Not content to rest on its laurels, Arkane Studios debuts a Dishonored 2 assassination mission that reveals a fundamentally different approach to the sequel.
The challenge in developing Dishonored 2 was always likely to hinge on differentiating the sequel from its wildly successful predecessor. Dishonored was a unique game from top to bottom, whether it be the game’s Gothic/steampunk hybrid aesthetic or its supernatural, assassination-based gameplay. Arkane Studios has remained adamant that it doesn’t want Dishonored 2 to be a rehash of everything that made the first game popular, and that has been the philosophy that has shifted the setting from a fantasy version of England to Dishonored 2‘s sunny, tropical Karnaca instead.
Dishonored 2 isn’t just switching up the weather players will find themselves traveling in, though. Arkane Studios also revealed a controlled mission preview that details Emily and Corvo’s new abilities, as well as some concrete evidence of creative director Harvey Smith’s desire to have Dishonored 2 emulate Demon’s Souls in its ambition and the scope of its lore. Although gamers haven’t gotten the chance to go hands-on with any of these new additions to Dishonored 2, the descriptions of them are certainly tantalizing.
Emily Kaldwin, Dishonored 2‘s new playable character alongside returning Corvo Attano, seems to be the vessel through which Arkane is delivering most of the game’s new content. Emily has an ability called Far Reach that allows her to launch a shadowy tendril onto buildings and pull herself in mid-run, much like a supernatural Batman. Far Reach can also grab oil tanks and launch them at enemies, or latch onto a foe and hurl them off a cliff, should the situation call for it. That kind of flexibility is what make’s the wait for Dishonored 2‘s release agonizing for some fans.
Arkane has also altered combat outside of the supernatural elements as well. In a preview shown to GameSpot, Emily utilizes a combat choke that allows her to neutralize enemies without killing them, something that was much more difficult in the original Dishonored. Emily is also not a silent protagonist the way that Corvo was previously, as Emily will voice her displeasures and her opinions of Karnaca as the game progresses.
That progression, too, will be achieved in a much different way. Arkane Studios listened to complaints that the first game’s missions were a little too straightforward, and the developers have now given each mission a distinct theme and gamers now have more freedom regarding how each one will be completed. Dishonored 2 has also revisited each of Corvo’s old powers and maneuvers, while both characters will now have access to an upgrade tree that will help gamers tailor their game experience to their own playstyle.
Most of what has been seen of Dishonored 2 thus far indicates a game that is refining the experience of its predecessor without changing any of the fundamental elements that made it great. Do you think that’s the right direction for Dishonored 2? Do you think it’s odd Arkane and Bethesda have released so little gameplay footage so far? Let us know in the comments below.
Dishonored 2 will be available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 11, 2016.