Dishonored 2 trial makes the first three missions free for everyone

Those of you yet to sample the delights of Dishonored 2 will soon be able to do so at no charge. Bethesda announced today that a free trial version of the game will be available on April 6, giving players the opportunity to take on the first three missions of the campaign as either Empress Emily Kaldwin or the Royal Protector, Corvo Attano. 

Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the events of the first game, opening with a coup against the Empress that leaves either her or Corvo incapacitated, and the other on a ship bound for the tropical, but not particularly pleasant, realm of Karnaca. From there, it's a quest to return Emily to the throne, quietly or otherwise, with the help of a supporting cast including Anton Sokolov, the slightly mad genius from Dishonored,  and if supernatural giggles are your thing, the Outsider.   

The announcement gave no indication of a time or replay limit on the trial, but it did note that "players that decide to upgrade to the full game during or after the free trial will keep all of the saves made during the trial." That's good, because it means you can keep playing from where you left off if you buy it rather than being forced to start over, but the "during or after" part suggests that at some point the trial will go away. 

It could be a matter of poor wording, or it might be a situation similar to the Doom demo rolled out in 2016: Time-limited, except, eventually, not. (It's been almost a year and you can still get it from Steam.) I've emailed Bethesda for clarification, and will update when I receive a reply. 

We gave Dishonored 2 a towering 93/100 score in our 2016 review, making it one of our highest-rated games of the year—and also our choice for Game of the Year. It had a bit of a rough start thanks to some rather severe performance issues, but multiple updates (including one released just a couple of weeks ago) have addressed those issues for most gamers. If you've been anxious to give it a go, but uncertain about how it will run on your system, I'd say your problem has just been solved. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.