With Dishonored 2 just around the corner, we take a closer look at what we can expect from Arkane’s next showstopper.
Back in 2011, a comparatively small developer by the name of Arkane Studios, working under the Bethesda collective, announced the development of a “first-person, stealth, action-adventure game” called Dishonored.
With the team behind it comprised of Deus Ex’s Ricardo Bare and Harvey Smith, and Arkane founder Raphael Colantonio, Dishonored was destined to become a worldwide hit, and went on to earn multiple game of the year awards (including STACK’s).
Five years on and there’s a sequel in the pipeline. The diversity of choice is what drove the original Dishonored title, and the second is, of course, no different.
Dishonored introduced us to Corvo Attano, the outcast in Dunwall, as well as his daughter Emily Kaldwin. In the sequel, we’re a few years down the track, everyone’s a bit older, and you now have the choice to play as either of the two. Where Corvo is known for his brutality, not his subtlety, her highness, Emily, prefers a more stealthy approach.
At this year’s E3, the first gameplay from the new title was shown off, courtesy of co-creative director Harvey Smith. He took players into Emily’s Karnaca, the new setting for the majority of the Dishonored sequel. Playing as Emily, you are tasked with taking out the prime enemy of the Howlers – the Vice Overseer.
The gang wars between the two aforementioned parties play a major part in the story of Dishonored 2, with players having the option to choose sides – or ignore them completely – when participating in missions in the game’s story. Emily’s E3 playthrough was one of stealth, taking minimal casualties and using wit to create the biggest ruckus with minimal effort.
It was of much comfort, then (to some), to see a second exclusive playthrough at this year’s QuakeCon, where Corvo was the star of the show instead. Utilising his (literally) breakneck tactics, this time we’re tasked with joining the Overseers to eliminate the head honcho of the Howlers. Showing off both old and new tricks, noteworthy moments included using his Possession ability to take over a bloodfly (one of the game’s new enemies – annoying, flying zombie bugs) to escape a sticky situation, and the combination of sleep and incendiary darts to clear a courtyard. Corvo then went on to throw a body over a balcony, slowed time enough to take out some adversaries, then caught the body and eventually disposed of it properly.
Trust us when we say this gameplay was gloriously gruesome; there were split bodies, slit throats, happy couples set on fire… and Corvo appeared to love every minute of it. The audience
Dishonored 2 will introduce a plethora of new abilities for Emily as well as Corvo, in addition to new ways to level up these powers through skill trees. The title will hopefully be as exceptional as the first, and if Harvey Smith’s words are anything to go by – he believes they “could’ve made half the game they have and still satisfied people” – then big things are coming our way when Dishonored 2 finally launches in November.
Stay tuned for our full interview with Harvey Smith in the November issue.