Dishonored 2: will you play as Emily or her father and protector (and original Dishonored protagonist), Corvo Attano? Though their stories play out in much the same way, with well-crafted and low-key dialogue tailored to your character, it’s worth taking time to consider your choice, as it’s one you are stuck with for the rest of your 12 to 16-hour playthrough, depending on whether you choose high-chaos (quicker) or low (slower).
With two unique sets of skills to play with across 10 themed chapters that keep things interesting and a gorgeous, evocative world that feels alive, Dishonored 2 is a remarkable experience. Though I would have liked a little bit more originality in its central story, which again revolves around a usurper to the throne, it’s the stories that I’ve created on my own using its many creativity-enabling powers that I’ll remember, every graceful, fumbling, and hilarious one of them. I’m compelled to create many more in the months to come.