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Dishonored 2 - Early Impressions (PC Performance Issues)

Graphics, Presentation & Performance

The graphic options are reasonably extensive, with a lot of the settings having everything from Very Low to Ultra. Following on from the previous game, you can even disable/enable rat and bloodfly shadows. There is a rather claustrophobic vignette that appears only when Emily or Corvo are crouching, which unfortunately cannot be disabled. Despite the accommodating spectrum of these options, I was unable to maintain 60 fps at 1440p with my current PC setup(Specs: r9 290, i5 4690k, 16gb ram). What I settled on was 1080p with mostly High settings and some of the more demanding on/off settings switched to Off (volumetric lighting, depth of field). This allowed me to maintain 60fps with dips down into the high 40s. I have to admit this is pretty disappointing, while the art style is just as gorgeous as its predecessor, the visuals don’t seem like they should be all that demanding.

After that is where things started going really pear-shaped. I was playing with my compromised settings, putting up with the occasional frame rate dip, when I leaned around a corner and saw the FPS counter drop to 18. I turned down all the settings to Very Low and all the on/off settings to off and the frame rate didn’t change. To be fair this particular room, the throne room right at the start of the game, is quite detailed with lots of flowers adorning the columns and there’s several dead bodies littering the floor. But I’m afraid something weird is happening here, check out the following shots, taking note of the FPS counter in the top left.






Facing towards the back of the throne room I get a solid 60fps, but after turning 180 degrees it drops to 32. Going back to the door through which I first entered the room it drops even further to 18 fps. Keep in mind this is all on the lowest possible settings at 1080p. I figured it was perhaps a driver issue. So I did a clean uninstall and then installed the drivers Bethesda specifically recommend for AMD cards. Frame rates were exactly the same in those particular areas of the throne room. I then considered that perhaps this was an isolated incident, it was early on in the game after all, perhaps it’ll even out from here on. Unfortunately this is not the case. Any time I faced a particular open area, as you can see from the following screens, the frame rate tanked. Now bear in mind not all of the below shots are on the lowest of low settings (I turned some of them back up after testing the throne room) but to be honest with such weirdly specific and enormous dips, I don’t think it’s got much to do with settings.



Narrative & Characters

The craziness starts just as quickly as the first game, one second you’re mourning your mother, the next you’re being arrested as a traitor. The narrative, the world, the lore, all of it is as intriguing and engaging as the first game. It actually feels great to be in this world again. There’s no disconnect between the two games either, Dunwall feels like Dunwall and Karnaca (which I’ve only just arrived at) fits perfectly with the universe set up in the original Dishonored. The new/returning characters all have me intrigued, and wanting to learn more about them.

One rather significant change is that your character now speaks, whether you play as Emily or Corvo they’ll now comment on things you see and do in the world. So far this has been enjoyable rather than irritating. Emily will for example reminisce about simpler times of smoking her hookah with friends, or lessons with her mother. At one point, after killing a traitorous City Watchman, she commented that he wasn’t fit for the uniform, her voice full of spite. It definitely heightens the emotional connection with Emily and her plight.

Gameplay

Enemies are a lot tougher now, especially at the beginning when Emily has no powers. Unlike the original game, they no longer have to have their whole bodies turned toward you to spot you. If you raise their awareness meter even a little, they’ll continue on their patrol but their head will be turned towards where they spotted you, making it quite difficult to get away unseen. Guards will notice if doors have been opened (even if they weren’t in earshot when you opened it) and when approaching them from behind, if you’re in their peripheral vision, they will spot you very quickly. It’s quite brutal.

I actually recommend playing without objective markers and just explore the levels organically. It’s a lot more rewarding to stumble across tucked away audiographs or hidden treasure. I noticed there were places I couldn’t get to as Emily in the first area (as she didn’t have blink yet) that I assume you CAN get to with Corvo. This could make multiple playthroughs interesting. It may also be worth mentioning that you can choose to reject the outsider’s help, forgoing supernatural powers for the entire game. I may only have seen the first handful of areas (as well as the Clockwork Mansion at the EB Games Expo), but I’m comfortable in saying that the level design is just as good if not better than original game. The scale of everything seems grander in general, you can climb higher, streets are wider, that sort of thing. It feels great.

Emily will fill out her journal as she progresses through the story, adding extra depth to her character, as well as keeping all the different political machinations fresh in your mind. It’s a nice touch that you have to actually interact with her journal to unlock these updates. Another welcome little addition is that maps you find out in the world will be saved in your journal, for future reference.

Here are some shots of the three screens that come up when you finish a level. They detail your chaos, items found and 'special actions' which are secrets or missable things unique to that level. Pretty cool imo.


And here are just some shots I took of Karnaca at max settings, 20fps be damned.

