Oh dear, being royalty isn't all garden centre openings and controversial ginger prince relationships, apparently.

Certainly not in the far-from-fair city of Dunwall where a hitherto unknown heir has turned up waving her magic about and turning to stone the character whom you didn't choose to play.

That's right, the sexual balance is fortified with the choice of Corvo, our brooding hero from the first instalment, or his daughter Emily. Thankfully daddy has taught his little girl how to be dreadfully unladylike in the most brutal of ways. Thanks papa.

So the empire is lost, boo, and off to Karnaca you flee to lick your wounds and mount a jolly effective rebuttal against this most rude and unwelcome of guests, and the treacherous accomplices that aided their invasion.

And by crikey there are a lot of villains to plough through. Thankfully D2 offers a gargantuan array of methods to dispose of or avoid them. There's no dodgy AI here, either. If one gets so much of a sniff there's something amiss, they'll stomp right over and put a blade through your bladder. This all makes for an exhilarating romp through the steampunk-stitched world.

It's up to you how you go about the messy affair of re-establishing your royal rights: killing everything in sight or simply sneaking by, occasionally knocking a guard out cold because, you know, he has probably got a family to go home to. Should you wish to dabble in the arts bloody, however, D2 presents a sensational array of death options, and dismemberment will offer the additional glee of something to throw at more sword fodder.

Okay, so the story is a little generic and echos the first a touch too heavily, and I could have done without the narration offering up every obvious thought Emily and Corvo have on the situation. Oh you're angry? Ah, that'll be why you sliced that guy clean in half and tossed his cleft carcass in a hedge.

But such is the sheer amount of variety and cunning side missions festooned in these gorgeously rendered locations that such irritations are utterly trifling.