Every choice in Dishonored 2 can deeply impact the course of events, forcing players to finish the game a couple times to experience all of its content.
In a recent interivew Arkane Studios co-founder Harvey Smith dished on the importance of choices in Dishonored 2 and how they affect the game. Because content is so reliant on the choices players make, it would be impossible to see and do everything unless they’ve played through the game more than once; at the very least.
According to Smith, players can’t find enough runes to obtain even half of the powers accessible with one play-through, and that only a mere 25% of the game would be seen. If they want to see more, they have to play it all again with different choices.
Luckily, one of the biggest choices is presented at the beginning of the game, when the player must choose between two main characters: Corvo, from the original game, or his daughter Emily. Once the choice is made, that is the character they’re stuck with for the rest of the game. It’s a commitment. Thus, one of the easiest ways to experience content some might have missed the first time through is simply to start a new game with the character they didn’t choose before. The road not taken, as it were.
At the beginning of the game you play as Emily for a moment; so you see Emily no matter what. Then there is a branching moment and you choose either Corvo or Emily, and you are stuck with that for the rest of the game. So you could be Emily all the way to the end, improving her powers and investing in low or high chaos, or you could be Corvo.
When Smith was asked if he was hoping players would commit to playing Dishonored 2 twice, he made it clear he understood that some people only like to play through once, but he warned that they would be missing out on lot; including many parts of the story.
Every time you play Dishonored 2 it is different as you find different paths, buy different powers, go high or low chaos and play as Corvo or Emily. Also, when The Outsider offers you his mark, you may say no.
So previously some people played once, some people played many times, but in Dishonored 2 there is even more reason to play it again. And I think players won’t understand Dishonored 2 till they play it twice, because there is so much overt conversation that you can miss, and lore to read and even just understanding the environment’s impact on the storytelling.
Dishonored 2 is shaping up to be a deeply engaging experience that allows for a tremendous amount of player freedom and choice; making the game more personal and immersive. Players are made to feel like their choices hold weight, and according to Smith, they definitely do. In fact, Dishonored 2 can be finished without killing anyone, which should have some impact.
While casual gamers might be satisfied with a quick jaunt through the Dishonored 2, completionists and lore lovers may want to consume everything that is available, which means probably more than one journey through this very elaborate game.
Dishonored 2 will released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 11, 2016