Immersive Sim can be a brain exercise for a lot of people. Its genre-blending nature is to subvert common genre expectations, to make way for the unexpected, "emergent" behavior. What makes most videogame sell a lot is in conforming and meeting genre expectations.
I think there's also a bit of left brain / right brain interaction here. It takes some creativity to really play Dishonored and utilize all of its tools in concert with the game world. That call for using the tools in experimental ways is an invitation for some and an exertion for others. Personally I'm a very logical person and I feel I could afford to experiment in Dishonored more.
Pity for Dishonored 2, it has some of the most interesting levels ever made. People are doing retrospectives willy nilly for mass content these days, but Dishonored 2 really deserves one for the incredibly unique levels it attempted.
I've also not played the sequel. I thought the original one was good but not amazing. If part 2 is better than the first one I should have bought it in the recent Arkane sale that was on steam!! I found the once you leveled up a few key skills the game just became too easy.
Was Dishonored 2 better? I enjoyed the first one more than the sequel, even if it felt too short for me, but maybe it was the novelty effect. Note that I didn't finish the 2nd because I didn't have much time to play then, not because I didn't like it.
I see that the scores on Steam echo that difference. It's hard for me to put the finder on what gave me that feeling, though, maybe it wasn't just the game but the mood at the time (and when I tried to continue it much later).
I could never get through Dishonored. The second one had a better technical side, and they are surely great games, but to me, the killer is that they present as stealth games but stealth does not really matter because if you get found you just kill everyone anyway. It feels like artificially letting the players win no matter what, and that generally makes me lose the incentive to play at all. You get some tracker of stats after missions saying how many times you got caught and such, but that feels artificial and pointless, you're still beating the game trivially.
I feel the game was definitely made easy on purpose so nobody struggled to complete it, and I am fine with that, but it just doesn't work for me.
I played through all Dishonored games a year or two ago. A great time was had. But I pretty much had to enforce the no-kill and no-detection rules for myself to really have fun. You're way too overpowered without any self-imposed rules.
Fortunately DH2 tracked these in-game, so it was easy to pull off by save-scumming. But it was also a lot of fun.
And all in all, it's hard to choose which one I liked more. Graphically DH2 looks fantastic and a lot of its levels are great, and considerably better than DH1.
But DH1 was also solid, and I especially loved the Daud DLC expanion.
Probably the worst of all was the expansion to DH2. And it wasn't actually bad, just that I liked it the least. Mostly because they switched what abilities you have at your disposal, since you're playing as someone else.
What I mean is that it doesn't matter what you choose. Enemies just fall over in your presence, whether you go in stealth, fighting, or moving backguards in a handstand.
It's just hard for me to enjoy trivial games, and that's while I can see it's a great game for those who don't mind. The atmosphere is great and the story as far as I experienced it was serving its purpose.
I also have the same difficulty in enjoying games where you're too powerful and where there's a very easy way to proceed. So, I think kind of understand the complaint.
That's why for it it was critical to set those no-kill and no-detection rules, to really enjoy the games. Otherwise you can very easy just smash through most encounters, from what I remember.
I kind of wished the game forced you to be in full stealth, or at least made most encounters very hard in hand-to-hand combat.
But I also understand the need in keeping the game open to as many approaches as possible. So I was fine with this once I self-imposed those rules.
I just wished DH1 also tracked whether you're spotted by anyone, directly in the game. And not just at the end of levels. DH2 fixed this.
You're talking about stealth as a tactic in combat I guess. I never played that way because it seemed a lot less interesting to me. I went the full stealth route. Stealth vs fighting is the choice that matters, and it definitely matters.
Since so many posts in this thread seem to falsely represent the existence of only two Dishonored games, I'll mention that there is a third, Death of the Outsider, for those who may not as familiar with the series.