After preordering it months ago, I have recently acquired my copy of the Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition, and have decided to share my thoughts on it with all you out there who might not have purchased it.
Just as terrifying as Corvo's Mask is in Dishonored, this has got to be the main motivation behind my purchase of this pack, as opposed to just buying the game. Standing 34.6 cm tall when fully assembled (an easy task to do thanks to the included instructions), it goes to show just how much detail has been put into the design of things in the game. Similar to the original mask, but with the new jagged surface instead of the smooth skull we had before, I'm already falling in love with the new mask, a design change I was previously apprehensive about. What appeared at first to be a bit of dodgy colouring has now revealed itself to be oxidation of the copper in the mask, a nice touch when the model itself is made from plastic. However, some of the finer details at the front seem fragile, marking this mask out as a collection item, not a toy. In regards to that, it's probably a good thing that it's a little too small to fit on my face, but it might fit on a smaller person's face, so make sure you keep it out of reach of those who might not be cautious enough with it.
Looking at the back of the mask is even more of an adventure than the front was. They've spared no detail, showing an intricacy of (unfortunately immobile) hinges and connections. The red lining is made from a flexible material of some kind, and is slightly darkened around the nose area, as would be expected from all of Corvo's heavy breathing while fighting tallboys. It is also slightly creased, further adding to the realism.
The stand itself seems to have a fairly weak connection to the mask and the base, the result being that simply typing these words makes the mask vibrate slightly, reminiscent of a bobble head. It also means the mask is looking slightly downwards, good for when at a distance or on a high shelf, but makes close-up viewing a little awkward. Also, the advertisement's picture made the stand look semi-transparent, but it is a solid grey-silver.
The base, plastic as well, is painted black and moulded to resemble wood, complementing the mask's organic-looking components very well. The underside of the base is one surface, thus prone to scratching, so don't move it around if you can help it. It also comes with a safety warning, saying it is not for people under 14 years of age. I believe that to be a little excessive, but it is most certainly not for young children.
The Imperial Signet Ring was not in the first game, so I don't feel the emotional attachment to it that I felt to the mask, but that does not stop me appreciating it. The design on the ring is very detailed, each of the four keys having a different amount of points on it, which probably holds some significance that I don't yet understand. I must admit to being a little disappointed by the amount of some orange substance that has already formed on the ring, but it is not, as I first thought, a painting error and scratches off rather easily. This seems to be a problem with chemistry, rather than the ring itself, which is unfortunately just a little too small to fit on any but my little finger. The ring's display box, one of the snap-shut boxes that many pieces of jewellery, watches etc. come in, looks very stylish, proudly showing off the game's logo on its lid. Its dark exterior colour works well with the purple of the box's interior, which appears to be the same purple as the inside of Emily's coat, a nice touch.
Overall, however, I must confess to liking the mask more than the ring, and that is due mainly to two facts. One, the ring in the game has more colours than this one, which is mainly gunmetal grey. Two, much more importantly, the ring is wrong. When placed upon the middle finger of the left hand, its intended location, the three-pointed key points forwards. On this ring, the four-pointed key points forwards, meaning the ring I now own has been rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise. While this is the same as on the official cosplay guide, it is different to the game. Knowing the amount of time and effort the design team has put into all of this, a single mistake such as this can probably be excused, but it is still very disappointing, owning faulty merchandise.
The poster was not what I was expecting, but I am much happier with it. 25.4 cm wide by 71.3 cm long, this is more of a banner than a poster. To be fair, it is a banner in the game. To my delight, the other side is a second banner, one commemorating Jessamine's death, and certainly the side I shall be displaying as Jessamine's face has a nice hand-drawn quality to it and its colours are more vibrant than Delilah's side, an image I was never particularly attracted to. The banners have scuff marks on them, clearly intended to give them the authentic feel, but I believe that this detracts from the overall quality, preferring something I can display rather than something that looks slightly tatty. This is, of course, merely my personal preference, and I will not deny they look more realistic this way. The biggest issue with the poster is that it has three fold lines down it where it was bent to fit into the box, but these aren't too noticeable, and do little to spoil the overall effect. Unlike the claims made about it, the poster does not appear to be printed by Karnaca's Propaganda Office.
Metal Game Case
Smaller than I thought, and it seems much too flexible to actually be metal, but its temperature confirms that it is. The lack of logos, except on the spine, is a good touch, as the case is tastefully minimalist, featuring Emily's scarved face on the front and Corvo's masked face on the back. Inside is an image of Emily sitting on the throne with Corvo next to her, though Corvo and Emily are mostly covered by the game's disc, which in turn is decorated by the patterns on Emily's scarf. The choice to focus mainly on Emily is a good one, showing off the game's new playable character.
