In defence of high chaos

Written by Jake Tucker

November 25, 2016 // 1:46 p.m.

Tags: #bethesda #dishonored-2

Whenever an immersive sim comes to market, people move as quickly as they can to try to get through it as quietly as possible, doing their best to pull apart the game's stealth systems and crouch-walk their way to the bragging rights of finishing the game without a single drop of blood being spilt, or an alarm raised.
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Take a look at your social media of choice in the wake of the recent release of Dishonored 2, and people are already doing it - understandable, since the game changes for the worse if you cause a lot of chaos during your play, rewarding your bodies with rats, bloodflies and a general malaise. A low-chaos approach, leaving few bodies, non-lethally dealing with those who've wronged you and generally keeping your head down, is often viewed as the purist's way to play the game.

Thing is, you're only cheating yourself out of playing with Dishonored 2's excellent gadgets, or even the combat system. By doing nothing but shooting people with a tranquilliser crossbow or choking them out in dark corners, you're not really getting the full picture. I did this with the original Dishonored, so focussed on skulking around the place that I didn't get to see some of the fun ways to take out targets, or some of the more interesting ways to traverse the levels, sword proudly in hand.

It's not that I'm saying you don't need to worry about killing a few people during your playthrough of Arkane's latest sneak-'em-up; far from it. I'm saying you should unleash the whirlwind, slicing and dicing your way through anyone that annoys you, because it's like playing a different game. One where you can use someone's head as a weapon, if you so wish.

The more you murder, the more cynical the world around you gets, and the more of an impact you'll have on the streets. This isn't going to be to everyone's tastes, but it means you get to experience more of the world around you - there's still a place for that low chaos 'ghost' run, after all, it's just… why not try chopping some folks up once in awhile? You can see the impact you're having on the world, and it's a lot less stress to just lop the head off someone threatening to raise the alarm or decapitating a clockwork soldier in time to see it turn on its colleagues in a murderous rampage.

I'm having a lot of fun playing Dishonored 2 as a vengeful Emily Kaldwin, killing those responsible for my predicament. If trying to play it stealth isn't quite working out for you, why not cut loose?
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