Dishonored 2 news and UK release date: Watch low and high chaos versions of the Clockwork Mansion

It’s not long now until Dishonored 2 barrels in like the devil, throwing projectiles and slicing off heads like its going out of fashion. Or not. Maybe it’ll sneak in on the ramparts, avoiding guards and dropping into rooms like a soft pawed assassin.

There’s more than one way to play the game, you see. Like its excellent predecessor, the game has room for both high-speed action and Thief-like stealth. Also like its predecessor, the amount of carnage you cause will have like repercussions on how the story and environment evolve over the course of the game. Slaughter guards willy nilly and you’ll accrue ‘chaos’. Build up too much chaos and the city of Karnaca will end up dirtier and deadlier than it was when you started.  

To highlight the different approaches to playing Dishonored 2, Bethesda has put our a pair of videos, each taking place in the game’s Clockwork Mansion level. One of these has protagonist Emily Kaldwin playing with ‘high chaos’, and the other with ‘low chaos’. Check them out below.

Dishonored 2: At a glance

  • Set 15 years after the events of the original game, in the city of Karnaca.
  • Players will have a choice to play as either Emily Kaldwin or Corvo Attano.
  • Will run on Bethesda’s new “Void” engine, based on id Tech 6.

Dishonored 2: Release date and formats 

Dishonored 2 will be coming out on PS4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on 11 November. 

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Dishonored 2: Everything you need to know

The first Dishonored’s plague-stricken setting of Dunwall was an unforgettable location – a strange, steampunk version of London with an economy based on whale oil. For Dishonored 2, developer Arkane Studios has transferred the action to the sunny, Mediterranean-feeling city of Karnaca.

On-stage at E3 2016, we’ve been given a more extensive look at Karnaca, and the role Dishonored 2’s Emily Kaldwin will play within it. We knew before that players would have a choice to play either as Emily or as the last game’s protagonist, Corvo Attano. Now we know more about the powers Emily will wield if you decide to opt for her.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=lNFtACeifcU

During the presentation, Arkane’s Harvey Smith explained that verticality will play a big role in Dishonored 2, with players encouraged to approach situations by paying attention to the rooftops that run over the city. Smith also said that each mission in the game would have a strong theme running throughout it.

Through the two demoed missions, one of the most intriguing elements at play was time distortion. Holding an item that looks like a miniature fan made of glass, Emily is able to see the environment at a different period in time, warp to it, do some killing, and warp back to the present. There isn’t enough information to see how this mechanic will pan out across the game, but it stands to add a new layer to the way players deal with the four-dimensional areas around them.

Bethesada also announced that there will be limited edition versions of Dishonored 2, when the game eventually comes out on 11 November 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. 

Both of the game’s protagonists are fully voiced 

The protagonist of the first Dishonored, ex-royal protector Corvo Attano, didn’t speak – although he did have a strange heart stuffed full of cogs, which would tell him about people and places in the grotty city of Dunwall. In Dishonored 2, however, both of the game’s playable characters will be fully voice acted.

In an interview with GamespotDishonored 2 creative director Harvey Smith said the decision to give voices to Corvo and Emily stemmed from two ideas: first, it makes it a lot easier to signpost things to the player and, secondly, it helps make the player feel a greater sense of emotional investment towards the character they’re inhabiting.

“When something happens [in the game], and [Corvo or Emily] respond in a dialogue, you get a sense of the emotional reaction of the character,” Smith said. “There’s a small percentage of players who always said, ‘Please don’t give the characters a voice, let me project myself’ But there’s many, many more people who said, ‘Corvo seemed like a mute machine and I really wanted to feel warmer about him.’ And so, when we started playing with Emily as a character, it was powerful.”

Voice acting was included in Dishonored 1’s Knife of Dunwall DLC (delivered by Michael Madsen no less), and Smith said this made directing the player’s attention much easier from a developer point of view. “You often get players to a certain point and you really want them to look at this thing, but they just don’t see it,” he said. “And so sometimes you can have the character go, ‘Wow, look at that!’”

Manning the pipes behind Emily is Fallout 4 and The Magic Schoolbus actor Erica Luttrell. Lending his gravely tones to Corvo is Stephen Russell, who has voice acted in Skyrim, Fallout 3Fallout New Vegas and Fallout 4. Russell also provided the voice for the protagonist Garret, in the Thief series – which is fitting given that Dishonored is in many ways a spiritual successor to that pioneering stealth game.

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Dishonored 2: Enter Emily Kaldwin

(Warning: Spoilers for the original Dishonored)

The first game centred on royal protector Corvo Attano’s attempts to rescue a young Emily Kaldwin following the murder of her mother, the Empress. Depending on how chaotic the playthrough was, and whether or not the player managed to save Emily in the final mission, the game ended in one of a number of ways. Avoid conflict and Emily would reflect your non-violent approach, slaughter everyone in sight and Emily would learn to be a cruel little madam.

Dishonored 2 takes place 15 years after the events of the original game, and Emily has gone from Empress, to being dethroned, to becoming an assassin like her protector and mentor, Corvo. While Emily was a vulnerable pawn in the political machinations of the first game, in Dishonored 2 she’ll be leading the show. At least, she will be if the player decides to play as her. Players will also have to option to play as the original protagonist, Corvo. In an interview with The Guardian, Dishonored co-creator Harey Smith hinted at the differences between the two characters:

“If you play as Emily it’s all new – she has her own set of powers, her own assassinations and animations, so she feels different, she feels like a finesse character,” Smith said. “In the video, we show a power called Far Reach [a teleportation ability] which can be upgraded in different ways, and it changes your flow through the world and your mobility. Just on a video game level, moving through the world feels different. But if you play Corvo, it’s all this classic stuff, it’s the rat swarms, it’s possession, it’s stopping time – he feels more heavy and brutal, he’s an older guy.”

Aside from differences between Emily’s and Corvo’s powers, Arkane Studios has changed the game’s upgrade system. Instead of outright strengthening powers, Dishonored 2 will let players upgrade powers in branching ways. For example, Emily’s Far Reach ability could be upgraded to grab objects or throw enemies into the air.

Dishonored 2: Setting

Dunwall, the location of the first Dishonored, was a memorable mashup of Victorian London and City 17 from Half Life 2. That’s no coincidence, as both games share the same art director: Viktor Antonov. Antonov is working as a consultant on Dishonored 2, so expect to see a similar spindly, steampunk aesthetic as the first game.

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There will, however, be less Victorian gloom in Dishonored 2, as the action moves from Dunwall to the coastal city of Karnaca, the capital city of Serkonos. From the trailer it seems that Karnaca will have a decidedly Mediterranean feel, although, like Dunwall, it is facing an epidemic. Instead of rats, this time the plague is a species of insect that hatches out of corpses. Presumably, like the original game’s vermin, the more people you kill the more flies you’ll encounter. 

The shifting, mechanical house from the trailer will also feature as a location, allegedly in a mission called the Clockwork Mansion.

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