Similar to the Void Walker's Arsenal, some extra items are always helpful. The guitar plays a few notes when activated, similar to the pianos and harps from the previous game, a bit of a let-down in my opinion. Having been advertised as a preorder bonus, I was expecting a bit more. I do hope that there are no other guitars elsewhere in the game, that would feel like a rip-off, but I'm yet to encounter any others.
The book Goodbye, Karnaca - A Musician's Farewell is a nice read. I believe that it is shorter than the books included in the Void Walker's Arsenal, but it talks about a character completely unrelated to the plot, giving more life to the Empire, and to Meagan Foster, as the titular musician was a passenger upon her boat, one whose fate was left unknown, but I strongly desire to discover it.
The two Bone Charms have not yet helped me, but that is due to my current playstyle. For mana-intensive players, Void Favor (effectively Daud's Void Surge) will be very helpful, and those that use lots of bullets, Duelist's Luck will assist, though it currently seems like a cheap version of Scavenger from the original game. Perhaps crafting will bring about more benefits, I do not yet know.
The 500 coins, I'm not entirely sure that I did collect them. Upon grabbing my crossbow as I left my cabin in the Dreadful Wale, I received a note and 600 coins. Judging by the note, I would otherwise have received only 100 coins. While 500 coins seems much worse than the 2000 given by the Void Walker's Arsenal, things seems to be cheaper in the black market shops, so it doesn't feel like it makes the game much harder. Also, I often found myself getting to the later missions in Dishonored and having literally thousands of coins left to spend on nothing, so I look forward to the challenge presented here.
Dishonored: Definitive Edition While being labelled as the definitive edition, I have it on good authority that, on PC (the platform I play Dishonored on) there is no difference between Definitive and the Game of the Year editions. Interesting decision, changing the name, but it was very nice of Bethesda to include the original Dishonored for free with the purchase of Dishonored 2.
As I live in Australia, I preordered Dishonored 2 through EB Games, meaning that I also received Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit, 19 days before it actually comes out. It was a shorter story than I expected, and the order in which the panels were meant to be read was at times confusing, but it was a very good story and a nice set-up for Dishonored 2. Reusing a cover designed for the third issue seemed a little cheap, but the new book smell that it is has than makes up for that, and it as a very cool cover, albeit slightly misleading. I highly recommend reading it before playing. Then again, those that have read Dishonored: The Corroded Man probably make the same recommendation, and I haven't read that, but if you have the graphic novel, I suggest reading it while Dishonored 2 is installing. You have the time, trust me.
The other EB Games bonus was a cloth map of the Empire of the Isles. Again, a little smaller than I expected, but very detailed. The frayed nature of the cloth, despite annoying me with all the loose ends which I must not pull, contributes towards making the map seem old and genuine. That illusion is spoiled by the copyright in the bottom left corner, but the Dunwall Cartography logo just above it makes up for that. There is also a scale in that corner, but it doesn't actually tell you what is what, so that doesn't really help and does remove some of the realistic feel that the map captures very well.
Surprisingly, the box that all this comes in is good enough to get a mention on this page. The box is rather large, to the point where I think it is that size just to draw attention to itself for the sake of advertising. It is large enough to store the mask in, if you wish to keep it free of dust, and has a clear front so it can still be seen, though this will reduce the light that gets through. The designs on the box are again tastefully minimalist, while the box comes with a cover that has lots of pictures and writing on for those that prefer a box that stands out more. I'm going to put my box into my cupboard as I don't see a reason to display it but it's too good to throw out.
Would I suggest buying it? For anyone who is a fan of Dishonored, absolutely. It's a brilliant addition to any Dishonored collection, and certainly worth however much it costs wherever you are. For those that haven't played Dishonored and are new to the series, be cautious. If you love how awesome it looks, go ahead. If you're tentatively entering a new game you might like but also might not, I wouldn't suggest buying that as it is a lot of money you might then have wasted. For those that have been eagerly awaiting Dishonored 2 since it was first announced, this is just the thing for you. Definitely remember though that, depending on where you are, you might not get the graphic novel and cloth map. Wiki user TheCrabShack has written a blog on the various preorder bonuses around, I suggest you check it out.
And there you have it, my opinion of the Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition. Please feel free to inform me if you disagree with my assessment of anything (I've never written a review before, so that is to be expected), or ask questions if you wish to know more about particular items included in the Collector's Edition.