Dishonored 2’s Mechanical Mansion Is Still Arkane’s Best Work

In the decade since Arkane Studios released the first Dishonored, he produced popular and award-winning titles. More recently, Arkane’s Time FPS Death Loop was praised for its performance, design, and interesting mechanics, and it received several nominations and wins at the Golden Joystick Awards and The Game Awards last year. Despite the studio’s recent successes, this is one element of one of its oldest games that remains one of Arkane’s finest works, both visually and mechanically.

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Released in 2016, Dishonored 2 followed the success Dishonored, what critics thought was a refreshing, thoughtful and well-crafted change of pace for some of its more militaristic and explosive contemporaries. Dishonored 2 continued the stealth focus of the previous game, with a first-person perspective and action-adventure aspects. Players could choose to continue playing as Corvo – the protagonist of the first game – or as Empress Emily Kaldwin. While the industrial whaling town of Dunwall was a feature of the game, players were able to explore a new region with the coastal town of Karnaca as its focal point. There was the same variety of missions, emphasis on player choice, and varied approaches to stealth and combat, but it was one particular mission that stood out in the minds of many players – The Clockwork Mansion .


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Welcome to Mechanical Manor


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As the fourth mission in Dishonored 2, the Clockwork Mansion was both a task of elimination and a rescue exercise. Players, as Emily or Korvo, had to enter the Grand Inventor’s mechanical house and eliminate the evil genius Kirin Jindosh and rescue former royal physician Anton Sokolov. In a race to stop the misguided inventor from building a mass-produced mechanical army, players must navigate the ever-changing and intricately designed building to assassinate him and free his prisoner.

Of course, in both Dishonored games, one of the best features is the freedom players have in both their moral choices and how they can approach missions. With a variety of powers and weapons at their disposal, they can either use blazing firearms or be more stealthy and undetected. In the Clockwork Mansion, players can kill Jindosh instantly, or they can choose to use one of his own inventions against him to shut down his personality and erase his memories.


In addition to the different approaches to navigating the level, players will also face the fearsome Mechanical Soldiers. These beautifully crafted enemies are tough to face and will require all of a player’s ingenuity and Korvo/Emily’s arsenal of tricks to manage. However, the unique enemy types aren’t the most special thing about the memorable level. One of the most amazing features of Clockwork Mansion is how the layout is continually changing, with bendable environments, mutating rooms, and challenging environmental puzzles that players have to tackle. The attention to detail is truly amazing and makes the Clockwork Mansion one of the most impressive and original levels Arkane has produced to date.


What made the Clockwork Mansion such a good level


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This moving aspect of the landscape and architecture of the Clockwork Mansion in Dishonored 2 that’s what makes it truly extraordinary. With levers that players can interact with to completely change a room’s layout and structure, these visually cool transformations also take gameplay into account, presenting interesting puzzles and challenges that feel super unique and unexpected. Dishonored has always been a series with hidden details and designs that have real depth, but nothing embodies that quite like the Clockwork Mansion. Environmental storytelling and glimpses of Jindosh’s complex psyche add more nuance to the already meticulous design.


the Dishonored the games have many memorable settings, lavish masked balls, seedy docks, and rat-infested streets. The varied environments are always interesting reflections of the mission at hand, showcasing the best the games have to offer. Jindosh’s constant presence throughout the Clockwork Mansion as the evil genie follows the player through the level and comments on their progress and actions adds to the suffocating feeling that they are in a maze of the inventor’s creation. Its spooky yet sophisticated design is both impressive and spooky, and adds an interesting dimension to the proceedings.

Although the Clockwork Mansion is quite a small tier in terms of size compared to Dishonored 2For other missions, it never feels like a restriction. The inventive approach to the design perfectly echoes the character of its creator, but also reflects the Dishonored the games’ commitment to pushing players to think of new, creative ways to solve puzzles and approach (or avoid) combat. It’s hard for players not to appreciate the sheer amount of work that must have gone into creating the Clockwork Mansion, because the inventiveness and attention to detail are so evident. It’s a level that pushes boundaries and confuses expectations, and the Clockwork Mansion is still one of Arkane’s best because of it.


Dishonored 2 is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

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About the Author

Maria D. Ervin