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Dishonored 2 by Daniel Licht (Review)

posted Dec 18, 2016, 10:05 AM by Leo Mayr

Dishonored 2
 is the latest stealth videogame by Arkane Studios, following the success of 2012's Dishonored. Daniel Licht created a stunning ambient score for the first game, so he was the obvious choice for the new sequel.

Licht introduces a stunning new main theme that utilizes similar instrumentation from the first game. The theme reappears in a combat piece later on, but since a vast majority of the gameplay consists of sneaking around, Licht's score focuses heavily on ambient and suspenseful music. The game is set in a dark mix between steampunk and fantasy, featuring machinery powered by whale oil, as well as magical powers, and in a lot of ways the score reflects this perfectly. Licht expertly handles the dynamic changes from ambient music to suspense, mystery or even action. The world is established nicely, with different soundscapes for the game's various locations, from luxurious palaces to dusty ruins and dark sewers. The short selection of action music featured in the game will sound very familiar and repetetive after a while, but since this is a game where most of the time you'll be avoiding fights, that really does not matter. Licht introduces themes for the three major characters, the most interesting being "Delilah's Theme". While the game doesn't have much room for emotions or character development, Licht used every chance he got, fleshing out the world and giving it a unique and recognizable sound. If you're familiar with Licht's work on the first game, you'll feel back at home immediately.

Dishonored 2 shows great effort at building the game's world through ambient music. A large portion of the music featured in the game is atmospheric, going to great lenghths to establish the different locations and characters. While it's not music you'd really listen to on its own, it's hard to imagine the game without Daniel Licht's stunning score.