 

Fret

Member
Jan 22, 2013
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well, I guess we now know for certain why they stopped giving out review copies. thats pretty bad performance.
 

jett

D-Member
Jun 6, 2004
98,875
10
1,765
It's idTech.

You have an AMD card.

Chances of it being a shitshow at launch were at 100%.

Hope for a patch.
 

Anoxida

Member
Sep 2, 2016
632
0
0
Thank God I have i7 processor and a 1080gtx. 60fps with some dips at 1440p sounds possible. This sucks to hear though. Let's hope for a quick patch.
 

Dalibor68

Banned
May 7, 2016
2,011
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If google serves me correctly and a R9 290 is roughly equal to a GTX 780, why would you expect to get stable 60fps in 1440p?
 

Mifec

Member
Oct 11, 2014
8,188
1
285
IdTech on an AMD card with NVidia specific settings.

I expected as much for AMD cards tbh.

edit: oh shit jett

It's idTech.

You have an AMD card.

Chances of it being a shitshow at launch were at 100%.

Hope for a patch.
 

Gothos

Member
Sep 10, 2013
2,462
0
365
Poland
There is quite big day-1 patch and improved performance is mentioned there. Hopefuly it's better with it.
 
It's idTech.

You have an AMD card.

Chances of it being a shitshow at launch were at 100%.

Hope for a patch.

It's actually their internal engine called "Void". It's based on idTech but seems mostly new. But yeah hopefully it gets patched.

Also noticed I mention further screens but never added them, I'll do that now.

If google serves me correctly and a R9 290 is roughly equal to a GTX 780, why would you expect to get stable 60fps in 1440p?

Because I can get that with Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, among others?

id Tech 5 + last gen AMD card at 1440p?

See above, but regardless the performance was not much better when switching down to 1080p.
 

Dalibor68

Banned
May 7, 2016
2,011
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Because I can get that with Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, among others?

Please show me your magic tricks then because I couldn't even keep 100% stable 60fps in 1080p BF1 MP with a GTX980. Sounds surreal to me expecting a 3yo graphics card being able to handle this new game in 1440p ultra. (or maybe my CPU is just shit)
 

NeoRaider

Member
Aug 1, 2015
5,777
718
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^ Beta worked great for me. 60fps with drops to 50-55 here and there on Ultra. R9 280x.

@OP
Are you sure that your game was at native 1440p when you took these screenshots? And not lower upscaled to 1440p?
Because it looks really bad. It reminds me of screengrabs taken from a YT video. I guess day 1 patch for the game is expected?
 
Sep 28, 2014
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Games launching in an hour, if you are using VPN,i brought through steam, so if theres issuses ill just refund and grab ps4 version.
 
Please show me your magic tricks then because I couldn't even keep 100% stable 60fps in 1080p BF1 MP with a GTX980. Sounds surreal to me expecting a 3yo graphics card being able to handle this new game in 1440p ultra. (or maybe my CPU is just shit)

No magic tricks other than tweaking a few things, but that's crazy that you can't do that with a 980. As for Dishonored 2, I never said ultra settings at 1440p. Also, as I mentioned above, even when lowering it 1080p, and indeed lowering ALL the settings, the performance was the same.

@OP
Are you sure that your game was at native 1440p when you took these screenshots? And not lower upscaled to 1440p?
Because it looks really bad. It reminds me of screengrabs taken from a YT video. I guess day 1 patch for the game is expected?

It's possible I've fucked up somewhere with how I've saved the images/uploaded them.

What would be a good file type/website to use to test this?
 

Dalibor68

Banned
May 7, 2016
2,011
2
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No magic tricks other than tweaking a few things, but that's crazy that you can't do that with a 980. As for Dishonored 2, I never said ultra settings at 1440p. Also, as I mentioned above, even when lowering it 1080p, and indeed lowering ALL the settings, the performance was the same.

Well that does indeed sound like an optimization issue then. Hope it's better on nvidia cards and hope for you they'll patch it for better performance.
 

Shredderi

Member
Feb 24, 2013
9,319
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In my top 5 most anticipated games of the year. Will not buy if the performance is a shitshow on PC even with 970.
 

NeoRaider

Member
Aug 1, 2015
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There is an adaptive resolution slider, it goes from 50 to 100 and by default it's on 75. So that might explain why the shots look muddy, but it does not bode well for the performance lol.

This sounds so bad. :/
 

CHC

Member
Aug 24, 2012
12,189
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Not worried about the performance stuff too much, I'm sure it will get ironed out. Doesn't sound too horribly dire.

Your report on the actual game is quite exciting. Very pleased at what I'm hearing though not surprised.
 

Anno

Member
Jun 30, 2007
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I'm very excited by your gameplay description. Hopefully the performance issues are worked out sooner than later. Maybe I missed it but did this include any sort of day 1 patch?